Optrak4 for Freight Forwarders is a customised version of Optrak4 for the freight forwarding industry.
Designed to support the ‘last mile’ pick-up/delivery at client sites, Optrak4 drives efficiencies at the end user stage of the freight forwarding lifecycle, improving service levels and keeping your clients happy.
Freight-forwarding combines 2 logistics operations – planning the daily deliveries and collections to end customers around the country and trunking consolidated loads to and from the ports. Optrak specialises in addressing the following issues across those two processes - with specific focus on the former:
Combining both delivery and collections on the same vehicles presents loading challenges. For route efficiency, collections are usually mixed with deliveries, but the dynamic space on the vehicle and placement of goods has to be taken into account, particularly if rear access via tail lift is required.
Although delivery and collection points tend to be from industrial locations rather than city centres, rush hour traffic causes problems when estimating arrival times at customer locations, even as the freight forwarder must work to guaranteed delivery and collection times. Another problem is that some customers regularly cause delays in loading and unloading consignments with knock-on impacts for the remaining visits.
Orders for freight forwarding come in continuously, with freight forwarders wanting to add orders to trips as they come in to minimise partial loads and improve customer service.
Orders from certain locations occur at such a low frequency it may be cost-ineffective to collect/deliver with your own vehicles, but where and how should the line be drawn between own fleet and subcontractor?
Modelling loading requirements and capacity is complicated by the nature of goods in Freight Forwarding, which can often be ‘ugly’ – uncommon in shape or size.
Optrak4 can handle delivery and collections on the same route – driving efficiency through a mapping of the dynamic space on the vehicle with integrated loading and customisation to reflect individual vehicle requirements.
Optrak4 loading modules are fully integrated into the vehicle routing process – linking planned trips to load layout to ensure goods are packed both space efficiently and accessibly for each stop.
Time estimation consists of two parts – driving time and time at the customer. Optrak4 uses historical road speeds to predict journey times between sites. A study showed that the improved accuracy from this alone, resulted in a 4% improvement in routing efficiency.
To improve accuracy of time at customer, Optrak can be linked to your own POD or tracking data to achieve a more accurate model of the time at each customer site – allowing different profiles for each customer if required. This same analysis can be used to identify consistently slow-loading customers to allow sales or operations staff to negotiate directly with the customer to improve performance.
With Optrak4 Realisation, you can add new collection orders to the plan. These orders are checked against the existing routes – taking into account what has already been delivered and picked up – to see if they can be inserted without impacting the time windows/delivery capacity for already routed orders.
All trip building actions, whether optimisation or interactive trip editing are always checked against the appropriate loader for the vehicle (and you can have different loaders for different vehicle types in the same data set). Any infringement of loading rules is immediately indicated to the user.
On a daily basis, Optrak4’s integrated carrier functionality plugs your 3rd party carrier options into the optimiser to identify which areas could be run more cost effectively by a subcontractor – calculating against total cost to the route of tasking vehicles for specific regions or jobs.
At a strategic level, “What If?” analysis can be used to review long-term decisions over where to route directly and where to negotiate more permanent 3rd party arrangements.