This is probably one of the busiest times for every role player in the world of logistics. With the weather being irregular – including storms and hails, along with it being the festive season, capacity crunch is starting to dominate the industry. However, there are ways to better prepare so to continue thriving through the rush period.
Optimize routes and consolidate freight
The quickest way to move a product is having an optimized route so that should be a priority. Additionally, consolidating parcels and less-than-truckload shipments into full truckloads is a sure way of overcoming difficulties of a capacity crunch. A route-optimization software will preferably be needed as optimization requires a detailed analysis of the factors impacting the suggested lane or route. Another option would be to purchase or subscribe to a software-as-a-service that offers an all-in-one transportation management system.
Partner with an experienced 3PL
Trying to manage operations in-house or all on your own as a business can get very complicated and failure to meet any step could lead to a series of unfortunate events, making the capacity crunch seem impossible to survive. Partnering with a third-party logistics provider on the other hand can assist in easing the load and it can help you identify opportunities.
Expand your carrier options
The third way to thrive under pressure is to expand your carrier network. Waiting on your preferred carrier only wastes time while you could be benefiting from freight availability of all carriers. Having more carrier options also leads to potentially better contracts with existing carriers when it’s time to renew or renegotiate contracts.
Use technology that benefits your company
Implement new technology that automates shipping and benefits your company. Carriers give priority to shipments that require them to do less work when getting loads ready. That then enables you first choice and advantage of available capacity before your competitors.
Focus on service
The above-mentioned is only half a battle. The rest lies in making certain that technology pairs well with value-added services and other benefits to working with it. Focus on service and not just freight rates. This means that a carrier may offer the lowest rates and that’s a plus, however the important thing is how easy it is to use the technology. A system that doesn’t measure up to performance expectations will only lead to more costs.
Attract new talent
Your logistics team should also evolve to deal with the pressures of capacity crunch. Standard operations will fail to overcome challenges so there needs to be new staff taken on or retraining of the current personnel. Having a skilled workforce assists with the transition to new systems and procedures that save money and time. This will translate into savings for your customers and there will be less hassles for your carriers.
Pay and treat your drivers well
Drivers are important role players and are still needed even in sustainable practices. Failure to pay or treat drivers properly will result to industrial action or even resignations. Compensate them realistically and use the set market related salary as a guideline.
Step outside your shipping comfort zone
Shippers overtime get comfortable with a specific mode of shipping and such relaxation, known as shipping comfort zone, fails to endure a capacity crunch. Take a look at multimodal shipping options which often serve as pre-requisites to freight consolidation programs as well. Additionally, being open to trying new carriers and shipping modes will allow for access to potentially available shipping capacity.
Having increased fuel costs causes damage and contributes to even more capacity crunches. Going green eliminates this problem with sustainable practices in shipping processes. It also reduces costs and helps free capital for investing in other parts of your supply chain that may face higher freight rates.
Find out how to keep the supply chain synchronized too with these 5 Key Practices To Running A Synchronized Supply Chain!