Loadsmart Resource Center

‘Food for Thought’ Webinar - Managing Modern Logistics Needs

George Swartz, Loadsmart’s Vice President of Sales for Managed Transportation Solutions, was featured on Food Processing’s Food for Thought podcast. During this session George discusses multiple issues related to the logistics industry and proposes solutions for forward-thinking food and beverage leaders to consider in the face of supply chain uncertainty.

Below are some of the highlights from the discussion

Capacity and equipment shortages: As with any segment of the economy, there are ebbs and flows. The world is currently experiencing a tightening of the transportation market as we try to level-set after the pandemic. There is still a shortage of specialized equipment, especially refrigerated or frozen trailers and delivery trucks. This is causing pain to shippers that haven’t found ways to pivot their overall strategies.

Shift to smaller and more frequent shipments: There has been a trend following the pandemic toward smaller, less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments. There are fewer options for temperature-controlled LTL which has led to more need for optimization and combining shipments. The accelerated shift to smaller, more frequent orders and increased demand for delivery services seems to be permanent, as consumers become accustomed to services like Instacart and DoorDash and bring those expectations to work with them.

This is likely to be a permanent change in consumer expectations and the distribution landscape. Many shippers are placing an increased emphasis on last-mile delivery and even creating micro-fulfillment centers out of their existing brick-and-mortar stores.

Labor shortages: Along similar lines of changing expectations is the decreasing number of Gen Zers and Millennials who look at logistics or supply chain as career options. This is contributing to a labor shortage both in the physical transportation of goods (drivers) and in back offices. There isn’t enough incoming talent to manage logistics planning and execution on the back end efficiently.

Private fleets vs. dedicated carriers vs. brokerage services: There has been a lot of discussion around the benefits of using private fleets. Considerations include cost, liability, and maintenance. Dedicated contracts offer a hybrid solution for food and beverage shippers and can help balance costs without the full burden of ownership. Brokerage and common carrier options are becoming more and more commonplace as shippers discover the ROI as well as enjoy the flexibility these services give when there is a market disruption.

Sustainability efforts: Optimizing shipments to reduce miles traveled and fuel consumption are hot topics as well. Sustainability is on the minds of top executives as consumers continue to push for more conscious products. Mode shifting from truckload to intermodal is an obvious choice for shippers looking for proven ways to lower their carbon footprints. Another fool-proof method is to improve dock throughput to reduce idling times and waste less fuel. California even has a specific ISR law requiring warehouses to report their total emissions.

Managed transportation solutions: Managed transportation providers like Loadsmart offer comprehensive solutions for all aspects of logistics management including carrier sourcing, optimization, load planning, execution, and freight audit and payment. Customizable services tailored to any food and beverage shippers organization can help supplement or fully manage end-to-end transportation needs. Technology-enabled solutions like Loadsmart’s Managed Transportation plus ShipperGuide TMS help create a quick to implement, comprehensive solution.

Listen to the full podcast from Food Processing here!


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