Op-Ed: Using technology to overcome capacity restraintsWritten by Heather Ervin
By Andrew Sobko, Founder and CEO of CDL 1000
The world of logistics is quickly evolving and not slowing down any time soon. Consumers want products faster than ever before. The rapid change is forcing logistics operators to analyze whether they have the capacity options needed for effective operations that can meet the speed demanded by today’s consumers.
Nearly every business is suffering from supply chain constraints in one way or another, especially when it comes to finding capacity. It’s incredibly challenging to find the capacity when the shipment volumes and overall demand remain high.
Clearing the ports and finding capacity is another complex operation. Whether finding a suitable carrier or dealing with the driver shortage, shippers can’t get the needed capacity to fulfill customer demand. Supply chain leaders have been scrambling to develop cost-effective solutions to accelerate container turnaround times and improve drayage capacity. With a substantial reduction in available drivers, ongoing port congestion and outdated processes, modernizing the shipping industry is essential to help companies find capacity and move shipments along promptly.
Logistics companies are still using traditional means of shipment planning that prevent them from overcoming capacity restraints while slowing down process and causing them to lose profits. Some logistics companies are reluctant to adopt new technology, fearing implementation will be too costly and take too long. However, with volatile market conditions forecasted to continue well into 2023, embracing technology may be the only way to keep up with competitors and build resiliency.
By strengthening existing connections and embracing modern innovations and tools, companies can stabilize and optimize their capacity during these challenging times. If implemented correctly, technology can optimize shipments and provide visibility in real-time, which is key to ensuring on-time service levels with minimal disruptions. Solutions like freight matching and real-time pricing tools use AI to help companies secure capacity from 3PLs quicker and at the best available price. These processes can result in more full truckloads with fewer trucks needed to carry products from seaports to where they need to go.
How can AI help?
Tools like AI and machine learning are becoming more robust and more reliable by the day, allowing shippers to respond quicker to fluctuating markets. At the same time, AI can analyze data to help companies modify their strategies to figure out when capacity becomes available ahead of time.
With AI, companies can receive more accurate pricing and remove human decision-making on the pricing side. AI can help companies calculate capacity pricing on the spot and allow them to list a load and reserve capacity in seconds, leading to greater efficiencies and simplified processes on the back end.
AI can also enhance operational success by seamlessly connecting necessary data through integrated automation systems, which provide more accurate information to predict capacity restraints in advance.
Visibility and information are key drivers for any company’s success, and AI can help deliver those items to help predict capacity needs based on the exact location and condition of shipments. The data equips companies to manage challenging market demands. Having the ability to store a company’s data from multiple technologies on a central location allow the business to have one place for the information to be updated, visibility for real-time reporting and the ability to analyze the data to find and resolve issues.
Finding the Right Technology Platform
It’s essential to work with a technology partner that offers transparent pricing and follows through on commitments about price, service and speed. An excellent digital platform allows logistics providers to quickly create accurate quotes based on set cost models and required profitability.
With the right technology partner, logistics companies can beat capacity constraints and optimize operations. It’s time for companies to move beyond traditional processes to gain better visibility into the capacity market and obtain a competitive advantage. By embracing AI and digitization, companies can win over capacity, reduce costs, increase profits and improve operational efficiencies across the board.