In the fast-paced world of logistics, the importance of freight technology cannot be overstated. From choosing a management system to tracking freight shipments in real time, technology is a true game-changer. It helps forwarders know when to switch between air and sea cargo and can help shippers understand their total freight shipping costs better.
Complete integration and data sharing offer unprecedented visibility and control over your shipments. Yet, some shippers are still not utilizing freight tech to its full potential. According to 2023 survey results shared by PR Newswire, “77% of survey respondents said that real-time shipment visibility is a must-have feature—but only 25% currently use it.” That’s an astonishing fact considering the demand for increased visibility across most of the world’s supply chains.
Why are 75% of companies not using freight technology to track their loads, and how can they reposition their tech stacks and partnerships to do so? Let’s take a closer look.
The Power of Freight Technology in Logistics
Freight technology has the power to revolutionize freight shipping and logistics management. Its application within various transportation management systems (TMS) is well documented and helps companies procure capacity across all modes. Meanwhile, the use of technology enables LTL freight pooling and cross-border compliance. It offers real-time tracking, data analytics, and automation, which can significantly improve efficiency and reduce costs. Modern freight service providers leverage this technology to provide superior service to their clients and avoid possible delays or missed deliveries. But with so much value, it’s difficult to rationalize a company’s avoidance of such capabilities.
Why Shippers Forgo the Use of Intelligent Freight Technologies
Despite the clear benefits, some shippers are hesitant to embrace freight technology. The reasons vary, but they often boil down to a few common factors:
- Lack of understanding of the technology.
- Cost concerns both for initial implementation and long-term use.
- Employee pushback and resistance to change.
- Inability to integrate the data from freight technology into their existing tech stack.
- Past experiences involving poor or undeveloped freight tracking systems.
Fear is a plain and simple issue, and yes, there are many advancements that even these companies have already implemented.
They may have leveraged a newer TMS but have yet to invest in GPS-enabled gate management. They may have tapped the potential of smart barcodes and QR codes in packaging, but they may have let tracking in transportation services fall by the wayside. However, the unification of technologies is happening in real time, and companies that continue to avoid tracking shipments around-the-clock are setting themselves up for failure. In addition, most transportation industry parties already provide near-real-time traceability, so any argument against it is mute.
Qualities to Look for in a Global, Tech-Rich Freight Forwarder
Shippers looking for a global freight services provider that can amplify their freight traceability and tracking capabilities may be unsure where to start, and this often goes back to the need to look at individual forwarders’ functions and coverage. However, shippers can enhance the process by defining the core capabilities to look for when choosing a visibility and freight services partner::
- Expertise in freight technology, such as using Parade.AI, various TMS platforms, ocean visibility systems like project44, etc.
- Proven track record in managing global supply chains and working closely to deliver on time, every time, leveraging the benefits of free trade zones (FTZs) and other in-demand capabilities.
- A strong international partner network that works across all modes, from the first to the final mile.
- Complete customer service and communication tools, including automated notifications, to reduce “busy work” associated with tracking and tracing a load.
- Compliance with all applicable international customs brokerage best practices and freight regulations.
It seems counterproductive, and it is indeed. Shippers still need to fully utilize advanced visibility technology to enable greater efficiency. Whether it’s due to a lack of understanding, cost concerns, or resistance to change, these barriers are preventing them from reaping the full benefits of freight technology, machine learning, collaborative logistics, and advanced analytics. Yes, everyone claims to want these functions, but without the visibility component, every other advanced function falls short. However, working with the right freight shipping companies, including GEODIS, can help reduce the issue and bring new visibility into all processes. Get started by connecting with the GEODIS Customs Brokerage experts now, and let us do the heavy lifting of increasing visibility in your supply chain.