Logistics News

TIA releases its 2018 Freight Visibility Report

Drawn from interviews with the largest 3PLs, as well as smaller technology leaders, a new report goes into some detail on how and why increased freight visibility may be creating significant value in today’s disruptive business landscape.

The Transportation Intermediaries Association’s (TIA) annual conference held last week in Palm Desert, California, focused in large part on new challenges confronting the domestic 3PL industry.

Drawn from interviews with the largest 3PLs, as well as smaller technology leaders, a new report goes into some detail on how and why increased freight visibility may be creating significant value in today’s disruptive business landscape.

Noël Perry, Transportation economist, and principal with the consultancy, Transport Futures, told Logistics Management in an interview after the TIA conference that the real potential for “transport visibility" in supply chain design is becoming more complicated. 

“Now transport largely conforms to the other elements,” he said. “As they find out how much they affect cost and service, 3PLs will increasingly adapt.”

The report also notes and 3PLs are answering shipper demand for more sophisticated, “nuanced” visibility.

“Visibility is at the forefront of what we do as third-party logistics companies,” said TIA President and CEO Robert Voltmann. “We are the supply chain’s natural technology leaders because we are closest to our customer’s freight, data, and increasingly, their real-time decisions.”

The report highlights complex issues around visibility for shippers – including understanding what kind of data they should ask for and how they should use it. Meanwhile, 3PL challenges included finding ways to guide shipper technology decisions to yield the most effective data points for their supply chain.

Among the key points, the report noted that 3PLs are investing heavily in technology to deliver business intelligence. It explains how the array of delivery options that allow 3PLs to customize the data they provide to shippers has expanded.

“Significant advances in visibility technologies have created a wide range of perceptions and expectations among shippers, including some that are inaccurate,” said researchers.

They added that 3PLs continue to focus their technology on customers’ visibility needs amid an explosion of available data. Furthermore, every 3PL participating in this report underscored a commitment to providing substantial financial resources to support visibility.

“In a dynamic market, 3PLs are capturing the opportunity to deliver business intelligence,” said researchers. “The future challenge will be to find optimal and flexible methods to sustain substantial advances already made."

Chris Burroughs, TIA’s Senior Director of Government Affairs, told LM that the association is planning to convene an advisory council from its shipper committee and board members to determine the direction the questions for the next report will take.


Article Topics
3PLs   Logistics   Transportation   All topics


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About the Author
Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]
 
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