A logistics business is only as good as its most resilient carrier network – especially when volumes pick up and the true merit of a network is tested out in the field.
Suppose your logistics organization can combine a robust carrier network with the ability to provide drivers with precise instructions on the fly. In that case, you’ll be well on your way to making a splash in the industry.
The introduction and increased adoption of geofencing technology in recent years has proved instrumental in addressing the common challenges associated with logistics operations, including reducing risks, increasing efficiency, and streamlining processes.
This article presents geofencing technology as it applies to carrier network optimization and gives examples of several big LogTech players currently implementing geofencing to take their businesses to the next level. Let’s dive right in!
What is Geofencing and How Does it Work?
Geofencing refers to establishing a virtual boundary around a specific area on a map and tracking vehicles, deliveries, containers, ships, trains, or other objects of importance as they enter, exit, or cross that boundary.
This tracking can be done through GPS coordinates in near real time (the most common and effective method) or even radio frequency identification (RFID) on a smaller scale. Using geofencing technology, logistics organizations can monitor every aspect of their carrier network, such as the locations of all vehicles, their adherence to schedules, weather or traffic conditions that may alter delivery timelines, and more. Logistics professionals can use all this data to improve the efficiency of their decision-making and lead to a more efficient carrier network in the long term.
Typically, geofences are virtual map boundaries curated as polygons or circles. A polygon geofence can be more precise, with edges covering streets, map boundaries, and other geographic features. These are the most accurate and preferred geofence boundary types. Circular geofences, on the other hand, are much easier to draw at the cost of accuracy. Suppose you can imagine a polygon with many sides mapping out a specific city area, compared to a single circle with a boundary that might extend where tracking is desired. In that case, you can immediately see the difference. Circular geofences aren’t ideal for precision-tracking applications.
Using Geofencing to Optimize Carrier Networks
A wide variety of challenges are associated with managing carrier networks within the logistics industry. Asset utilization, route optimization, communications between drivers and carriers, cost management, and regulator compliance are all critical factors that logistics professionals must consider daily.
Depending on how well a logistics organization manages these factors, they can directly impact customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and profitability. For instance, inefficient route optimization or the inability to communicate traffic/weather changes to carriers well in advance can reduce delivery reliability. Regarding regulatory compliance, failure to meet local laws and regulations could result in penalties and hefty fines, directly affecting profits.
With all of these factors working around the clock, it’s clear that carrier network management is no easy feat. According to Optimal Dynamics, network managers responsible for achieving network optimization must make difficult decisions, such as balancing the need to grow and expand their network with operational efficiency. How do you prevent wasted resources and high costs while ensuring the optimal utilization of assets? How do you continually monitor your network and adjust performance to maintain customer satisfaction and profitability?
Fortunately, with geofencing technology, this process becomes significantly more straightforward.
The Importance of Optimizing Carrier Networks
Optimizing your carrier network as a logistics provider isn’t just a suggestion or “nice-to-have.” In fact, it’s one of the most important optimizations you can make that directly impacts cost savings and efficiency.
An effective carrier network optimization strategy can lead to better asset utilization, improved route planning, fewer empty miles, and more streamlined communications between your carriers and drivers. When you run more efficiently and reduce wastage, your profitability and customer satisfaction will grow in tandem.
Enter Geofencing: How this Technology Can Level Up Your Carrier Network
Geofencing is fresh air for logistics organizations, network managers, and anyone who regularly manages routes, drivers, and carriers.
Compared to manual tracking or the slow, sluggish process of getting manual status updates from drivers and carriers, geofencing tech’s hyper-accurate tracking and monitoring throughout the supply chain journey is unmatched.
Data is everything in today’s modern world, and understanding how your network operates in near real time can give you the ultimate ability to make great business decisions without delay. Your organization can now rapidly identify potential problem areas, quickly communicate with drivers and carriers, change routes on the fly, and otherwise prevent a catastrophe or significant delay using accurate data and constant monitoring technology!
In the next section, we’ll show you how some of the top logistics companies in the space are currently utilizing geofencing to optimize their own carrier networks. Perhaps their applications can inspire you and your organization in how you currently run and operate.
8 LogTech Companies that are Successfully Optimizing Their Carrier Networks Through Geofencing
Now that we’ve covered how geofencing technology can directly impact the efficiency of your carrier network, drive better business decisions, and grow your bottom line – let’s look at some LogTech providers in the space. These companies use (or could be using) Kestrel’s geofencing technology today to optimize their networks and improve stakeholder coordination; let’s dive into the “how.”
As a leading provider of optimization solutions within the logistics and transportation industries, Optym’s advanced software solutions are powered by geofencing technology directly. Through the use of this technology, Optym helps carriers optimize their networks through real-time tracking, data-driven decision-making, and monitoring. With Optym’s tools, carriers can reduce operational costs, improve network efficiency, and improve route planning – a win-win for everyone!
Tive currently offers hardware trackers that provide real-time visibility in the trucking and logistics industries. By utilizing geofencing technology, such as that provided by Kestrel Insights, and pairing it with their hardware trackers, Tive allows organizations to track the location and condition of all of their assets in real-time. This ultimately leads to streamlined communication, better efficiency, and data-driven decisions that make an impact.
Within the container tracking space, VIZION is a visibility provider using Kestrel’s geofencing technology to help freight forwarders, and BCOs optimize their network. They provide real-time tracking and monitoring for container movements, improving communication between shippers, carriers, and logistics providers and leading to better decisions.
Convoy operates a digital freight network that uses geofencing technology to improve real-time tracking and load matching. Their platform allows carriers and shippers to connect more efficiently, increasing asset utilization and reducing empty miles. This can ensure more accurate arrival times and automate check-in/check-out procedures.
Offering a real-time supply chain visibility platform, FourKites leverages geofencing technology to provide end-to-end monitoring and tracking of shipments. They improve communication between carriers, shippers, and logistics providers while enabling them to use real-time tracking and monitoring data to make excellent decisions. They use geofencing to help reduce detention costs and dwell time.
Cargomatic runs a platform that connects local carriers with shippers based on real-time data. This is done using geofencing technology, which helps carriers reduce empty miles, ensure timely deliveries, and optimize their routes. They also facilitate communication between dispatchers and drivers, improving overall operational efficiency.
A supply chain visibility and automation platform, project44 uses geofencing to provide real-time shipment tracking and ETA predictions. By providing accurate location data to carriers and shippers, they can make better resource allocation, scheduling, and routing decisions.
8. Trucker Tools
A mobile application that offers a suite of tools specifically designed to improve carrier and owner-operator efficiency. Trucker Tools utilizes geofencing technology to provide load matching services, route optimization, and real-time tracking, which in turn helps carriers reduce their deadhead miles and maximize asset utilization.
Benefits of Implementing Geofencing Technology
The benefits of implementing geofencing technology are many, the most prominent being cost savings, increased efficiency, risk reduction, and improved customer satisfaction.
When carrier and logistics networks run at optimal capacity and utilization, carriers and providers can reduce operating costs and expand their network’s efficiency.
Similarly, it’s easy to constantly keep an eye on drivers and carriers— and immediately be notified of any anomalies can improve safety and reduce risk directly. You’ll know right away when something seems “off” and take steps to mitigate the issue.
Finally, logistics professionals must consider the impact of geofencing technology on customer satisfaction. Customers want deliveries now, without any delays or complications, and knowing where their package is with near-real-time tracking is a great way to calm their nerves and assure them their delivery is on track and on the way.
Implementing Geofencing Technology in Your Own Business
If you’d like to implement geofencing technology into your own business, there are several steps you’ll need to take to make the transition as smooth as possible.
- Make a Plan: You’ll need to consider several key factors, such as scalability, accuracy, and ease of use in your chosen solution. How much customization do you want? Do you want something plug-and-play?
- Think About Integration: What existing systems and processes do you use right now? The solution you choose should be able to replace your existing systems painlessly.
- Follow Best Practices: Successful implementation means following best practices for technology implementation, such as planning, training, and ongoing monitoring. You’ll need to make an implementation plan, ensure everyone is trained in usage, and monitor your new geofencing implementation to ensure a smooth transition.
It’s Time to Optimize Your Carrier Network; Kestrel Insights Can Help
It is impossible to overstate the importance of optimizing carrier networks, especially since it directly impacts logistics providers’ and carriers’ profitability, safety, and efficiency.
Geofencing can help address common challenges in carrier network management and allow logistics providers to take their businesses to the next level. If you want to modernize your business and start making data-driven decisions, we encourage you to begin utilizing this robust technology today.
To learn more about how automated geofencing can help you in optimizing your carrier network, or to request a demo from Kestrel Insights, reach out to our team today. We’ll be happy to show you what geofencing can do for your business.