There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting an email saying your long-awaited delivery is arriving today. These sorts of notifications have become commonplace in our lives, as have the tracking emails that come before them and the text messages telling us delivery is at the door.

They’re only possible, however, because of real-time freight data.

Freight data is a huge part of transport and logistics, helping companies accurately quote for services and determine delivery capacities. Traditionally, this data has been somewhat static, often inaccurate, and not utilised to its full potential. Poor internal processes for collecting and managing data have stopped it from playing a massive role in the transport process. This won’t be the case for much longer.

In recent years, approaches to data have evolved – as have the demands of customers and business leaders alike. Receiving limited data sets on an ad hoc basis is no longer going to provide the kind of experience that these customers want, nor can it offer the kind of operational insight that modern companies require. Today, real-time freight data is the standard that needs to be met.

Not in real-time? You risk falling behind

Unfortunately, not all businesses are leveraging the benefits of real-time data. There are technological and resource-related barriers to this approach – some companies have delayed the innovation or investment in real-time data capabilities and now don’t believe they’re in a financial position to do so.

Other companies are halfway there, collecting and utilising some data – usually at the beginning and end of the transport process – but are failing to embrace further opportunities for data capture throughout the process.

Customer demands are only going to continue to change, and the need for real-time data will grow. COVID has not only seen the number of delivery orders placed skyrocket, but it has also caused (and continues to cause) disruptions to delivery and supply chains that need to be identified and rectified in a timely manner.

While businesses may be wary of the amount of investment required to achieve access to and collection of real-time freight data, failing to do so may leave them exposed to risks, including:

  • Customers choose to move to a competitor who can offer a better experience.
  • Limited visibility and operational understanding.
  • Loss in revenue as items go missing or are damaged.
  • Reduced safety from lack of real-time measurement and operational data
  • Inability to identify opportunities for operational efficiencies, costing time & money in the long run.

What are the advantages of using real-time freight data?

Increased flexibility and agility

As discussed above, real-time data facilitates offers a more flexible set of processes during shipping. Centralised monitoring teams – and teams on the ground within the delivery network – achieve the data they need to make changes while the item is still in transit. This is crucial, as modern business operations are increasingly geared towards complete control at all stages of operation, driven by data.

Improved customer experience

Customers don’t want to be left in the dark. With real-time freight data, you can pass updates on to your customers, providing the end-user with a more detailed dataset that puts their minds at ease during transit. Not only this, but the customer experience will benefit from the increased control real-time data offers and in return, you’ll enjoy improved customer loyalty.

Secure revenue foundation

Shipping items means exposing these consignments to possible damage or loss, which can harm company revenue. Real-time data minimises this risk, helping to secure revenue growth in the long term. Efficient operations also put you in a more stable economic position, enabling you to offer more competitive prices.

Operational visibility

Real-time data provides full visibility across the whole of your operations, making it easy to identify points of friction and target increased efficiency. It provides you with the option on what data you can share with customers and the level of service you can give them. It also allows you to proactively identify any problems that exist in your own processes, or that may arise day-to-day – like knowing incoming freight measurements are off and you’ll require a second truck for timely delivery.

Utilising real-time freight data

The good news is achieving and utilising real-time freight data does not require huge amounts of investment. It simply requires a positive policy of business development and shrewd investment in the right solutions.

Identify opportunities for additional data capture

Audit your existing freight data operations. Where could you gain more data from the process? Where are items being lost or damaged? What points of friction are your customers experiencing?

Focus on efficient and cost-effective data gathering

Real-time data capture does not need to radically increase the complexity of operations. Something as simple as taking and logging a photograph of an item can provide valuable information regarding the item’s condition and location.

Invest in the technology required to facilitate this

Some investment in technology is required to achieve real-time freight data. Look for a provider who can offer the capability you need at a competitive rate.

Make real-time information available to customers.

Where possible, make real-time information updates available to customers via your website or application to increase the customer experience advantage.

How does Leopard Cube help you to achieve this?

The Leopard Cube solution from Leopard Systems is designed to make real-time freight measurement and operational data available to all businesses who need it, helping them leverage the benefits of enhanced customer experience, increased safety, and better operational visibility.

Leopard Cube is an innovative tool that combines the latest rugged mobile scanning computers with a durable measuring tape to better measure and record data for immediate discrepancy alerts, system integration, and reporting straight away – allowing users to properly cube, quote, plan, and effective transport any sized freight.  Alongside freight measurements, Leopard Cube is also used to record images and other track event data before relaying this information in real-time via a secure cloud connection. The system integrates fully with existing enterprise platforms to achieve a streamlined flow of logistical data that can be leveraged to improve workflows and target increased efficiency and capability at scale.

Discover how transport & logistics and postal companies are already saving hundreds of thousands in annual revenue using Leopard Cube. Or sign up for a 90-day free trial to try the technology for yourself.