We are living in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted every person and business in the United States. According to the New York Times, “at least 316 million people in at least 42 states, three counties, nine cities, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are being urged to stay home.” In a matter of weeks, we have been forced to adapt to a “new normal,“ and shippers are no different. Many of the shippers we partner with at Dynamic Logistix are considered essential businesses, which means that they must find a way to adapt quickly and still deliver service to their end customers.
So, what are shippers facing? In many cases, they are seeing rapidly increasing order volumes, as well as quickly cancelled orders. They are also being asked to fit their deliveries in ever-tightening windows, and sometimes learning that delivery locations are closed when their carriers arrive at the scheduled time. Another challenge is adapting to managing their logistics operations remotely. While, there is no silver bullet in this environment, our Dynamic Logistix experts weighed in on how shippers can adjust to meet the demands of the volatile market.
HOW CAN SHIPPERS ADJUST?
#1 – Be Flexible:
The rapidly changing market will require you to adapt quickly. Delivery locations may be open today and closed tomorrow. Understand that changes will happen, work with your team, on how to rebuild loads quickly, so you can add more orders on shipments to reduce your overall spend.
#2 – Communicate with Partners:
Whether you work with brokers, a 3PL, or have relationships directly with carriers, talk early and often about how your business is shifting. most likely your partners' business models and capabilities are changing as well. There are things that will happen that is outside of everyone’s control. An open line of communication will allow your partners to work with you on solutions. You don’t have to tackle this by yourself.
#3 – Evaluate Current Lane Assignments:
Analyze your lanes and identify ones that can be serviced by one or two of your best carriers. Increased volume is your most effective bargaining chip for negotiating better rates. Carriers will appreciate improved stability, as will you. It’s a win / win.
#4 – Analyze Ongoing Costs:
Creating a historical view of your last two-to-four weeks work of data will allow you to identify spikes and be mindful of this going forward.
#5 – Adapt to a Remote World:
If you rely heavily on Excel Spreadsheets for creating your loads, consider SharePoint or Google Drive. These tools allow you to securely share, edit and collaborate on your documents. Many companies are also taking this time to begin investigating Cloud-Based Transportation Management Systems, which manages all aspects of your shipping process and leverages the web.
As of today, stay at home orders are expected be lifted in the next 30 – 60 days, but experts are predicting 12 – 18 months before things return to how it was before COVID-19. Unfortunately, this means companies need to change their operating procedures to stay fiscally afloat. Shippers that adapt, will be able to weather the storm, and come out on the other side stronger than before.
At Dynamic Logistix we provide CERTAINTY in a time of uncertainty. Our Tier 1 TMS program includes a leading Cloud-Based TMS that streamlines freight logistics from order entry, load building, route optimization, and carrier selection. We offer our clients 24/7 visibility, ERP integration, freight audit and pay, business intelligence reporting, and dedicated account managers. Dynamic Logistix is eager to help you company save money and time. Click here to schedule a complimentary process review with our logistics team.