#BuiltWithHERE

How FreightHub Predicts Truck Delays

By Philip Braun | 27 September 2019

As a supply chain professional, one deals with a great amount of complexity and uncertainty on a daily basis. A lot can go awry when coordinating a multimodal transport between two continents with many stakeholders involved. When a shipment is delayed, it often entails a human and financial impact. Even when 95% of the transport has gone without any hiccups, the last mile can result in great delays, and it is often the least transparent part. FreightHub leverages technology to predict delays and drive on-time performance to above industry averages. 

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FreightHub implemented delay prediction for trucks 

FreightHub works with many partners for trucking and has built integrations which provide data about sea terminals, multimodal terminals and carriers. These integrations bring real-time data about events e.g. a container leaving a terminal. Our delay prediction product leverages these integrations to detect any delay for routes covered by trucks where data is provided in real time. 

To be able to detect a potential delay, we needed a way to estimate the travel time from one point to another, taking into account live traffic data and incidents on the calculated route. Our own system is capable of getting us transport plan data with high enough quality to be able to do this calculation. However we still needed a service which could calculate a route and travel time with multiple waypoints, taking into account live traffic status and truck profile among other parameters. 

After evaluating multiple providers we found all we need within one provider, HERE Technologies. We used the Fleet Telematics API for calculating routes and the Traffic API for getting incidents on the route.

For example, our delay prediction is triggered when we receive in real-time a timestamp from a partner. In this scenario, FreightHub requests HERE for the duration of the trip between the two waypoints and checks for a potential delay by comparing the new ETA provided by HERE with the provisional timestamp existing in the transport plan.

In this case, HERE can sometimes provide a reason for the delay: traffic, construction, accidents, etc. FreightHub includes the reason in the slack message to the ops manager.

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With the data we collect, we can conduct a more detailed analysis of the performance of our delay prediction, and leverage this information to further improve our algorithms.

HERE Technologies REST API usage implementation

HERE Technologies REST API is used in the example stated above. The delay prediction logic is triggered by receiving different events from our transport plan and other services, such as a shipment reaching a particular milestone or updated GPS location of truck.

When an actual event is received for some shipment, we first get the list of waypoints for calculating the route. After we have waypoints and waiting times, we then use HERE Technologies API to calculate the route to get a new ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival). HERE returns traffic incidents for a given route.

The response from HERE serves travel time and maneuver for all route legs. The service defines a route leg as the portion of a route between one waypoint and the next. What we call maneuver is basically all geolocations on the route from start to finish.

HERE API provides multiple alternative routes ordered by relevance, so in this moment we are presuming that route on position 0 is the route the truck will probably use. 

What’s next?

The roadmap for delay prediction is full of exciting topics and the potential for accuracy improvements is vast. We are continuously working on increasing coverage and decreasing latency for our customers.

We strongly believe technology combined with the know-how of our logistics experts helps us solve potential delays before they even occur – making FreightHub a proactive, innovative and reliable freight forwarder.

FreightHub is a digital freight forwarder which offers instant quotes & booking, real-time track & trace and supply chain analytics for your global air and sea freight. For more info please check www.freighthub.com/en