The biggest challenges for transport companies!

The coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing response have transformed the everyday reality of transportation and trucking. While many workers are forced to stay at home, fleet-based drivers are considered an essential service by transport companies and continue to deliver goods across the country, albeit in a vastly different landscape.

Drivers are required to adhere to increased health standards while driving, and many of the measures taken to implement these new measures have resulted in higher costs for transport companies.

Companies have tried to minimize supply chain disruptions, but that doesn’t always result in on-time deliveries.

The coordination of the supply chain has become particularly challenging, as many of those involved now have to work from home and things do not always run as smoothly as desired.

Challenges for transport companies

Disruptions caused by Covid-19 are not the only challenge transport companies face. According to the 2019 Annual State of Logistics Report published by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, the logistics industry is at a new crossroads.

  • An increase in online sales has steadily pushed up trucking costs in recent years.
  • Apart from increasing transport costs, online selling has resulted in tighter delivery times. Many companies today are dealing with next-day deliveries, forcing them to streamline operations to meet customer demands.
  • One of the more complex issues facing the industry is an aging workforce. Many drivers are old and close to retirement, and they are difficult to replace because young people are not looking to break into the trucking industry.
  • Security is still an issue for companies. Strict rules and regulations keep drivers rested and safe to drive, but that doesn’t rule out accidents.

What should transport companies do to deal with this?

This may seem difficult, especially if your transport company is not well established, but they are surmountable.

How well you deal with it depends on how well you can organize your business and streamline processes. Some of the most reliable and efficient transport companies have taken some, if not all, of the following measures:

business process improvement

Logistics is a business with many moving parts, and the more cogs there are, the more complex the process becomes.

If you don’t keep a close eye on business processes, you reduce efficiency and it becomes difficult to get goods to different destinations on time.

As new opportunities arise, take advantage of a 3PL company to streamline operations. A 3PL, or Third Party Logistics, is a third party that acts as an extension of your business to cover weak links in your supply chain.

They handle process planning, strategy and delivery services to ensure you maximize efficiency and serve your customers and avoid delays.

Improved customer service

Online deliveries have changed the way logistics work. Today’s customer wants to be able to keep track of their orders and know where their items are throughout the shipping journey.

To serve online stores, you need to improve customer service and communication.

Not only do you need a well-trained and customer-aware workforce, you also need to invest in the right software and communications equipment. Everyone along the chain should be able to access and share information when they need it.

Good human resource management

Satisfied drivers make a good forwarding company. Government regulations clearly state what accommodations should be available to your employees, but they are not enough.

One of the biggest problems for fleet drivers is communication. Invest in equipment that allows them to get prompt instructions and report when they need help.

Finding a good 3PL company takes away a lot of human resources management – ​​they employ and manage their own drivers. However, one should take care of all the employees that you have in your company. Take steps to ensure you are aware of the issues they encounter when transporting goods.

Adopt the right technology

It’s expensive to have the latest and right technology, but it’s necessary if you want to improve efficiency, customer service, and overall customer satisfaction. A 3PL company can be very helpful in this because they already have working systems in place.

If you choose a 3approx Party logistics providers are looking into having electronic data interchange for communications, material handling software and technology, radio frequency scanning and GPS.

Improve fuel efficiency

Increased fuel costs often arise due to inefficient logistics processes. If your fuel bills are increasing every year, it may be worth checking the system. Find out where most fuel costs are coming from and assess if hiring a 3PL company can reduce your fuel expenses.

Staying ahead of these challenges can seem overwhelming, especially for small or medium-sized transport and logistics companies with limited budgets.

Luckily, a good 3PL company can help. They are armed with the right systems and strategies to help transportation companies meet customer demands while remaining profitable.

Transport company articles and permission for publication here provided by Lasse Pettersen. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on April 1st, 2021.

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