Kevin TaylorVP of Carrier Operations, FourKites

Good Data Is Good Business

There’s more to visibility than a few dots on a map; and there’s a difference between simply tracking a load and tracking it consistently. There are lists out there that will rank a carrier as high-performing or “preferred” simply because they’re returning tracking data to the end-customer. And while that may sound like it would be enough, in truth that tracking data might be outdated, inaccurate or incomplete. When we evaluate carriers, we instead look at metrics around consistency, which means shippers getting high-quality data over the lifetime of your loads in transit. Consistency means you’re truly getting real-time visibility on your loads.

This is the critical differentiator of our Premier Carriers – and it’s how we identify best-of-the-best carriers in the market today. In order to make it onto FourKites’ Premier Carrier List, carriers must be capable of sending consistent, timely, high-quality data back to the platform, informing the end-customer of the actual real-time status of the loads they’re carrying. Our consistency metric evaluates both the number of location updates on a given load, and the quality of those updates.

We’re looking for timely, valid location updates, because we know that high-quality data correlates to high performance in other service levels. The companies on our Premier Carrier List have shown this time and time again. Collectively, these companies have over 2 million pieces of equipment, service every region in the world, and offer every mode, service and capability imaginable. To qualify for the Premier Carrier List, carriers must achieve a minimum of 75% tracking consistency on at least 300 loads across all FourKites customers. The average Premier Carrier tracks with 87% consistency, and presents on 30% fewer service failures, on average, than non-Premier Carriers.

Global Momentum Continues

FourKites has continued to see unprecedented growth in the number of global carriers and freight forwarders using our platform over the past several months. You might have heard that earlier this quarter we quadrupled our carrier onboarding rate in Europe. Meanwhile, the total value of the shipments we track at any given time for our hundreds of global enterprise customers has passed the one billion dollar mark, and shows no signs of slowing down. And on top of it all, our Premier Carrier List this quarter welcomed more global carriers delivering more value to their customers than ever before.

The FourKites Premier Carrier List was first unveiled two years ago, and since then has been setting the standard for visibility-related operational excellence across all modes and regions. It has grown in size every quarter, as forward-thinking carriers, brokers and freight forwarders implement cutting-edge technology to modernize their operations and improve their service offerings for increasingly demanding customers.

This quarter’s Premier Carrier List shows that real-time transportation visibility is taking root in all corners of the world, transforming supply chains the world over. Over the last quarter, the number of European carriers on the list has doubled, while carriers hailing from Latin America have grown by nearly 25%. We even had our first group of Australian carriers make it onto the list.

As the adoption of visibility technologies continues to accelerate, this presents some very exciting possibilities for the global logistics community, as practitioners seek to modernize their industry and keep up with the trends and challenges of today’s increasingly interconnected world.

The Premier Carrier Advantage

I came to FourKites after many years working in procurement. The more I work with the outstanding carriers on the Premier Carrier List, the more I wish I’d had access to something like this years ago.

At the same time, I watch many of our customers spending countless hours working toward their visibility goals, only to be foiled by carrier relationships that simply aren’t working out. The path to visibility begins with your carriers. They’re the foundation of any successful visibility strategy, and if they’re not willing to join you on this journey, then you’re not going to get very far.

If you have the right carriers, on the other hand, the ones that see just as much value in bringing better data to their operations as you do, then the sky really is the limit. So why wouldn’t you choose the carriers that are exceeding expectations every day, providing high-quality visibility data to their customers even as they supply outstanding service in other areas? To me, it’s a no-brainer.

I want to make it clear that I’m not advocating giving all of your business to the biggest players in the industry. This is not the Transport Topics Top 100 Carriers list. As I’ve written before, size is no barrier to inclusion on the FourKites Premier Carrier List. All you need is a demonstrated commitment to upholding high service levels, driving toward ever-greater customer satisfaction, and improving your operation through better data.

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For today’s top shippers, success boils down to operational excellence. It’s not about just your supply chain anymore. It’s about your network, and the partnerships you have with your carriers, your suppliers and your end customers. The best way to achieve this — and the fastest path to implementing visibility throughout your supply chain — is to partner with other companies that have likewise made visibility a priority. Luckily for you, there’s more of them now than ever before. And we’ve got them all right here in one place.

To learn more about our Premier Carrier List, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at PremierCarrier@fourkites.com.

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