“Where is my load?” – 4.0 logistics and a secure supply chain

Anna Palluch 27.11.2018

New technologies in transport include work optimization for greater efficiency and tightness of the supply chain. With the 4.0 tools, the loader monitors their load in real time, manages orders in one place and communicates quickly with the carrier.

Access to load information should become a standard such as courier tracking when shopping online. “Restoring the reality known from the e-commerce industry and adapting it to the needs of loaders, carriers and forwarders is a pressing need of the whole market. A tool that allows to monitor the load by the users themselves, such a “track & trace” service, meets the expectations of all participants in the supply chain”, says Łukasz Kosturek, Product Designer from Trans.eu Group S.A., who works on creating innovative products dedicated to companies from the transport sector.

The load owner checks what happens to their goods, so they must have access to the telematics system of the carrier with whom they cooperate. If the need for transport is small, or is a one-time thing, logging into the account is not a problem. But what if the loader has several business partners and each of them uses different telematics solutions?

The recipe in this situation seems to be to use one place from which the whole transport order can be managed. “The technology allows us to take over the signals sent from telematics carriers, and then, as part of a unified transmission, present it with one tool”, explains Łukasz Kosturek.

Integration with a freight data source (e.g. ERP) or a warehouse system is of course necessary, but once this is done, it is possible to monitor the vehicle and check the status of freight forwarding without installing another software, which still has to be paid for additionally.

All loads under control

The extensive monitoring function allows you to check on the map, where the vehicle with the load is at a given moment, as well as the message about key events on the route: places of loading, unloading, stops, changes in the route. Importantly, the tool allows you to monitor all transports from a single screen. The load owner therefore has a holistic view of what happens to each individual load. And when there is a risk that the goods will not arrive on time (the vehicle has a breakdown), they receive an appropriate message – an alert, which will warn them about the current status of freight forwarding.

Communication in order

It is worth remembering that a secure supply chain is a rapid flow of information. And what is the usual communication on the receiver-logistics-driver line? Especially when there is still a freight forwarder between these links, because manufacturers often use outsourcing. A “Chinese whispers” game takes place. Over time, the information is either processed or becomes outdated.

Effective management of the logistics process comes down to quick communication with the subcontractor. On the other hand, the market continues to grow dynamically, which means that the chain naturally expands to include intermediaries, disrupting the flow of information. Therefore, communication based on sending e-mails and text messages, creation of extensive documentation in Excel or business negotiations conducted over the phone can only prolong the process of communication and generate chaos. A tool that will change this model of work will have a real impact on the transformation of the entire transport sector.

“Such possibilities are a promise of modern TMS class 4.0.”, says Łukasz Kosturek. They are based on constantly developing algorithms and integration with existing telematics systems, which introduces road transport into a new dimension of logistics.

Optimization of logistic processes and turning to logistics 4.0 is at the same time the answer to the growing requirements of load owners from commercial and service companies. Manufacturers want to know exactly who is transporting their goods and where the shipment is at any given moment. Loaders know that the lack of load information can cause them serious financial losses. They require carriers to have access to telematics to help them manage their own supply chain.