Welcome back to our lesson on transportation technology.
Upon completion of this lesson, learners should be able to summarize electronic data interchange, define transportation management systems,
explain global positioning systems and discuss log books and electronic logging devices.
EDI, otherwise known as electronic data interchange, is defined as the electronic exchange of business documentation and information in a standardized format between computers, usually, between different organizations. EDI replaces paper or electronic based documents with human readability, with electronically coded documents in a language machines can read. With EDI, the sending computer creates the message and the receiving computer interprets the message without any human involvement. This improves transactional efficiency and reduces keystroke errors during manual entry processing.
One of the first places many companies implemented EDI was in the exchange of purchase orders. However, standard EDI language in transactions have been designed for the transportation industry itself, and they are widely used today.
An example of EDI transaction is when a shipper, which may be a manufacturer, distribution center, wholesaler etc., initiates a transaction called an EDI 204 transaction, or otherwise known as Motor Carrier Load Tender to a full truckload motor carrier. The EDI 204 transaction includes detailed pickup and delivery information, contact information, description of goods including weight and other units of measure. Motor carrier receiving the EDI 204 transaction then responds electronically, using a EDI 990 transaction. Which is otherwise known as a response to a load tender, to accept or reject the tender. And the EDI 990, the response, includes information such as acceptance or rejection of tender, the bid accepted or rejected, including the freight cost quote amount. In addition to these simple transactions that are actually high volume transactions, the 204 and the 990, there are numerous other standard transaction definitions to expedite transportation commercial transactions. Let’s consider a typical company producing goods at multiple geographic locations. Each location needs to ship freight out to different destinations, customers and distributors. These needs, associated with these shipments, create several shipping complexities for the company. For example, if each company produces different goods, these goods may have different physical characteristics, different priority needs, in terms of speed, security, track and trace considerations, etc. This may mean that multiple modes and multiple freight rates, contracts, carriers, etc., apply for consideration in decision making regarding specific shipments. There’s a lot of data involved with considering all of these options, considering all the different combinations. Beyond just mode selection, there’s carrier selection, which specific carrier will move the goods. Identifying the best carrier organization for the specific product and lane combination. Each lane, each product may be different. Multiple carriers, multiple rates means more and more data. In many cases, companies maintain their own fleets and need to be efficient in planning the delivery routes. This requires a lot of data itself, in terms of understanding the specific road networks, speed limits, truck loading capabilities and capacities of the fleet and what’s allowed to be transported on certain roads, bridge heights may come into play etc.
The ability to consider pickups of goods inbound along the way while dropping off goods may be a consideration for some companies. All of these considerations in routing need to be supported by a Transportation Management System. The routing that we talked about, the mode selection we mentioned, the carriers, transportation management systems are designed to support these decision making processes. TMS, Transportation Management System, is a powerful piece of computer software which controls, coordinates and manages these various transportation activities. Including helping the user select the right carrier, rating, freight rating, the movement, tendering the load. Going back to the EDI transactions we were talking about, where other means of communicating loads, printing the shipping documents, tracking the load and billing the correct party for the freight, as well as maintaining reports for ongoing analysis.
GPS, global positioning systems, has had a huge positive impact on the transportation industry. Vehicles and cell phones equipped with GPS allow real time, non-intrusive, monitoring of freight and personnel GPS is based on a network of satellites in the Earth’s atmosphere. Each satellite circles the planet twice a day, in one of six orbits, to provide continuous worldwide coverage. Each satellite broadcasts radio signals, and those signals are received and converted by GPS devices to determine the exact location of the device. In the transportation industry, GPS technology is critically important in order to map the most efficient routes for time sensitive freight, to monitor traffic and to maximize routes for enhanced fuel efficiency. I wonder if many of you use an application called Waze on the iPhone which I love. I use if for day-to-day transport wherever I’m going. As it provides round optimization, cloud sourced local transport conditions and it saved me hundreds of hours of time, this is enabled by GPS. And we have a question for your consideration.
Give an example, from your own experience, of the use of GPS in transportation.
One example, a friend of mine uses the Waze application in his car which he uses to find directions when driving.
Governments impose restrictions on truck drivers to ensure safe driving conditions. These include the maximum drive time per day, maximum days in a row of driving without mandatory time off. Commercial vehicle drivers are expected to carry a log book, which records information such as hours spent on and off duty, hours spent driving, date, miles driven and hours spent in the berth.
Paper log books are being replaced with electronic logging devices or ELDs which automatically record a drivers record of duty status.
And we have another question for your consideration. Why do you think it’s important to monitor over the road drivers hours of service?
In this lesson, we have summarized electronic data interchange, defined transportation management systems, explained global positioning systems, discussed log books and electronic devices.
Thank you for watching, and we’ll see you on the next lesson. [MUSIC]
Welcome back to our lesson on transportation technology.