Achieving High-Velocity with AI-powered predictive ETAs

Achieving High-Velocity with AI-powered predictive ETAs

As the demands for delivery transparency continue to evolve and the frequency and magnitude of disruptions increases, businesses must adapt their supply chains. Doing so requires increased predictability around when shipments will arrive, early exception identification and the ability to manage them, detailed understanding of the impact of any exceptions or delays, and the ability to proactively communicate all of this information to internal and external stakeholders. 

All of this is possible with real-time end-to-end visibility of shipments, connected to orders with SKU-level detail. A key element of visibility is predictive ETAs for every major shipment milestone and final destination. The most reliable ETAs today consider more data points than those of the past and utilize AI to deliver the most accurate and actionable predictions based on many real-time and historical data points. 

Harnessing the capabilities of predictive ETAs enables businesses to attain High-Velocity supply chain operations, leading to heightened efficiency, cost reduction, and enhanced customer satisfaction. 

How predictive ETAs can affect your business 

Before we delve into the key factors that contribute to high-quality ETA predictions, let’s highlight some of the primary ways that predictive ETAs impact operations of global shippers and logistics providers. 

Adjust plans to reduce fines and fees 

By utilizing predictive ETAs, you gain the ability to precisely anticipate your shipment’s arrival, empowering you to proactively align downstream supply chain activities. Armed with this foresight, should a delay be anticipated, you can strategically adjust dock appointment times to avoid excess costs from On Time In Full (OTIF) fines and detention fees by preemptively adapting plans before delays occur. 

Maximize dock efficiently with arrival geofencing 

With arrival geofencing, dock teams don’t need to sit around waiting for a shipment. You can set up alerts to notify you when the shipment is getting close. Knowing how close the shipment is and how long it will take to arrive allows the dock team to be more efficient with their time. They don’t need to prepare or look out for the arrival until they’re notified, so they can spend more time on other tasks, improving productivity. 

Arrival geofencing eliminates the need for dock teams to wait idly for shipments. By setting up alerts triggered as the shipment approaches, teams are notified precisely when it nears. This advanced awareness enables the dock team to optimize their time efficiently. Without the need for constant preparation or vigilance, they can focus on other tasks, enhancing overall productivity. 

Better manage resources and appointments 

Reliable foresight into shipment arrivals facilitates efficient appointment management and labor optimization, ensuring the right personnel are available when needed. For instance, with precise arrival times, retailers can schedule inventory managers accordingly, leading to cost reductions and enhanced operational efficiency. 

Moreover, predictive ETAs streamline resource allocation by eliminating the need for manual tracking processes. Hours typically spent tracking shipments manually are saved as everyone is informed of the shipment’s whereabouts and expected arrival time. While a single call or email may seem insignificant, the cumulative time and effort expended in multiple touchpoints to track down shipments can be substantial. 

For instance, RR Donnelley achieved a significant reduction in workload by eliminating 700-900 daily phone calls through enhanced visibility. By minimizing check calls and manual tracking, you can reclaim valuable time and reallocate it to revenue-driving initiatives. 

Delight and retain customers by keeping them informed 

Today the demand for transparency in shipment tracking is no longer limited to the B2C space with the precise ETAs that have become commonplace in ecommerce coming increasingly expected in B2B. Predictive ETAs empower retailers and manufacturers to keep customers informed and manage expectations regarding delivery timelines. With advanced visibility into potential scheduling adjustments, businesses can proactively communicate updates to customers, delivering the timely and accurate information they crave. 

Critical factors for actionable ETA calculations 

Not all providers are created equal in their ability to generate accurate ETAs. It’s crucial that ETAs calculations consider certain factors and are based on high-quality data inputs. Beyond the standard calculations for basic ETAs, various factors must be considered to ensure value, especially distinguishing between over-the-road and ocean transportation. 

For instance, while basic truckload ETAs typically factor in the best route, real-time traffic, and predictive traffic, they may lack the reliability necessary for longer journeys. To attain actionable insights across all modes of transportation, predictive ETAs must leverage advanced statistical modeling and machine learning. 

project44’s proprietary algorithm stands out by incorporating trip context and comprehensive historical data, which enhance the accuracy of our predictions. Additionally, transparent disclosure of the factors influencing the ETA fosters a thorough understanding of the situation, empowering informed decision-making. 

Robust historical data 

Regardless of transportation mode, calculating reliable ETAs requires comprehensive historical data. Leveraging machine learning techniques, past data such as lane models for LTL or vessel route data for ocean transport can surface patterns that make for more precise predictions. 

Conditions that can impact arrival times 

Beyond historical data and traffic patterns, several factors can significantly influence the arrival time of shipments, including weather conditions and geopolitical events, though the ways these factors impact ETAs can vary significantly by mode. Additionally, mode-specific considerations such as driver hours of service for over-the-road shipments and port congestion for ocean must be considered. 

For instance, port congestion can wield a substantial impact on vessel schedules and ETA accuracy. Implementing geofencing technologies around terminals and ports provides invaluable insights into congestion levels, enabling the most precise arrival estimates. 

High-quality data

Data is useful only when it’s accurate. To ensure optimal data quality and the most reliable ETA calculations, the platform must cleanse, map, and normalize the data as it flows through the system. The best visibility providers employ various approaches to cleanse or flag suspicious data, incorporating techniques like time series anomaly detection, address validation, adherence to data normalization formatting rules, customer-driven master data, and more. 

It’s not enough to just develop a solution—providers must consistently monitor and analyze trends over time and across carriers to detect issues and instigate enhancements in collaboration with data providers, establishing novel normalization systems where necessary. 

Movement, the High-Velocity Supply Chain Platform 

Recognizing the significance of historical data in enhancing ETA accuracy, project44 has prioritized excellence in data science, receiving many patents for our cutting-edge technology. Our machine learning algorithms are built on the foundation of the most comprehensive transit dataset in the world, which includes data on more than 1 billion shipments annually and ingests more than 10B supply chain data points monthly from more than 175 countries globally. The result for our customers is ETAs that are more timely, accurate, and actionable than those available anywhere else. 

Our platform also gives customers the ability to share these ETAs and other relevant shipment data with stakeholders on an automated or individual shipment or order basis, ensuring downstream parties stay informed in real-time without the manual effort of emails and phone calls and leading to happier and more loyal customers. 

As businesses strive to thrive in the dynamic landscape of the Delivery Economy, the adoption of cutting-edge technologies like predictive ETAs becomes increasingly crucial. With project44’s Movement, the High-Velocity Supply Chain Platform, businesses can unlock the full potential of predictive ETAs and revolutionize their supply chain operations. 

By harnessing the power of AI and leveraging comprehensive historical data, project44 empowers businesses to achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency, agility, and customer satisfaction. Embrace the future of supply chain management with Movement and propel your business towards high-velocity success.