Capacity continues to be a major concern for shippers and their brokers and logistics providers. With a truck driver shortage of 80,000 (and growing) and shipment volumes continuing to rise, capacity constraints are expected to continue. It’s estimated that demand for peak-season parcel delivery services in the U.S. will exceed capacity by about five million parcels a day. With both a sudden influx of new drivers and available market resources unlikely, shippers and brokers must find more effective ways to source capacity.
Digital freight-matching platforms can help address this need by adding real, sizable capacity to a network and directly connecting carriers and drivers with freight. Through the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation, these platforms act as a marketplace that provides a smart through line for matching need with availability. It’s a faster option to traditional tactics, which tend to take longer and provide less information transparency. And because a digital freight model runs on an open-source platform, it enables brokers to connect with carriers individually, and also partner with other digital service providers to gain access to their networks and market data. This makes for the quick and seamless identification of carrier capacity to cover loads, even in capacity-strapped markets. It also helps break into new markets that lack carrier networks altogether.
Digital freight matching offers real and impactful benefits to address capacity constraints, including:
Resource shortages and surging e-commerce volumes are likely to cause capacity constraints and higher freight rates for some time to come. Businesses can’t simply wait for the market to ease up, or for more capacity to be injected into the market. By utilizing digital freight-matching platforms, organizations can address short-term capacity needs while expanding and diversifying carrier networks to better position themselves moving forward — no matter the market conditions.
Brian Work is chief technology officer of Transportation Insight.
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