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2013 North America Logistics Outlook
2013 North America Logistics Outlook
There are fewer and fewer over the road drivers as they simply do not make enough money to make it worth their while. Why would they be gone for weeks at a time, when they can be home every night for the same pay? This causes the over the road market to fluctuate greatly.
How do you know the market? How do you get the best rates? How do you source trucks consistently? With the help of a logistics company. We know the markets, the timing and how to find the available capacity. The drivers tend to gravitate to where the pay is and where the freight is.
Produce season is up and coming. Watch capacity disappear this Spring, starting in Florida and moving North through June. Then we will see a lull before peak season begins.
From September through December, an increase in imports from Asia will cause truck availability to dwindle. Throw in a hurricane or natural disaster and capacity will be affected further. The bottom line is knowing how to source the trucks in order to give clients consistent capacity. The job of a logistics provider is to know when, where and how to find the trucks so that the supply chain is seamless.
Most think trucking all the same, but think again. The Less Than Load (LTL) market and Truckload (TL) market are completely different. In the LTL marketplace, drivers are home every night and the compensation is generally better. It’s simply a better job for those with a family. This gives LTL carriers a greater human resource pool and in turn greater capacity.
The market has gone through considerable consolidation over the last several years, but capacity still seems relatively good. Stable rates and decent service levels look to be here for some time. The key in this market is not to go broke by re-weighs, re-classifications, shipper discrepancies, damages or claims. Understanding the density rules, classifications, Bill of Lading (BOL) preparation, handling of weight discrepancies and other potential pitfalls is the job of a logistics company. Value through expertise. There is nothing worse than expecting a rate of $100.00, shipping the pallet and billing your customer, only to find out that a few weeks later that the bill is now $200.00 because of re-classification. In many cases you are out the difference. This can erode the margin for the sale. You can avoid this with a logistics professional.
You would be shocked at the complexity after your inventory arrives in port. Moving the freight out of the port is not as easy as making a phone call that has a truck pick it up immediately.
How do I know when the container is off the ship?
Do you need an appointment?
How many days can the items sit in port before accruing charges?
Whose chassis do you use and how much does that cost?
Do I have to pay for Pier Pass? What is Pier Pass?
And what about a chassis split?
Every port and ramp has a different set of rules. How is a small shipper supposed to know the rules and regulations of every rail ramp and port in the country. How do you avoid costly accessorial charges like demurrage and chassis charges? Hire a logistics professional. Avoid the thought that your container was going to cost $3,000, but find an additional $500.00 in accessorial charges. Your margins are cut before your product even lands at its destination.
About Brian Kempisty
Brian is the Founder and current Vice President of Cornerstone Logistics. He has been optimizing supply chains for over 17 years. He joined Lynx Fulfillment as a Partner in 2009. In that time, his experience and guidance has helped many clients lower their Logistics costs while reducing the amount of time from point of manufacture to end point delivery.
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