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OTR (over-the-road) freight represents a long-standing aspect of supply chain operations and transportation management. As the state of the trucking market  evolves and innovations improve, OTR freight management technologies and logistics service providers offer transportation management optimization to help businesses avoid significant supply chain disruption. Modern transportation networks and supply chains continuously adapt to market volatility and transitions. This blog post covers the critical ways strategic partnerships can help supply chain managers achieve optimal OTR management for their freight.

Carrier Vetting for OTR Freight 

One of the most critical aspects of strong OTR freight management and operations is proper carrier collaboration and partnerships. Finding carriers that meet specific needs and help the company reach supply chain goals provides a competitive advantage within the marketplace. Proper vetting of carriers helps ensure risk management, and creates a reliable network for future growth, scalability and flexibility.  

Rapid Scalability and Leveraging the Collective Buying Power of a Large 3PL 

The value gained from rapid scalability and collaboration is critical for the modern supply chain. With demand for drivers often exceeding availability, shippers find themselves forced to pay more to secure capacity and drivers across many industries. Just a few years ago, many faced repeated price increases of more than 10-15 percent over . Leveraging a 3PL’s relationships, people, processes and technology helps businesses balance supply and demand volatility and secure reliable and consistent capacity. This is especially true as peak season continues to grow volatile. In fact, a recent study, in partnership with Edelman Data & Intelligence, found a broad increased level of confidence from supply chain leaders despite peak season disruptions among those that have successfully implemented data-driven, third-party resources to manage heightened activity levels. With peak season in full swing, it’s never too late to think about leveraging the scalability and buying power of such partnerships. Regardless, there’s a few other ways that more technology and strategic partnerships can add value, particularly in terms of data and centralized freight management. 

Remote Tendering and Shipment Execution 

Centralized freight management drives efficiency and eliminates the hassle of traditional, chained-to-the-desk management styles. With driver shortages still impacting the industry and continual volatility within supply and demand balances, it is more important than ever for OTR managers to get on board with remote tools and digital services, including advanced shipper TMS platforms and managed services to reduce workload. 

Delays and congestion worsen each year, inventory strains continually affect capacity, and customer needs remain ever-changing. Focusing on the transportation metrics that have the greatest impact on the supply chain can help managers stay attentive to both short-term and long-term goals and needs.  

Enabling Data-Driven Decision-Making 

Access to to real-time data and the ability to perform real-time analysis enables businesses to make data-driven decisions to drive efficiency into the supply chain. Descriptive analytics focuses on utilizing historical data to understand events that transpired and what happened within the network over a set period. Predictive analytics makes predictions about future outcomes based on historical data, statistical modeling, and machine learning. Prescriptive analytics works based on technology to help management make better decisions about current or future choices that will impact the supply chain network. All three of these analytical types are critical to supply chain strategy, but many businesses lack the resources and tools to use effectively. Leveraging a 3PL to analyze and provide data-driven recommendations helps businesses create continuous improvement of their supply chain in today’s highly competitive market. 

Reducing Reliance on Outdated Systems and Technology 

Outdated methods of tendering, capacity procurement and freight management no longer work for today’s high-pressure and technologically driven market. Cloud-based TMS systems and innovative tools streamline shipping operations, allow for fast and reliable monitoring and control of global supply chains and OTR transportation optimization options anytime, from anywhere. Connect with an expert at GlobalTranz to gain efficiency into your OTR freight management network and drive efficiency into your supply chain. 

Download the White Paper:

Over-the-Road (OTR) Freight Management Trends