As the U.S. economy is growing it’s no secret that trucking capacity is strained and creating very strong freight demand. At the same time, the ongoing driver shortage and decreased productivity from ELDs is resulting in more loads than available trucks, and analysts expect tight capacity and higher costs to continue into 2019.
This is why shippers are looking for solutions to mitigate dynamic market conditions and keep their logistics operations running smoothly. Here are 5 ways shippers can successfully navigate the capacity crunch.
1. First Adopt TMS Technology soon
A web-based TMS (transportation management system), with a network of pre-qualified carriers, centralizes the freight procurement process and provides end-to-end visibility.
A TMS helps businesses make routing decisions by matching freight with the best carriers, lanes, rates and transit service. This technology helps shippers lower risk, optimize routes and increase service levels in all market conditions.
Business intelligence and predictive analytics tools within a TMS also help shippers make data-driven decisions that manage disruptions, reduce downtime and effectively plan and budget overall logistics spend.
2. Create the Best Leverage Carrier Relationships
By leveraging carrier relationships, 3PLs are able to align available freight to carriers’ preferred lanes and backhaul needs. Logistics service providers like DGL can identify opportunities that align with carriers’ networks and provide consistent volume to minimize empty moves.
3. Optimize Dedicated Capacity Networks
The best 3PLs like Dedicated Ground Logistics have relationships with a vast network of carriers and shippers and can align all types of shipper requests and schedules with carriers at contracted rates. Dedicated capacity provides consistent capacity for 3PLs that meets service, compliance and cost requirements for contracted or dedicated shipper business.
Dedicated capacity networks are mutually beneficial for carriers, shippers and 3PLs alike. Carriers maintain frequent volumes and alleviate 3PLs from sourcing spot-market capacity during market shifts; as a result, shippers see improved service levels for on-time pick-up and delivery.
4. Become a Shipper of Choice now
For the first time in many years, carrier providers are in a position to choose which shippers they work with, giving rise to the “shipper of choice” environment. Shippers who provide better experiences for carriers can reap long-term benefits in the form of higher service levels, fewer claims, and better rates. To become a shipper carriers want to work with, it’s important to run efficient and friendly dock operations, reduce driver wait times, provide comfortable breakroom and restroom accommodations, and pay carriers quickly and accurately.
5. Use Intermodal Solutions
Treat each shipment as a move, independent of the modes and vendors required to transport. With truckload capacity tight, using a variety of intermodal solutions, like combining rail with truckload and LTL, helps mitigate capacity challenges while reducing overall costs.
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