Electronic freight management (EFM) is a critical solution for any logistics business today. By 2020, the amount of freight shipped is expected to increase by up to 70 percent from what it was in 1998. The competition for transportation will continue to increase as a result. With this type of freight management system, and its digital freight matching capabilities, a single source logistics partner can get access to potential transportation deals you would never have had in the past. This access to thousands of carriers and independent contractors continues to transform the landscape of modern logistics. Digital freight management also helps to maintain a standardization in shipping and allows you to determine your areas of inefficiency and streamline the bottlenecks.
What is EFM?
In general it’s an umbrella term used to discuss initiatives by the U.S. Department of Transportation to build partnerships between freight and logistics agents to improve efficiency, safety and security of the movement of goods for commercial purposes. One particular focus is the standardization of different web-based tools that gather, store, retrieve and interpret data concerning transactions and movement of freight throughout various logistics systems.
Goals include better visibility and tracking of freight, reduction of redundancy of data entry, simplified interfaces between government and commercial stakeholders and better freight security.
Impacts of Electronic Technologies
Electronic technologies are revolutionizing logistics. With the help of such technologies, you can improve your route optimization and delivery times and reduce the number of shipments required each year. This also has a positive impact on the environment. EFM platforms consolidate the vast quantities of information that once compiled can tell the story of your entire freight and shipping picture. The goal of many of these tools is to help analyze and engineer solutions to making shipping better and faster.
Trends and Innovations in Freight Management
The trends and innovations occurring throughout the shipping industry are helping to minimize labor hours and reducing negative environmental impacts. Robotics will continue to take over manual labor hours in a number of areas, such as picking and packing, product inspections and handling of dangerous materials. The use of wireless sensors continues to rise as a way to improve tracking capabilities, minimize theft and to manage inventory. You will also be able to have visual connectivity to your shipments through every aspect of the logistics process. Power generation and propulsion will also reduce the dependency of fuel and reduce the strain on the already overcrowded transportation fleets. All of this allows for the sharing and use of information to diagnose weaknesses in the systems and correct them.
One aspect of EFM is Electronic Data Interchange, or EDI. It’s a set of standards that make it easier for business- related documents to be shared digitally in a format that is accessible on a wide basis. Instead of recording shipping data on paper and having to adapt information to a number of differing requirements, standardization in digital sharing speeds up the process considerably.
Single source logistics like Port City Logistics Savannah GA tend to be early adopters of EFM procedures, so ask us how we can improve your shipping. With the right freight management solutions, you can save money, improve delivery times and stay ahead of the competition.