The supply chain industry is no stranger to evolving practices. Over the years, logistics professionals have had to review their processes to ensure they are working as efficiently as possible, considering market changes, advancing technology and more. Carrier adoption of digital resources, in particular, has progressed rapidly over the last few years in order to navigate the logistics landscape, streamline workflow operations and meet consumer demand.
Digital transformation within the supply chain industry has taken off in recent years, especially during 2020. The year saw unprecedented disruptions and shortages that have had a lasting impact on the supply chain. For example, the trucking industry has about 80,000 fewer available drivers compared to a year ago. However, these issues pushed technology forward as the industry was forced to think deeper into how digital tools could solve some of the problems at hand. Industry users became aware that not only can these tools decrease error and increase visibility, but they can also save carriers time and money. Here are a handful of digital tools that carriers should utilize to enhance their day-to-day operations.
Not only are companies going paperless to benefit the earth and become more sustainable, but they are also using the digitization of elements, including documentation and receipts, to avoid losing crucial information. Additionally, digital tools can move faster than paper and often limit error when tracking freight, such as delivery confirmation. Paperless digital solutions also provide an extra layer of health protection with less physical paper exchanges during a pandemic, decreasing the risk of exposure.
Digital Carrier Portal
An interactive online portal is a carrier’s best friend. This valuable tool increases shipment accessibility by providing enhanced search capabilities, expanded equipment availability, and visibility on all necessary load information. An optimal carrier portal will also provide document management and real-time payment status and can be accessed from anywhere – allowing carriers to have full 24/7 business transparency.
NTG’s carrier portal, NTGVision, provides access to thousands of daily shipments across the country. The advanced search capabilities optimize carrier options with the best routes to match carrier preferences. Access NTG’s load board to unlock enhanced route guidance today!
Load Matching and Carrier Profiles
To match loads with carriers that meet the standards and capabilities required, certain tech-enabled 3PLs utilize load matching technology. At NTG, our digital infrastructure includes detailed carrier profiles with available equipment, lane preferences, past history and service notes. Each of these elements allows NTG to identify the best transportation options available for every single load that helps carriers streamline workflow operations.
Profitable and efficient routes are imperative, and carriers rely on technology to provide the necessary information to create the best route for their journey. Route optimization tools limit deadhead miles and wasted time, which is important for carriers to complete a profitable haul. A tech-advanced 3PL partner helps carriers optimize routes through custom-built technology that uses AI capabilities, adding value by creating and recommending the most optimal route for carriers’ desired locations.
Luckily for carriers, they do not have to know every piece of the supply chain and market developments at any given moment. They can rely on an experienced and knowledgeable 3PL partner to provide industry insights and assistance when any disruption or delay takes place on their journey. When exploring a potential partnership with a 3PL, look for one who offers dedicated representatives who understand the sector you work in and the solutions you need to be successful. Such representatives work on a carrier’s behalf through various digital resources in order to help access more freight opportunities so carriers can spend that crucial time on the road.
“Working with NTG has opened us up to opportunities that have grown our business. Before partnering with NTG, we never had the chance to book loads with a major multinational shipping service. Now, not only do we book loads with this major service, but we have so many other load opportunities as well. Thanks to our rep at NTG for making this happen! NTG is one of the best partners helping carriers run their business.” – Nick Jones, ZNS Cargo
Quick Pay is a payment option that allows carriers to go completely digital and receive payment quickly after delivery. At NTG, we provide our carriers with the option of enrolling in our exclusive carrier payment program, RhinoPay – a program where carriers will receive payment on every load via ACH direct deposit just two days after delivery paperwork is received.
It’s important to remember that not all carriers have access to the digital tools they desire, whether that’s due to company size or the cost of advanced technology. However, partnering with a 3PL often provides important access and gives carriers the exclusive opportunity to enhance their operational workflow and streamline solutions for their own customers and employees while increasing overall business growth.
RELATED: Read NTG’s blog on How Carriers can Enhance Business Growth