A Discussion of Liability & Visibility among Shippers & Brokers
Many shippers simply don’t have full visibility into which carriers and drivers are hauling their freight when using a freight brokerage or 3PL company…
While there are the obvious benefits shippers get by working with brokers (liability, logistics, etc.), many shippers still express a desire to know which carriers are hauling their products, and have questions like:
“Was that trucking company properly vetted? Do they have a safe driving history? Do they have the correct insurance requirement? Have they passed U.S. Department of Transportation drug testing recently?” Source
To achieve this level of visibility in the supply chain today (some say) it would take making a switch to on-demand freight AKA “the Amazon effect.”
However, it’s widely agreed upon across the industry that on-demand freight won’t become a reality any time soon. And that’s because the freight industry remains fragmented – constantly effected by changes and delays - making on-demand unrealistic.
So, without the likelihood of on-demand freight, how can we create more visibility and transparency within the supply today?
For starters, some brokers are simply providing more visibility than others to the shippers they work with, and doing so with the help of digital solutions and new software. We’re also seeing more freight brokers and 3PLs staying competitive by including certain carrier/driver standards into contract negotiations with shippers, in order to ensure that the carriers hauling their products will meet an agreed-upon set of safety and history guidelines.
Something less common today but predicted to increase in the coming years are shippers starting their own internal brokerages to create more visibility and transparency. Cardinal Healthcare, for example, has already done this and does over $100 million in freight each year.
While there may not currently be a one-size-fits-all solution for visibility among brokers and shippers, new technology in our industry does continue to evolve and offer up an array of solutions to choose from.
Right now Shippers should seriously consider implementing new processes like electronic Bill of Lading (eBOL) and electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD).
And Brokers should inquire about digital solutions like Transflo Velocity+ which includes back-office automation, freight tracking, and real-time updates.
For more info about Transflo solutions and products, please contact us at: (866) 528-7172 | [email protected]