Efficient and reliable shipping is critical to supply chain continuity. With customer expectations at an all-time high, even minor delays or cost overruns can impact a company’s reputation and bottom line. Fortunately, businesses have a powerful tool at their disposal: data analytics.

By harnessing the power of data, shippers can gain valuable insights into their operations, discover areas for improvement, and optimize their shipping processes for success. Here are three data analytics reports every shipper should generate for a top-level understanding of their freight operations.

1. On-time delivery performance report

Customers today expect their orders to arrive quickly and reliably. A missed delivery deadline can cause frustration, relationship friction, and lost business. The on-time delivery performance report helps shippers track their success in meeting these expectations. Key metrics outlined in this report include:

  • Percentage of on-time deliveries: This metric should be broken down by carrier and service level to pinpoint potential performance gaps.
  • Time-in-transit trends: Monitoring transit times allows shippers to identify possible slowdowns and adjust routes or carriers accordingly.
  • Reasons for delays and their frequency: Analyzing the root causes of delays — such as weather issues, carrier mishandling, or inefficient packing — helps distinguish areas where preventive measures can be implemented.

With this report, shippers can spot trends and patterns that affect on-time delivery. This knowledge enables them to make data-driven decisions, like switching carriers for specific routes or optimizing packing processes to minimize damage and delays.

2. Shipping cost analysis report

Shipping costs are a significant expense for any business. With fuel prices constantly fluctuating, it’s crucial to identify areas for optimization. The shipping cost analysis report provides a clear picture of where your shipping budget is being allocated. It includes metrics such as:

  • Average cost per shipment: This metric should be segmented by factors like carrier, service level, destination zone, and package weight/dimensions to find cost outliers and potential savings opportunities.
  • Fuel surcharge trends: Monitoring fuel surcharge fluctuations allows shippers to anticipate cost increases and adjust pricing strategies or negotiate fuel-based discounts with carriers.
  • Packaging and handling expenses: Analyzing packaging costs and recognizing opportunities to reduce dunnage or standardize box sizes can lead to considerable savings.

By generating this report, shippers can gain valuable insights into their overall shipping spend. These insights empower them to negotiate better rates with carriers, explore alternative shipping methods for specific routes, and implement cost-saving packaging solutions.

3. Customer satisfaction report

There’s a direct correlation between a positive shipping experience and customer satisfaction. A customer satisfaction report helps businesses understand how their shipping performance impacts customer perception. Within this report, pay close attention to key metrics such as:

  • Customer satisfaction scores related to shipping: This metric could involve including shipping-related questions in customer surveys or monitoring online reviews for mentions of delivery issues.
  • Number and nature of customer complaints related to shipping: Analyzing the types of complaints received (e.g., late deliveries and damaged goods) helps pinpoint problem areas that should be addressed.
  • Return rates due to shipping issues: High return rates due to damaged goods or missed deliveries indicate a disconnect between shipping practices and customer expectations.

By analyzing this data, shippers can discover areas where the shipping experience falls short of customer expectations. This knowledge enables them to address pain points, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and retention.

Data holds the key to better shipping operations

While these reports provide a strong foundation, the possibilities of data analytics in shipping extend even further. Exploring reports on inventory management, packaging effectiveness, and carbon footprint can unlock more optimization opportunities.

Remember, data is a continuous conversation. By incorporating its insights, shippers can ensure their operations remain efficient, cost-effective, and customer-centric in the ever-evolving world of logistics.

Are you leveraging data analytics to gain critical insights into your business? nVision Global can help you harness data to better understand your freight operations — and streamline them. Learn more at corporate.nvisionglobal.com.