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Mastering Transportation Management with the Right Tech and Trusted Partners


Between inflation, high fuel costs, and widespread driver shortages, the biggest challenge in the transportation landscape today is high and volatile rates. Across the board, we’re seeing shippers pay January 2022 rates more than halfway through the year. And court rulings such as California’s AB5, which could potentially take 70,000 truckers off the road, continue to compound transportation challenges and threaten the supply chain.

Driven by high competition, we’re also seeing an increase in the number of self-proclaimed 3PLs on the market, making it difficult for shippers to parse out qualified 3PL partners vs. freight brokerages who simply add “logistics” to their name.

Because the market is so dynamic, with rates changing by the week, the need to strengthen your transportation management strategy has never been greater. From a technological standpoint, shippers need a system in place to pull massive amounts of real-time data and turn it into actionable insights. And without the right expertise in-house or within a trusted partner, shippers will continue to struggle with inflated rates.

Below are two key pillars to any transportation management strategy in 2022.


Leveraging a Control Tower for Visibility and Reliability

The control tower is a must-have innovation in the transportation management space today. Control towers provide one centralized spot where shippers or 3PL operations teams can go to understand the health of the supply chain, rather than trying to make sense of data pulled from several disparate systems.

A control tower compiles real-time data from current market positions, the National Weather Service, local traffic reports, and more, integrates it into your transportation management software (TMS), and provides a predictive and dynamic dashboard with increased control and visibility.

Having a control tower is like having the test answers in front of you—there’s no guessing or negotiating left up to chance. Shippers can look at the loads for the day, and if they have to go to the spot market, they can see in real-time what the tender acceptance rate is in that pickup market, the rate per mile, cost per pound, and more.

Plus, by utilizing machine learning, control towers not only track and trace shipments in real-time, but also leverage historical data to analyze how lanes have historically moved. This helps identify problems and at-risk loads with several days of lead time.

Control towers add an unparalleled level of reliability, visibility, prediction, and control to the supply chain. They also take the time out of compiling and analyzing data, allowing shippers to focus on other areas of the business.


Finding the Right Transportation Partner

Due to the increasingly competitive transportation market, shippers are getting inundated with calls from freight brokers and 3PLs alike. It’s important to know the difference between the two: freight brokers focus on one lane, whereas 3PLs are focused on adding value for the customer in a more holistic way, with a variety of services (from procurement to fulfillment to transportation and beyond).

With so many options, it can be difficult to sift through proposals and identify a good fit that will serve as a trusted partner. Our advice: seek out a partner that offers full service, end-to-end transportation management – from developing a capacity strategy, qualifying carriers, contracting carriers, and running procurement events, all the way down to daily execution (tendering, tracking, tracing, business intelligence, etc.).

Above all, shippers should seek out transportation management partners that value collaboration over-prescription. At Kenco, we sit down with our customers to understand their business, discuss challenges, and brainstorm solutions before prescribing a course of action.


The Bottom Line

With all indicators pointing towards recessionary times, now is the most critical time to understand your costs. If you don’t have a trusted partner or the internal resources and tools available to act quickly, it will be difficult to maintain the agility and cost-effectiveness needed in a volatile market. The challenge for shippers in the coming quarters will be staying aligned with the market as it starts to trend down—but with the right technology and partners, shippers can unlock success in their transportation operations.

To learn more or speak with an expert, visit our Transportation Management page.

Topics: Transportation, hp


We'd like to hear about your supply chain and discuss ways Kenco can help address your business needs.

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Kenco Logistics

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Kenco provides integrated logistics solutions that include distribution and fulfillment, comprehensive transportation management, material handling services, real estate management, and information technology—all engineered for Operational Excellence. 

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