It can be extremely frustrating to have a shipment sitting on the dock because there is no way to move it. The transportation shortage is clogging the overall supply chain and how goods move across the country. The growing shipping delays are forcing consumers to seek a variety of avenues to get their goods delivered despite transportation shortages.
The issues fueling the transportation shortage are not new as it relates to shipping freight. The shortage of truck drivers has been one of the root problems. However, in the past year, the problem grew more intense as the global crunch to get goods delivered to consumers became increasingly more arduous. As the trucking industry worked hard during the pandemic to keep up with the demands, a few things stand out on the list of best practices as ways to deal with the growing transportation shortage.
Understanding the scope of the transportation shortage is key in handling the issue. In dealing with the overall transportation shortage, many factors come into play to add to the problem. The turnover rate of drivers has had the largest impact on the industry. There are simply not enough drivers to transport all the freight that needs to be shipped. Whether it’s truckload carriers struggling to recruit drivers, others losing longtime drivers to retirement, driver pay increases, not enough time at home and others leaving the field as rules of the road change, the impact is felt deeply in the industry.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a driver shortage of approximately 59,000 across the industry. The lack of drivers means the freight is not moving quickly, if at all. Additionally, over the past year the demand placed on the shipping industry to transport everything from food, toilet paper, face masks, and automotive parts are a small sampling of commodities that help in highlighting the transportation shortage. While the growing problem will not be solved overnight, there are steps that can be taken to help ease the burden of dealing with the transportation shortage to ensure goods reach the intended destination on time.
A problem that may inevitably result during a transportation shortage is shipping delays. No one wants to have freight miss important deadlines and risk losing revenue or deal with spoiled goods arriving. However, any time there is a glitch in the supply chain the impact is wide.
Handling the transportation shortage means finding ways to prevent shipping delays or at least reduce the time frame to still hit the delivery window. It can be an uphill battle.
While the ongoing transportation shortage is complex, the first key step is understanding the scope of the issue and how your efforts can overcome the challenges.
If you are a small business owner and need to discover a few ways to reduce shipping costs? Get a few tips from our post about how small businesses can reduce shipping costs.
Keeping up with the increasing cost of doing business means looking at every area to save revenue. Rising shipping costs such as fuel costs and driver salaries must be balanced with the price tag of supplies and other components used to produce goods. In the past year, many of these products have become difficult to restock store shelves or deliver promptly due to global shipping woes tied to international backups and domestic shifts. The shipper who takes a hard look at the bottom line upfront and makes early adjustments will weather the increases better.
Whether it’s a full truckload or LTL shipment, look for cost-saving options to balance out the shipping budget in coping with the challenges of the transportation shortage. For instance, if freight needs to be moved quickly, likely the best option is an expedited shipment which may be quoted higher depending on the commodity, destination and other requirements.
So how can you deal with transportation shortages? A key step to dealing with transportation shortages is to have a plan in advance to accommodate problems as they come up. During a tight market, shippers must plan ahead and remain flexible to avoid problems in dealing with transportation shortages. The capacity of freight may hit peaks and valleys as goods ramp back up in production following a slowdown. An unforeseen uptick in production may require allocating more time and resources to ship the load. On the other hand, delays of freight off the assembly line or harvested in the field will have an opposite impact so that will require pivoting to minimize the impact.
Something will inevitably need to be adjusted at the last minute, but that is where working with a plan can help identify trends early so adjustments can be made. If a longstanding consistent client is experiencing issues, working closely with them can help avoid problems when it is time to ship freight.
As a new customer calling in crisis mode without a shipping plan and looking for a reliable solution, it will be important to explain deadlines and other details so a plan can be strategized. This is where the transportation company will put their best listening skills to work to get a clear picture of what is needed and offer effective services. This is not the time to over-promote, but rather give realistic expectations and develop a trustworthy relationship.
So who makes the right transportation partner? Select a transportation partner who knows the industry and still continues to provide excellent service during the shortage. Companies like R+L Global Logistics have worked diligently to provide resources to customers to avoid the impact of the transportation shortage and shipping delays.
With the unparalleled level of service and a 99.5% on-time delivery rate, our team works with a dedicated network of trusted partners to keep supply chains moving with ease.
As an expert freight partner, R+L Global Logistics is capable of being your strategic transportation ally. There are many trucking companies and freight brokers available to shippers today, our goal is to provide excellent service and we accomplish this by working diligently in assisting shippers day in and day out. We don’t try to make customers fit a standard plan, but rather we remain flexible to customize our services.
Rest assured that when you reach out to us you’ll get a freight quote from a live, friendly agent with expertise in truckload shipping, LTL shipping, and other freight options.
Freight services offered by R+L Global Logistics include:
This vast array of freight services means that R+L Global Logistics can provide full-scale logistics services tailored to your business needs. We also have partners ready to help with customs clearance, cross-border freight, ocean freight, fulfillment and distribution, warehousing, and more. No operation is too large or too small for R+L Global Logistics, as our scalable solutions are right for almost any business.
Let R+L Global Logistics help handle transportation shortages with ease by using a variety of services to meet your shipping needs. Contact R+L Global Logistics by phone at (866) 353-7178 to obtain a freight quote. We’re ready to align our services to your business needs and build a strategic partnership to avoid a transportation shortage.