A number of variables are at play when it comes to delays in getting goods to market, but the warehouse supply chain crunch is one that's perhaps snuck under the radar. With material and labor shortages, shipping container backlogs and more, a lack of warehouse space doesn't always make the top 10 list of reasons for supply chain issues. Warehousing capacity, though, is a necessary link in the chain. And with that space dwindling, it's another obstacle for those in freight and logistics to overcome.
Ports are a major link on the supply chain which continue to account for a number of hangups - and corresponding port charges are a part of the issue. When all is said and done, a shipper - or someone - is responsible for paying a variety of port charges when moving product inland through the ports. There are no shortage of potential port fees to navigate when things are complication-free. But in an especially complication-full environment, it's important to factor in all areas, including traditional port dues, demurrage, detention, TMF, and more.
Everything you need to know about domestic intermodal and how to be successful implementing it into your logistics strategy. Gives tips, tricks and insights on intermodal and what to watch out for when converting from truckload to intermodal.
A key part of a successful logistics strategy involves the ability to measure logistics performance. After all, if you don't know how well what you're doing is working, then you could be unwittingly investing in a losing strategy in perpetuity. But the typical standards for success in normal times require a bit of adjustment during ongoing supply chain stress. So let's go over just what those logistics KPIs (key performance indicators) are, and how to view them today.
The holiday season is in full swing, for Christmas shoppers and - for our purposes - those involved in freight and logistics. As hectic as this time of year can be - especially this year - it's important to step back and smell the roses (or evergreens - if you can get your hands on one). That's why we're sharing a special twist on a holiday classic. Feel free to make it a new tradition at your holiday gatherings. Enjoy our freight and logistics Christmas poem...
With the many supply chain issues facing freight and logistics today, it can be hard for businesses to see the forest for the trees. But in uncertain times, the certainty of a long-term strategy is even more important. While developing such a plan is tough for many businesses, making it a 3PL strategy (third-party logistics strategy) takes the burdensome part away. The shipper working with the right 3PL provider gets the best of both worlds, a coherent long-term vision, and responsive service when unexpected needs arise.
The advantage of transloading in today's supply chain cannot be limited to singular form. In fact, the benefits of transloading - put simply, the transfer of goods from one transportation mode to another (and often from one container to another) - can include cost savings, improved flexibility, faster shipping and more. With the caveat that every case has its own particularities, let's go over some of the general advantages of transloading: Faster customer transit times While the act of transloading does take time (think one to three days), by not limiting to one particular mode of transport, transloading allows you to take advantage of the various forms of freight transportation available to choose the fastest possible combination for your needs. Speed is also improved by other transloading efficiencies when well-planned. Flexibility for better product positioning Particularly for maritime freight, since it stops at a port for staging ahead of its next move, a shipper can shift the load based on current needs. So if a product is out of stock in one region and plentiful in another, the shipper can reprioritize the destination of the load. Distribution Center Optimization In some cases, you may not need distribution centers (aka DCs) at all, as you can group goods while transloading and ship them straight to their final destination. If DCs are still needed, at the very least, additional steps can be removed by performing a series of value-added services at the time of transload. Ability to reach more destinations This may seem obvious, but don't forget that transloading gives you options to use whichever combination of freight transportation options is best to reach a given destination. With these combinations, it also means loads can reach just about anywhere. Save container inventory, and cost Steamships are placing a premium on their maritime freight containers, with costs rising exponentially throughout 2021 partly due to supply and demand issues. By transloading at the port, you're using that container less than if it continued on over land, therefore you're paying a bit less. And as an added benefit, the container is returned to circulation faster for the next shipment. And with all the above-listed benefits out of the way, you're probably thinking, "how much?" Read on to see more about how cost factors in.
Freight and logistics is a high-stakes game for shipper/receivers and truckers who carry the freight - perhaps more than ever with supply chain stresses. As InTek President Shelli Austin says, it can feel like a logistics tug-of-war! But that doesn't mean it needs to be contentious between all parties. A simple Google search will show a variety of tips for trucker etiquette at the docks, but there's not too much guidance out there for shipper/receiver etiquette. So we thought we'd offer a few tips from our experience that shipper/receivers can follow to make life easier for those transporting loads - and themselves.
Chilly temperatures are the norm in much of North America when December rolls around, and for shippers, that change in weather means an added challenge for some goods: How to protect freight from freezing. Goods that can be affected include the obvious - beverages like soda, juice, beer and other liquids can expand, and cause packaging to burst. But also affected are the the not so obvious dry items like coffee, makeup, and batteries - all of which can suffer damage that makes them unusable. While that prospect sounds scary, proper planning can protect freight from freezing this winter whether you're shipping full truckload, LTL (less than truckload), or intermodal.
Labor shortages can impact the economy in a variety of ways, including delivering a tangible effect to shipping times. Supply chain delays have been a big story throughout the pandemic. And in the midst of a generally recovering economy, a variety of industries are dealing with ongoing labor shortages which have also gained notice. Freight and logistics hasn't escaped this trend, making it a major culprit in shipping delays.
Black Friday has traditionally signaled the beginning of the holiday shopping season. In 2021 though, those who've been paying attention to the news have gotten a head start. Retail supply chain concerns have led to warnings that Sally's favorite toy or Papa's new tablet may not be available to those who wait. Companies looking to get their products on the shelves most certainly needed a head start this year due to several factors slowing down the supply chain. But is there still hope as December approaches?