LTL Carriers Can Use Full Trailer Visibility to Grow Margins—From the Inside Out

By Carolina Ruiz • Published September 13, 2022 • 4 minute read

High fuel prices, empty miles, escalating theft and defenseless cargo claims are among the most pressing challenges in today’s operating environment. The lack of visibility inside trailers is a common thread for guesswork that causes fleets to make costly mistakes and waste time and resources for drivers, dispatchers and customers.

Having total visibility into trailers is especially important for less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers who must navigate complicated pricing systems. Because they sell “space” in a trailer, LTL carriers need accurate, timely data about available capacity to make instant shipment planning and routing decisions to maximize profitability.

Unused trailer capacity occurs when dispatchers lack full visibility into remaining trailer space, which results in lost revenue and extra cost. Without visibility, it can seem next to impossible to plan and execute operational strategies to better utilize equipment and driver time. That’s all changing, however, thanks to advancements in AI-powered systems.

Benefits of Modern AI-powered Systems

AI-powered ‘smart’ camera systems that capture high-definition images and volumetric data can provide LTL carriers with greater visibility that enables them to operate smarter in multiple ways.

These modern systems provide real-time data regarding the percentage of trailer fullness, cube space, and remaining floor space, so there’s absolutely no guesswork when it comes to remaining space available to sell. LTL carriers also can increase asset productivity with location-based triggers that capture cargo images – high-resolution images into the entire trailer – at key moments, such as door events, arrival and departures from customer sites, and more.

Access to both cargo images and volumetric data help fleets evaluate trailer space utilization in real-time and over time, allowing dispatchers to make intelligent decisions to adjust plans to increase space utilization and grow the business — and that’s not all.

For LTL fleets, total trailer visibility also provides:

  • Reduced guesswork: Without using an intelligent cargo sensor, fleets rely on customers, drivers, and people at remote sites to report if trailers are loaded or unloaded. Now, with high-res cargo images, dispatchers can more easily coordinate with drivers and more efficiently use drivers’ available time because they know how much space is truly available in each trailer.
  • Increased capacity: Without seeing inside trailers, fleets are using more drivers and equipment than necessary in pickup, linehaul, and delivery operations. With the right system – one that utilizes resources to their full capacity – LTL fleets can haul more with less equipment and drivers.
  • Maximized revenue and margins: Unused trailer space is not just lost revenue for LTL fleets; extra fuel makes an impact as well. With AI-powered visibility, carriers can fill empty space and create more fuel-efficient routes to save on fuel costs.

In Action: How It Works

SkyCamera powered by Compology installs easily and quickly in trailers. The system intelligently scans the full length of trailers to precisely calculate the percentage of cargo volume and floor space used and available. It also captures clear, verifiable images of cargo at key moments. This location-based cargo and asset intelligence makes it easy to add pickups and deliveries to routes, optimally match equipment with loads, and haul more freight with less equipment and fuel.

Cargo images captured by SkyCamera are securely transmitted via Bluetooth to the SkyBitz Kinnect telematics platform, a mobile gateway, which communicates with the SkyBitz InSight web portal and with carrier TMS platforms using real-time APIs. The SkyCamera platform also uses AI-powered software in the cloud that calculates the volumetric data and measures precisely how much capacity is utilized and available so that LTL fleets can make smarter load decisions.

For LTL fleets, there’s a smarter way to optimize fleet capacity and profitability—it starts by working from the inside out, all with support from AI-powered smart cameras. Download this guide to learn more.