This week, the Convoy team attended the Food Shippers of America conference, an educational and inspiring two days of talking to and learning from some of the industry’s best and brightest. Three themes stood out as the most important takeaways for food and beverage shippers this year.
1. Collaboration is the way forward
In a world of limited resources and rising costs, partnerships between shippers, carriers, and receivers is no longer a nice-to-have. Working together eliminates waste in the system, reducing costs and lessening the industry’s environmental footprint. It also creates a better experience for all parties involved.
To continue to deliver efficiencies and maximum value, each link in the supply chain must partner to create easier and seamless shipping experiences. We heard this sentiment come through in a number of ways.
2. A seamless experience needs to account for some flexibility
Carriers talked about the need for shippers to move toward becoming a “shipper of choice.” Frustrations for carriers, such as inflexible appointment times, late fees for being less than 5 minutes late, painful detention practices, arduous claims processes, and sub-optimal transit times all contribute to carrier frustration, along with higher rates and reduced service for shippers.
Shippers expressed a desire for carriers to adopt and utilize available technology services and make better use of the data available. Everyone talked about improvements to trailer pool management and visibility. Convoy has rolled out a number of programs to simplify the process for each side of the transaction and actively shares data with carriers and shippers…which leads us to our last takeaway.
3. Data transparency is the key to collaboration
Convoy is a trucking company. And, we’re a data company — so this one is near and dear to us. For a long time, the parties along the trucking and transportation supply chain haven’t always been open to sharing data with each other relating to their concerns about losing leverage in the relationship. However, only through the sharing of data and insights can the parties make smart decisions that drive significant changes, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and generally make the whole whole shipping process easier.
From the main stage to conversations in the hallway, this idea bubbled to the top. Convoy has been a pioneer in this space with our carrier scorecards and shipping facility reports — among many other insights and reports shared with carriers and shippers. We collect data at every stage of the process, including carrier and shipper feedback, and then make it available for each party to use to improve the experience going forward.
Through data sharing and focusing on creating seamless experiences and collaboration, we can work together to reduce waste and eliminate the inefficiencies of this industry — together.
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