How visibility meets the needs of the TSL industry

6 June 2022
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Real-time transport order monitoring tools save time for shippers and can enable shippers to comprehensively reduce costs in the supply chain. The benefits of such tools are explained using the CO3 platform as an example. 

The events of recent years and months have forced supply chain organisations to increase their focus on transport reliability and cost optimisation. For many companies, the challenge is to manage risks and adapt to supply chain disruptions specific to the current situation. There is also increasing pressure to be sustainable and to reduce the environmental impact of company operations. The dynamic changes and high competitiveness of the industry require a high degree of flexibility, which creates difficulties for the vast majority of companies. On the other hand, it is a stimulus to technological development and building their competitive advantage using innovative solutions. One of them – to a large extent responding to today’s needs of forwarders and shippers – are real-time order monitoring tools such as the CO3 platform.

Increasing importance of visibility 

According to industry research, real-time visibility is now the most important criterion for principals when choosing carriers, alongside price and reliability. In its report, DHL links this state of affairs primarily to the unprecedented uncertainty in supply chains as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, the global Supply Chain Management software market is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 11% between 2021 and 2025. We can expect the development of automated analysis and visualisation tools, artificial intelligence to help identify fields for improvement, and management systems for: transport, yard and temporary loading windows. However, none of these tools can realise their full potential without reliable, precise and comprehensive data on the location of loads and estimated time of arrival at the loading/unloading site. Therefore, the starting point for reaping the benefits of Big Data is a reliable and easy to implement real-time cargo location monitoring system for the carriers operating for the principal. One of the most intuitive products on our market with ambitions to become a common solution of this type is the CO3 platform.

Integrated visibility platforms – CO3 as an example 

The ability to monitor the location of loads in the supply chain in real time is gradually becoming the norm and one of the key requirements for carriers. According to the 2020 European Road Transportation Survey, already at the data collection stage of this study: 58 per cent of carriers provided the position of a load on request, 42 per cent allowed online location tracking and 36 per cent were able to provide an ETA (i.e. estimated time of arrival) on request. And this was just the beginning. In 2020, the global market for vehicle tracking systems was worth $17.64 billion. Between 2021 and 2028, analysts expect growth rates of 13.3 per cent per year. The challenge faced by data consumers in the situation of dynamic development of telematics tools is the great diversity of devices and software used by carriers. For the comfort and efficiency of the work of forwarding agents in a market as fragmented as today’s, data integration is crucial. For this purpose, platforms that enable unification, collection and analysis of all information obtained from telematics in one place are very useful. CO3 is an example of such a solution.

Grzegorz Patynek, CEO in CO3

 – As CO3 we aim to support shippers and carriers in their digital transformation and facilitate communication, connectivity and collaboration. between them and their customers. We accomplish this mission by providing easy-toimplement and convenient-to-use tools that gather in one place all telematics data necessary to ensure end-to-end transparency of supply chains – regardless of their source – explains Grzegorz Patynek, CEO and Co-founder of CO3. – Provided that the carrier is registered in the system and agrees to transfer data at a specified time, the tool guarantees the principal real-time-visibility regardless of what telematics solutions the carrier uses. Thus, it becomes a basic and universal source of location data for forwarders and their clients, providing a comprehensive overview of the progress of transport orders. Additionally, monitoring in CO3 can be easily made available to a third party, even if it does not use the platform, or the data can be integrated into another solution used by the customer, he adds.

Vehicle monitoring or order monitoring? 

It is now standard practice for contracting companies to monitor permanently contracted vehicles. This provides the client with a constant overview of the position of selected vehicles defined by their registration number. The advantage of permanent monitoring is the possibility to plan the places of unloading and loading in order to minimise the number of empty trips, which, especially in times of rising fuel prices, makes economic sense. However, for companies using the services of multiple carriers, a time&tour service is often a better solution. Periodic order monitoring makes it possible to make the monitoring available to the customer on a temporary basis. It also gives the possibility of defining the route of the order, including loading and unloading points and calculating the ETA.

Paweł Tronina, CCO in CO3

 – When order monitoring is made available via the CO3 platform, it is the contractor who defines the period for which transport order monitoring is made available. The customer does not need to have their own account in the platform to use the monitoring – says Paweł Tronina, CCO and Cofounder of CO3. 

Is it possible to monitor orders from the stock exchange? 

It is to be expected that, in view of the growing shortage of drivers, the number of cases of ad hoc searches for partners on the already popular freight exchanges will increase. The constant monitoring of vehicles will therefore give way to the monitoring of individual transport orders. – Our aim is to enable our clients to measure the efficiency of specific contractors, even when they undertake a single order’, says Grzegorz Patynek, CEO and Co-founder of CO3.

For companies using transport exchanges we have provided a search engine that enables to verify whether a given carrier or vehicle makes its location available through our platform. If this is the case, even an order between new business partners can have monitoring initiated quickly. Here, the transport contractor’s acceptance of the monitoring request from the principal is tantamount to the start of monitoring. The condition for using the express monitoring service is that both the client and the transport company must be users of our platform, adds Patynek.

Working in this model gives access to a new base of contractors and guarantees comfort in the execution of the order, which can positively influence building a lasting relationship between the client and the carrier.

The benefits of CO3 for freight forwarders – Futura Cargo as an example 

Futura Cargo was one of the first freight forwarders to implement real-time monitoring on a large scale using the CO3 platform. Focused on road transport within the EU for major white goods manufacturers, FMCG companies and metal concerns, it often uses micro hauliers, so it was important to standardise the collection of transport location information from The system can be used to check the signals of individual carriers and make them available to your customers. Thanks to the CO3 system, the checking and passing on of signals from individual carriers to customers takes place conveniently from one place. Meeting expectations with regard to the information provided is, as a result, simpler and faster. Additional benefits result from the easy process of introducing new carriers to the system – regardless of which telematics systems they use.

Michał Podgórski, General Director in Futura Cargo

With the CO3 platform, real-time monitoring of our customers’ orders has become a reality. This positively improves the transparency of deliveries and minimizes the time spent in contact with drivers. Co-operation with CO3 supports our constant endeavour to offer the best service quality, concludes Michał Podgórski, General Manager Futura Cargo. 

Improved loading efficiency and reduced fuel costs 

The extent to which shippers benefit from the data provided by real-time visibility depends on how transport processes are organised, the degree to which they are digitalised, but also on an open mind and willingness to enter into dialogue with the solution provider. – Wise use of real-time visibility data can therefore not only translate into increased competitiveness, but also support the implementation of green strategies. Analysing historical data allows you to more accurately match hauliers to specific tasks, and when combined with data on the fuel consumption of individual vehicles, it can become the basis for reducing fuel costs and CO2 emissions. These are just some examples of the ways in which the information collected from carriers on the CO3 platform can be used. We are constantly developing it and we are ready to add new functionalities tailored to individual customers’ needs’, summarises Paweł Tronina, CCO and CO3 Co-founder.

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