Federal, state, and local governments have begun to announce an end to their respective “stay home” orders. Most companies across the U.S. and Canada are taking a collective deep breath as they pull themselves off the proverbial mat and prepare to move towards a fully open economy. While there is good news in the immediate reduction and gradual elimination of all restrictions, the road to recovery will not be without its own challenges.
Among the variety of challenges companies will face as they ramp up their operations will be the impact that the pandemic has had on the transportation and logistics space. There will be both tactical issues to address and longer term strategies that will need to be developed to address the more permanent effects of COVID-19.
In this blog we capture a number of areas we anticipate will need to be addressed going forward as a result of the pandemic.
Flexible Capacity – The opinions on what that recovery will look like vary. However, a majority of economists weigh in on a “U” shaped recovery. The availability of truck capacity will be directly impacted by the pace of the recovery. There is ample capacity in the marketplace at the moment. However, that may not be the case in the months to come as companies reach pre-pandemic production levels and as carrier continue to reduce or eliminate capacity in the marketplace. Some important questions to answer: What are the strengths of our current capacity providers? Where are we exposed to potential capacity issues? Have we lost any capacity with my current carrier base? Where do we stand in terms of capacity commitments from my providers?
Shipper of Choice – There has been a lot of discussion on this topic in the past. What does it mean, how do you become one, and why is it important? Now more than ever, being a shipper of choice is critical so that your capacity providers seek you out and want to commit to the success of your business. Things such as driver friendly engagement, providing access to personal protection equipment, access to a driver specific restrooms, and waiting rooms are critically import to being a shipper of choice. With the advent of the pandemic, these amenities have become more of a challenge to offer due to social distancing and sanitizing requirements, but remain critical to the driver community. Some questions to answer: How do we create a driver friendly environment while maintaining compliance with any local, state, or federal requirements related to COVID-19? How can we facilitate a constructive and safe environment that supports both the safety and health of our employees as well as the critically important drivers that interact with us every day?
Localized Supply Chain – For a number of years, there has been a consistent movement called “Near-Shoring” where many U.S. based companies have moved production facilities out of Asia back to North America in an effort to reduce cost and shorten the supply chain. Covid-19 and an increased bias towards China due to the origin of the outbreak may lead to an increase in near shoring efforts by U.S. based companies. Some critical questions to answer: What impact could near shoring have on our supply chain. What opportunities do we have to localize our supply chain? What type of carrier capacity do we have that can support a change?
At CargoQuotes, we take an optimistic view point on the recovery ahead. While we don’t claim to have all the answers as to what lies ahead, we are confident that our team has the energy, experience, and solutions needed to handle today and tomorrow’s challenges. Regardless of the path out of the recovery one fact remains steady, the CargoQuotes team will be here to help our current and prospective customers navigate the road ahead. We would welcome the opportunity to learn about you and your company so that we might help you navigate the days and months ahead. Contact us today to learn more about what we are doing to help our customers through these challenging times and so we can learn how best to deliver that same value to you!