How Big Data is Transforming Shipping and Logistics

In shipping and logistics, every method of freight has different data points that will play a role in how the freight moves, whether it is air, ocean, small parcel, or expedited. Shippers need to get data as quickly as possible, and they want to be able to collect the data needed to measure their total cost for serving a customer. For their part, Carriers like to have as early notice as possible that they will have to pick something up and the characteristics needed in order to determine the total cost of serving the shipper.

Modern customers and the carriers and shippers that serve them all demand visibility and speed these days, which are two important qualities were not that widely available even just a few years ago.

Helping Shippers and Carriers Alike

For the carriers that have already been embracing Big Data, the rewards have been significant. Take the example of UPS, whose free system gave them insight into the tendencies of their customers and enabled them to optimize their routes accordingly.

It is also important to remember that Big Data makes it possible for the shipper to make sure the carrier will get the freight they want for a price that both sides consider fair. When the carrier trusts that this will happen, the risk is removed from their pricing equation.

Shippers can use Big Data to find out where they can make cost savings and improvements in efficiency. They can optimize their freight cost by matching it to order data, for example.

Big Data is poised to be even more transformative in this industry in the future. Shippers and carriers could well end up partnering based on this data. Shippers that can provide good data to a carrier will be find themselves at an advantage because their decision-making will be data-based instead of subjective.