If so, you are not alone. The recent disruption in supply chain due to Covid-19 has been challenging and well documented. Being able to ship product on demand is a basic business need. The challenge in today’s environment is lack of predictability. As Covid-19 cases increased, demand for food to restock grocery stores rose dramatically, while demand for food from restaurants and hotels slowed drastically. This shift is just one example of an extraordinary change in freight demand. As demand goes up, prices go up. As demand goes down, prices go down. When both are happening at the same time…it can be very challenging.
A third-party logistics company can help relieve some of this stress because of the volume of freight they handle and their close monitoring of truck capacity. This volume means they have strong relationships within the transportation industry and warehouse space at their disposal to help provide solutions that many transportation companies cannot offer. A strong 3PL team is dedicated to finding solutions for their customers often in unexpected ways. A 3PL can help “flatten the curve” of your freight cost and reduce the heartburn that comes with high price volatility. Below are a few specific ways a 3PL can help when your freight costs are going up and your demand for freight is changing rapidly.
- Local Delivery – 3PL’s have trucks running every day within a 150-mile radius of their location to serve multiple customers. By putting multiple clients product on one truck the cost is reduced for all. As a matter of fact, when more clients that have different products going to the same locations (Example: hospitals) everyone saves money and reliability increases.
- Dedicated Lanes – If a 3PL has a truck shipping freight from point A to point B for one client and finds another client who needs product shipped from point B to point A, then the 3PL can “match” the driver and truck with the loads. Everyone benefits from this relationship. More predictability, lower cost, and a knowledgeable and reliable driver who knows what you need and when you need it.
- Drayage – International shipments, whether exports or imports, can be difficult to time with respect to labor. A 3PL can help by not only picking up TEU’s (containers) from the port but they can either transport directly to your warehouse or client, or they can cross-dock the product (usually less than a week) at their warehouse to allow more time to find the lowest freight cost available. The Virginia Ports and the Richmond Marine Terminal are very attractive options because of their locations on the East Coast.
- Change in Mode – Another example of how freight costs have shifted dramatically is in the airlines. The cost of using passenger airlines to ship freight internationally has increased because the number of passenger flights has dropped substantially . Before, freight was added to flights that were frequent and reliable so capacity was available at a reasonable cost. Now, with so few flights, there is a significant decrease in freight capacity. Shipping internationally may require dedicated freight flights often with an expedited focus which comes at a much higher cost. How is this problem solved? Maybe with a shift in mode of transportation! Instead of Air freight maybe the shipment travels internationally by ship, or domestically by rail or truck. Obviously, timing can be a factor that needs to be taken into consideration. Low Air Freight may be a long way in the future but a 3PL company can help.
- Flexibility – A 3PL has many solutions to choose from to help lower your freight costs and offer cost savings from unexpected places. As you navigate the uncertain future cost of freight, it only makes sense to develop a partnership that focuses on reducing costs to help you navigate the challenges ahead.
Riverside Logistics is a third-party logistics and supply chain management company providing a full complement of third-party logistics, transportation and warehousing solutions.
Riverside Logistics serves the Medical, Food, Chemical, Paper and other mission critical industry sectors. Riverside Logistics has owner operator’s and dedicated lanes, with routes throughout Virginia, the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast. Riverside Logistics offers pooled distribution and consolidated delivery services throughout the 48 states that can save you money. They are headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. To contact Riverside Logistics for a quote call 1-804-474-7700 Option 4 or click here.