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Shippers forecast for peak season using freight audit & payment data insights

Data insights are key to a successful 2023 peak season, regardless of transportation mode. Spikes may not be as drastic this year due to the change in consumer spending behavior and initiatives by retailers to spread out the peak season over a longer period of time using discounts and other incentives. However, Trax Technologies (Trax), a Transportation Spend Management (TSM) solutions, advises supply chain leaders to leverage a data-rich peak season shipping strategy to minimize inefficiencies, risks, and costs.

The large amount of data collected by the freight audit and payment (FAP) process enables Trax to support a portion of the data-driven decisions companies require to estimate costs and optimization opportunities surrounding peak-season forecasts based on historical data and monitor costs during peak season itself. Effective use of transportation related cost data, including freight, fuel and the multitude of surcharges by mode of transportation and service permit a deep dive on how companies can accurately forecast and optimize shipping before, during, and after peak season.

“What’s past is prologue when it comes to demand spikes, particularly when it comes to the traditional peak season. The accuracy of Trax’s TSM portfolio of solutions provides a baseline for what our customers can expect, and plan accordingly,” said Steve Beda, Executive Vice President of Customer Success, Trax. “As supply chain leaders hold out hope for this year’s peak season they are evaluating the impact of inflation on consumer spending therefore making accurate forecasting more strenuous than in the past. Getting it right requires good data and utilizing transportation data will be crucial for success, in addition to nurturing good relationships with carriers and suppliers. The better your data, the better your decision-making processes. Accurate forecasting including the ability to order early, mitigate overflow and stockouts, and maintain your transportation costs at a competitive level of service is key.”

Transportation management is the process of planning, executing, and optimizing the movement of goods. When successfully executed, a transportation management strategy makes it easier for shippers to achieve an error-free, cost-effective, fast, and smooth flow of products.

Maximizing the value of data, such as freight audit and payment (FAP) data, are a material part of the overall control tower strategy most companies rely on as they improve the end to end governance of processing related to supply chain logistics. Good data improves visibility, decision-making, and operational efficiency. During peak season, strategies often need to shift to accommodate increased demand and limited capacity, which often impacts the cost of moving goods.

“As a global leader in transportation spend management or TSM, Trax’s freight audit and payment solutions help global enterprises manage transportation contracts, gain visibility into transportation spend drivers and performance, and simplify complex business processes,” said Beda. “Utilizing actual shipment data from the $24B in transportation spend invoices Trax audits annually, FAP tools provide shippers with data insights used to make well-informed decisions to avoid shipping delays and optimize costs.”

Diversifying the modes of transportation, for example, by choosing rail instead of over-the-road (OTR) options can alleviate some transportation costs. Using data insights from transportation spend tools and knowing that each segment of the logistics industry will experience its peak at different points over the next few months, will prove beneficial in such instances. Backed by data, shippers can be confident in decision-making and easily navigate the remainder of 2023.

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