The pandemic has scrambled customer demand along with making times difficult for freight transportation and business shipping in North America. However, the distribution and logistics industry has stepped up in major ways as shipping increased drastically, both for consumers and businesses.
As your business is reopening, there are some actions to help shipping continue seamlessly as part of the new norm post-COVID.
Freight companies began to respond to the immediate crisis by creating safe workspaces, adjusting the size of the workforce to meet current demand, and providing humanitarian aid.
As the effects of COVID-19 continue to impact all of us throughout the country, the trucking industry commitment to allow all of us to get the items we need, whether we are families needing household essentials, or businesses working to keep operations running, or health care workers counting on critical medical supplies.
Trucking volumes have increased in 2020 compared to last year while railroad volumes have declined by 20 percent. Last-mile deliveries have seen significant increases, as ocean shipping is down by 25 percent.
Logistical difficulties caused by the coronavirus triggered a shutdown in international delivery. However, expedited shipping has an increased role within the shipping industry.
As a business it is time to rethink supply chain and logistics strategies, shipping is not slowing down and, in most cases, it is increasing. Here are some considerations that you will need to assess and actions to take to improve your revenue.
In order to create a cost-effective shipping strategy, you will need to look at your past shipment data and what your clients’ current and new needs are going to be. By evaluating and understanding what shipping methods will be increased or decreased may affect if you need to move to Full truckload (FTL), Less than Truckload (LTL), domestic or international expedited, and white-glove service.
As you are restarting operations, you must check with your suppliers. Check with your current vendors to determine their availability in the weeks and months ahead. Some may not be able to reopen or stay open at the same time as you. Others may not be able to guarantee timely delivery for the products or services you require. Stay in touch and up-to-date while also preparing for supply chain contingencies. This may be the time to reach out to new vendors.
You will need to evaluate your shipping carrier contracts and rates. Price fluctuations within the industry are common, post-COVID it may be more noticeable. There may be room to negotiate better rates, however, it is also important to make sure that there has not been a rate increase.
It might be in your best interest to look into working with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider. Not only do they have the knowledge of the most current pricing, but they have relationships with carriers that can get you the best pricing. 3PL companies are also staying on top of all the legalities and any new shipping regulations. PPLUS Global is a leader with the resources to help your company shine with your customers and get you the most cost-effective solutions.