Say goodbye to the dependable annual cadence of the global supply chain and hello to perpetual peak season! The past 18 months have illustrated that ocean freight will continue to be unpredictable, but there is hope.
More on how shippers and LSPs can prioritize their ocean carrier booking management processes, diversity initiatives in supply chain, record-breaking speeds for ocean carriers, Uber Freight's surprise 3PL acquisition, and more in this week’s logistics news roundup. Let's get started!
Shippers and LSPs can conquer perpetual peak season [Supply Chain Management Review]
The past 18 months has put ocean cargo in chaos. The lack of capacity and soaring costs have hit shippers and LSPs particularly hard. But what can be done about it?
Matt Gunn, VP of Solutions Marketing at Slync.io, discussed in Supply Chain Management Review that carrier behavior, made worse by rising container rates, has made tracking critical shipping information even more difficult because it tends to live outside the system of record.
“There’s little transparency to what carriers are doing once a booking request has been made. While demand has dictated a rise in container rates, there’s little incentive for carriers to change.” In addition, Gunn said “without a clear picture of what’s happening on the carrier side, it’s hard for shippers and their service providers to hold anyone accountable when delays inevitably take place.”
Despite the industry using transportation management systems and EDI technology for decades to send and receive booking requests and carrier acknowledgements, the reality is, much of this communication is still being sent outside the system of record through PDFs, emails and spreadsheets. Although these are still digital documents, until they are automatically ingested and applied to core ERP and TMS systems, booking and allocating freight will only be as fast as manual efforts of operators can support.
To help shippers and LSPs transform their ocean carrier booking management processes, Gunn outlines what priorities they should take to gain greater control over their freight as they face the perpetual peak season.
The demand for logistics warehousing, responding to the rise in e-commerce and other industries, continues to explode. And worst of all, it might get worse before it gets better as perpetual peak season marches on.
Citing a JLL survey of 720 logisticians across 43 countries, initial thoughts projected that demand might level off in places like the U.S. but now, they think it will accelerate over the next one to two years.
Mark Soloman from FreightWaves stated “Much of e-commerce is fulfilled and shipped as parcels, and the global small parcel market is expected to increase from 103 billion parcels in 2019 to between 220 billion and 262 billion parcels by 2026.” These statistics originated from an October 2020 index published by Pitney Bowes Inc.
Supply Chain Diversity: A Long Road Ahead [The Wall Street Journal]
It’s a long road but it’s one we must continue to walk down.
Jennifer Smith of The Wall Street Journal discusses how logistics and supply chain companies have increased their “diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in a sector where leadership ranks still skew largely white and male and minorities are concentrated in lower-level roles.”
There is a large movement led by supply chain company executives to increase diversity and inclusion throughout their ranks. One in particular is Ilias Simpson, CEO of Radial Inc, who’s online fulfillment and technology company started having listening sessions with executives and Black employees and started executive leadership training that it will roll out to all employees. In addition, Radial is also reviewing its hiring and promotion processes.
Simpson is one of the 2,000 executives who recently signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge.
Container ships are flying across the Pacific to capitalize on stratospheric rates. With new vessel construction taking two years and no container ships left to charter, the lack of capacity gives carriers only one option: speed.
Despite newer container ships being designed for “slow steaming,” carriers are channeling their inner Maverick and Goose and hitting the gas. Where is Kelly McGillis when you need her?
The higher speeds may work in the favor of carriers who can claw back some of the capacity lost due to port congestion, it will have marginal impacts for cargo shippers.
The global demand for freight has launched multiple acquisitions in the logistics sector. The $2.25 billion acquisition comes at a time when U.S. shippers are relying on 3PLs to help secure capacity which continues to be scarce across all modes.
Referring first to Transplace and then Uber Freight, Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace said “The acquisition will combine the world’s premier shipper network platform with one of the industry’s most innovative supply platforms, to the benefit of all stakeholders.”
“Our expectation is that shippers will see greater efficiency and transparency and carriers will benefit from the scale to drive improved operating ratios.”
If you missed it, be sure to check out last week’s logistics news recap which included our thoughts on the role of humans in digital transformations with a side of Neil Diamond. And stay tuned every Friday for a roundup of the week's biggest logistics headlines in our weekly blog, The Friday Five.
If you want to learn more about how Logistics Orchestration® by Slync.io can help you navigate the complexities of global logistics, just request a demo!