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May 31, 2023
Shippers on freight’s future: tech-driven efficiency with an enduring human touch
What are shippers doing to adapt to the tech revolution that has upended the transportation industry? FreightWaves and Amazon Freight have collaborated to find out in a new paper, Out with the Old: Shippers Ready to Embrace Streamlined Booking Options. The findings are based on a survey of shippers from a balanced mix of smaller companies and large enterprises representing a diverse array of fields.

Through this paper, FreightWaves and Amazon Freight sought to gain a better understanding of where shippers are today when it comes to using technology to book their loads. It illustrates the ways in which the tech revolution has digitized and, in many ways, utterly transformed everyday processes. It also reveals how eager shippers are to unlock time and cost savings by embracing those changes.

So how do shippers currently handle freight bookings? And what traits do they value in freight providers? The paper reveals a significant amount of consensus. You can download it here to get the full story, but below are a few takeaways.

Reliability is still king
You know the old saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same”? Well, as much as we see technology changing the face of the transportation industry, one constant remains. Shippers continue to cite reliability as the single most important characteristic of a freight transportation provider. No technology seems likely to change that basic truth anytime soon. In the survey, shippers spoke loud and clear, saying they need to be able to count on providers to arrive on time, honor commitments, communicate responsively, and work collaboratively to troubleshoot disruptions.

People matter…but so does technology
Transportation has long been seen as a people business as much as a goods business. And while technology tends to have a positive impact on things like speed and efficiency, it can reduce levels of human interaction that are still such an important part of success. No wonder then that nearly 80% of respondents said they believe it is “important” or “very important” to have a dedicated customer service rep to address their needs. Translation: Let's keep seeing how tech can make us better and faster while diligently continuing to provide a human touch.

The road ahead
The survey results paint a picture of shippers who are interested in streamlining booking processes but who continue to rely on less efficient tools. In order for them to find new efficiencies, shippers should look to replacing time-consuming methods like email with more efficient, high-tech solutions. Despite a strong adherence to the “traditional” ways of booking loads, shippers are showing a willingness to try the latest tools and find new partners in the pursuit of efficiency.

Implementing new technology can go a long way in helping shippers get the results they want when it comes to their freight needs. To see the full survey results and learn how your company can best position itself for the future, download Out with the Old: Shippers Ready to Embrace Streamlined Booking Options.
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