It is difficult to manage OTR transportation through disruption. Shippers are seeking solutions to ensure consistency as market volatility continues to impact supply chains. We share seven best practices for improving OTR transportation management to enable shippers to stay competitive in the face of disruption. Let’s look closer at how these best practices can be put into practice.
1. Track Carrier Performance Data
You can gain more insight into your freight spending by capturing carrier data. This will allow you to make data-driven business decisions that have a positive impact on your business. Tracking transportation metrics along with KPIs such as transit time, on-time pickups and percent of truckload capacity used across your carrier partners will help you identify trends and potential opportunities for OTR transportation management.
2. Forecast Demand With Analytics
Analytics gives you visibility into your transportation network operations and networks. Combining historical data and market trends, and adding human review/intervention, gives insight into OTR transport optimization possibilities. In an industry that is constantly changing and volatile, analytics and market intelligence are especially important to enable businesses to make data-driven business decisions.
3. Centralize Communications Across OTR Transport Modes
Shippers who can centralize communication are better equipped to understand and collaborate with their supply chain partners. Use TMS technology platforms for OTR transportation capacity. Keep information current and in context. Stay informed with real-time visibility. Remote management is a key role in all industries. TMS technology continues to gain importance.
4. Find and Apply Freight Consolidation Opportunities
Freight consolidation and multi-mode leveraging will be of great benefit to shippers who can see the entire size and scope of their networks and what capacity they require. Freight consolidation within zone skipping is an option for shipments that don’t need a quick delivery (e.g. next-day, two-day shipping). This reduces the shipping cost. You might also be able to consolidate by using rail or intermodal transports or using inbound routing guides to assist suppliers.
5. Allow for ongoing route optimization
Routing optimization continually applies data to validate routes against market disruptions. This is an essential step in reducing backhauls for carriers and making your freight more appealing while taking advantage of market dynamics. OTR transportation optimization refers to the process of optimizing the way you manage pickups, drop-offs, and changing schedules in order to meet shipping needs that change over time.
6. Automate Redundant Processes
Shippers have plenty of business available to them, so shippers must make their freight attractive to carriers. This includes automating redundant processes that make it easier for ships to accept tenders and execute moves.
According to the Harvard Business Review, “55%” of respondents to a Harvard Business Review Analytic Services survey report that the current pandemic is driving automation in the procurement process. Enterprises that have responded to the pandemic with the digitization of once-disjointed, risk-prone procurement processes may now be beginning to see the benefits of incorporating real-time insights into sourcing projects, performance, and cost.
7. Managed Transportation Solutions and Outsourcing
Outsourcing removes the burden of freight management and helps to create long-term strategic initiatives that will help your company overcome disruption. A managed, strategic transportation solution can provide reliable capacity even in turbulent market conditions. Managed transportation providers can provide predictable loads to shippers and shippers by establishing strategic relationships and leveraging predictive and historical analytics.
Conclusion – Best Practices with the Right Supply Chain Partner
OTR transportation is subject to market volatility because of its constant evolution. Shippers need to find the best strategy for OTR transportation in order to keep costs under control, work with the right carriers and avoid making mistakes. It’s possible to accomplish all of these goals with one solution.