Stopping Shipping Shenanigans – The Value of Good Reporting in Your TMS

How well does your TMS drive process improvement and efficiency in transportation logistics?  Any decent TMS solution helps shippers standardize workflows and automate things like rating, routing, tendering and carrier management functions.  Yet, to really juice savings and operational efficiency using a TMS, a shipper has to be able to view and analyze the data a TMS collects.

The problem seems to be that most shippers don’t know what they don’t know as evidenced by the paltry 11% of shippers who say they achieve visibility via their TMS solution in a recent American Shipper report.  What’s worse, almost 40% say their visibility is derived from their carriers track and trace tools!  If strategic supply chain transformation simply cannot occur without solid reporting in the TMS, why do so many shippers still fail to take advantage of reporting in their TMS? And what benefits are they losing out on?

To answer these questions, consider the following true story.

A shipper had a particular lane being serviced by only two carriers in their routing guide – a large national carrier and a small mom-and-pop.  The large carrier had found a way to charge more than the contracted rate in this lane by declining the tender even though they had the capacity to move the load.  Receiving the tender next, the second carrier (the small carrier) also declined, but only because they legitimately didn’t have a truck available.  So the shipment is sent to the spot market, where the same large national carrier was waiting to offer a bid well above their contracted rate, but coincidentally below the rates of their competitors.  The large carrier played this unethical game two to three times per week, blowing up the carefully planned savings the shipper took great steps to capture by investing in a logistics IT solution. 

For a shipper with a good suite of TMS-based reporting tools, such shenanigans are hard to pull off.  If the shipper in the story above had run a “Spot Quote Lost Savings Report” like the one included in the reporting tools in UltraShipTMS, this pattern of activity would never have been allowed to continue and the offending carrier would be held to the rates they’d agreed to in good faith negotiations.  If you think there aren’t other areas where clear eyed, data-driven assessments couldn’t identify poor performance and support, you may be missing out on savings and improvements your department could otherwise be yielding.  Just some of the reports included in the reporting suite of an award-worthy TMS include:

  • Spot Quote Participation

  • Spot Quotes by Lane

  • Spot Quote Lost Savings

  • Tendering Metrics

  • Tendering Load Times

  • Tendering Overrides

  • Benchmarking

  • Carrier On-Time Performance

  • Carrier Check Call Compliance

  • Carrier Check Call Timeliness

  • Carrier Rate Changes

  • Carrier Acceptance by Lane

  • EDI Errors

  • Late Codes

  • Appointment Compliance

  • Many more

The benefits a shipper can derive from the ability to run and analyze these reports include cost effective utilization of spot market, increase lead time, competitive benchmarked rates, improved on time performance, greater in-transit shipment status visibility, improved scheduling accuracy and so much more.



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