How Predictive ETA Can Impact Your Freight Shipping & Deliveries

Want to learn more about how predictive ETAs can impact your business, and its freight shipping? Read about what they are and the variables to consider here.

01 December 2021      


Predictive ETAs are using historical freight data to revolutionise the way we estimate arrival times across the Australian freight network.

With the potential to improve customer experience, transparency and contingency planning for high-value freight, predictive ETAs are changing the game.


What Is Predictive ETA?

Predictive Estimated Time of Arrival uses historical data to estimate when your freight will arrive at its destination.

Instead of needing to rely on carrier estimates, which are often flawed, predictive ETAs give you a much better indication of how long it will take for your freight to arrive.

An Example of How Predictive ETAs Work

Predictive ETAs provide estimated times of arrival based on machine learning, rather than the estimate a carrier provides.

For example, a carrier might say that a load from Melbourne to Sydney will arrive in two days.

But a predictive ETA will use data from across the entire freight network to make a prediction based on this specific carrier, across all the different industries and all types of customers.

So, where a carrier might say it will take two days, we can use the experience of our predictive analytics to tell you that 95% of the time, delivery on that route, by that particular carrier, for that type of freight usually takes three days.


Importance of a Predictive ETA in Logistics & Shipping

With estimated time of arrival playing a vital role in freight delivery and access to accurate freight data on the rise thanks to the Internet of Things, predictive ETA’s have the ability to change the game when it comes to improving supply chain management.

Knowing when your freight is going to arrive gives your supply chain a massive advantage. When you can more accurately predict the timing of a shipment, you’re able to make better business decisions that have a positive impact on customer satisfaction and the bottom line.


How Predictive ETAs Can Impact Your Business

Customer Experience

Predictive ETAs are important for customer experience. When you don’t have accurate data, there’s the risk of overpromising on delivery timelines.

But when you can maintain and manage customer expectations accurately, you’ll be able to deliver a better customer experience that will ultimately impact the value of your business.

The customer experience advantage recognises that late arriving freight can have a negative flow on effect. Take solar panels for example. If they arrive a day or two late to a building site, this has cost and timeline implications for the project the panels were meant for. It also impacts trust in the relationship between the supplier and the receiver.

Predictive ETAs allow for more accuracy so you can under promise and over deliver to your customer.

Increased Accountability

When you’ve got access to accurate data, you’ll be able to hold your carrier accountable for their delivery timeframes and the promises that they’re making to you about when

Predictive ETA technology has the power to make the whole freight industry more transparent. You can’t change what you don’t know. Accurate data will increase accountability, which in turn will lead to improved customer service across the whole network.

Competitive Advantage

When you invest in a freight management technology that delivers predictive ETAs, it will ultimately give you a competitive advantage.

Not everyone is making use of the right freight management technology. When you do, you’ll be able to improve customer satisfaction and deliver a service and reliability that your competitors can’t.

Variables Your Predictive ETAs Need to Consider

If you want to start applying predictive ETAs to your freight, there are several variables that need to be considered to help ensure their accuracy.

Example #1 Historical Data

The more historical data you have, the more accurate your predictions around estimated time of delivery will be.

It also means you’ll be more equipped to make fast decisions when your usual route is experiencing unplanned difficulties (see Example #3 Contingency Planning).

Example #2 Seasonal Trends

We all know in the lead up to Christmas, freight takes longer to move because there are only so many trucks to move a LOT more freight, so estimated time of arrivals start to blow out by a day or two.

The ability to consider seasonal trends within your freight data, is critical to accurately managing customer expectations during high volume periods of delivery.

Example #3 Contingency Planning

Predictive ETA data needs to be able to help you plan for contingencies.

This relates specifically to managing the impact of individual events on the freight network and includes things like train derailments and floods.

For example, every time a train is derailed, the data shows that it roughly takes four to five days to resolve it. Then another two weeks to clear the backlog of freight that has piled up as a result of the derailment.

But when you know that, you can quickly make the decision to move your freight from rail to road so you don’t get caught in the backlog with everyone else.



How Freight People’s Freight Management System Can Help

A freight management system is the best way to start realising the benefits of predictive ETAs for the supply chain in your business.

Freight People’s freight management system, Cario, gives you access to all the data, from all the carriers we work with, across the hundreds of thousands of consignments we move every month for our clients.

It then uses smart data analysis to show a comparison between the carrier’s ETA and our data-driven predicted ETA that will give your business a competitive advantage and improve customer satisfaction through more accurate estimated time of arrivals.

Key Takeaways

If your supply chain could benefit from improved customer experience, increased accountability and better contingency planning, then implementing technology that will give you access to predictive ETAs is something you should explore.

And it’s more possible than ever, thanks to Freight People’s freight management system.

With access to historical data across the freight network, we can help you use predictive ETAs to improve your freight delivery experience. Get in touch with us today to find out how.