The coronavirus pandemic has driven strong demand for essential goods, emptied store shelves across the U.S. and shaken up every segment of the supply chain. Shoppers are hoarding toilet paper and lining up outside grocery stores to stock up on Tylenol, forcing companies that make and move these essential goods to work around the clock in an effort to restock.
Visibility has been a hot topic in the logistics industry for several years, but knowing exactly where shipments are and when they are slated to arrive is now more important than ever. FourKites, the leading supply chain visibility platform, bolsters transparency through its quarterly FourKites Premier Carrier List. The list includes carriers, brokers and 3PLs.
The Q1 2020 Premier Carrier List, which is available in full to FourKites customers, features 234 carriers that have shown a commitment to visibility. This quarter, the company has also created a downloadable public-facing version. Included carriers have been assigned at least 300 loads across FourKites customers and achieved a minimum of 75% tracking consistency for the previous quarter.
Now in its fifth edition, the list is intended to drive value for both carriers and shippers by providing exposure for the former and high-quality carrier options for the latter.
Premier carriers provide FourKites with data about their regions of service, fleet size and modes supported. This information allows shipper customers to improve critical areas of their supply chain, knowing they are working with the best carriers when it comes to real-time visibility.
“When selecting a new carrier, we want to be sure our partners value supply chain visibility as highly as we do. Being able to see that proven track record through the Premier Carrier List is key to the evaluation process,” one FourKites shipper said. “It makes for more productive and longer-term carrier relationships. Ultimately, it ensures better customer service.”
For carriers, tracking loads via FourKites allows them to collaborate with their shippers to evaluate operational efficiency and improve dwell times using high-quality data.
Being included on the Premier Carrier List also enables carriers to differentiate themselves from the competition, win new business in a highly fragmented market and establish a reputation of operational excellence.
“Our inclusion on the Premier Carrier List is a great source of pride for our team,” said Big G Express Vice President of Sales Bill Putman. “Our FourKites compliance continues to be a conversation point with many of our customers using the platform. Data aggregation continues to be a strategic conversation between carriers and shippers. We have been on the list since the beginning, and I believe it has opened some conversations with shippers. It shows we have one more value-add they desire.”
Recently, more and more carriers have been realizing the benefits of being included.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen our Premier Carrier List double in size. We’ve seen an increase in the number of asset-based carriers and brokers of any size, across all modes, both domestically and internationally,” FourKites Vice President of Carrier Operations Kevin Taylor said. “This tremendous growth is really a testament to these carriers that have bought into real-time visibility and the value it can unlock across the supply chain.”
FourKites offers resources and training tools to help carriers that have not yet made the Premier Carrier List improve the quality of their visibility data.
FourKites offers training through Channel 19 webinars, carrier certification and access to their in-house Knowledge Base. The company has also recently rolled out Partner Hub, a platform that assists brokers with onboarding, and will soon be rolling out the carrier community for carriers and brokers to collaborate with each other and FourKites.
On May 13, FourKites will hold a free virtual summit focused on carrier and broker operations. The event will feature supply chain leaders from leading carriers, brokers and shippers — among them Tucker Company Worldwide, USA Truck and Smithfield — as they discuss ways to leverage technology for operational efficiency and competitive differentiation. Register for the event here.