The image below represents the responses of over 60 carriers when we asked them, at our recent FourKites Carrier Summit, “What are the top pain points in your business?” It’s not surprising that dwell showed up front and center, as it contributes to a major loss of efficiency for both carriers and drivers. Drivers are on the road for an average of just seven of the 11 driving hours permitted each day; this is an unpleasant reality for both the companies paying for these trucks and for the drivers who are being paid for miles driven. No other industry I can think of would tolerate the return on assets that this represents. The trucking industry can’t stand it either. Ask any one of the carriers that were forced to close shop and lay off thousands of drivers in 2019 alone.
The interesting thing about this is that dwell is nothing new. It’s been a drag on carriers for years, but the issue is now magnified by the ELD mandate. Carriers raise the dwell issue to their shipper customers, but the message is not effective because it’s not coordinated across all of the carriers supporting the shipper. One driver might complain to a clerk in one facility, while a different driver from a different carrier complains to a different clerk in another facility. A carrier sales rep might raise the issue of detention to an executive at a shipper, but there can be hundreds of carriers servicing a single shipper, and each one has his own most important issue to raise.
So how do you get the results that you want? You change the status quo. You can’t manage business in the same way you have for years and expect a different result. It’s time for a change.
When a major manufacturer or enterprise-level shipper makes an investment in end-to-end supply chain visibility, you better believe they pay attention to what they see coming out of the platform. FourKites shipper customers have employees from all levels engaged in the FourKites platform – from clerical workers up to C-suite executives. When they can see all components of the movement of freight in one single platform, they learn more about their own operations. This is where the largest value lives for shippers that operate within FourKites. “If we have the proper visibility we can build a solid pipeline of efficiencies-oriented initiatives across our value chain,” Miguel Patricio, Kraft Heinz CEO, recently stated. They see the dwell issues clearly and cohesively, and they implement the necessary changes to improve. In that way, FourKites effectively becomes a voice for the carrier.
If we have the proper visibility we can build a solid pipeline of efficiencies-oriented initiatives across our value chain.
The data shows this quantitatively, and carriers also acknowledged this by voting for the recent FreightWaves Shipper of Choice awards, where 15 of 25 awardees are FourKites customers. It is difficult to believe that these awards would go to any shipper that had high dwell. Fancy bathrooms and snack machines don’t pay bills. Reducing dwell does. Help your shippers help you. Do something new.
The ironic thing is that the same shippers that use FourKites to improve the number one carrier complaint (excessive dwell) have to pressure carriers to provide the very information necessary identify, solve and continue to manage the dwell problem. This makes zero sense.
There are rewards for the carriers that are early adopters. At FourKites, we publish a Premier Carrier List that highlights those carriers that take visibility seriously, and do it well. Our 300+ shipper customers often refer to this list when awarding freight. The Premier Carriers routinely get awarded freight that they otherwise would not have received if they took the “business as usual” approach. These are the early adopters. They know that the status quo is not a way to win.
Still, there are enough carriers out there that refuse or are slow to adapt to modern-day business needs. We will continue to see volume pulled from these carriers. Shippers are hungry for carriers that can manage their data well enough to collaborate in a highly efficient digital way. The carriers that choose to go digital have a tremendous competitive advantage. Just as the digital revolution has forever changed the landscape of retail and countless other industries, so too will advancements in technology change the logistics industry as we know it.
We find ourselves at a critical “adapt or die” moment. It’s time to make a change. Dire circumstances require bold moves and new ways of thinking. If you adhere to the old and familiar, you might miss out on an opportunity that you don’t want to miss. FourKites is here to make sure you don’t miss those opportunities.
To learn more about how we can help, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.