Shippers that use freight visibility platforms, such as Trimble Visibility, have accurate lead times, ETAs and real-time exception alerts for loads in progress as well as scorecards for their carriers’ on-time performance.
For motor carriers, the technology adds complexity to manage data sharing agreements with multiple third-party visibility providers. As part of the agreements, carriers are required to set up automated feeds of tracking data associated with freight movements directly from their telematics or transportation management software (TMS) systems.
Connecting to third party visibility providers can be tricky and time-consuming, but not for carriers that use the Trimble Trust Center to simplify integrations.
A breakout session at a recent virtual edition of Trimble’s in.sight user conference + expo showed how motor carriers can use this secure, central hub to control what, when and how they allow third-parties to access their data. The demonstration included an overview of the Basic Visibility and Market Insights solutions that are included with the Trust Center.
The Data Connection through Trimble Trust Center
At in.sight, attendees were shown the process of creating a data connection between their transportation management system (TMS) from Trimble and a third-party visibility provider.
To use Trimble Trust Center, a carrier must have a 2013.1 or later version of Innovative; a 2014 or later version of TruckMate; or any version of TMW Suite and have position data from their telematics systems flowing into their TMS.
The journey starts with setting up a Trimble provided secure data client. Next, the Trimble support team helps the carrier set up a Trimble Trust Center account and walks the user through the process of setting up the first data-sharing agreement.
During the setup process, the carrier can choose its SCAC code (a unique two-to-four-letter alpha numeric code to identify the transportation company), select a “check call” type for the tracking data (driver, tractor, trailer, etc.) and a time zone.
Once these account details are set up, no further changes are required by the carrier unless they want to add additional check calls or remove them.
Each data sharing connection that a carrier sets up in the Trimble Trust Center goes to the Trimble Cloud where it is accessed by the third-party visibility provider. Another benefit of TrustCenter is that it’s a one-stop to see all sharing agreements. The alternative, and what is still happening today, is a mix of one-off solutions from non Trimble entities, potentially causing harm and/or confusion regarding what data is shared to what party.
Clicking on a visibility provider shows the details of the data-sharing agreement and any additional data fields that the carrier needs to complete for the agreement. As an example, an agreement could be missing a “shipment identifier” — a customer reference number(s) that the carrier uses for the shipments such as a pickup number or bill of lading number.
In addition, carriers use this screen to specify one or multiple customer “bill to” codes they want to associate with the sharing agreement. A “bill to” code tells a Trimble Trust Center data sharing configuration which reference number(s) and check calls are associated with each visibility provider and customer account.
A sharing agreement can be set up in a few minutes, and once completed the event stream begins to flow to the visibility provider based on the chosen parameters.
Basic Visibility and Market Insights
Included with the Trimble Trust Center is a Basic Visibility tool that works in conjunction with the data client installed on a motor carrier’s server. Basic Visibility creates a live map view of all current shipment data in the carrier’s TMS.
Motor carriers use Basic Visibility as an internal tool for their dispatch and customer service teams to proactively communicate shipment status with customers via email, text and hyperlinks.
The left-hand side of the Basic Visibility dashboard shows all of the current shipment “cards” with a synopsis of the current status — early, on time, in jeopardy or late — as well as origin and destination information, and any arrival and departure times associated with the shipment.
On the right-hand side is a Trimble MAPS view showing the locations of all current shipments at any given time, and the current status identified by color. Clicking on any shipment in the left or right side of the screen view takes the user to a page that shows a breadcrumb trail and additional information about the origin, destination, arrival and departure times as well as the ETAs associated with the shipment.
Basic Visibility is available to all Trimble customers with a TMS that meets the same minimal version requirements as the Trimble Trust Center.
The Market Insights tool is utilized by carriers to look at pricing information for various lanes based on equipment type. Users can view market rates for any time period and lane to see seasonal trends and fluctuations.
The tool also shows the approximate transit time of each lane and gives an overall letter grade such as “B+”. Carriers can view the top lanes and identify where they stand in their lane pricing compared to the market average to strategize how to be more competitive.
Improving Supply Chain Visibility with Trimble
The Trimble Trust Center is just one of the ways we are committed to building the solutions that improve the flow of information that facilitates collaboration across the supply chain.
Curious to learn more? Contact us today to discover how we are creating technology that can help all supply chain stakeholders work more efficiently and collaboratively than ever before.