A Catalyst to Change: Using Commercial Map Intelligence for Business Innovation

Posted: 11 February, 2020 | By Dana Petrone

Demand and expectations are at an all time high for anyone in, or supplying to, the transportation and logistics industry. Fleets are looking to drive efficiency and provide superior customer service. Shippers are trying to manage and gain greater visibility into transportation moves. Technology providers are challenged with delivering innovative, scalable solutions that address the challenges within the commercial vehicle routing workflow. No matter where you fall on the supply chain - you can exceed customer expectations, plan for unforeseen events, and increase visibility with commercial map intelligence solutions.

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Most carriers today have trouble handling exceptions along the route and truly understanding if expected time windows will be met without manual processes. Uncertainty with traffic, drivers making unplanned stops, or hours of service break times, can lead to unforeseen delays and prevention of future load planning - all which impact customer service and profitability.

In a shippers’ world, there is a high demand for increased load visibility and freight status information. More recently, there is a need to manage facilities in an effort to reduce dwell and detention times and get vehicles in and out efficiently.

For both carriers and shippers, there is an operational struggle with ETAs. How can you accurately predict an estimated time of arrival, while also monitor the actuality of those arrival times, and proactively alert stakeholders? In many of these cases, carriers and shippers look to technology providers to help solve these everyday complexities. 

With the right mindset, and an investment in specific technology, any challenge can provide an opportunity for improvement.

Leveraging Commercial Map Intelligence

Flexible, scalable technology can bring business process innovation to life. Whether you are a carrier or shipper with development resources or a technology provider looking to build or enhance a solution, web APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that are specifically designed for the commercial vehicle routing workflow can offer unlimited opportunity. 

Using APIs, carriers can track vehicle locations in real-time while also continually monitoring exceptions along the route, eliminating the need for calls between dispatch and drivers about the status of the trip or an ETA. With continuous, real-time monitoring, APIs can alert the back office when a projected ETA has changed and get ahead of potential service failures. Furthermore, carriers can share this dynamic status information directly with shippers, taking a proactive approach into freight movement and customer service. 

Lengthy dwell and detention times burden fleets by making it difficult for drivers to stay on schedule. With commercial mapping tools, carriers build geofences around facilities, and with APIs, obtain dwell and detention times by calculating when vehicles enter or exit a location. Using that data  can help carrier plan and utilize assets more effectively.

Shippers can also build geofences for improved efficiency by being alerted when a vehicle enters or exits an area, as well as calculating dwell and detention times based on arrival and departure. Shippers know that detaining a truck at their facility for too long hurts carrier efficiency and drives up carrier costs, they can easily boost customer satisfaction and become a preferred shipper with the incorporation of that intelligence. Additionally, shippers can predefine truck entry and exit gates, and share that information with carriers so that expectations on where trucks should arrive and depart is clear.

Shippers can also track freight in real-time and improve visibility throughout the entire commercial vehicle workflow.

Ultimately, carriers and shippers are looking to automate large portions of their logistics processes and are consistently relying on data analytics and technology to drive operational efficiency, whether it’s through a TMS, ERP, telematics device or custom solution. The way to accomplish the highest level of success while taking into account scalability over time is to use commercial map intelligence solutions.

The Trimble MAPS platform is a mapping platform specifically designed for the commercial vehicle routing workflow and offer hundreds of commercial routing, mapping, navigation, and location APIs. Want more information? Watch our featured webinar, How to Leverage Commercial Map Intelligence for Your Unique Business Needs, to see how businesses just like yours have taken advantage of commercial map intelligence.

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