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Towards intelligent intermodal transportation services

ABBYY recently had a great opportunity to connect with the beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) at this year’s Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) Expo in Long Beach, California. IANA is North America’s leading industry trade association representing the combined interests of the intermodal freight industry. Their key objective is to promote the growth of efficient intermodal freight transportation through education, dialogue and innovation. Naturally, any talk about innovation and technology always pique our interest. We learned so much mingling with the BCOs that we have decided to round up our top takeaways from IANA Expo and share them with our readers.

A common theme among beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) and freight intermediaries is how to digitize the data that comes from processing transportation information. The information is overwhelming when you consider the various amounts of forms the industry deals with documents like bill of lading, proof of delivery, freight bill invoice and customs declarations to name a few.

It was clear that BCOs are ready for a digital transformation, and some have already begun their journey. Following are a few take-aways from the expo.

1. Lead from within the Industry

Many BCOs believe that incorporating technologies that streamline and automate processes while providing adequate documentation to meet various regulations and compliance standards needs to start from inside the industry – or risk having outside forces make it happen. The intermodal environment is complex when there is freight hand-offs happening between vessels, trucks and rail. Improving supply chain efficiency will be dependent upon sharing shipment information which can be challenging due to trust and competitive issues.

One thought is to have an industry association or non-profit to take the leadership role and spearhead an initiative or platform through which all sectors of the supply chain can share information.

2. Desire for more real-time visibility

BCOs and drayage companies have experienced the benefits of having real-time data. In one example, having real-time visibility into conditions at the marine terminal gate, the chassis pit, trouble window and chassis road-ability station from a secure website portal enabled dispatchers to significantly improve how they manage their fleets. One organization said that with having real-time access to marine terminal conditions, its dispatchers have tripled the number of trucks they can manage. A key to this is seamless integration of data from multiple sources, such a geofencing and GPS data, and using predictive analytics within supply chains to determine when shipments will be available for delivery. BCOs got a taste of what this level of business intelligence can deliver for their organization and want to be able to be more agile across all areas of their organization.

3. The speed of information is critical

Real-time visibility is only possible by the speed in which an organization can extract and derive context of data. This is where ABBYY intelligent capture solutions deliver the most value.  ABBY can automatically extract data from transportation documents in a self-service process, thereby eliminating manual processing of documents. BCOs, drayage companies, terminal operators and equipment providers can use this data to achieve great productivity from existing assets without having to increase their footprint, purchase more equipment or hire more administrative staff. Leveraging intelligent capture technology is the best way to increase business with the same amount of assets. Click here to learn more.

 

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