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The application of data can help shippers gain control of shipping costs and make informed decisions, and the top freight data trends for 2019 exemplify how the use of a transportation management system (TMS) can further this cause. Shippers need to consider how the freight data trends will affect dropshipping, omnichannel shipping, reporting capabilities, and much more. Let’s take a look at the top trends to expect regarding freight data for 2019 and their implications on supply chain functions.

Data Will Empower More Dropshipping

According to, the use of data allows shippers to leverage dropshipping and alternative delivery options to reduce freight spend. With more devices and sensors connected to the Internet of Things, the analysis of data will help shippers decide how to approach each shipment, regardless of its origination, destination, and route.

Omnichannel Shopping Will Drive Freight Data Trends

Freight data trends are the result of trends among consumers, and as a result, omnichannel shopping experiences will influence freight data use and application in 2019. Omnichannel sales result in an extensive level of communication and analysis of inventory across dozens, if not hundreds, of physical locations, warehouses, and distribution centers. As omnichannel shopping becomes the standard for consumers, the use of freight data will excel. In turn, shippers will leverage data to access new inventory strategies, such as just-in-time order fulfillment, cross-docking and more.

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Smarter Payment Processing Will Reduce Delays and Billing Inconsistencies

Another freight data trend for 2019 involves payment processing. With the rise of cryptocurrencies, Blockchain technology is expected to make a significant impact this year. Paired with reporting and tracking, freight data management will effectively reduce instances of overbilling and ensure shippers and carriers maintain their financial obligations. In other words, shippers can guarantee delivery to consumers, and the incidence of repeat purchases will increase. At the same time, using a TMS allows shippers to consider multi-modal shipping options, including specialty shipping services, such as white glove service, parcel and even unique last-mile delivery concerns.

Freight Data Visibility Will Redefine Risk Management Strategies

According to Haylle Sok of Global Trade Magazine, freight data trends will also revolve around visibility in the supply chain which is a continuation of blockchain, but it will also give shippers an opportunity to understand the flow of products and service between all parties. Meanwhile, the increasing use of automation, including automated reporting capabilities, will help shippers achieve real-time visibility. As a result, compliance with trade regulations will increase, and the estimated time to arrival (ETA) for a shipment will improve.

Better forecasting and planning of shipments, including both inbound and outbound freight, will enhance warehouse inventory management, reduce carrying costs, streamline order fulfillment, and build positive consumer experiences. As explained by Max Heine of CCJ Digital, this will lead to lower freight spend, better risk management and much more.

Speaking of risk management, freight data visibility will further ensure compliance with hours of service regulations, as well as new regulations that may arise from the new Congress.

Companies Will Finally Abandon Legacy ERP Systems in Favor of SaaS-Based Platforms

As technology expands to increase visibility, more companies will turn to software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms with greater fervor. In other words, the use of legacy ERP systems will dwindle, replaced by advanced, cloud-based systems. The rationale behind this transition is simple; digitalization is the new trend for logistics. Thus, companies will seek to leverage the latest technology and analytics capabilities, and since maintaining legacy systems represents a significant cost, it may be more cost-effective to migrate operations to a new SaaS platform.

Putting It All Together

The value of a TMS empowers shippers to make informed decisions throughout their enterprise. Understanding these freight data trends will help shippers control costs and reduce risk, critical concerns for 2019. For small and mid-sized businesses, the use of freight data can enable competition with the biggest players in the industry. Therefore, it is essential shippers invest in technologies and capabilities, including outsourcing when necessary, to leverage a quality, dedicated TMS, such as the Cerasis Rater.