5 shipping questions that analytics can help answer

Chad Erchul

By Chad Erchul Business Development at King Solutions

Analytics are not meant to be used reactively. They are a tool that shippers can use to proactively plan their logistics strategy in order to save money, increase efficiency and better serve their customers. The supply chain is comprised of many moving parts (literally), and in order to better coordinate your strategy and utilize your resources, it’s essential to have a solid foundation of data to help you make the right choices.

How can you best put your shipping data to use? You can use key data points to answer questions about your logistics strategy and execution.

Your shipping data can help you answer these five questions:

1) Which carrier should we use?
Selecting the right carrier for your shipments involves thorough analysis of price, speed, reliability and many other factors. The recent capacity crunch has made carrier selection even more difficult as rates spike and carriers become more selective of which loads to take. The data you collect on your shipping routes can help you choose carriers that are already heading the direction that your shipment is going. It can help you plan LTL freight shipments and compare carrier costs to make informed decisions.

2) How can we save on shipping costs?
Carrier selection is not the only factor that plays a part in shipping costs. Your data can help you choose between shipping methods (like LTL vs. Parcel), classify freight based on weight, size and other specifications and calculate how much you should charge customers for shipping. These factors, and many others, can help you bring down the costs of shipping, adding to your bottom line.

3) What’s the best lane to use?
Many roads lead to many places? Do you know which route is the fastest and least expensive? The data you collect on your shipments can help you determine the costs and pros/cons of sending freight on a route. More effective route planning also helps you:

  • Decrease delivery times
  • Reduce miles traveled for carriers, helping to drive down their rates and fuel costs
  • Reduce freight claims by reducing the number of stops
  • Improve customer satisfaction

4) Which shipments need to be expedited?
Effective route planning and the analytics gathered from lane usage allows you to better predict shipping times, no matter where your products are going and what time of year they are being sent. Estimating transit times based on destination and season allows you to predict whether or not you need to expedite shipments to get them to customers on time.

5) How do we predict future shipping costs?
Your analytics will even allow you to predict the cost of shipping products in the future. Fuel pricing trends give you a better idea where fuel prices will move based on external conditions. Peak seasons and capacity issues with carriers allow you to estimate carrier rates. You should always be asking how your shipping data can help you now and in the future.

More questions? King has answers
Our shipping experts are here to answer your questions. For a free consultation on how you can get the most out of your shipping data in order to formulate the most effective strategy possible, contact King Solutions today.