Reports from national and local media are buzzing about a growing backlog of orders for raw materials and finished goods, from energy to food and automobiles. Supply chain managers are under duress, with no easy solution in sight to fix capacity shortages caused by a global health pandemic, extreme weather events and labor deficiencies, among other factors.
The problem is becoming more serious than worrying about stock outs for popular consumer items during the peak holiday retail season.
Finger pointing has become widespread in government and industrial circles. Politicians are blaming opposing parties, and in the transportation industry, shippers and carriers are butting heads over pricing, lane commitments, loading or unloading delays, and what to do about the driver shortage.
A growing imbalance between demand and supply is causing volatile pricing in many freight sectors, which is reflected in the inflation rate increasing by 5.4% in September, year over year, as tracked by the Labor Department’s consumer price index (CPI).
In this moment of crisis, the finger pointing could go to extremes and sway public opinion to view certain people or organizations as enemies of the state. Is someone, or some country, purposely withholding information or resources to damage supply chains?
Putting conjecture aside, what people really want to know is what is the solution? And who will be part of that solution to keep the goods flowing and prices in check?
Bridging the shipper-carrier divide
Supply chains have many layers of complexity, but the way shippers and motor carriers do business often makes them their own worst “enemies of the freight.” Traditionally, each party uses siloed data, which may cause interpretation errors and communication gaps at important milestones in freight transactions.
Now, more than ever, supply chain partners are exploring new ways to root out inefficiencies and connect at a deeper level to solve supply chain challenges.
Both parties already have the same goals to control costs, meet service levels and reduce risks. By implementing some fundamental best practices and technologies, supply chain partners can remove data silos and bridge communication gaps to conduct freight transactions more efficiently.
Whenever the freight market is going through an up or down cycle, the terms “shipper of choice” or “carrier of choice” resurface. Definitions of these terms are evolving as the freight market becomes more interconnected. In today’s environment, shippers and carriers are using new technologies to align their objectives, bridge the communication gaps, and consistently execute to gain an edge.
Modern TMS platforms have new features that can provide both parties with greater transparency and connectivity to build relationships of trust. Some of these advancements can give shippers real-time visibility of capacity to know what is — or will be — available, when they need it. Likewise, carriers are getting real-time visibility of loads that match the freight in their networks to reward their customers with better rates.
Synergy exists between shippers and carriers when both parties have visibility to the same data in a shared TMS environment with a unified interface that automates functions like pricing, dispatching and shipment tracking.
Learn how the best connectivity tools work
Adrian Gonzalez, President of Adelante SCM, and host of Talking Logistics, will be addressing how connectivity and transparency can help shippers and carriers solve critical supply chain challenges in a webinar on Nov. 3 at 2 PM EST.
Gonzales will be discussing these topics with Chris Noble, Northeast Regional Account Manager at PCS Software, who has real-world examples of how carriers and shippers are using a unified TMS platform to conduct business intelligently and efficiently.
Attend this webinar to learn how modern tools can:
- Match loads and trucks without making phone calls, emails or going to load boards.
- Create a cohesive platform for shippers to connect directly with carriers.
- Give each party access to the same information, such as market rates, to enable faster and more intelligent freight decisions.
Missed the webinar? Listen to it on-demand here.