What advanced transportation planning and execution services can 3PLs offer their customers?

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Bill Ward/Flickr
Bill Ward/Flickr

Transportation Management remains the foundational capability for most LPs and the new cloud-network platforms have been successfully architected and to serve as that transportation backbone. This enables a TMS that goes far beyond the scope of traditional systems. They offer more scalability and performance while providing optimization services to drive consolidation and routing efficiencies to lower the total landed cost of your freight.  These systems provide a consistent global transportation management capability while allowing for local and regional variations to meet the specific needs of the different geographies served.

For example, my own company’s system has a long track record of delivering rock solid transportation execution to numerous high volume shippers from a single instance.  This has provided the opportunity to better position and enable advanced services while also delivering an aggregated view of network shipments, transportation assets, and benchmark rates.  This single view capability provides the foundation for LSPs to gain and share benchmarks and baselines as well as the ability to better leverage spend and/or dedicated assets.

In addition to traditional planning and execution functions of TMS, new systems enabled by a cloud platform include transportation financials, fleet management, and global trade management.  These are necessary extensions to enable a complete solution given the growing importance of international transportation and dedicated fleets to maximize service and control costs.

Other key modules include appointment scheduling and yard management which are tightly linked with the transportation suite of services.  Warehouse throughput and the more efficient scheduling of trailer unloading have gained importance due to shrinking truck capacity and increasingly stringent HOS requirements.  The carrier’s desire for more drop trailers have increased the need for full featured yard management services and shared visibility to trailer pool size and unloading status.

In future posts, I’m going to continue to discuss some of the opportunities that LSPs have to add more value to their customers. If you’re impatient however, I suggest you read the new whitepaper “8 Opportunities for Today’s Logistics Providers“.

Gene Trousil