4 Common Pitfalls in Transportation Optimization Strategies
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Data is everyone in today’s supply chain, from insight into current fuel surcharges to warehouse transfer dynamics. But is that data being put to use? According to Forbes, “ 60-73% of enterprise data sits idle on servers somewhere in the cloud, a squandered resource never tapped for the benefit of the business.” That untapped data is a massive resource and transportation optimization, but problems still exist. Why? There’s so much happening that things can and do go wrong. 

Many pitfalls can prevent logistics service providers and shippers from achieving their desired outcomes. The wrong approach can lead to errors and delays, from efficient routes and adequate resources to reliable delivery methods, pushing transportation costs higher. To ensure your business runs as smoothly as possible, it’s essential to avoid these common mistakes when optimizing transportation strategies. Here are some of the most common pitfalls in optimizing transportation strategies and how Supra’s changing the narrative. 

Pitfall 1: Not Understanding the Problem

Transportation optimization is among the most complex processes on the planet. It’s constantly changing and subject to enormous risks. As a result, it’s essential to understand the problem before attempting to solve it. 

Part of this may include evaluating the existing transportation process, accounting for changes in lead times, and analyzing shipments for risks. When a problem is fully identified, freight management parties must look outside of the box for solutions. 

Such solutions may or may not align with their typical operations and processes. However, recognizing the opportunities versus costs is the best first step. Plus, it will go a long way toward reducing confusion and prioritizing high-risk problems. Supra approaches every load with this mindset and identifies all possible issues and their solutions. 

Pitfall 2: Not Utilizing Transportation Optimization Software

In today’s world, technology is essential for optimizing transportation strategies. Route optimization software can help companies plan efficient routes and reduce costs. Companies should also consider using other types of technology, such as GPS tracking systems and automated dispatching systems, to improve their transportation strategies further. 

One such technology that is gaining traction in the logistics industry is NavTrac, an AI-powered digital yard management system. NavTrac leverages computer vision to capture and track assets in digital form, thereby automating the asset inventorying process and eliminating recording errors. This helps companies gain real-time visibility into their assets, enabling them to optimize their supply chain operations, reduce costs, and improve customer service.

People can still make mistakes even with a plan to use technology fully. People can still make mistakes. In other words, transportation optimization requires training staff on the correct use of technology, clear instructions that must be followed, employee performance tracking, and feedback when needed. 

Pitfall 3: Failing to Consider Safety

Safety is integral to a successful transportation strategy and should be noticed when planning and executing operations. Failing to prioritize safety can lead to violations or fines from governing bodies and other problems such as catastrophic accidents and costly litigation. Still, logistics software can help companies prioritize safety by providing more data on resource availability, including labor resources and tracking equipment maintenance. 

Companies must be proactive in implementing safety measures that comply with industry regulations. Additionally, Supra’s use of advanced technology, including NavTrac, helps to improve safety by carefully and accurately tracking all gate movements and ensuring everyone knows what’s happening. That additional data stream helps to reduce risk in the yard and avoids bottlenecks at the dock. In turn, everyone enjoys a safer and more successful loading/unloading process. 

Pitfall 4: Not Planning for the Future and Lacking Agility

When optimizing transportation strategies, companies should consider their current needs and plan for future changes. This includes evaluating trends in the industry and anticipating changes in customer demands. Companies should also consider regulatory developments affecting their operations and factor these into their plans.

Responsiveness also enables companies to react quickly when unforeseen issues arise. This helps them avoid delays or increased costs, allowing them to remain competitive in the market. Companies should ensure that they have processes that enable quick responsiveness and adaptation to changes.

Overcome These Barriers With Supra and Freight Optimization Software

Overall, optimizing your transportation strategy requires careful planning and the ability to adapt quickly. Companies should prioritize safety measures, plan for future changes in customer demands, and be responsive when unforeseen issues arise. That starts with choosing the right partner. 

With Supra’s expertise and industry knowledge, businesses of any size can benefit from increased efficiency while saving money on costs associated with logistics management. Connect with an expert from Supra to optimize your transportation needs today. And be sure sure to check out our new online quoting tool, DrayMaster, and get your quote in under a minute.

DrayMaster enables transportation optimization opportunities.

Using Artificial Intelligence to Predict Freight Demand
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The freight market and logistics sector have taken to artificial intelligence (AI) faster than anyone had thought possible. The drive for automation with AI prediction and freight demand monitoring has helped to increase efficiency and reduce freight spend. AI predictions and forecasting can perform route optimization, real-time order tracking, and predictive maintenance tasks across all trucking demand needs. It can also assist with freight demand monitoring and allows fleet management to be much more streamlined. But how?

Route optimization is an integral part of the logistics process. AI systems can optimize routes to save time and fuel costs, but there are additional opportunities for optimization well beyond the route and central leg of transportation. As an example, Supra uses the TBS YMS to understand inventory in the yard better and manage the check-in and check-out processes for each container and load without adding too much paperwork. 

As highlighted in a 2021 review by TechTalks regarding AI and current shipping trends, AI tools allow for greater accuracy when predicting future trucking demand. It also allows for better responses to disruptions and seasonal crunch periods. And combined with a gate control system at the yard or warehouse, such as NavTrac, both AI-driven tools allow for better planning, fewer lulls at the facility dock, and better use of equipment in the yard or warehouse. 

 

Real-time order tracking and market updates are also ways AI is used in logistics. AI systems can significantly reduce workloads by leveraging trucking demand details and tracking data via logistics and shipping technology advancements. Supra’s 121 Tower platform achieves these goals by tracking delays or excess wait times to keep customers in the loop and reduce potential costs associated with dwell time or driver detention. 

Further, these automated systems can quickly locate goods in transit and provide accurate arrival times for customers and suppliers. This helps ensure a smooth flow of goods throughout the supply chain and improves the freight demand monitoring and planning process.

Change is always difficult and at times, uncertain. However, in the digital day and age, AI tools and processes are helping streamline logistics and improve end-to-end productivity. Planning is critical whether freight is coming through the ports of Savannah, Los Angeles, or any other central hub on the east or west coast. Using artificial intelligence to predict demand in logistics and shipping can improve the entire process.

The Benefits of Using AI for Logistics and Freight Demand Prediction 

AI can help shippers, carriers, and 3PLS identify trends and patterns in data. These patterns make it easier to reallocate assets and do more with less. 

Supra’s 121 Bermuda makes this possible by finding opportunities to use street turns to reduce empty legs and waste within drayage. Easier comparison and analysis means data can be used to predict future demand and market trends. By quickly pulling and comparing data, AI platforms and tools allow people to do in minutes what would take hours to do otherwise. 

Enhancing a logistics software system with AI can improve overall performance by 

  • Providing automated route optimization in the current freight market.
  • Offering reliable real-time order tracking at large and small scales.
  • Improving predictive maintenance needs among logistics providers.
  • Better predictive insights for rates increasing throughout the supply chain.
  • Offering increased efficiency with spot markets and outbound tender.
  • Optimizing shipping routes and trucking demand data in real-time.
  • Gaining insights into consumer spending habits and market trends.
  • Improving customer satisfaction through accurate arrival times.

Building Technology to Support Logistics with AI for the Freight Market

Shippers and 3PLs can use AI planning tools and freight demand platforms to improve their logistics processes, make it easier to anticipate customer needs, and helps shippers and 3PLs plan for unexpected or routine needs. These include cost, time, transit options, safety requirements, bulk load options, weather conditions, traffic congestion, and other factors. 

The entire process can be improved when these factors can be compared, compiled, and responded to in real time. AI-guided platforms’ added speed and precision are critical to continued growth and success. Because of this, shipping companies can better respond to the freight market and trucking demand changes.

The Future of Predictive Logistics Demand with AI for Trucking Companies and Shippers

Challenges with adapting new AI technologies and implementing digital tools is nothing new to the freight market. But it is something that has to be faced and addressed. 

  • Proper training and onboarding can help team members understand AI-driven predictive planning for transportation and freight demand
  • Clear communicative feedback gives consumers a voice that can help shape AI services at a local and niche market level. 
  • Flexibility and scalability allow supply chain managers to coordinate and streamline trucking demand logistics every step of the way.

The biggest obstacle to any supply chain and logistical tech advancement is the fear of the unknown and change. However, as shippers, 3PLs, and freight management teams improve AI, implementing and using these tools at scale will become more accessible and less foreign. As more industry leaders embrace the power of artificial intelligence, the benefits will become even more evident. 

Improvie Freight Demand Monitoring and Predictive Planning With an Industry Leader in Logistics, Supra!

The freight market logistics sector has already seen excellent benefits from using AI tools and technology. Through AI, predictive planning, service scaling, and distribution response have improved in recent years. Shippers and 3PLs benefit from predictive planning tools and AI-driven platforms in many ways as it improves end-to-end processes. 

The global and domestic supply chain is slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels. Now is the time to take the steps that separate the ok shippers from those seeing true success today. AI and predictive planning tools allow shippers to improve shipping and trucking demand experiences for customers of all sizes. 

Supply chain management and service providers must leverage the benefits of using AI automation for predictive management. Through Supra’s ongoing in-house development and expansion of capabilities from 121 Tower, 121 Bermuda, TBS YMS, and of course, DrayMaster, as well as many new technologies on the roadmap, we can create a more efficient and intuitive process. Contact Supra National Express today to learn more about capitalizing on AI-driven tools for freight demand and trucking logistics. And be sure to check out DrayMaster and how you can get a freight demand quote in under a minute!

DrayMaster meets freight demand

FSC UPDATE – FEB/23
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Dear Customer,

Beginning February 6th, 2023, our New Fuel Surcharge (FSC), at 40%, will apply to each load pulled by Supra.

Supra National Express, Inc. implemented a new fuel surcharge structure to all drayage shipments in July. The adjustment is made according to the table below.  The fuel surcharge is based on the California price per gallon of diesel fuel as stated by the U.S. Department of Energy in their monthly Monday reports.

You can also check the index at the Federal Energy Department’s website.

    BETWEEN    
APPLICABLE FSC%
****
    BETWEEN    
APPLICABLE FSC%
 $2.00 $2.95 20 $5.56 $5.70 41
$2.96 $3.10 21 $5.71 $5.85   42  
$3.11 $3.25 22 $5.86 $6.05 43
$3.26 $3.35 23 $6.06 $6.20 44
$3.36 $3.50 24 $6.21 $6.40  45 
$3.51 $3.65 25 $6.41 $6.55 46
$3.66 $3.80 26 $6.56 $6.75 47
$3.81 $3.95 27 $6.76 $6.90 48
$3.96 $4.10 28 $6.91 $7.00 49
$4.11 $4.20 29 $7.01 $7.10 50
$4.21 $4.35 30 $7.11 $7.25 51
$4.36 $4.45 31 $7.26 $7.35 52
$4.46 $4.55 32 $7.36 $7.50 53
$4.56 $4.70 33 $7.51 $7.60 54
$4.71 $4.80 34 $7.61 $7.75 55
$4.81 $4.95 35 $7.76 $7.85 56
$4.96 $5.05 36 $7.86 $8.00 57
$5.06 $5.20 37 $8.01 $8.10 58
$5.21 $5.30 38 $8.11 $8.25 59
$5.31 $5.40 39 $8.26 $8.40 60
$5.41 $5.55  ⇒    40     

Our FSC will be updated every first Monday of each month and posted on our website: https://www.snecorp.com/blog/

Best regards,

Humberto Linares
Director of Business Development
562.419.4668 | hl@snecorp.com

Posted: 2/6/2023

How to Boost Your Yard Management System
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Shippers, importers, exporters, and owner-operators need efficiency to thrive and proper supply chain optimization. Why? Mounting pressure to do with less is everywhere. According to survey data, shared by Supply Chain 24/7, warehousing and yard management automation processes are top of mind among 31% of companies. Still, finding efficiencies within existing systems and disparate strategies has led to lost opportunities and waste. As a result, today’s companies are not quite sure how to boost their yard management system functions. Leading to problems within warehousing and distribution center yard operations further down the supply chain. Thus, it’s essential to have a few steps in your toolkit to realize efficiency through yard management solutions and how it plays into overall transportation and inventory management. 

1. Define Your Goals for Warehouse and Yard Management

Defining goals is essential for a successful and efficient warehouse and yard management system. This allows for a more organized and smoother operation of yard management workflows. Plus, it also streamlines yard inventory, yard waste rates, yard turnover rates, real-time reporting from the yard drivers, and decision-making. All these features help ensure that shippers can manage their warehouse and yard processes to best suit their needs and requirements for planning in yard checks, dock doors’ schedules, and beyond. 

2. Choose the Right Location for Your Yard and Cross-Docking Facilities

At its core, yard management is about safety and efficiency. Choosing the right location for yard and cross-docking facilities makes all the difference in your company’s success. Regardless of experience, paying attention to the yard location is essential. The yard must be suitably close to your customer base while also being positioned in a way that optimizes delivery turnaround times. Constructing effective yard layouts with dedicated parking spots for each truck can give you an edge in using yard and cross-docking facilities efficiently.

Further, this streamlines inbound and outbound movements and helps to avoid backlogs within gate management too. Having the technology to support this process is critical, but only if you first choose the right yard location. And, of course, technology must include automated capabilities.

3. Implement an Automated System to Track Transloads and Beyond

Automation is the future, and with the right logistics software suite, companies no longer have to track paperwork and transloads manually. Supra National Express values automation to track all operations as a freight and logistics company experienced in drayage and short-hauls. It is part of why we’re building the next-generation tech stack for the modern west coast importer or exporter. Implementing this automated system will increase productivity and enable businesses to be more flexible with their transport operations.

Automated software is essential for capturing data, planning gate access, and dock schedules. Such a function in the yard automates scheduling and overall management processes. Further and in today’s digital world, it is more important than ever for companies to be able to track and analyze data. Automated software helps make this tracking process easier, faster, and more efficient.

4. Use Real-Time Data to Improve Decision Making and Scheduling

Automation is integral to any freight and logistics company and relies on real-time data. Utilizing this automation in the yard management system keeps everyone in the loop and opens new opportunities. In turn, drivers and shippers know they have access to the correct information, can better prioritize downstream needs, and continuously optimize routes. Still, it all starts in the warehouse and being able to act when things can and do go wrong. That allows all network partners to operate efficiently while staying competitive.

5. Manage Exceptions and Optimize Performance With Analytics and Data

The right analytics tools can make identifying and addressing issues easier. With comprehensive data and analytics, shippers and drivers can both finally optimize performance across the entire supply chain. These cloud-based systems provide an endless stream of data for processing within advanced analytics capabilities. That information and insight will help minimize delays, costs, and disruptions while driving better customer service. 

Further, the right capabilities of your yard management software and its integrations with your full tech stack will build better drayage and short-haul efficiency.  Exception management is no longer tedious or time-consuming; start using data optimization today to remain one step ahead.

Streamline Yard Management Software Use by Partnering With Supra National Express

There will always be new challenges in freight and logistics. Organizing and managing a yard can be arduous, but when done right, it can lead to increased efficiency and success. Shippers can optimize their performance across the entire supply chain by implementing the right technology, such as automated systems, real-time data analytics, and exception management capabilities.

Partnering with Supra National Express helps streamline this process further by providing access to our next-generation tech stack for modern west coast importers or exporters. With these tools at your disposal, you’ll have the resources to make informed decisions about managing your warehouse and yard processes. Connect with our team of experts to get started today, and check out how DrayMaster can make the steps leading to your warehouse or yard easier with faster, accessible quotes too!

How to streamline yard management systems and drayage planning with Supra