Time is already an endangered commodity, and these days supply chain professionals are spending more of their time handling freight transportation crises. As Paul Nazum, principal of Supply Chain Insights, observes, there are three things that all companies want from their freight carriers: capacity, reliability and rate stability. The question is: How do you get those three things consistently? He offers the following strategies:
Reconfigure your distribution networks: Add consolidation or deconsolidation centers to your global distribution networks to ensure that freight is moved as full container loads and full truckloads, which is far more economical than moving partial shipments.
Centralize command and control: Take responsibility for your own freight bills. Create efficient freight lanes, and leverage your aggregated transportation spending to negotiate better rates and capacity.
Collaborate with your transportation carriers: You want to become your carriers' best customer.
Create incremental capacity: Improve cube utilization of truck trailers by packing more stuff into every truckload. Eliminate empty trucks and "dead-head" miles. Extend hours of operation.