Shippers are expecting greater supply chain visibility and customer service to meet their end customers needs, while at the same time tightening their transportation budgets.
Many transport and logistics companies face an uphill challenge to manage these opposing forces. How to provide exceptional service to retain customers while maintaining low internal operating costs to have a viable business? In an industry ranking of customer satisfaction, shipping services have a NPS score of 35 approximately, right alongside banks and airlines, both industries with well-known service challenges.
However, the shippers who work with Ontruck have given us a satisfaction score almost double that the industry average, and a score of 88 among shippers with high-volume contracts. The team at Ontruck is able to do this by using technology to automate repetitive tasks, so we can focus our time on being a partner to solve the big problems and help our customers grow in a highly competitive environment. We also use data to proactively predict issues before they arise and alert our shippers to them before they escalate.
Machine Learning to automate routing and assignment
We have developed proprietary algorithms to automate the process to price, route and assign them to the best available carrier. In traditional freight operations, fleet agents are planning and scheduling shipments with spreadsheets (sometimes, even pen and paper) and calling their preferred carriers to find a truck and negotiate rates. This process takes several hours, sometimes days.
Our algorithms shorten the time spent on these processes to mere minutes. Price quoting is instantly confirmed, based on real-time market conditions. Shipments are routed together in real time automatically to minimise empty kilometers driven and offered as a full day-s job to carriers, helping them keep their truck full. These jobs are matched to the best available carriers, based on their preferred lanes and working hours, on average in under 5 minutes.
Instead of managing these processes manually, our Operations team spends their time planning future capacity needs on behalf of customers, managing the quality and performance of the carrier base, and resolving corner cases such as specific regions where supply is tight. This results in lower incidences and quality issues for Shippers.
A predictive traffic management system to automate repetitive tasks and proactively solve problems
In addition to using machine learning, we have invested in building a world-class traffic management system. This system enables industry-best service in two ways:
It transforms the unstructured work of live operations of managing incidents and exceptions, into standard operating procedures (SOP) and automates those tasks that are repetitive or add low value.
It predicts and prioritizes the most relevant and urgent task that each Operations agent should solve, to ensure we not only provide great service but also prevent future problems.
*This is an example with hypothetical routes, data and customers
For example, in the event of a standstill, we break out the incident into several tasks, with only the highest value task (step 3) being done manually by an Operations agent:
24/7 real-time visibility on shipments
What ultimately gives peace of mind to shippers is to have real time visibility on their shipments. Traditionally, this required a manual and time-consuming process of phone calls with the warehouse, account manager and customer service agents of the broker, and in the worst cases, the end customer. To avoid this hassle, all our carriers are equipped with our Driver App on their mobile phones. They use the Driver App to accept and bid on job, and manage their earnings. 99% of our shipments are tracked via GPS and the majority of delivery statuses are updated automatically when a driver enters a predefined geographical area (i.e., a geofence).
The warehouse managers of our shippers are able to know the ETA of each truck, receive alerts when the ETA changes, and optimize their schedules and staff working hours as a result, saving time and money.
With technology, the Ontruck team knows the right thing to work on, at the exact right time to deliver an excellent customer experience.
Interested in improving your supply chain efficiency and real-time visibility? Get an instant-quote and book a truck today on our Ontruck Shipper App today.
Indonesian Rika Christanto grew up in the US. A Harvard MBA graduate she has worked as an investment banking analyst in the technology group of Morgan Stanley and has over four years of consultancy experience in McKinsey. Christanto's first experience in the logistics sector came when she worked for an NGO in Uganda leading the operations to create a nationwide dairy supply chain. She left the consultancy world in 2016 to join Ontruck, a digital road freight platform that offers the most efficient and low-carbon solution to transport goods, as a co-founder and CFO. She’s currently the company’s COO, leading both operations and finance.
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