Transportation Risk Management Tools
Transportation risk is difficult, and sometimes outright impossible, to manage. However, there are well-established ways of minimizing it with the right tools under your belt. If you know how to prepare, you can absolutely make transportation risks something your company can deal with. So, let's take a closer look at some of the best transportation risk management tools.
Defining transportation risk
Transportation risks are something only a reliable and professional logistics company can reliably avoid. Even then, some moments creep up on people in the industry with no warning whatsoever. We can tentatively classify these risks as the following:
Natural disasters. Which includes things such as extreme weather events, extreme temperatures, or things such as earthquakes and, rarely, volcanic eruptions.
Traffic hazards. Such as accidents, collision, vehicle rollovers, traffic jams, poor road conditions, etc.
Sea conditions. A category unique to maritime shipping and characterized mainly by highly hazardous weather conditions.
Infrastructure issues. This category includes roadwork, landslides that block roads, or even partial collapse of bridges and similar sporadic events.
Theft and robbery. It is unfortunate that you sometimes need a way to protect your cargo from these.
Human error. Problems that pop up due to a worker's or administrative mistake.
Get risk assessment software
As you can likely tell from our list, there are plenty of transportation risks that are more or less impossible to guard against preemptively. For example, there is very little you can do to plan for a pile-up on the highway. However, the software can perform a level of risk assessment reliably. The internet allows you to track road data almost in real-time. Along with weather condition data and the like, the software can provide relatively reliable intelligence on whether a specific route is worth the risk or not. This is especially important if we refer to the role of cold chain logistics in the pharmaceutical industry and the challenges they present. If certain types of pharmaceuticals (or food products for that matter) take too long to be delivered, they can be spoiled and rendered dangerous. Such risk assessment software can, to an extent, help prevent these instances.
Optimize your scheduling systems
Good scheduling software is one of the invaluable transportation risk management tools, during both the planning and execution of your transportation routes. This software can find the most optimal ways and recommend them to you. What might be even more critical are route corrections it can perform due to impassable roads, road accidents, and other factors. Often, the reason behind delays and even canceled deliveries is the simple inability of the drivers to find a different route once their normal one is inaccessible. Having another viable way presented to them in short order using the software will likely save you hours of wasted time. And, as the experts from nycministorage.com note, this also means your goods delivery and pickup time predictions will simultaneously become more reliable.
Look into driver assistant software
Driver assistance software is one of the best possible transportation risk management tools on the market. They massively help to reduce human error margins for drivers by monitoring their driving practices and issuing suitable suggestions and warnings. This is absolutely invaluable when considering things such as driver fatigue, which can quickly be detected through increasing errors. If the driver is warned in a timely manner, they are more likely to take a break instead of taking undue risks. The assistant software can even provide some limited route correction, which will also help with preventing some of the common causes of logistics delays. The software can also help you monitor bad driving practices in both new drivers and those who've had problems in the past. It is, after all, better to do this or even suspend them than let them risk injury.
Keep an eye on things with fleet tracking tech
An important thing to understand is that all your other transportation risk management tools will be useless if you can't correctly detect transportation risks. And to do that, you need to know exactly where your trucks and deliveries are at any given point. The solution to this problem is tracking tech. If you include it in your fleet and in your shipments, you will know with absolute certainty where in the route they currently are. In turn, this tech makes it possible to use all our other advice and battle any risks as they present themselves. This single piece of tech can be live-saving and is inestimably valuable to any fleet. Since it can also show you unplanned stops, which can result from accidents, you only need minutes before you call to check-in instead of wasting hours to notice your driver may be in trouble.
Having a good anti-theft protection system
There are several elements of a good anti-theft protection system. You need good door locks, cargo area locks, and engine locks. Even a panic button installed within easy reach of the driver is not a bad idea. This will minimize the chances of having a truck stolen during a driver's break and the risk to your drivers during a theft. Of course, it'd also be a good idea to ensure that your driver's cabin is reinforced and resistant to most efforts to break into it. This would be give them a suitable means of just waiting out the trouble after notifying you. Cargo can be recovered or made up for through insurance. Loss of lives and good workers is not something you can fix. Additionally, cargo tracking should go a long way toward catching thieves or robbers, whether they manage to steal the goods or even the entire truck.
With these transportation risk management tools, your business will be much safer. Of course, even with them, there are some accidents and disasters which you simply can't prevent. However, this is simply part and parcel in this industry, and it is your responsibility to everything you can. Your efforts should at least be able to protect your employees' safety in critical situations, even if these worst-case scenarios come to pass.