How to Get Your Carriers to Join a Supply Chain Visibility Network

Carriers keep the supply chain moving. No matter what you produce or who your customer is, you’ll rely on carriers to ensure your inventory is transported on time.

While shippers and logistics service providers (LSPs) have always known the role carriers play, a combination of uncertain market conditions and an increasing need for real-time transportation visibility data has brought them front and center.

In a recent article by project44 Founder and CEO Jett McCandless, Why We Don’t Charge Carriers to Join the project44 Network, McCandless explained, “because transportation carriers are the backbone to the transportation industry, shippers and logistics service providers (LSPs) need to be in lockstep with their carriers to run an efficient and effective supply chain.”

Many supply chains have tried tirelessly to build these real-time connections with their entire carrier network, spending significant time and money with limited or incomplete results. This is where real-time transportation visibility comes in.

In a recent Gartner report by Carly West and Bart De Muynck, How to Assess the Benefits and Return on Investment of a Real-Time Transportation Visibility Platform, the analysts say, “Prerequisites to achieve the full ROI consist of a successful implementation of the solution as well as effective onboarding of at least 90% of carriers in the company’s network.”

project44 has spent years building the largest global carrier network as well as an application to automate carrier onboarding, which is why we are able to offer the industry’s only SLA that guarantees 90% of a shipper’s directly contracted truckload carriers will be onboarded in 30 days.

But how does project44 get carriers to join the p44 carrier network? And how can you encourage your carriers to join as well?

Here are a few key ways project44 helps get your carriers on the network.

1. Make it Easy for Carriers to Join the Network and Connect

First and foremost, we try to make it as easy as possible for carriers to join the network. They would prefer to focus on delivering your goods as quickly and safely as possible. To ensure it makes sense for carriers, project44 doesn’t charge them to join the network.

McCandless explained, “Carriers that are required to pay to share visibility data will likely need to find a way to pass the cost back to their customers — whether it be raising their rates or adding a separate visibility fee. Because shippers work with many carriers, this approach doesn’t make sense for the carrier or the shipper. If some carriers aren’t willing to front the cost, it will create visibility gaps and reduced trackability for the shipper and their logistics provider, which would reduce the network effect benefits.”

Beyond costs, project44’s Network Management Center® (NMC) makes it easy to automate the onboarding process, streamlining set up for carriers. With the NMC, 80% of new carriers connect and initiate data sharing in less than 10 days of being invited, with a majority signing up within a few hours.

Easing the onboarding process removes barriers for carriers to share real-time visibility data. Making it easier on the carriers improves the amount and quality of insight.

2. Highlight the Benefits for the Carrier’s Business

While real-time transportation visibility is a must-have for shippers and LSPs, there are many benefits for carriers that haven’t gotten the attention they deserve. project44 features these benefits when asking carriers to join the network. When working with your carriers to gain tracking data, it can help to highlight what’s in it for them.

First, many carriers have provided feedback about how visibility has enabled them to provide a superior customer experience. Carriers are able to provide very valuable information to their customers, putting them in a better position to maintain and grow their business.

For example, Beck Trucking — an independently owned trucking company in North Carolina — was facing an increase of customers asking for real-time visibility. Some customers were even requiring the ability to gain shipment location information through providers like project44. Nick Beck, owner of Beck trucking, realized the company would need to provide this service in order to keep customers happy.

In addition to customer satisfaction, visibility eliminates check calls for drivers and dispatchers, allowing drivers to focus on driving without interruptions for check calls. And with options to connect through API or ELD/telematics device, drivers don’t need to worry about using yet another mobile app.

3. Leverage Visibility to Improve Collaboration with Carriers

With reliable and complete visibility data and analytics, you can improve your partnerships with carriers. All parties within the ecosystem can point to a single source of truth and use it to review what’s going well and dig into areas of improvement.

“Building more trust and predictability requires collaboration and transparency between all parties in the ecosystem. In addition to solving problems and delays in real-time, supply chains can also run reports on their visibility data to identify recurring issues or areas of improvement,” said McCandless. “With a large carrier network, shippers and LSPs can view analytics about performance across their carriers, enabling them to improve collaboration with accurate and reliable insight.”

Collaboration is important to not only build a visibility carrier network, but to maintain it. project44 partners closely with carriers and focuses on continuing to nurture relationships with the network.

For this year’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, project44 joined up with several customers as well as Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman to thank drivers for everything they do to keep our world moving. Take a look at the video to hear the community’s appreciation.