Automate transports across all modes and flows

12/11/2023 | 6 min

Supply chains still rely on people power, but that doesn't mean people should do all the heavy lifting. Automation has been revolutionising industries and manufacturing plants for years, boosting productivity and business growth. Supply chain and logistics have also started using automation to improve processes and operations, albeit at a slower pace.

Transportation management can be time and labour intensive, but when run by qualified people using the right technology, your team’s manual work can be automated. This frees them up to focus on more strategic tasks and ensure your transport operations support your business growth.

It's time to work smarter, not harder

The third and final episode of our Transport Operations Showcase Series focused on the role of platform automation in moving and managing transports across all modes and flows, driven by visibility data. Led by Jean-Yves Lemelle, Product Manager at our Transport Execution Tribe, this session focused on how intelligent data-driven workflows can automate the whole transport execution and monitoring process, leading to 50% less manual work and 40% savings on extra charges.

The third and final episode of our Transport Operations Showcase Series focused on how platform automation can help move and manage transports across all modes and flows, empowered by visibility data.  

Data modeling is critical

Automating your logistics operations through Transport Operations is pivotal for establishing smart, data-driven workflows that effectively automate your transportation processes. Data modeling is pivotal in this process, enabling seamless integration with an ERP order. It accurately transforms this data into a practical road transport, that is automatically executed by the platform based on configured transportation logic and rules within the workflows.

Based on the order structure, there are three main scenarios in data modeling to implement platform-automated workflows:


Scenario 1: Simple

This model is very straightforward and focuses mainly on the full truckload business model. In this scenario, one delivery, which we call a material order, is requested by the shipper to be collected by the carrier in one shipment, which we call a transport order. 




Scenario 2: Consolidated

This model is a bit more complicated, as you might have multiple material orders (deliveries) that are requested to be collected at the same warehouse by the carrier and handled into one single transport order (shipment), which is delivered to your customer or selling point. 




Scenario 3: Split

This model is especially relevant for Ocean flows, but can also be observed with road and air transports. In this case, one material order (delivery) request is split into multiple transport orders (shipments), which can be assigned to one or multiple carriers, supporting network movements with hubs and multi-leg transports. 

Besides the three scenarios mentioned above, other data models are also supported by the platform. What really matters is that they can all be automated.

Automation turnkeys for efficient execution 

Transport Operations uses intelligent, data-driven workflows to automate the whole transport execution and monitoring process, enabling logistics teams to focus on more strategic tasks at hand. 

Some of the many automation workflows that Transport Operations can execute to increase your transportation efficiency include: 

  • Milestone management across a shipment's lifecycle

  • Monitoring of required documents

  • Carrier allocation across the different modes

  • Incident creation when anomalies occur

Let’s take a look at on three major automation use cases: 

No-touch order execution

Stop worrying about manually finding and assigning the right shipment to the right carrier. Transport Operations uses highly configurable allocation workflows that perfectly balance cost, service and sustainability, meaning you can organise your assignment strategy quickly and easily.

In the case of full truckloads, a typical scenario involves a single delivery or material order. This is automatically defined and put in the system, where it can be matched with unique, single transport orders. We set up rules to ensure accurate allocation to the appropriate carrier, facilitating rapid integration into our system and swift dispatch to the carrier.

Real-time visibility & ETAs

Another automation capability we have on our platform offers visibility data and insights across the platform, through the different order stages. Accurate ETAs for all transportation legs and flows, couple with an effective notification system that compares orders’ actuals against what’s planned, provide the insights and overview you need to identify potential delays or early arrivals. This means you can quickly take action, when necessary, to avoid extra costs and better organise your dock and yard operations.

Exception-based management

In logistics and transportation, we know that day-to-day operations don’t always go to plan. Efficient transportation management allows you to automate most tasks and stay on top of any exceptions. This means you can quickly get things back on track and keep your business running like a well-oiled machine.

Bonus: cost management workflows 

Costs are another element that can form part of your workflow in Transport Operations. In the cost management section, you can define your rate zones - or freight cost lines - based on different trigger settings, such as lane, carrier and service characteristics. The system then automatically matches the correct rates to the corresponding transport orders. Extra charges can also be added to orders, based on factors like waiting hours or the use of a forklift. 

Ultimately, Transport Operations will add real value to your logistics operations, by leveraging automation and workflows to manage and move all transports across all modes and flows. 

Embrace automation through Transport Operations and empower your logistics to become a catalyst for business growth, rather than a bottleneck.

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