Technology and the freight industry don’t always go hand in hand. The reasons behind this are complicated, but technology-trusting freight brokers like FreightPros are making progress. We’ve invested heavily in our customer’s Transportation Management System, as well as software such as SalesForce and Bloomfire for many of internal processes and documents. Electronic Data Interchange, commonly known as EDI, is another way in which the freight industry is pushing into the 21st century.
Electronic Data Interchange is the computer-to-computer exchange of information in a standard electronic format. EDI is hardly freight industry specific, and you can find its use in the finance industry, as well as many others. But that’s not our topic today. Today, we’re going to talk about using Electronic Data Interchange in the Freight Industry.
The most common use of EDI in shipping is the scheduling of pickups. At FreightPros, we schedule a lot of pickups. Hundreds a day. That means phones ringing off the hook, emails blowing up, and interminable hold times. And the same thing happens on the side of the carrier dispatchers! It’s a process that requires excellent skills in multi-tasking.
By using Electronic Data Interchange when scheduling pickups we can save time and limit mistakes. For example: Let’s say that FreightPros is scheduling a pickup at 3338 W Mulberry Street, between 3pm-5pm. Mind the two-hour pickup window!
Our solutions team makes the phone call, waits on hold, and finally gets in touch with the dispatcher, Mary. Mary is understaffed and hectic. She’s got people calling her about freight tracking, scheduling pickups, damage claims — the works. She doesn’t have time for small talk.
So we supply the details of the pickup, the address, the time, the pallet count, total weight, etc. But because of all the crazy going on, she misses a digit on the address. 338 W Mulberry instead of 3338 W Mulberry. Fast forward to the pickup, the driver looks around for the wrong address, and not finding it, moves on to the next one. That’s a missed pickup, and those can cost time and money.
Using EDI in freight helps remedy that scenario. By processing the documents electronically, you’re removing the human error. That means our Pros can save time and help our customers with the myriad of problems that can’t be solved using ones and zeros.
It’s easy to be distrustful of technology in the freight industry. We get it. The majority of our service is all human. But by utilizing technology in certain areas, Electronic Data Interchange among them, we can avoid problems for our customer’s shipments, and that’s our ultimate goal.