Here are some of the transportation and logistics moves that you may want to make during the fourth quarter to manage current challenges and start planning for 2023.
With the fourth quarter underway and the end of the year coming into view, it’s a great time to dust off your transportation and logistics plan and start implementing some year-end strategies. It’s also time to start planning out your strategies for 2023—if you haven’t done so already—knowing that the new year will present new challenges and opportunities that you’ll want to be prepared for.
Here are some year-end moves you can be making now to carry your company through the current quarter and help it prepare for 2023:
- Implement any last-minute peak season strategies now. Peak season is already underway as companies in many industry sectors secure the capacity they need to get goods delivered in anticipation of the holiday season. That means now is the time to ensure that your transportation and logistics strategies through the end of the year are in place and being executed on. Don’t wait until the last minute to make these moves during a period where demand is high and supply chain constraints are persisting.
- Get your labor in place, trained and ready to roll. With the unemployment rate hovering around 3.5%, job seekers have a lot of opportunities to choose from. This is especially true for warehousing and logistics workers, who are being recruited in the thousands by companies like Amazon. They alone are hiring 150,000 seasonal workers this year, according to CNN. One of its strategies includes raising hourly wages for warehouse and delivery workers, who can now earn $19 an hour (up from $18) based on the position and geographic location.
- Use technology to your advantage. Technology is the ultimate enabler for supply chain managers that want to streamline and simplify their end-to-end networks. “During the peak shipping season, you need every advantage you can get. For example, you can efficiently utilize a transportation management system (TMS) for your trucking fleet to optimize route planning and ensure efficient deliveries,” R2 Logistics points out. “You can also use other logistics technology to automate warehousing processes and inventory control, providing up-to-the-minute data on your entire operation.” IntelliTransTMS is the only SaaS-based transportation management system that provides shipment execution and visibility across rail, truck, intermodal, barge, and ocean shipments. With a TMS in place, companies can eliminate labor-intensive, time-consuming and error-prone business processes and get high levels of shipment visibility.
- Choose logistics providers that understand your business and provide high levels of visibility. The logistics industry has faced some difficult challenges over the last couple of years, but leading into 2022’s peak season, Pitney Bowes’ Gregg Zegras said many companies were building capacity and capability that was already showing up on the field with improved service performance. “To further improve the end delivery experience for consumers, consider logistic providers that have implemented automation and robotics to improve throughput and mitigate any potential labor shortages,” he told Supply Chain Dive. “Partner with logistics companies that support your brand. Have clear communication with end consumers about delivery – they would rather have bad news vs. surprises.”
Put your best “green” foot forward when planning for the year ahead. Supply chains will surely face increasing pressure to become more sustainable in 2023, so why not get started now? “Eco-friendliness is already an increasingly important buying decision for consumers, and as it grows, attention will turn to supply chain companies,” Global Trade Magazine points out. For example, scope 3 emissions—generated by outside sources like supply chain partners—often represent the majority of pollution in an organization. “Sustainability is an important goal, but achieving it will be a challenge,” the publication cautions. “Supply chain managers must start looking for areas to become more ecofriendly today to enable larger changes in the future. That could entail powering warehouses with renewable energy, using electric vehicles for last-mile deliveries or taking similar actions.”