How to: Maximize Your Intermodal Efficiency
With increased fuel prices, driver shortage and as well as continued government policies that reduce service hours on the road, truck capacity is compromised. As a shipper, you need to find means of lowering costs, improving service delivery. One of the best ways of achieving that is through intermodal services. Intermodal transportation is more efficient and more cost effective when it comes to cargo transportation, as compared to using highways. If you are in the business of logistics, the following tips can greatly improve your intermodal efficiency.
Positioning your intermodal transportation objectives and aligning them with your corporate objectives, is very important. The benefits acquired from intermodal should support and align to your company’s goals. This way, you will be able to move the whole entity forward.
Connect your Intermodal Network
Bring your quality providers together through data integration, requirements consistency, and process standardization. Having the buyer and transportation provider on one platform provides a clear view of shipment data as well as service provider compliance.
Take Advantage of Data
Utilize all the data you can find about modes, lanes, vendors, and customers, to tune your intermodal network, drive decision making, as well as identify efficiency opportunities and gaps. When it comes to measurement, you can use various parameters including cost, margin, revenue, steps, stops, and minutes among others.
Assess your Network
Recognize, rationalize and reward your vendor network depending on performance. If your vendor network is easy to work with and compliant with regulations, you should reward their performance with more supply volume. This eventually translates to more efficiency. Additionally, all the main players in your intermodal transport chain will definitely benefit.
Standardize your Operations
This includes aspects like shipment acknowledgment, proof of deliver, en-route event capture, billing, and scheduling. When capacity is tight, quality transportation providers will always choose to work with buyers who are easy to work with. Therefore, if your operations are not standardized, you are risking loss of business in future.
Integrate in Both Directions
When there is good and reliable shipment data, your transportation management is optimized. Your system is also able to generate accurate and efficient transportation orders, awaiting your intermodal providers to execute.
Other Important Tips
- Gather data
- Choose providers wisely
- Standardize the dispatch process
- Contract sensibly
- Establish strong relationships with your providers
The above tips can maximize your intermodal efficiency when applied consistently.
This helps to improve service delivery and minimizes operational costs. You will also be able to maintain good working relationships with your business partners.
If you need the help of an experienced intermodal and logistics company, contact R&A Trucking.