Peak periods often mean capacity shortages and unpredictable prices for shippers, perennial supply chain challenges that have only been exacerbated in recent times. Director of Technology, Tim Parkin, looks at the benefits of digital freight and how this technological transformation is paving the way for a better future.

The last few years in the industry have been challenging. Driver shortages, the pandemic, global shipping challenges and Brexit have all clearly impacted the day-to-day operations of supply chains. We’re at a point where technology can genuinely be a part of the solution.

Digitising the transaction lets people focus on the important things in their business, manage by exception, and build lasting relationships with our team so that we can support them and help them to grow.

Put simply, we can remove some of the manual processes that shippers and hauliers face on a daily basis.

Realtime visibility, access to capacity in the market, and innovation are what shippers need to help them plan ahead, save time, make cost savings and most crucially keep their supply chain moving.

There has also been a significant focus on sustainability and green investment from our shippers – DigiHaul can play a part here through the Green Carrier Certification programme that helps shippers clearly see the green credentials of our haulier base.

The secret to seamless integration? Keep it simple.

If a shipper is thinking of moving to digital freight, they need to be reassured that their existing TMS technology can be integrated seamlessly, whatever the scale of their operations, so we’ve kept it very simple. For larger shippers we have a standard API connector that allows a shipper to interface all the required data into the DigiHaul system – such as locations, dates and times, vehicle types, special instructions and additional equipment. We also have a set of standard updates – via webhooks – that provide status updates, cost updates and shipment information in real time.

For example, we’ve worked with DHL Supply Chain and integrated directly to their core TMS solutions – this has enabled them to digitise the sub-contract transport process, simplify their carrier base, and gain realtime status updates. These were all previously ‘off system’ via phone calls and emails, so our technology has cut out a huge amount of admin.

Smaller businesses can simply upload a CSV file or book directly on the system, so even if they’re only using us for a handful of loads during their busiest peaks, it’s quick and easy to do.

Technology with a human touch

Although innovation is central to what we do, we also understand how important it is to have a human touch behind our technology – to listen to our shippers and hauliers, act on any feedback that they give us and communicate any changes that we’ve made with them so they’re always informed.

As a start-up business it’s important for us to keep asking our shippers and hauliers questions about what’s important to them and what they need from us.

For example, last year we introduced live offers for our shippers, which allows them to see when and where our haulier partners have capacity.

The future of freight

The future is filled with opportunity – we’ve created a solid base for digitalising the freight industry and also have a detailed Digital Vision that breaks down every aspect of what we do today, identifies how we can digitalise it further, the value we can release, and a plan for implementing it. This covers integration with our haulier partners, enhanced reporting within the platform, design changes to help people find the right information first time, and new features that deliver tangible benefits to our shippers and hauliers. It’s an exciting place to be!

Find out more about how we can help you through peak or to try our technology, get in touch

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