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OTR Transportation Best Practices for Your Supply Chain

Managing OTR transportation through disruption is a complex process. As market volatility continues to challenge supply chains, shippers are looking for solutions to help create consistency. We’re sharing seven best practices to improve OTR transportation management, enabling shippers to stay competitive in the face of disruption. Let’s take a closer look at how to turn these practices into action.

1. Track Carrier Performance Data

Capturing carrier data gives you more visibility into your freight spend and enables you to make data-driven decisions that positively impact your business. When you track transportation metrics and KPIs like transit time, on-time pickups, and percent of truckload capacity utilized across your carrier partners, you can identify trends and opportunities for streamlined OTR transportation management.

2. Forecast Demand with Analytics

Analytics provides visibility into your transportation network and operations. Leveraging historical data with current market trends, and layering human review and intervention provides insight into OTR transportation optimization opportunities. Analytics and market intelligence that enables businesses to make data-driven decisions is especially valuable for an industry marred with the effects of disruption and volatility.

3. Centralize Communications  Across OTR Transportation Modes

Shippers that can centralize communications are better equipped to understand their needs and collaborate with supply chain partners. Leverage TMS technology platforms to source OTR transportation capacity in tight markets, keep information in context, and stay informed with real time visibility.  As remote management continues to play a defining role within all industries, TMS technology capabilities continue to grow in importance.

4. Identify and Apply Freight Consolidation Opportunities

Shippers that can visualize the full size and scale of their networks, as well as capacity requirements, will find added value in freight consolidation and leveraging multi-modes. If a shipment doesn’t require a fast-paced delivery, such as next-day or two-day shipping, it might be eligible for freight consolidation within zone skipping, which lowers its total shipping cost. Other opportunities for consolidation might include taking advantage of rail or intermodal moves, or adopting inbound routing guides for suppliers.

5. Enable Ongoing Route Optimization

Routing optimization continuously applies data to validate planned routes against market disruptions. This is a vital step in reducing empty backhauls for carriers, making your freight more attractive while leveraging market dynamics. OTR transportation optimization is the process of finding the best way to oversee pickups, drop-offs, and changing schedules as shipping needs evolve over time.

6. Automate Redundant Processes

Carriers have ample business at their fingertips, and shippers need to make their freight the most attractive for carriers, including automating redundant processes to make it easier for carriers to accept tenders and execute moves.

The Harvard Business Review reports, “Forty-five percent of respondents to a recent Harvard Business Review Analytic Services study report that the pandemic is accelerating the automation of the procurement process. In fact, enterprises that responded to the pandemic by accelerating the digitization of once-disjointed and risk-prone procurement processes may be starting to see the advantages of incorporating real-time insights into sourcing projects and performance.” As automation continues, risk declines, efficiency improves, and transportation procurement gets easier for shippers of all sizes.

7. Outsourcing and Managed Transportation Solutions

Outsourcing frees your team from the complexity of freight management, and managed solutions help create long-term strategic initiatives that enable your company to overcome disruption. A strategic, managed transportation solution creates reliable capacity in volatile market conditions. Through strategic relationships, leveraging historical and predictive analytics, and control-tower visibility of a company’s supply chain network, managed transportation providers can create consistent capacity solutions for shippers while providing carriers with predictable loads that fit well into their lanes and networks.

Implement these Best Practices with the Right Supply Chain Partner

The state of the supply chain is continuously evolving, and OTR transportation will always be subject to market volatility. For shippers, finding the best strategy to OTR transportation is critical to keeping costs under control, working with the right carriers, and avoiding mistakes. Fortunately, it’s possible to achieve all those goals in one solution, like GlobalTranz. Request a consultation with GlobalTranz to learn more about how your team can put the above best practices to work today.

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