07 Feb Tracking and Visibility: The Bigger Picture
Tracking and visibility in transportation is a hot topic.
Recent news concerning the misuse of cellphone-based tracking has people scrambling. How can the logistics industry, where tracking and visibility is inherent to the best service, deal with upheavals caused by misuse, as well as, an ever-expanding range of technologies intended to expand transparency?
A more comprehensive view of tracking and visibility.
Most of the time when people talk about tracking and visibility, they’re talking about points on a map. And, for sure, this is important, but what we’re talking about when we say “tracking and visibility” is a more comprehensive service. With a little time and experience under our belts, we’ve found that tracking and visibility can encompass a broader array of technologies. It’s not a single technology, but rather multiple technologies used during the entire time-frame of any load.
The problem with looking at tracking and visibility in the broadest manner possible is likely one of implementation. We’ve talked with a lot of brokers who’ve struggled to implement a solid tracking and visibility platform. This typically stems from a slow and low-to-adopt rate from their operations teams. We get it, booking loads is time-consuming and fast-paced. But when the operations team is slow to adopt, that translates in low adoption by carriers.
Adopting a more robust vision of what tracking and visibility offers.
In contrast, we’ve had great adoption results at AM Transport because our operations team has been involved from the beginning in developing our multifaceted approach. We started using cellphone based tracking several years ago. It wasn’t long before we realized that simple access to tracking via drivers’ cellphones wasn’t going to produce the results we were after.
We began experimenting in our conversations with carriers, as well as, introducing automated texting processes. While cell phone tracking adoption increased it couldn’t compare to the excellent response we received with automated texting.
How automated texting fits in.
Our team found that drivers prefer texting for everything. This occurred before the hard enforcement of the ELD rule. Since then, we have experienced an increase in carriers allowing access to their devices for tracking purposes. However, it’s not a silver bullet because many carriers aren’t sure how to allow that access, and the wide variety of ELD providers makes seamless adoption difficult.
We believe that an automated system with the ability to determine which tracking solution to use based on real-time information is the best solution. This is what we like best about working with LoadTap. They continue to test and develop this type of system.
Automated texting sets this in motion. Drivers prefer texting, and operations gains an indisputable efficiency. In fact, this solution expands beyond tracking and visibility. The customer gains visibility, but they gain so much more than that.
The inherent benefits in a comprehensive and integrated tracking and visibility system.
The benefits we see don’t stop with customers. Carriers gain clear information on the load. Pickup and delivery numbers, confirmation numbers, addresses, special instructions, BOLs and other paperwork are easily processed through automated texting.
This helps us pay carriers quickly with increased efficiency because the operations team can handle more loads with better information by only working on exceptions. The financial team receives necessary paperwork allowing them to bill customers sooner.
Comprehensive tracking and visibility works best when you normalize and integrate the flow of information that begins with automated texting with your Transportation Management System (TMS). This allows for more technologies like OCR platforms, financial payment platforms, and load matching to work together which results in even more advantages.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg. When tracking and visibility is considered in such a comprehensive manner, the possibilities are endless.