On the one hand, it’s excellent to see society appreciate the massive worldwide operation that goes into producing and distributing things, as well as the millions of individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to keep the supply chain running.
But it has only been because of continuing supply chain interruptions that this insight has come to pass. It has taken time to address and resolve several unanticipated issues, but the solutions now being developed will contribute to the creation of a new, more efficient, and robust supply chain that is prepared to face obstacles of this nature going forward.
While we must endeavour to create a more robust supply chain, for now, we can only accept the turmoil.
Looking up to Leaders
We are in the limelight, for better or worse. Everyone will be looking to those of us in leadership roles within supply chain and logistics to find a way out of this maze, from customers to retailers to manufacturers and beyond.
Parcel delivery, transportation, rail, and the ocean are all at capacity. More items need to be moved than can be moved because of the demand. Distribution and warehousing facilities work at opposite extremes of the spectrum. Either they’re filled and unable to stage any more freight, or there is room available and an open call for fresh stock. But merchandise frequently gets stalled in transit. Additionally, customer demand hasn’t decreased at all.
Providers of third-party logistics (3PL) must contend with high costs, limited transportation options, and little to no capacity that is available to meet demand. Operating inefficiencies are being made up by trucking and maritime carriers, which is increasing the cost of transportation services. The rising expenses of equipment, labour, and insurance for providers are also expected to continue.
Our capacity to adapt to change has undoubtedly been put to the test given all the complexities and challenges facing the logistics industry. There are uncertainties everywhere, including the status of the economy, available transportation, shifts in labour and job patterns, COVID variations, severe weather, and a ship that got lost in a canal on the other side of the planet for several weeks. There are several factors outside our control.
In a world that is out of your control, how can you regain it? How can shippers and 3PLs navigate these uncertainties?
If there is a continual change that we cannot predict or control, we must accept the interruptions, the delays, and the difficulties. By doing this, innovative problem-solving and teamwork are highlighted. As a result, we build better alliances and overall solutions.
Creating Long-Term Alliances
The objective should be to build connections that will help us survive this storm and ultimately develop into long-term partnerships into (knock on wood) less turbulent years ahead because none of us are immune to today’s rising list of issues.
We must commit to the ideals of cooperation, open communication, and accountability if we are to develop the types of connections we desire with consumers, carriers, staff, or colleagues in the business. The chaos becomes more bearable if we return to the fundamentals and adopt those three principles.
We have no idea what challenges may be waiting for us tomorrow, much less in the upcoming months. Therefore, the better we are at managing our teams, our businesses, and the industry, the more willingness we can show to cooperate, be honest, and communicate effectively and often.
The entire journey might not be fun, but if we take it day by day and cooperate, we’ll end up in a lot better position than when we began.