November 5, 2019

Why You Should Respond Now to the Future Challenges of Freight Management

Freight management is top of mind for many logistics and transportation managers. It’s for this reason that you need to understand the central issues surrounding the industry when it comes to freight management. If it seems like every aspect of the process is changing, you aren’t alone. Outdated systems, customer expectations, and strategy development are finding new ways to improve upon old systems.

The industry is changing rapidly

Still, your competitors are likely working with a flimsy supply chain, particularly in niche areas such as temperature-controlled industry. While legacy systems worked well in the past, they are now falling short in areas of data collection and analysis, data logging, and condition monitoring.

In this article, we are examining how companies get freight management wrong, the forces shaping the industry, tactical freight management techniques, and why hiring a freight management company may be the better alternative to go it alone.

Where companies go wrong with freight management

The reality is this: companies that manage a supply chain are often victims of the process. Everyone understands, on some level, that the freight aspect of supply chain management must be actively administered. However, changes are typically brought about in small doses and then abandoned altogether. The true magic of active supply chain management is seen over the course of time rather than in short-run gains.

It’s a problem as old as the concept of shipping. You get around the blind curve by looking ahead toward significant trends that shape the industry. When you know what to expect, you can plan your business accordingly.

Shaping the future of freight management

There is no secret that shippers are used to the fast-paced demands of logistics and freight management. Buyers of today expect to see their online order appear within the same day. They also want it without delay or cost to them. What is a company supposed to do?

Understanding long-run horizon shipping trends for the next year and beyond is a critical first step toward better freight management. Let’s shift our focus on the trends shaping the industry in unexpected and impactful ways. There is no time like the present to get started.

Fast delivery = "right now"

Customers have always expected expedited shipping. If you remember, we once shopped from catalogues that offered free shipping and a guarantee that your order would be there within 7-10 days. You can guess that is certainly a far cry from where we are now.

Now, companies are expected to fulfil the requirement to ship same-day or next-day for free. But here’s what’s interesting: the younger generations, chiefly millennials and gen z-ers, state that they are willing to pay more for premium shipping services. As you plan over the next few years, remember this concept. The only expectation is that you get the service right.

Final mile Is becoming the gold standard

File mile logistics is becoming easier and more complicated at the same time. Due to gig sites and contracting companies, shippers and freight managers can now contact a local person to handle the final mile aspect of delivery. This availability is particularly helpful since rural areas can be extremely expensive in terms of shipping costs. This makes it more cost-effective for both shipper and receiver.

However, final mile expectations are ramping up on the technology front. Customers now expect that companies are going to provide shipping updates in real-time, including estimated delivery time, driver location, and other details that are on the minds of those lying in wait. Modern freight companies must update their final mile technology systems to keep up with expectation.

Automation over dated systems and networks

You have likely heard the term automation. Moreover, you understand that you need to invest in it, but haven’t done so for one reason or another. The reality is that automation is taking over the industry, and companies who forgo the time and cost-saving strategies of this technology don’t stand a chance when it comes to competing with companies who do.

Customers favor the advantages of automation

Automation leverages technology to handle tasks that humans find repetitive. Instead of spending time on inputting data or hand calculating the numbers, automation can take your supply chain data, such as data logging, condition monitoring, data collection, and analysis. Then, it can provide you with insightful information on this data. Automation is particularly helpful for temperature-controlled industries, such as pharmaceutical, food, and beverage industries.

Looking ahead at the next section

So, now that you possess a comprehensive background of the trends shaping the industry, let’s take a look at some critical aspects of tactical freight management to assist you in bolstering the efficiency and efficacy of your supply chain.

Leveraging tactical freight management with business systems

As we learned in the previous section, tactical freight management is more than approach or philosophy; it’s become the lifeblood of freight management companies. But it’s smart. When you leverage the power of data within your internal environment, you may discover aspects of your supply chain that you never thought possible.

Major savings in tactical freight management

The biggest value of tactical freight management lies within its ability to save time and money, which is the entire point of supply chain management, aside from customer service and boosting revenue. Electing to take on this endeavour pays for itself in spades over the long-run.

How to deploy tactical freight management techniques

Obviously, if tactical freight management was easy, everyone would do it. Since the path to success isn’t clearly paved with neon lights and signs, we have to continue our education in freight and supply chain management efforts. Deploying your own tactical freight management techniques within your supply chain is not easy, but it’s not impossible with these tips:

  • Set measurable goals and monitor them
  • Implement business automation systems
  • Invest in final mile management tactics
  • Utilize your data to improve upon critical areas
  • Focus on customer and vendor services

While this preceding list is not exhaustive, it can help you gain an idea of where to begin looking. Do whatever it takes to prepare for the future, because the market shakeout of the future may shake you out. Tactical freight management can help you avoid this reality.

Hire a freight management company for their resources

If the supply chain is part of your operations, but you aren’t necessarily managing it as effectively as you should, then consider outsourcing this aspect of your business to a freight management company. After all, it is their area of expertise, which means they have the resources, systems, and manpower to consistently deliver your products or goods in a way that meets customer expectation.

Benefits of hiring a freight management company

There are numerous advantages to linking up with a third-party freight management company that can support your needs from both a technology and service standpoint. Selecting the right company means that your cost-savings are going to improve as well. If it goes in the opposite direction, run!

Additional benefits of hiring a tactical freight management company mean that you also have access to:

  • Greater capacity for storage and shipping
  • A wider reach for vendors
  • Lower shipping and freight costs
  • Better communication with customers and suppliers
  • Greater recordkeeping compliance
  • Enhanced customer service experiences

If you don’t have the capital to provide an outstanding freight management experience for both your customers and their receivers, the going with a freight management company can help you save a ton of money there as well. Don’t be too hesitant when it comes to third-party and final mile logistics providers. The investment can pay for itself ten-fold over the long-run horizon.

Final thoughts and considerations

Tactical supply chain management in the future and the future is now. While that sentiment may scare you, it’s not designed to come off that way. We are just trying to express the importance of managing your freight and supply chain before it becomes problematic later. And we are beginning to see warning signs that there are changes on the horizon. First, customer demands are changing. Second, automation and AI are assisting your competitors in outperforming those who don’t. Getting a handle on your supply chain using systems that are right for your industry is the most advantageous way to prepare beforehand. Heed our advice. You’ll be glad you did.

Elevate your supply chain with Logmore

Did you enjoy this article? We invite you to learn more about freight and supply chain management. You might want to check out The Importance of Data Logging for Online Pharmacies, or The Importance of Global Air Freight. These posts can provide you with additional insight.

If you are considering upgrading your logistics management game using technology that supports data logging, condition monitoring, data collection, and analysis, the Logmore team would love to get to know you more. You can book a meeting with us to discuss your options.