Shippers are perpetually searching for ways to become more efficient. As competition becomes more fierce, the need for real-time visibility has never been higher.
Anthony Vitiello writes for Inbound Logistics:
There is only one way forward for high-volume shippers who are facing a logistics environment where they’ll be forced to produce far more efficient shipping using far fewer resources in a much more competitive environment. Expectations surrounding shipping velocity (and the fines increasingly imposed for late delivery) have never been higher. The visibility required to plan, execute and monitor freight movements—and most importantly—efficiently schedule pickups and deliveries, can only be delivered through the use of powerful logistics technologies like TMS, optimization tools, appointment/dock door scheduling and others. Shippers simply can no longer afford the extra time it takes to manage these processes manually or using outdated and less-efficient logistics solutions.
The demands heaped upon transportation logistics in the era of accelerated supply chain management continue to pile up at exactly the same time as truckload capacity enters a historic shortage. Yes, capacity shortages have been experienced before, but the premium consumers place upon near-immediate access to goods—from consumer products like apparel, home furnishings, groceries and electronics to B2B items like construction materials, raw materials, packaging, and more—is exacerbated by the exodus of carriers and drivers sparked by the ELD mandate.
Restricted capacity normally means it takes more time and costs more money to move goods through the supply chain. Yet, shippers with solid TMS platforms in place carve extra time out for their operations and can actually save money not only in terms of freight rates, but also in terms of cost avoidance (the penalties levied on late pickup/delivery) as well as in labor expenses.
Saving time is saving money for shippers leveraging advanced scheduling capabilities like those offered by UltraShipTMS. Powerful new appointment scheduling solutions use TMS data to provide real-time carrier notification of available loading dock doors, hours of operation, and loading times for each dock door. This upgrade to traditional scheduling in TMS informs transportation planners with the unique method of scheduling—Appointment Time, Appointment Window, Hours or Operation or any other method—in use at any given location.
Carriers are provided access to the TMS so they can select from a list of available appointment types and times. Appointment times, pickup and/or delivery appointments, and other scheduling data can be set in the order management section of the TMS and transmitted via EDI, prior to offering a load to a carrier. Moreover, the system disallows scheduling if the pickup or delivery requested can’t possibly be achieved given the parameters in the TMS for appointment time/day, product availability transit times and other critical considerations.
Helping to further improve timely pickups and thus, higher on-time delivery rates, Advanced Scheduling tools also support easy dock door scheduling. Vendors are given access to scheduling interfaces via a vendor portal. There, they can determine scheduling availability and reserve specific dock times from among the available open slots. A best-in-class solution produces system-generated messages to be issued to DC management whenever a door is scheduled or released. DC management may also view the entire schedule for a global view of daily DC throughput. Even dock users can be provided access for purposes of reserving dock doors as needed for maintenance, storage or any other reason.
Better scheduling automation and management saves time by:
- Improving utilization of driver hours of service
- Boosting on-time pickups/deliveries
- Minimizing late fees
- Optimizing labor utilization at the warehouse
- Reducing man-hours dedicated to scheduling calls/emails for transportation managers
- Improving visibility into delayed shipments and enabling subsequent re-routing
Not only does the time saved by improving scheduling translate to money saved, but improved logistics also translates to greater competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Want to save time and money in a tough logistics environment? Engage solutions with advanced scheduling capabilities now!