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Building Visibility and Trust Through Logistics Automation

Building Visibility and Trust Through Logistics Automation | C.H. Robinson

As various waves of change continue to hit the transportation market, we are feeling the ripple effect throughout the industry. Government regulations, technological advancements, and other disruptors are causing many businesses to reevaluate their processes and the way they build relationships with other companies. This is particularly true in how evolving customer expectations are impacting relationships between shippers and carriers.

Real time freight visibility is becoming part of doing business

Real time freight visibility is becoming part of doing business | C.H. Robinson

Technology is constantly improving, which means more and more customers want to see their freight in motion in real time. Four hour batch EDI updates used to be the norm. A year or two ago, hourly pickup and delivery updates were satisfactory. Today, many customers require geolocation updates on a map every 15 minutes.

Most large carriers are able to provide this information because they’ve been able to make the necessary investments in technology infrastructure and equipment to support the transfer of that information. As a result, customers sometimes presume that level of visibility is attainable for every carrier, but it’s not that simple: These solutions are not always an option for smaller carriers, for example.

3PLs can help bridge the gap

3PLs can help bridge the gap | C.H. Robinson

As a third party logistics provider (3PL), C.H. Robinson works with both customers and contract carriers, with a goal of providing value in both directions. We are able to bring a portfolio of small carriers that large and midsize shippers might otherwise have difficulty connecting with.

As part of this relationship, we provide customers with the information they need to plan accordingly when loads are delayed. On the flip side, we also aim to support small carrier businesses by opening the door to customer relationships they might not have access to on their own.

Understanding that logistics automation technology solutions can be expensive, C.H. Robinson has created two no-cost mobile apps as part of our Navisphere® platform, Navisphere® Carrier and Navisphere® Driver, to help small carriers provide the required information to customers and continue doing business without negatively impacting your bottom line.

As we move into the future, C.H. Robinson will look into developing additional solutions that can help the small carrier community continue to meet customer expectations while providing ample freight options for your business.

Privacy, customer expectations, and carrier benefits

Privacy, customer expectations, and carrier benefits | C.H. Robinson

A constant debate in the technology realm is the delicate balance between visibility and privacy. Many electronic logging devices (ELDs) and other available solutions are Bluetooth or app-based. While concerns about using your mobile phone as a track and trace device is understandable, the reality is the seemingly less invasive, hardwired options that connect directly to the truck are generally more expensive, so they might not be an option for smaller fleets.

Smartphones are often the only GPS-enabled devices that are readily available to drivers that can provide visibility to freight in transit. Our job as a 3PL is to provide equal value to customers and carriers, and trust is a critical component of that. Our carrier technology is designed to be easy to use but also minimally invasive, only tracking carriers when they are actively transporting a C.H. Robinson load.
In turn, it’s important for us to offer benefits back to our contract carrier community. That’s why we’ve included functionality to find loads, upload paperwork, and see payments quickly to help support ease of business for carriers.

Final thoughts

Final thoughts | C.H. Robinson

Supply chains around the world are changing. Velocity is accelerating, driven largely by ecommerce and changing consumer buying habits. In order to keep pace and continue building relationships between customers and carriers, we need to work together to figure out a mutually agreeable solution to increase visibility and build trust at the same time.

- Vice President, North American Truckload


Sandy Gruhn

As an asset based carrier with all company drivers, we have two concerns about providing 3rd parties our drivers' cellphone numbers for load tracking.

1) Driver privacy
2) The 3rd party making the numbers available to others.
A verified CDL drivers cell phone number is a valuable
commodity for carriers looking to recruit drivers to
fill seat empty trucks.



    C.H. Robinson

    Hi Sandy,

    Thank you for your comment. We certainly understand and respect privacy concerns and do have security measures in place to help ensure that any driver and/or carrier information shared through the business process is not shared outside of C.H. Robinson.

    Thank you,
    C.H. Robinson Social


A. J

Once CH Robinson used to be the pillar of the Brokerage industries not any more,I have watched your company slowly loosing market to more aggressive and determined small companies who offer competitive rates. You guys need to adjust your marketing and improve on attracting quality customers who compensate fairly drivers for their hard work. I do give your company high rating for respectable and honest employees who time after work hard to ensure transparency.



Larry Welch

Thank the C.H.Robinson team I The owner of ON Time Transport have enjoyed working with you guys.( God bless)



Lee otto

As a carrier for chrobinson for over 10 years living in Florida it is sad that nobody will do something about 1.00 per mile rates year around out of Florida. The cost of equipment continues to go up as well as insurance, etc. All the technology etc won't change rates only your sales team can.
Thanks for your time,
Lee Otto



    Rick Cross

    Lee Otto you can change the rate by not hauling it !!!!



What other solutions are out there for small carriers that could be integrated so real time data can be tracked by the customer? For example, SmartWay is the hub service for transportation and logistics firm to track their carbon footprint. There should be a similar service that allows carriers, small and large, to track real time route data.



Jason Darnstaedt

You bring up a good point about the separation between large carriers and small (and their budgets and access to technology) becoming more prevalent. For smaller organizations, outsourcing to a 3PL makes a lot of sense. It takes that responsibility off of their plate and they know that the work is in good hands.



Thomas Grant

What is a contract carrier?, What is CHR version of a contract carrier?



Bollinger Trucking LLC

I was using CH Robinson a lot. But back in oct. every time I called on a load, the reps. Would only want to give $1.50 loaded. I have not taken a load for you guys for months. I have no problem getting over $2.00 a mile empty and loaded mile from other brokerages, for Dry Van Freight otr



Ray Kaczar

This seems to be the begining of Blockchain, I am all for it. Working 100 percent with CHR has been my pleasure for the last year or so. I have been chosen Carrier of the year with CHR for 2017, very proud of this. In my eyes, I feel that we have a wonderful partnership. CHR has shown me that the little 1 truck Company can work with a large Corporate entity and feel as though I am treated as well as any large carrier




Solution for Load tracking
I gave up $40.00 at every load hauled from my rate for shippers.
They can buy their own phone ($20.00) no need to be smart phone for tracking , and place it in the trailer at loading and the other $20.00 to buy themselves a 1 month subscription to Boost Mobile for one mouth.
With this they can track their own load without any harassment for drivers.



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