Data science breakthrough enables LTL shipment tracking, with 6x more accurate estimated arrival times

FourKites, the real-time supply chain visibility platform, introduced Dynamic ETA for LTL. For the first time, shippers, carriers and 3PLs can track less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments from pre-pickup to proof of delivery, with highly accurate, dynamic and automated estimated arrival times (ETAs). This unprecedented accuracy in LTL tracking means the supply chain can now take greater advantage of a more cost-effective mode of freight transport – improving customer service, lowering costs and expediting the shipment of essential freight in the process. Dynamic ETA for LTL includes automated PRO number generation and comprehensive document retrieval capabilities to streamline processing and keep supply chain partners more informed and aligned.

“The ability to proactively manage exceptions for LTL shipments means better planning, smoother operations and improved visibility for customers,” said Dustin Braun, Senior Director – Logistics, Land O’ Lakes. “Predicting accurate arrival times for LTL loads has always been one of the harder problems in supply chain. This is a genuine breakthrough in real-time visibility, and we are happy to have collaborated with FourKites to help make this innovation happen.”

Until today, tracking LTL loads has been one of the industry’s most intractable challenges, due to the inherent complexity of multiple terminal stops and widely variable transit times for LTL freight. FourKites is now solving this problem by using cutting-edge machine learning algorithms to analyze millions of LTL loads across more than three billion transit miles. In doing so, FourKites is able to generate a robust and accurate LTL ETA model that applies to all shippers in every geography. FourKites’ LTL ETAs are six times more accurate than industry-standard ETAs, and confer multiple business and operational benefits:

Improved customer service ratings and lowered costs due to more accurate and granular LTL freight ETAs. One FourKites customer in the food and beverage industry experienced a 67% reduction in customer service calls, and a 147% improvement in customer service ratings, after rolling out FourKites ETAs to its customers.

Improved collaboration across the supply chain. Now all parties – from shippers to carriers to managers at the receiving docks – have clear visibility into when LTL freight is expected to arrive and can plan accordingly.

Increased trust and planning with LTL shipments. Knowing only the day of arrival has typically left shippers constrained in their ability to optimize operations. With Dynamic ETA for LTL, highly precise ETAs will enable users to strategically plan docks and labor.

In addition, FourKites now automatically generates and assigns a PRO number when LTL loads are created, providing greater visibility and eliminating time spent searching for PRO numbers and matching them to freight. Proof of delivery (POD) and other documentation is provided electronically and is accessible to all parties, saving time and reducing potential losses.

“The Dynamic ETA for LTL and automated document retrieval capabilities we are announcing today are transformational,” said FourKites Chief Product Officer Priya Rajagopalan. “LTL shipments can be far more cost-effective for palletized products, but notoriously unpredictable arrival times are a real issue. Our new Dynamic ETA capability changes that overnight, and at an opportune time. Greater use of LTL shipments can help meet increasing demand for ecommerce orders, as well as move emergency goods faster to their destinations because shippers will no longer need to assemble full truckloads of goods before shipping.”