ECTA transport visibility best practice guideline

To track, measure and improve “On Time Delivery” is a historical corner stone in transport services.
In 2002, a first ECTA Best Practice Guideline was written on codification standards to measure transport visibility. To conclude, that Guidelines talked about transport performance and continuous improvement. In the early 2000 years, technology allowed us to analyze, measure and investigate why certain shipments were late. Nowadays a transport performance measurement after the customer delivery took place does no longer meet the new customer expectations. Both customer and logistics service providers want to think pro-actively and want to anticipate late deliveries. 

Moreover, all supply chain actors demand for more transport visibility. This happens through frequent and accurate transport milestone messages and ETA updates. This Guideline aims to define a definition framework with transport milestone events and ETx updates. Once such milestone events are pre-defined and agreed to, transport tracking and performance measurement reports can be established to answer questions.

  • “Will the truck be late at the final leg to the customer because the delivery appointment of the former rail leg was late?”
  • “Should the LSP’s pre-notify each other?”
  • “When is a pre-notification to the final customer expected?”
  • “Can the end customer obtain a regular tracking trail explaining where the shipment is and when it is expected to arrive?”

Such a framework is an important precursor before companies start deploying individual telematics and truck/equipment tracking solutions. This forms the basis towards transport visibility, interoperability and real-time information exchange across all logistics actors. Besides a streamlined flow of communication, this standard framework will lead to optimization of inbound and outbound logistics. In conclusion, this will be beneficial to all actors in the chemical supply chain. 

Content of Transport Visibility Guideline

As the Logistic Service Providers (LSP) are at the center of this chain, ECTA took the lead to initiate an ECTA workgroup for this purpose.
This Guideline explains the benefits of such a milestone messages and ETx update framework and some of the faced challenges. Next, we map the door-to-door milestone events typically applied to multimodal bulk chemical product movements. In addition, it talkes about definitions from an end customer view and supplier view. 

The last chapter sets communication standards between all actors to ensure that a seamless, automated pre-notifications can be generated amongst all actors. Last but not least, it shares some example messages describing the technology connectivity standards most commonly used. This Best Practice Guideline wants to create a collaborative framework to serve chemical customers better. ECTA recommends to exchange pre-defined, validated milestone messages and ETx updates between all supply chain actors involved.