FourKites redefines supply chain visibility
The US-based FourKites, with its India operations from Chennai, does realtime tracking and supply chain management using high-end technological tools like Electronic Logging Devices. “Since the value of shipment is huge in automotive industry, we play a vital role in tracking and providing real time solutions to the auto players. Companies that take advantage of our technology will see great benefits in their operations and their bottom line,” Arunkumar Chandrasekaran, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, FourKites, told AutoComponenets India.
FourKites, using a proprietary predictive algorithm to calculate shipment arrival times, ties together shippers, carriers, brokers, and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to lower operating costs, improve on-time performance, and strengthen endcustomer relationships.
FourKites helps its customers know when every shipment will arrive through the industry’s most accurate ETA calculator and tracks loads across road, rail and soon, ocean, with the industry’s only true multi-modal tracking platform. The FourKites customers can gain valuable insights, including temperature tracking, through the industry’s broadest network of data partnerships and most advanced analytics capabilities.
“FourKites was started in 2014. One of the biggest problems we find in logistics is finding where the truck or shipment is. Traditionally, the shippers called the carriers to know about the truck’s location and obviously there will be delays. FourKites changed the old concept of tracking by a new idea with Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) on the vehicle’s dashboard to track them in real time. The speed of the vehicle, the distance to its destination, and the number of drivers on the truck will be available with the help of ELD. Having the visibility will make the work easier and perfect. In this scattered market, we have 1000s of carriers and hundreds of companies manufacturing ELD. There is a requirement for a neutral player like us who can work with all the parties and integrate with all of them, pull the data and aggregate it. This is basically the premise we are working on,” he said.
ELD will improve safety standards for carriers by providing a more complete and accurate record of how much time a driver is spending on the road. Having an indisputable source of information on how long a driver is spending
on the road would help improve hours of service compliance among drivers and reduce the number of accidents occurring as a result of driver fatigue while on a long journey. “We have location tracking and temperature tracking solutions. FourKites through its integration with these on-board devices provides a really powerful platform for real time visibility,” Ramachandran said.
“We have worked for years with some of the largest shippers, carriers, and 2 of the biggest 3PLs in the industry, building our entire platform around the idea of tracking shipments by ELD/ GPS. Today, we have the largest network of ELD, TMS, and dispatch system integration in the space, meaning that we know better than anyone else which systems and providers are able to track reliably and accurately the assets no matter where they are,” he said.
With better information comes the ability to make better decisions. Knowing where the trucks are and when they are stopped can determine how quickly they can traverse certain lanes, how long they spend waiting to unload at certain facilities, and how early or late they will arrive at a given destination. Then one can look at how that information changes over time, and test-drive changes or improvements in real time to see if they match up with one’s expectations. Information like this allows one to improve on-time performance, maximise flexibility and keep pace with the modern world.
“The program gives greater benefits without even human intervention as the machine looks for patterns in the truck. Many companies use FourKites as it has the real-time visibility for just-in-time management. This technology is very agnostic to geography. We have chosen logistics because logistics and visibility are a part of supply chain. It is one of the areas which is very conducive to technological advancements. Our success depends on the kind of companies we are in contract with. We are growing exponentially. In this technology era, all the companies should prefer technological sources like ELD devices for the real time tracking solutions,” Ramachandran said.
FourKites believes that certifying trusted ELD providers to its Partner Program will encourage shippers and 3PLs to help their carriers select ELD providers that comply with industry standards and support direct data sharing. That, in turn, helps those carriers fulfill mandatory visibility requirements in the most effective and efficient way.
FourKites certifies ELD providers based on four categories: One is data quality which provides secure and continuously updated real-time flow of, at a minimum, location information. The second is data accessibility that enables customers to access high-quality data without paying add-on integration, support or other fees. The third is operational integrity which values integrity in practices around customer data. Lastly, customer value which prioritizes customer success and works collaboratively to help customers achieve maximum value.
The company works with toptier shippers across all major industries, helping them make sure their freight gets where it is going without a hitch. Whether the tracking is inbound, outbound, or intra-DC, “FourKites lets one see all the loads in one place, and our partnerships with more than 60 major GPS providers and over 15 TMS setups means that you’ll be getting the most up-to-date information from your carriers in a layout that’s customised to your pre-existing setup. The power of FourKites can be measured by the company we keep. Partnerships with 95% of the world’s leading ELD/GPS providers powers the ability for true real-time freight visibility and orchestration. This gives shippers and 3PLs the confidence and support to see, and more importantly, act on exceptions throughout the shipping journey. In addition to integration with the world’s leading TMS providers and carrier dispatch systems, shippers and 3PLs access the power and accuracy of the FourKites’ platform,” Ramachandran said.