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Think your freight is predestined for one mode over another? Flock Freight’s tech begs to differ

11.30.2021 | By Lu Saenz | 4 min. read

With booming technologies transforming shipping operations, it’s time to rethink outdated beliefs about freight modes and become open to a new approach.

The traditional supply chain holds the notion that load size designates shipping mode; large quantities of freight belong to truckload (TL) or intermodal (IMDL), small shipments belong to less-than truckload (LTL), and so on.

Decades-old modes operate much like they did at their start, generally using a single static analysis of capacity, transit times, handling requirements, and cost to determine how any given shipment should move. As a result, shippers have very few modes — or just a single mode — to choose from. Limited modes mean limited decision-making ability for shippers, which can result in supply chain risk, inefficiency, and poor sustainability performance. Service providers and supply chain executives have had little incentive to change the status quo, as traditional methods have so far failed to offer any superior alternatives.

Ideally, any given load of freight could move via multiple modes, depending on the shipper’s needs. 

Thanks to evolving technology and innovative approaches, shippers are gaining more options. In the same way e-commerce transformed how retail businesses sell products, new supply chain technologies are transforming the way businesses and service providers ship freight.

The way we currently think about moving freight doesn’t benefit most shippers or carriers. With shipping operations undergoing a digital transformation, it’s time to rethink the belief that load size should determine mode. It’s time to become open to a new freight-shipping approach.

Shared truckload: shifting the way we approach shipping

From robotics and Internet of Things (IoT), to warehousing, increased connectivity, and inventory management innovations, digital technologies have improved much of our supply-chain management and demand-planning processes, along with customer satisfaction. However, a relatively unchanged process that’s been ripe for supply chain disruption is freight shipping.

When Flock Freight® entered the market, we optimized a mode that expands shipping options for shippers and carriers with artificial intelligence via our FlockDirect™️ offering.

Our proprietary algorithms enable supply chain optimization by allowing several shippers to share trailer space in one multi-stop full truckload. We pool FlockDirect shipments and move them via shared truckload (STL), a mode that maximizes truck space and avoids processing facilities.

To create shared truckloads, our technology accounts for real-time data like pallet size, pallet orientation, pricing, pickup and delivery appointments, and origin and destination locations. Two factors that increase complexity and make FlockDirect challenging to deliver at scale are the need for a fast turnaround and the constant stream of shipments to consider as new orders come in. Flock Freight’s pooling technology enables shared truckload by solving a computationally complex problem in near real time and at scale.

Rather than making incremental improvements to freight shipping, we’ve reimagined the entire process and used our proprietary technology platform to build a new business model.

By allowing midsize freight shippers to share truck space, STL lowers their shipping costs and reduces their environmental impact. By eliminating the need for freight consolidation and trans-loading at hubs and terminals, our technology significantly reduces instances of product damage, loss, and delay due to error — and, as a result, resources needed for product replacement and claims. As an added benefit, our pooling technology enables us to deliver FlockDirect freight faster than LTL or partial truckload (PTL) services. These benefits can provide a better customer experience for midsize freight shippers who get squeezed out of LTL and into expensive TL shipping.

STL benefits TL carriers by giving them access to untapped loads and a more profitable way to haul. Because our technology matches truckload carriers with small and midsize shared truckload freight, they gain access to a new market of shipments. By transporting pools of smaller shipments, carriers who haul shared truckloads can generate greater profits when compared to typical, single-truckload shipments.

Saving truck space is an especially beneficial feature in the post-pandemic global supply chain, which is ridden with labor and equipment shortages and makes supply chain planning and ERP (enterprise resource planning) incredibly challenging. Adding STL to your supply chain strategy can mitigate risk and elevate customer experience, creating a win-win shipping experience.

The new technology behind digital supply chains is changing the way freight ships, giving the industry the opportunity to change its approach to matching loads with modes.

Take part in the digital supply chain transformation. Expand your shipping and hauling options by switching to FlockDirect.

Rethink the way you ship, for the better.