Friday, March 2, 2012

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“Last mile visibility” focus of container transportation report

A new report claims that Intermodal carriers and 3PLs are focusing on technology to eradicate blind spots in the movement of containers to and from the “last mile,” or the final customer destination.

The Aberdeen Group’s “Intermodal Optimization - Enhancing Last Mile Visibility and Execution,” surveyed 58 intermodal freight users out of 123 North American BCOs, 3PLs and carriers that were interviewed for a 2011 transportation survey, and was commissioned by cloud transportation technology provider IAS.

The report analyzed the challenges of intermodal users versus single-mode users to glean what tech strategies were commonly used. Based on the research findings, intermodal users were “three times more likely to have automated the exchange of information, 2.9 times more likely to scorecard transportation activities and 1.6 times more likely to have visibility tools to support backhauling against empty miles.”

“Although intermodal carriers were more likely to address last mile visibility and optimization,” said Bob Heaney, report author and senior research analyst of supply chain management at Aberdeen, “only 57 percent of the intermodal users in the study had visibility and optimization tools in place to manage last mile execution.”

Reportedly, the Aberdeen study found the use of collaborative cloud-based platforms as the fastest, most flexible route to achieve the required levels of visibility and synchronization, eliminating blind spots in complex, multi-party last mile inland operations.



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