FourKites recently introduced what it says is the industry’s first product that provides companies real-time visibility across their network, including freight they don’t manage.
With FourKites’ new Network VisibilitySM, shippers can see real-time location updates on their vendor-managed inbound and customer-pickup outbound freight, in addition to the managed freight they already track with FourKites. This gives companies full visibility across their supply chains, enabling them to enhance warehouse operations, reduce yard congestion, and improve carrier and driver productivity, FourKites said.
“This is a significant breakthrough that eliminates blind spots for most shippers, allowing them to track unmanaged freight with the same level of detail with which they have been tracking managed freight,” said Mathew Elenjickal, CEO of FourKites. “The average FourKites customer ships a significant portion of their freight to other FourKites customers.
“Now, they can quickly and easily collaborate through a single visibility platform to achieve significant operational efficiencies.”
Vendor-managed shipments can comprise up to 70% of a large company’s inbound freight. Without real-time visibility, top-line savings can disappear without warning, creating unmanageable exposure to operational inefficiencies, and labor and detention costs—all while straining the strongest supplier relationships.
Previously, transportation leaders were limited to sweeping, reactive decisions to manage these challenges. Even with the latest transportation management systems, unmanaged freight remained a black box of uncertainty, and an enterprise-wide visibility solution remained out of reach. FourKites’ new Network Visibility solution leverages the company’s network of shippers and carriers to allow for comprehensive visibility across the entire supply chain, including freight managed by external vendors, the company maintained.
The solution normalizes payer and facility records across supply chains, masks sensitive information, automatically detects and draws potential connections with suppliers and receivers, and makes it easy to share freight visibility in a controlled environment between select suppliers and receivers through a single discovery dashboard.
“We are constantly striving to create efficiencies in our supply chain, especially when it comes to knowing exactly when we can expect products to arrive from our vendors into our distribution network,” said Brett Frankenberg, vice president of supply chain planning and inventory management at Coca-Cola Bottling Co Consolidated.
“The ability to track SKU-level details across both managed and unmanaged freight with FourKites’ Network Visibility has enhanced our warehouse and labor productivity significantly. In addition, it has helped us improve our in-stock position and has also provided supply planners with a self-service approach to find their loads.”
Since launching in 2014, FourKites has pioneered the industry shift to real-time predictive visibility, enabling shippers to improve on-time delivery and optimize supply chains based on actionable data and prescriptive recommendations. FourKites has built the industry’s most robust network, with more than 260 of the world’s top shippers, including 18 of the top-20 food and beverage companies and four of the top-five CPG companies. FourKites currently tracks more than 500,000 shipments every day.