While wintry weather can make a mess of your supply chain logistics, proper planning can help you stay ahead of sudden seasonal shifts.
Heavy snowfall, icy roads, and other winter weather hazards can lead to shipment delays, shortages, and other supply chain nightmares. Delayed deliveries, driver shortages, and even road closings plague many businesses during the cold winter months. But by putting the right strategy in place, you won’t feel helpless. With proper knowledge, planning, and teamwork throughout your organization and network, you can minimize the effect of winter’s wrath and keep your customers and vendors in high spirits. Discuss winter plans with your supply chain logistics management team in Arkansas and consider the following tips.
Don’t Time the Market
While it’s smart to compare vendor rates and find the best deal, trying to time the freight market during the winter months is a slippery slope. The best price doesn’t guarantee the best service or the best alignment with the rest of your supply chain. Instead, conduct an annual audit of your current supply chain logistics management practices. By comparing rates, reliability, and compatibility at the same time every year, you can better structure your networks for long term, low-risk pricing and hedge your business against winter holdups.
Balance Cost with Performance
Working with the same carriers has advantages in stability and savings. However, it doesn’t hurt to look into new logistics or freight shipping providers near your base of operation. Examine how much freight your current vendors are transporting. Can they handle additional freight if your business grows? How often do they deliver on time? You may find that another carrier can deliver better results, but be prepared to pay higher rates.
Keep an Eye on Market Changes
Truckload capacity varies from month to month, and the winter months often see large fluctuations. Keep an eye on market shifts to anticipate potential capacity shortages and their effect on freight transportation costs.
Build Positive Relationships with Your Vendors
A supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Problems between shippers and receivers can also impact carriers and leave your present and future shipments in jeopardy. Keep all parties in the loop and strive to build camaraderie and trust all around. Winter is already a trying time, and you’ll want to have people ready to face its challenges as a team.
Work with Experienced Freight Transportation Experts
Experienced freight transportation companies know how to navigate winter weather and adapt to unexpected changes. They’re able to adjust volumes at a moment’s notice, change routes quickly to minimize delays, and dispatch as many drivers at it takes to ensure your deliveries arrive on time.
Prepare for Shipment Delays
Snow and ice aren’t the only issues that can delay deliveries. High order volumes, holiday traffic, and hours of service restrictions may prevent truck drivers from driving on days you need them. Be flexible and accommodating, and plan your shipping dates as early as possible with your transportation partner.
Make Sure Everyone Is On the Same Page
Constant communication can help your organization and your vendors respond to winter delays. Explain potential issues to your managers and salespeople and outline your plans for operating at a reasonable capacity. You might make arrangements to ship orders a few days earlier to beat an approaching storm. Perhaps you want to shuffle your inventory across warehouses to hedge against rising freight costs. The more people who are informed and ready to respond, the better.
If your organization looking for reliable freight transportation and needing to improve your supply chain logistics management, contact RCX Solutions at 866-336-9697. We can deliver quality, personalized solutions that fit your needs and help you stay a step ahead of winter weather.