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Maximize Your 3PL Relationship

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on Dec 23, 2020 5:58:23 AM

Today's consumers may be more demanding than ever. They know what they want, and moreover, they want it fast. Sometimes I wonder if they really need it that fast or is it simply the mindset of the new generation of consumer. In an extensive career in the expedited freight market I was surprised to find how many receivers were not in a hurry at all for the product that their suppliers spent triple the money to ship expedited. In fact, I rented a box truck and personally delivered a few skids to a major account after an unavoidable traffic accident sidelined the original truck. After a 5-hour white knuckle drive, I was told it would be a couple hours until they could unload me. Turned out, they were in no hurry at all. The takeaway from all this personal wisdom is to be certain of the consignees' requirements before panicking about production delays and transit times. When you’re sick you call a doctor, in a legal matter you consult a lawyer. The same expertise is just as beneficial when managing your supply chain. If you do not currently have a relationship with a 3PL, think about starting one. It's a tremendous resource, particularly in a time of need. If you do have a current 3PL relationship, here are some tips to make the best of that relationship.

Think Long-Term Commitment

Like in all relationships, when an organization and its 3PL both have committed to mutual success, challenges can be overcome and the relationship can blossom. Service failures are part of our business. When you consider the vast amount of freight that travels thousands of miles across this country every week one must expect it can’t all go right. The true measure of 3PL customer service is how we react to service failures. There are fire alarms daily. A short-term mindset only creates short-term solutions. Your 3PL is invested in the long-term success of your logistics operation, so you should be too. Work together to devise long-term strategies that will improve practices and result in mutual success.

KPI's; A Staple At Land Link Traffic Systems

Many years ago, the founder of Land-Link Traffic Systems Inc. stressed the following. “What does not get measured, does not get fixed”. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for any rational person to repudiate this thought-provoking statement and important underlying principle of business. Yet, many companies do just that. Most companies, in fact, do not have the proper measurements and KPIs in place necessary to drive intelligent business decisions and to serve as support to the policies that are relied upon to drive day to day business activities.

Do not be one of those companies. Land-Link can help you support your business and gain and maintain competitive advantage through effective performance measurements. 

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Topics: Supply Chain Management, Intermodal Freight, Reducing Freight Rates, Logistics Business, Maximizing Routing Efficiencies, 3D Printing, Logistics News, Industry Trends, Technology

Amazon Looking to Transform Empty Mall Space Into Fulfillment Centers

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on Aug 13, 2020 9:17:47 AM

One of the largest owners of shopping mall real estate in the United States, Simon Property Group, has been talking to Amazon about transforming its anchor department stores into Amazon distribution hubs, according to the Wall Street Journal. This sounds like good news for Amazon, property owners and local tax and employment opportunities. But is there a downside?

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Topics: Supply Chain Management, Intermodal Freight, Reducing Freight Rates, 3D Printing, Big Data

The Slow Opening of the Country.  How Will it Work.

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on May 21, 2020 8:19:57 AM

While health experts have expressed doubt of America's readiness to "open up" the economy, it is clear that elected representatives are putting the wheels in motion towards that end.

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Topics: Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics, Freight Bill Auditing, Transportation News, Maximizing Routing Efficiencies, 3D Printing, Logistics News, Industry Trends

Supply Chain Recovery Post Corona Virus.  Formulate Your Plan Now.

Posted by Land Link on May 14, 2020 9:51:11 AM

 

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Topics: Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics, Freight Bill Auditing, Transportation News, Logistics Business, Freight Bill Audit, Logistics News, Industry Trends

The New Normal in Retail Will Be Far From Normal

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on May 6, 2020 12:26:03 PM

As retailers struggle with re-opening strategies it’s clear the new normal will be something we have never experienced.  Consumers in many areas of the world have tightened their wallets and eliminated discretionary spending because of lost jobs, lower wages and uncertainty about how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last.

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Topics: Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics, Freight Bill Auditing, Transportation News, Logistics Business, Freight Bill Audit, Logistics News, Industry Trends

Corona Virus Accelerating Drone Applications

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on Apr 30, 2020 10:24:37 AM

If necessity is the mother of invention a worldwide pandemic is the mother of cutting through government red tape.  Vaccine approvals are basically getting rubber stamped and that’s a good thing.  Automated vehicles are ramping up in anticipation of increased demand in this new environment as well.  UPS will use drones to fill prescriptions for residents of The Villages in Florida, one of the country’s biggest retirement communities, amid a lock down to halt the corona virus.  The time-sensitive 

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Topics: Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics, Transportation News, Shipping News, Logistics News, Technology

Additive Manufacturing (3-D Printing) is Gaining Traction

Posted by Land Link on Apr 23, 2020 9:47:02 AM

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Topics: Supply Chain Management, Transportation News, 3D Printing, Logistics News

Leveraging Your Transportation Provider Relationship To Gain Market Share

Posted by Land Link on Feb 26, 2020 9:00:41 AM


It’s no secret, in any business relationship, that the easier the relationship between customer and provider the more smoothly things run. In a shipper/provider relationship this is particularly important. The intricacies of logistics can be very challenging given the nature of all the moving parts; desirability of lanes, pickup and delivery restrictions, equipment availability and all the issues that can happen on the way to a 1000 mile delivery.  We have discussed the importance of becoming a preferred shipper in previous blogs. The impact of carrier relations on your supply chain is more important now than ever. Several factors are putting pressure on carrier/shipper relationships and performance. Fluctuating fuel costs, capacity issues, driver shortages, and carriers that abruptly go out of business can all take a toll on a shipper’s ability to get the right products to the right customer within the right time frame. Take the time to make some manageable changes to your supply chain protocols to improve operations, moral and overall supply chain efficiency.

Some Easy Fixes

There needs to be a culture shift in vendor relations, particularly when it comes to carriers. Historically, truckers have been treated as second-class citizens when it comes to, for example, driver accommodation and respect for one’s time. A reasonably comfortable waiting area for the driver is an inexpensive and easily implemented enhancement to the driver experience. Minimizing loading time is also an easy, low cost, improvement to loading and unloading dock protocol. 

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Topics: Supply Chain Management, Logistics Business, Shipping News, Logistics News, Industry Trends

Fixing Our Country's Crumbling Infrastructure

Posted by Land Link on Jan 23, 2020 11:59:15 AM

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Topics: Supply Chain Management, Transportation News, Shipping News, Logistics News, Industry Trends

Major Trucking Company's Bankruptcy May Be the Tip of the Iceberg

Posted by Land Link on Dec 11, 2019 11:37:00 AM


Celadon Transport, a division of the Celadon group filed for bankruptcy protection this week just days after two former officials were charged in an accounting fraud scheme. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by the Indianapolis based Celadon Group left more than 3,000 drivers jobless and, in many cases, stranded drivers across the U.S. after their company gas cards were cancelled.  Another 500 administrative jobs are expected to be eliminated through the bankruptcy.

Celadon's former president and chief operating officer, William Meek, 39, and its former chief financial officer, Bobby Lee Peavler, 40, were indicted on conspiracy and other charges. They knew the value of a substantial portion of Celadon's trucks had declined and that many trucks had serious mechanical issues that made them unattractive to drivers, according to the indictment.

Earlier this year, Celadon agreed to pay $42.2 million to settle securities fraud allegations stemming from falsely reporting profits and assets. The company's stock was trading at less than 3 cents a share on Monday, down from a 52-week high of $2.83 last April 11. Celadon said it was the largest provider of international truckload services in North America, and its bankruptcy filing means 3,300 trucks and 10,000 trailers will stop rolling.

Among the big companies that failed in 2019 are New England Motor Freight, which employed more than 1,400 drivers. HVH Transportation, Falcon Transport and LME have all shuttered operations this year, too. Part of the problem, according to Donald Broughton, principal and managing partner of data firm Broughton Capital, is that spot pricing has dropped, which is hurtful to smaller companies that operate in the spot market instead of the contract market. Spot prices refer to shipping prices as they currently exist.

Trade tariffs, as well as slowdowns in a variety of markets, including housing and auto, contributed to the drop, Broughton had told FOX Business. He predicted companies would continue to fail into 2020 because of the weak pricing environment.

Additional pain for the industry could be coming next year in the form of labor laws designed to protect contracted workers from being misclassified. In California, for example, starting in January a law will go into effect that will make it harder for companies to classify workers as contractors, which the California Trucking Association has said could put 70,000 owner-operators in the state out of work. The group has sued to prevent the law from taking effect.

New Jersey is considering similar presumption-of-employment status legislation, which has caused alarm among the state’s trucking industry, as well.

What Shipper Can Do To Protect Shipments

The thousands of trucks stranded Celadon trucks likely have customers shipments onboard which will not be delivered anytime soon.  Getting that freight delivered will likely cost significantly more than the original rate.  The most damaging aspect of getting caught in a bankruptcy like this one is that thousands of customers supply chain has been significantly disrupted.

The best way to protect yourself against insolvent and even under achieving carriers is to vette them annually.  Review financial statements, credit ratings, customer experiences on social media and verifiable on time percentages.  Another option is to employ a 3rd party Logistics Firm to help with routing decisions.  At Land Link Traffic Systems carrier vetting is a standard procedure.  We take every precaution to route our customers freight with a financially healthy carrier with above average performance.

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Topics: Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics, Transportation News, Logistics Business, Shipping News, Logistics News, Industry Trends