Transportation Innovation For a Future-Proof Supply Chain

Supply chain experts and software leaders converge to discuss the current transportation environment and provide valuable tips on what companies should be doing now to get ready for what’s coming next. 

Transportation and logistics.
What happens when you bring supply chain software leaders, a Berkeley professor, and a top Gartner researcher together in one “virtual” room to talk about the current and future state of the world’s supply chains? You get a full view of what’s going on right now and engaging insights into what companies should be doing currently to reevaluate and future-proof their supply chains.

In a new Berkeley Innovation X webinar, Bart De Muynck of Gartner, Berkeley Professor Robert Leachman, PINC’s Matt Yearling, ORBCOMM’s Ashish Chona, and Christian Piller, VP of Project44 discuss the current market realities, the role that automation is playing in today’s logistics networks, and the rapid changes currently happening in the supply chain.

According to De Munyck, Gartner research shows that the current pandemic is the top supply risk for 2020. “This disruption is the biggest challenge that anyone has seen for most generations,” he says. “It has hit us like nothing we’ve ever seen before in supply chain and it has affected all countries, all industries, and all companies worldwide.”

However, besides the pandemic, logistics and transportation in general are ongoing challenges and still present a lot of other risks, including:

  • Consumers are behaving differently
  • Increasing demand for transportation
  • Increasing demand for last-mile
  • Increasing truckload rates
  • Increasing parcel rates
  • Carrier bankruptcies affecting capacity
  • Increasing carrier cost and verdicts
  • Increased use of digitized freight networks
  • Increased use of technology

“The pandemic has certainly accelerated the digitization strategies of all corporations,” Yearling says, adding that the event also accelerated the shift to online commerce and pushed the need to align inventory to demand.

“There’s been a lot of consolidation and investment in the industry, because it is still highly fragmented and has room for technology enablement,” Yearling continues. “It’s inherent upon us to make sure we come together in the industry for the benefit of the joint customer.”

Unlocking Operational Efficiency

According to Piller, this is the first time in history that the supply chain has had a place in the boardroom and is now part of mainstream conversations. The consumer has driven at least some of this increased awareness of supply chain in the broader scheme of things. “More people are working from home and wondering why packages are taking a little longer to arrive,” Piller says.

Once the threat of COVID passes, companies need to be thinking about how they can create data-driven supply chain planning and management processes. Transportation management will pay a key role in this evolution. “Companies need an integrated view of the inbound and outbound networks across all modes,” Piller explains.

“Just planning all of the shipments you have in one unified central planner versus having a few different ways to plan transportation,” he continues, “will unlock a lot of operational efficiency, cost efficiency, and performance improvements.”

Piller also tells companies to put their customers at the center of the conversation when making these shifts. In fact, he advocates for starting from the customer and then working backward to find the best solutions. Focus on solving your customers’ problems and “doing something that redefines an experience, provides a new experience, or makes the customer feel better about interacting with you,” Piller adds.

Strengthening Supply Chains

Chona says the pandemic has highlighted the weakness in the supply chain and it’s made people aware that they are dependent on other parts of the world for products that they use today. Now, supply chain managers and executives are looking to retool their supply chains in the wake of COVID.

One potential area of improvement can be found in “lean,” or the pre-COVID approach of only keeping enough inventory on hand to fulfill orders during a specific period of time. As we all learned by the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, this strategy doesn’t always play out well during times of crisis.

“Maybe we should start thinking that it’s okay to have some excess inventory during a pandemic when you’re trying to serve the community,” says Chona, “even though in the past we tried to cut down inventory to be leaner.”

The key is to find the right balance between resiliency, efficiency, and agility. That’s where technology steps in to help, with digitization, automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), mobility, and robotics coming together to help solidify and strengthen the world’s supply chains. Information-sharing is equally as critical, says Chona, who points out that an equal system of partners sharing information ultimately benefits the end customer. “Information sharing in transportation is very critical.”

The Four Stages of Recovery

Wrapping up the webinar, De Muynck shared his thoughts on how the industry is innovating and highlighted Gartner’s four stages of recovery (and the technology that corresponds with each). Here’s a snapshot:

1st – React and respond

  • Transportation visibility
  • Digitized freight platforms

2nd – Redirect to new realities

  • Transportation management
  • Multi-carrier parcel management

3rd – Rebound to the future

  • Driver management
  • Yard management

4th – Accelerate opportunities

  • Network design and modeling solutions
  • Advanced analytics

“Once this crisis is out of the way, we still won’t be able to go back to our old ways,” De Muynck concludes. “Things are going to come at us much faster, and we’ll need agility and flexibility to be able to react accordingly.”

Talking Logistics: PINC and project44 Partnership Commentary

pinc-project44-talking-logistics

By Adrian Gonzalez

PINC and project44 announced a partnership this week that “aims to empower industry-leading shippers and carriers with end to end real-time shipment visibility and yard management automation capabilities for an enhanced supply chain experience.” Here’s more from the press release:

Distribution centers, warehouses, and manufacturing plants are looking to improve gate velocity, optimize driver turnaround times, and reduce costs while becoming Shippers-of-Choice. project44’s shipment and ETA data in concert with PINC’s Yard Management System‘s real-time asset and load data will accelerate the check-in process and provide customers with actionable dynamic load scheduling visibility. Organizations will also gain real-time insights into critical yard asset and load lifecycle transitions through project44’s Advanced Visibility Platform™.

According to a research study we recently conducted (to be published soon), companies recognize that having digital yard management capabilities provides a range of business benefits beyond the yard. As one respondent put it, “Yard management is incredibly important and often overlooked. Benefits include improved warehouse efficiency (e.g., labor / scheduling), improved customer service, reduced inventory, and reduced transportation costs (linehaul, detention, etc.).”

And yet, according to Logistics Management’s most recent Technology Usage Study, only 8% of companies are currently using a yard management system (YMS).

Why the low implementation rate? For some companies, their yard operations haven’t reached a critical level of complexity and shipping/receiving volume to justify an investment in a YMS. For many more companies, however, the reason is due to an outdated and limited view of the business benefits a YMS provides “beyond the four fences” of a yard.

We explore this topic in more detail in the upcoming research report, so stay tuned.

With regards to the linking of real-time freight visibility with yard management, it is similar to the integration of visibility solutions with transportation management systems (TMS). As I wrote earlier this week in TMS: Everybody’s Favorite New Partner, the reason companies want visibility is not just to see and observe, but to do something with the data and insights collected. It’s the doing, the actions taken to improve their logistics operations (including yard operations, which impact transportation and warehousing too) that ultimately delivers value.

Source: Above the Fold: Supply Chain Logistics News (August 28, 2020)

PINC and project44 partner to deliver the next generation of yard automation and predictability

pinc-project44-yard-transportation-management

The world’s number one enterprise yard management system and the leader in supply chain visibility combine forces to provide highly efficient automation and real-time visibility to manage in-transit and on-site shipments.

UNION CITY, Calif. – Aug. 25, 2020 — PINC, the number one digital yard™ management solution provider, today announced a partnership with project44®, the global leader in supply chain visibility for shippers and logistics service providers.

The new partnership aims to empower industry-leading shippers and carriers with end to end real-time shipment visibility and yard management automation capabilities for an enhanced supply chain experience.

Distribution centers, warehouses, and manufacturing plants are looking to improve gate velocity, optimize driver turnaround times, and reduce costs while becoming Shippers-of-Choice. project44’s shipment and ETA data in concert with PINC Yard Management System‘s real-time asset and load data will accelerate the check-in process and provide customers with actionable dynamic load scheduling visibility. Organizations will also gain real-time insights into critical yard asset and load lifecycle transitions through project44’s Advanced Visibility Platform™.

At the enterprise level, the data exchange between PINC and project44 will enable shippers to improve shipment velocity, enhance sustainability, reduce accessorial charges, and manage carrier contracts and transportation budgets more effectively.

“PINC enables enterprises to find and assign trailer assets and associated loads automatically through their life cycle, and optimize their movement between gates, yard, and docks,” said Matt Yearling, CEO of PINC. “Combining project44’s advanced visibility and predictive tracking and ETAs with our yard orchestration engine will enhance the shippers’ ability to meet on time in full (OTIF) requirements, maximize the productivity of warehouse labor and assets, achieve real-time visibility to available inventory, compete on providing an enhanced customer experience, while significantly reduce costs.”

“As businesses face the increasing demand for faster delivery, our partnership is here to fix the existing supply chain gaps, whether shipment is in transit, in the yard, or in the warehouse,” said Jett McCandless, CEO and Founder of project44. “With project44’s robust API integration capabilities and real-time ETA tracking, we are excited to drive additional value to mutual customers. By having real-time insights into inbound load ETA and shipment details, all players within the transportation ecosystem can increase operational efficiencies and exceed their customers’ expectations.”

On September 3rd, Matt Yearling and Jett McCandless will join Gartner’s VP, Bart De Muynck, and other thought leaders and industry experts on the panel discussion entitled “Re-evaluating The Supply Chain:  Transportation Execution Driven By Innovation in Uncertain Times”. The online event is hosted by UC Berkeley’s Sutardja Center For Entrepreneurship and Technology and will be moderated by Dr. Aleks Gollu. For more information, please visit: https://innox.berkeley.edu/event/9-3-re-evaluating-supply-chain/

About PINC:

PINC provides scalable software, hardware, and services that enable companies to identify, locate, and orchestrate inventory throughout the supply chain predictably and cost-effectively. The company’s cloud-based real-time tracking platform, powered by an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network that includes passive RFID, GPS, computer vision, cellular, and other sensors, provides actionable insights and connected expert guidance that allow organizations to optimize their supply chain execution. Visit PINC at www.pinc.com.

About project44:

project44 is the world’s leading advanced visibility platform for shippers and logistics service providers. project44 connects, automates, and provides visibility into key transportation processes to accelerate insights and shorten the time it takes to turn those insights into actions. Leveraging the power of the project44 cloud-based platform, organizations increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs, improve shipping performance, and deliver an exceptional Amazon-like experience to their customers. Connected to thousands of carriers worldwide and having comprehensive coverage for all ELD and telematics devices on the market, project44 supports all transportation modes and shipping types, including Air, Parcel, Final-Mile, Less-than-Truckload, Volume Less-than-Truckload, Groupage, Truckload, Rail, Intermodal, and Ocean. project44 has placed second, behind only Amazon, on FreightWaves’ 2020 Freight Tech 25, a list of the most innovative companies across the freight industry, and received the 2020 SAP® Pinnacle Award as the Cloud Partner Integration of the Year. To learn more, visit https://www.project44.com/.

Media Contact:
Rafael Granato, Vice President of Marketing, PINC
press@pinc.com

Mariya Barnes, Director of Communications, project44
mbarnes@project44.com