Takeaways From STIFEL’s Mid-Year Carrier Report: Technology is Key

July 2, 2018

Stifel recently released their mid-year carrier report with the title “Navigating Supply Shortages in a Bull Freight Market.” The report takes data from some of the world’s largest carriers across modes, and draws trend-based conclusions. Below are some of our takeaways from the report.

Rates are Rising

There are disputes over whether or not there is a driver shortage, but it is certain that there are issues of some kind. Experts are predicting prices to increase across modes by an average of around 10%. Simply put, carriers are going to have to either start paying their drivers more and their customers must look to other areas to cut out financial slack.

Using Technology

Creating efficiencies wherever possible is an excellent way to start cutting back on unnecessary spend. Supply chain technology has progressed to a point where it’s necessary to remain competitive, and it’s easier to find solutions than ever before. As Stifel puts it, “With widely available off-the-shelf solutions, there is no excuse not to be in the game.” With the issues facing carriers, your rates are going to keep increasing, but an investment in a technology solution can help.

That said, not all technology solutions are created equal, and many companies are still reliant on legacy sources for their data. While a particular solution might have a fancy user interface or boast itself as the next generation in supply chain technology, you’ll want to do some research to ensure they can backup their claims.

What Should You Look For in Technology?

The source of your data is a major determining factor in quality. Companies who rely on EDI, spreadsheets, FTP, email, or manual sources are prone to stale and inaccurate data, which leads to poor business insights. Real-time information is possible with modern technology, and companies who have a higher data quality standard are more likely to provide that.

If a solution is based on a modern framework, it’s more likely to report quality data. project44 uses REST APIs because they’re cutting edge, secure, and scalable. Companies who leverage project44’s solutions can expect their technology to function at a high level for the foreseeable future.

Network strength is important for data quality as well as shopping around to ensure you’re getting the best options on the market. Technology solutions that provide you with comprehensive networks are going to allow you to find more competitive rates. You also want to look for a multimodal solution. project44 puts all modes in the same place, and serves as a single connection to all of them. This means you get all of your important supply chain data in the same place, whether it’s your existing TMS or our portal.

While e-commerce is changing the game, rates are increasing, and drivers are becoming harder to find, it is clear that technology has become a game changer for the industry. Cutting back on unnecessary spend requires efficiencies, and supply chain technology supports efficiency. The key is to do your research and ensure that you’re getting the best solution.

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