Overcoming carrier data privacy concerns and the fear of ‘Big Brother’

Jun 7, 2021
Supply Chain
Innovation

As the bar for data privacy continues to be raised through increased consumer protections and regulation such as the GDPR, SaaS providers must design solutions with best practice data management built into a product’s foundations.

By connecting to a transportation visibility solution, stakeholders are able to share their data with their partners or clients to optimize operations with increased performance and lower costs. However, this creates the potential for data to be misused.

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In addition, many road-transportation carriers are family-owned businesses, passed down over generations. Some are immensely proud of their heritage and history of delivering excellent on-time delivery performance. The prospect of being monitored creates a sense of mistrust and can often be initially met with resistance and fear that this data could somehow be used against them.

Given that carriers are core partners for road transportation in logistics (used for 70% of worldwide freight movements), a carrier’s willingness to integrate with a real-time transportation visibility platform is paramount to accelerating ROI for a visibility project.

They want to know what the GPS data will be used for, where and how securely it will be stored, and whether it will eventually be deleted. Alleviating these concerns is a critical element of the onboarding process, as the implications for ongoing user adherence can be significant. Shippeo helps to alleviate carrier concerns by ensuring high standards and following best practices when managing data.

Best practices for managing data used by Shippeo:

  • Tracking is done on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis. Carriers are not monitored outside of their trips (i.e. monitored continuously) as this is effectively a privacy breach. Shippeo discloses when and where the tracking starts and ends to reassure carriers.
  • Shippeo complies with all applicable data management and privacy regulation. If you are operating in Europe, remember that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies fully to personal data processing. In particular, GDPR requires the implementation of a strong security policy to protect personal data. This implies that each party is only allowed to access data that is relevant to their own activities.
  • The recent decision by the EU’s Court of Justice invalidating the ‘EU-US Privacy Shield’ means that any data captured (of drivers’ location for example) within Europe must also be processed on servers on EU soil, meaning that any providers based outside of Europe must ensure they meet the new requirements or risk receiving significant fines.
  • Shippeo follows strict security protocols (for ex. ISO 27001) and is able to certify that the data you share with us, and store on its platform, is safe and properly managed. Another requirement for GDPR compliance is entering into a Data Processing Agreement (DPA) specifying each party’s obligations regarding personal data protection, before giving us the rights to access and process your data on your behalf.
  • Shippeo doesn’t offer freight matching or marketplace capabilities. These practices can create mistrust between the shipper and carriers, which can result in lower visibility platform adherence rates, which in turn impacts accuracy.
  • Finally, we explain our Terms of Use outlining how data will be shared and used by shippers and carriers. This clarifies things like whether the data can be used for benchmarking or research purposes, for example.


Why is data privacy especially challenging for LTL transportation?

LTL transportation can raise data privacy concerns since carriers are carrying goods for several customers in the same shipment. This results in carriers often opting not to share tracking data because:

  1. they do not want to disclose how they carry out their cross-docking operations and / or
  2. they want to prevent customers from seeing each other’s trips and milk run delivery stops.

It’s a hot topic for many carriers, and Shippeo is able to address their concerns by sharing their data responsibly by:

  • Creating custom integrations with a carrier’s TMS or telematics to receive location data only when it makes sense (e.g. when the truck is carrying out the leg concerning the customer)
  • Creating a privacy screen by hiding the position of the truck and only sharing the ETA
  • More generally, providing guidance and support throughout the process, having an open discussion and finding a tailored solution on a carrier by carrier basis

Obtaining reliable ETAs for LTL flows can also be challenging, as additional time is added at cross-docks and delivery sites for other customers. However Shippeo  improves ETA accuracy for multi-shipper LTL by:

  • Tailoring system integrations with carriers to obtain all trip details without disclosing other clients’ delivery stops to their customer
  • Incorporating the carrier’s own ETA into calculations
  • Using machine learning to detect LTL patterns

When it comes to tracking supply chain shipments, Shippeo’s real-time transportation visibility (RTTV) platform ensures 100% GDPR compliance when handling sensitive GPS data from your carriers, with data transfers and storage hosted only on European servers.

Unlike some providers, no tracking data is sold to other RTTV platforms, TMS or data aggregators and carrier GPS positions are only tracked when strictly necessary, starting 1 hour before a loading slot - not 50km before reaching a loading point.


Shippeo’s is also the only provider that offers a clear and secure data management framework for you and your carriers. For more information on how Shippeo manages data or to see a demo please feel free to get in touch with our team of specialists.

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