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- Truckstop.com launched a new rate forecasting tool and U.S. Bank discussed its new freight payment index at the annual Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Edge conference in Atlanta Wednesday.
- Truckstop's Rate Forecasting projects rates for shippers up to 52 weeks in advance and, according to the press release, the tool is "the first of its kind." The U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index measures quarterly shipments and trucking freight spending on a regional and national scale, offering insight in conversation with the National Shipment Index.
- Truckstop.com and U.S. Bank expect these new data-driven innovations to help shippers and carriers plan shipments more cost-effectively and develop better relationships with suppliers and each other in the long run.
These new data tools are just two examples of the innovation boom in the trucking industry, with the aim of saving money for companies and streamlining the end-to-end supply chain.
According to Bobby Holland, who is vice president, group product manager and director of consulting services at U.S. Bank, the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index wasn't launched to compete with the ATA's monthly report or the Cass Freight Index, but offer supplementary data to industry professionals so they can make better decisions.
Because U.S. Bank works with many shippers, launching the index was a natural step, especially since the heartbeat of the trucking industry is often in sync with that of the national economy.
"We're a big player in the market and we have a lot of data to work with," Holland told Supply Chain Dive.
The new index's purpose dovetails nicely with the launch of the Truckstop.com Rate Forecasting tool, also designed to help shippers make better decisions.
"Rate Forecasting balances seasonal, geographic, random, economic, regulatory and permanent trends on each lane with deep statistical modeling, better than a human can on the fly," said Truckstop.com Chief Economist Noel Perry, according to the press release. "Spot rate forecasting is not impossible, if you combine a little common sense and this tool."
New data tools are often overshadowed by flashier innovations like automation and blockchain, but data tools are easy for companies to integrate into their operations and more quickly create a discernible difference. While these kinds of innovations may not facilitate hype, they're being launched at industry-specific conferences for a reason: Truckstop.com and U.S. Bank know CSCMP conference attendees will want these new data tools and will start using them right away. At a time when companies have access to more data than ever before, more robust tools are necessary for cleaning and processing the data.
"A lot of companies have a lot of data and don't know how or have the means to process it," Truckstop.com Chief Relations Officer Brent Hutto told Supply Chain Dive.