Transportation Network Optimization and Visibility

Blazo Gjorev

October 11, 2022


Regardless of the type of transportation network optimization, visibility is essential. Monitoring and optimizing your transportation network is crucial for visibility and control. With the help of transportation technology, visibility can be enhanced in real-time. Whether you have dedicated fleets or for-hire carriers, you need to be able to adjust and change routes to maximize efficiency and savings.

Lessons learned

Optimizing your transportation network can help your company save money and improve visibility. In addition, you can change your network to meet changing needs. This way, your transportation network is flexible and will meet your needs at the lowest possible cost. This approach combines dedicated fleets with third-party for-hire carriers and private vehicles. This is also known as an integrated transportation solution.

Optimizing your transportation network considers three core elements: capacity, price, and service. For example, we recently worked with a global producer of wood products to optimize its network in North America. This included reducing waste and improving service within its carrier agreements.

Tools for network optimization

Transportation network optimization is a process of analyzing the cost/service balance of a given transportation network. Whether it’s the time/cost balance of medical supplies or the volume of goods that must be moved between two or more locations, transportation optimization can help improve efficiency. The first step in optimization is to understand the needs of the customer. Organizations should consult their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and carrier/3PL freight bills to accomplish this. Critical data for optimization analysis include order size, weight, origin/destination locations, and earliest/latest ship dates.

As transportation networks become increasingly complex, companies face pressure to provide better service and reduce transportation costs. As a result, companies are turning to transportation planning solutions that optimize cargo flows across networks to meet this challenge. This helps organizations reduce transportation costs, drive up service standards, and minimize the need for new infrastructure.

Strategies for network optimization

Adapting a dynamic transportation network to your company’s needs can maximize efficiency while reducing costs. It can also offer visibility and improved reliability. One such solution is an “all-of-above” approach that blends private vehicles and dedicated fleets to create an integrated transportation solution. In addition to cost savings, these solutions also help your company increase productivity.

An optimized transportation network also reduces emissions and fuel consumption. This makes your business more environmentally friendly, which makes it more appealing to environmentally-conscious consumers. As a bonus, a business with an acknowledged sustainability focus is more desirable to suppliers and vendors. This can help you improve your bottom line and stay ahead of competitors.

Best practices

Transportation network optimization is an essential part of logistics management. Without it, systems can break down and spiral out of control. By implementing best practices, you can eliminate costs and supply chain disruptions. To improve transportation network optimization, you need to understand your network and its potential to be optimized.

First, the optimization process should start with the customer. Understanding the customer’s needs is essential before changing how your transportation network is managed. You can find plenty of data about your customers in your enterprise resource planning system and carrier/3PL freight bills. Critical data include order size, weight, and origin/destination locations.

Case study for network optimization

Transportation network optimization is a challenging problem. It is often classified as an NP-hard problem, which means that deterministic solutions are not feasible. However, other optimization techniques have been developed to address this problem. This paper presents a state-of-the-art review of this research. It is organized into five parts: the Background section introduces the transportation problem, outlines the theoretical aspects of the problem, and analyzes the main contributions to the field.

Transportation network optimization is essential for achieving strategic goals, driving process efficiency, and capturing cost savings. An optimized transportation network considers three core elements of a successful transportation network: capacity, price, and service. In one case study, Transplace’s Supply Chain Consulting Practice helped a global manufacturer of wood products optimize its North American transportation network. The project included a comprehensive evaluation of transportation capacity, service, and centralized sourcing.