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While the pandemic shook up the logistics industry, we have an opportunity to use some old and new strategies and tools to significantly improve logistics operations and reduce costs.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought new challenges to the supply chain industry – compounding its already volatile nature. Years later, supply chains are still trying to rebound from the lingering effects of the pandemic, the disruptions caused by conflict areas, supply shortages, and the economic slowdown in the US.
To adapt, logistics companies have found new strategies to keep goods moving and bring innovation to supply chains, including using land transport in combination with air and ocean freight to boost the overall efficiency and deliver for customers.How to Boost Efficiency and Streamline Land Transport in the Logistics Industry: Strategies and tools to improve logistics performance and minimize costs… Click To Tweet
There are plenty of challenges in land transport, however. Labor shortages, rising fuel costs, and limited cargo capacity need to be taken into account to streamline land transport and boost efficiency.
Land Transport in the Supply Chain Today
The widespread shutdowns during the pandemic caused a massive shift from shopping in stores to ecommerce. Combined with an economic upturn, consumers bought goods in high quantities, straining warehouses all over the world and putting added burden on transportation channels.
Forced to adapt, logistics providers began offering courier services, less-than-truckload (LTL) services, and other services to meet demand. Innovative technologies like web-based logistics and automation helped logistics providers thrive as the market became more and more volatile.
Though the economy has changed and the world returned to the new normal following the pandemic, online shopping stayed. Transportation providers still need to find new solutions to deliver goods and value to the customer while continually improving the speed and quality of their services.
Here are some of the ways logistics providers are keeping things moving on land.
Real-time tracking and visibility are a virtual necessity in modern logistics. Providers can accurately track and trace their goods as they flow from suppliers and manufacturers to warehouses and storage hubs to the end customer. Radio frequency identification (RFID) and GPS tracking can be used to strategize, schedule, and continuously monitor the logistics process at every point in the route. Providers can also check on the status of a shipment, raw materials information, regulatory details, and other important information to avoid delayed shipments and lost revenue.
Route planning and optimization are key for keeping transportation costs low and optimizing the fuel usage to offset high costs, all while delivering products quickly. Tailored software solutions can provide the most efficient routes according to distance, traffic conditions, and delivery windows to reduce downtime and avoid traffic backups and detours that can dramatically affect delivery windows.
Shipments that don’t take up all the available capacity are inefficient, but they’re common in supply chains. Consolidating shipping into less-than-container load (LCL) or less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping combines these partial shipments from multiple shipping providers into one full container to maximize capacity and reduce waste.Tactic #3: Boost efficiency in logistics by leveraging shipment consolidation…. Click To Tweet
Consolidated shipments have benefits for the shipper and end customer as well. Businesses can consolidate smaller shipments or high frequency shipments to get an entire truckload at a bulk rate, even if goods are stored in multiple locations, and reduce their costs without any extra delays. Partnering with an experienced logistics provider can help with shipment consolidation and ensure that shippers are making the most of your freight load and business needs.
Data analytics and predictive modeling can provide key insights into road freight operations based on historical and real-time data and patterns. The model uses a wealth of information to forecast demand to develop an optimized solution to minimize any possible disruptions and reduce their effects.
AI and IoT can help to improve processes by eliminating errors and improving efficiency, both of which reduce delays and lost profits. Automation allows providers to optimize their supply chain according to volatile market conditions and adapt to those changes more quickly.
Warehouse operations are a key part of road freight efficiency. Optimized storage layouts and warehouse management systems work to streamline fulfillment processes, minimize inventory holding costs, and reduce handling time.
Tools like automated material handling systems and barcode scanning systems also improve operational efficiency and organization by preventing unnecessary delays in the process and streamlining order fulfillment.
Increased supply chain demands and ongoing disruptions from the pandemic have created a truck shortage that is still in play and likely will be for some time to come. Keeping a working fleet is essential to efficient land transport, particularly with trucks and space being in high demand.Tactic #6: Boost efficiency in your logistics with proactive maintenance and repairs. Here's how… Click To Tweet
One of the best ways to reduce downtime and prevent unexpected disruptions is with proactive maintenance and repairs. Taking care of the fleet also extends the longevity of vehicles and protects a major business investment. Logistics providers can plan inspections, repairs, and maintenance work to rotate trucks, avoid repairs during busy periods, and improve overall reliability.
The last mile of deliveries is often the most expensive aspect of the whole delivery route. Logistics providers are tasked with reducing last-mile delivery costs and making deliveries on time to ensure customers are satisfied – particularly for urgent shipments. Small shipments make this more challenging as ecommerce companies feel increasing pressure to offer Next Day Delivery or Same Day Delivery to compete with larger brands.
Route planning and optimization can help with efficient last-minute delivery according to time, distance, and cost, accounting for all possible bottlenecks and delays. Route optimization can take into account delivery windows, current traffic conditions, load capacity, and other factors that can impact the last mile.
Intermodal logistics can help with shipping, particularly when shortages or bottlenecks create major barriers in the global supply chain. This strategy combines multiple transportation modes to ensure on-time delivery, including railway and land transport, without the costs skyrocketing.
Integrating multiple transportation options with rail, road, air, and ocean transport using intermodal logistics creates optimal agility to adapt to ongoing disruptions while optimizing the use of resources and minimizing the environmental footprint.
Road freight efficiency is a crucial part of a well-oiled supply chain, particularly with ongoing industry disruptions. Investing in technology, planning ahead with proactive maintenance and route optimization, and using innovative solutions like intermodal logistics can improve land transport to deliver for customers.
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- How to Boost Efficiency and Streamline Land Transport in the Logistics Industry - November 30, 2023