Manage Supply and Demand Swings with a Digital Logistics Platform

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Geoff Kelley, President & Chief Operating Officer, TI & NTG

Q. Capacity constraints, labor shortages, rising shipping costs, and growing shipping volumes are making it difficult to find carriers to cover freight. How can shippers, logistics providers, and carriers become more efficient amidst fluctuating market conditions?

A. A digital logistics platform with intelligence AND execution capabilities from a proven partner drives efficient collaboration between shippers, 3PLs, and carriers—representing a more resilient solution to manage the swings of supply and demand.

While cycles are normal with supply and demand rarely in balance, this time, capacity has been impacted by the new state of labor markets and difficulty sourcing drivers versus simply accessing new trucks. Shippers are challenged accessing net new capacity and the right capacity, at the right time. Carriers are challenged finding the right freight to optimize their in-demand networks, even in a favorable carrier market.

A digital logistics platform can solve these pain points, using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation to drive out inefficiencies and provide an on-demand, mutually beneficial network to collaborate. The right platform is more reliable than traditional 3PL tactics, providing faster, more flexible access, and increased transparency and intelligence. Larger, diversified networks amplify platform benefits by consuming high-quality data, making pricing algorithms and freight matching tools more accurate and actionable. These tools can be a game changer, leveraging data-driven insights in decision making.

The digital logistics model runs on an open-source platform, enabling 3PLs to better manage the matching of shippers and carriers at scale. This model can fluctuate depending on the provider, so understanding the network and expertise behind the platform is important. To be clear, digital logistics platforms don’t have to exclude people and in fact, shouldn’t. Lack of execution has deterred adoption of these platforms, but comprehensive platforms backed by experts are different. They can provide solutions across complex and unpredictable conditions, bringing resilience and optimization to your operation without sacrificing execution and performance.

To the shipper audience, these platforms are your chance to eliminate capacity constraints imposed by large carriers and diversify your network with thousands of smaller regional and independent carriers. With 97% of U.S. carriers owning 20 or fewer trucks, tapping into this pool helps build a larger, more reliable, and scalable carrier network.

To the small-to-midsize carrier audience, these platforms are your chance to eliminate bottlenecks and gain access to the right freight opportunities. Simply by accessing the platform, you immediately become larger with more visibility and options across modes, regions, and freight types. The right platform can provide more self-service tools that accelerate the growth of your business.

Resource shortages and e-commerce volumes continue to climb, causing capacity constraints and higher freight rates for some time to come. Market conditions are changing rapidly, day-to-day and month-to-month. Businesses can’t wait for the market to ease up, or for more capacity to be injected in. By utilizing a digital logistics platform, businesses can address short-term needs while expanding and diversifying networks to better position themselves moving forward—no matter the market conditions.

 

Transportation Insight (TI) & Nolan Transportation Group (NTG) service more than 10,000 shippers and over 80,000 carriers through their proprietary Beon™ Digital Logistics Platform—a single point of access to TI and NTG’s mode-agnostic network and services from port to porch. Their services and digital product portfolio span across North America, offering domestic freight and parcel transportation solutions, warehousing, data intelligence, and supply chain consulting. tiholdco.com

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