Great visit with Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) team to discuss how Riverside Logistics benefits from its membership. Thanks to Ann Reinke, CEO for visiting with her team to learn more about “Why” Riverside is a member of TIA. Also, received some good information from Matt Evans, Director of Marketing and Communications and Paul Leahy, Director of Membership on upcoming events to better serve its members. We are fortunate to have an advocate like TIA striving to better serve our membership.
It has been a year since supply chains were disrupted due to Covid-19. Yet businesses are still being challenged due to consistent disruptions to product supply and/or demand. Inventories have continued to climb on some commodities while others cannot be purchased at any price. Companies have ordered earlier only to have product delayed by stockouts or transportation interruptions. Economic realities of the constant shift are becoming the norm.
Challenges are ahead for business that are stuck in the market flux. Companies continue to look for regional and local solutions to supply problems they have traditionally solved offshore. Creating a regionally based supply chain can provide options for a market that is in flux. Flexible solutions for storage and distribution are the advantages of a third-party logistics (3PL) firm ensuring that you can change with market demand.
Leveraging Virginia’s vast range of transportation modes and modern highway network is one option to differentiate your supply chain. The Virginia transportation network offers cost advantages by being able to reach over 50% of the US population in one day. Virginia continues to rank #1 as the best state for business which offers significant growth opportunities for companies needing a presence in this region.
According to Keith Hamlett, President of Riverside Logistics, “A 3PL partner can provide expertise for clients facing these challenging issues in the supply chain by offering flexible ways to diversify or expand your supply chain.” Here is a list of value-add services provided by 3PL companies.
People – A 3PL has experienced staff with distribution solutions experience and can provide the appropriate personnel customized for your environment. They have training solutions in place to help speed this process. This ensures your supply chain will be in place quickly.
Warehouse Space Available – Experienced 3PL’s have warehouse space they can modify for your specific needs. Special certifications can be provided for food, pharmaceuticals, hazardous materials, or other unique markets. Usually, 3PL’s will have multiple locations offering flexible solutions for your product.
Transportation Solutions – An advantage of working with a 3PL company is they have a broad array of freight service options. Truckload, Less-than-Truckload (LTL), Small Package and container drayage are just a few of the modes that can be considered. Utilizing the right service can save you money.
Technology – Specialized software can be expensive to purchase and implement. Utilizing a 3PL’s Warehouse and Transportation Management systems to minimize your distribution costs is smart. Access to real time data such as orders, inventory status, competitive transportation rates and other metrics speeds information flow to you and your customers.
Supply Chain Strategies – Partnering with a 3PL can provide you with expertise and guidance to secure your supply chain and focus on your company’s goals – not just right now but for the future.
Expedited freight services are utilized by shippers to deliver goods to the customer on a specific date and sometimes at a specific time of day. Overall standard, non-expedited, transportation services have delivery accuracy rates that can range from a high of 98% to less than 50% on-time. This fluctuates based on overall industry capacity and individual carrier management.
The most common mode for expedited freight to move is by air. Freight is picked up and delivered by truck but ends up travelling most of the distance by plane. If possible, expedited freight can be driven in various types of equipment. Of course, the shipment must cross a drivable distance within your timeframe, so sending freight this way only makes sense for short distances (usually less than 500 miles).
The challenge with sending expedited freight by air charter or road is that it is more expensive than standard freight. Premiums can range anywhere from a 20% to 3 or 4 times the amount normally paid for a standard transit shipment. Shippers use this method only when it is necessary to maintain customer commitments.
There are six major industries that frequently utilize expedited freight companies for a variety of reasons.
- Medical Industry – Used when valuable devices cannot sit in the back of a freight vehicle for long periods of time.
- Pharmaceutical Industry – Advantageous for patients who rely on their medications for survival allowing them to receive them immediately.
- Manufacturing Industry – Meeting deadlines is often a challenge. If parts do not come in on time, projects can get delayed or whole operations can be shut down. Depending on the size of the operation those costs usually outweigh the cost of the expedited freight.
- E-commerce Industry – Retail stores are growing tremendously, and many of them offer their products online. Several big retailers also offer fast shipping options, including two days, overnight, or even same day delivery.
- Seasonal – This industry sells most of its products once a year in holiday-themed pop-up stores. With the help of an expedited shipping provider, business should not be running out of stock when customers are buying the most, which helps cut down on inventory costs.
- Perishable high value food – For expensive high value food products like Ahi Tuna, getting product across the world in hours instead of days ensures the food can be consumed within hours of receipt.
Expedited freight is used to make sure cargo gets to its location as soon as possible. It is important to consider the increased cost of expedited freight with the cost of not having the product at your location when it is needed. If you need this type of service reach out to us. Riverside Logistics can help match your needs with the best value expedited service.
Listening to the news the other day I was struck by the fact that there is a Cabinet Level position for Transportation, rather than for Supply Chain. Do not get me wrong, transportation is important, it provides time and place utility to everything. Whatever we make and consume is impacted by our transportation system. But why isn’t there a Secretary of Supply Chain, rather than a Secretary of Transportation? There is a difference. Supply Chain encompasses the entire spectrum of activities surrounding the movement of goods. We are talking storage, transportation, regulation, infrastructure, technology, and much more. Managing a supply chain in today’s world has become more important and more complicated than ever.
What is the Supply Chain? Let’s start with what it is not. It is not the demand for goods and services. It is not the manufacture or development of products, processes and services. What is it? It’s the manifestation of all the physical aspects of satisfying demand thru the physical movement and storage as well as the information flows, data accumulation, analysis, decision-making and use of this information to move, store, deliver, and pay for demand.
Economics revolves around the relationship of Supply and Demand. Supply Chain revolves around the components associated with Supply to support Demand. One fifth of the world’s economy is tied up in SUPPLY CHAIN activity. One fifth!! It’s important and impactful to just about everything and as trade continues to become more global, so does the supply chain.
Here is a current example of how important the supply chain can be. It also shows how many touch points and how many things need to go right, for it to function effectively. Riverside Logistics, as a third-party logistics company based in Richmond, Virginia, manages the distribution of goods for a number of companies in the medical supply business. In the current pandemic environment, these companies are manufacturing and selling the masks needed by everyone to protect themselves. These masks consist of materials that are sourced from many countries across the globe. These sources are tapped into to provide the raw materials to create masks. The paper, the fabrics, the elastic, etc. These materials are “sourced”, then “procured”, then “shipped” to a manufacturing location, then combined into a mask, then stored until ordered, then shipped, then delivered, then re-shipped, then purchased and finally (then) used by a consumer or end-user. Possibly, even sent into a reverse-logistics system and sent back somewhere for destruction or re-purposing. Is your head spinning yet? All the pieces of this process are part of a “chain” of events, with many moving parts, involving “supply”. Each link in the chain is a distinct and necessary piece of the overall creation of time and place utility relevant to the goods being made.
Obviously, the Supply Chain is important. How well it functions from a cost, service and capability standpoint determines the overall quality of the “Chain”. Usually the utility of the “chain” is derived from the tradeoff between cost and service. “When” and the “How Much” are key decision-making components considered in the Supply Chain. However, there are other equally important aspects to the chain. Their importance depends on the goods in question, their value, the time of year, the criticality of speed to market and many other important factors.
Supply Chains can be relatively simple or they can be quite complex. There are a myriad of rules, regulations and practices that revolve around executing a quality supply chain. That undertaking can be quite substantial. A third-party logistics company usually can provide services that improve your supply chain, because that is their area of expertise. They review many complex supply chains in whole or in part depending on the client, their business practices and the role where they can provide value. The key is to improve the supply chain and to provide a client with a competitive edge. Clearly a well-executed supply chain can have a substantive impact on the client’s ability to maintain a strong competitive posture in their business environment. You can make the best products in the world, but they have no value if you cannot get them to the end-user when they need them. Time and Place utility!!