The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the global supply chain. With companies spanning the globe struggling to put out enough products to meet demands, shipping companies already under strain have found it nearly impossible to keep up with demand. This has resulted in a bottleneck of ships waiting to dock in port cities, and even when shipments are received, there is a very real lack of drivers in the United States, which slows the movement of goods even further. With a damaged supply and the further demand for products during the holidays, businesses in nearly every industry are suffering and looking for various ways to send out as much product to customers as possible.
At this point, there isn’t a ton that can be done to correct the buckling supply chain, at least on a global scale. Instead, your company needs to focus on what it can control. This is the best way for your company to do its best to prevent further issues in supply chain management.
It will take some time for the global supply chain to right itself. It’s not something that can be quickly smoothed out. Instead, it likely will take months, if not years, to fully return to pre-COVID normalcy. There are only so many ships that can go out for international transit, and docks can only off-load these ships so quickly. In most cases, speeding up the loading and off-loading is either not a possibility at all, or it increases the chance for human error and becomes dangerous.
The most immediate concern that can be addressed here in the United States is the situation with drivers. There is a growing lack of commercial drivers in the United States. This has been a problem brewing under the surface, and COVID caused it to boil over.
Fewer young professionals are moving into the world of commercial driving, while many other drivers did not return following the COVID lockdown. It has become more expensive for private drivers to function on their own, especially with some states around the country making it next to impossible to work as a freelance commercial driver (the AB-5 law in California sidelined many California commercial drivers for months, until the state government corrected some of the problems with the freelancing law, yet issues remain in other states, making it difficult for anyone that wants to take on jobs independently).
Commercial trucking companies have increased pay and benefits to lure more professionals into the fold, but it will take time for professionals new to the world of commercial driving to obtain enough experience to handle certain driving gigs. This will take months if not longer, to correct.
With all of the issues in supply chain management, what can you and your business do in the here and now? None of the major problems will be fixed this holiday season. So instead, you need to focus on what your business does and how it does it, including supply chain management.
Now more than ever, you need to optimize your side of the supply chain. This means taking control of how you prepare orders and send them out. It will impact how you bundle different orders in the same outgoing shipment to better reach the varying customers ordering your product. By better preparing your business and analyzing shipment needs, you can alter how you’re sending out products. You can also adjust how you manufacture goods as well. If you heavily rely on importing products, supply chain management lets you see what material is coming in and when. It then will indicate how to best utilize the material you do have to maximize production as well.
Real-time optimization makes it easier to find slack in the supply chain that you can take advantage of. You don’t want to leave loose ends when the supply chain is so backed up right now. Instead, it is especially important to turn over every stone and maximize everything at your disposal. Optimized supply chain management helps you do this.
It’s never too late to begin optimizing your real-time supply chain management system. If you begin today, you can have it up and running during the holidays. So, while you cannot alter what material you have coming to you from overseas, nor are you able to alter the shipping problem currently taking place in the United States, you can boost your productivity to maximum efficiency. In the end, until the other problems in the supply chain are solved, this is the most you can do for your business and your customers.
To find out how to best integrate supply chain management into your business, RJS Logistics can help. The logistics and shipping service provider will work with you in implementing new tactics that will help maximize company logistical productivity.
The best way to improve shipping, not only during the holiday season but beyond, is to optimize the elements you have control over. You can’t dictate how soon products come in from overseas, and you may not always be able to work with a full deck of drivers. However, you can improve how you produce a product, ship it out, and where the shipments go. With optimized supply chain management, you’ll be able to do everything in your power to put your product in the hands of customers in need. If you want to learn more about supply chain management, how to take advantage of it, and how to integrate it into the shipping portion of your business, RJS Logistics can help. All you need to do is contact them today. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be able to start optimizing your business.