While the calendar has changed to a new month and a new quarter, the bulk freight landscape remains largely the same with tight capacity and high rates. Despite these challenges, there are things that you can do to secure the freight your company requires. In this month’s roundup, we’ll look at five strategies that shippers can use – and are using – to successfully obtain capacity in the current market.
5 tips to secure capacity
The following are 5 tips we’ve taken from recent blog articles to help shippers roll with the punches of the 2020/2021 capacity crunch.
- Be flexible. No one likes to wait to have product moved, but it’s unavoidable in the current climate. By being patient and allowing your transportation partner to fit your load into its schedule, you can greatly improve your odds of securing capacity. We’re currently seeing shippers that ask, “when can you fit my load in?” have greater success than those that are still trying to stick to a rigid delivery windows.
- Prepare to pay more. In this climate, carriers can dictate rates. So, until the supply-and-demand scale becomes more balanced, prepare to pay more for freight transportation services than you did prior to the pandemic.
- Adapt inventory strategies. Banking on “just in time” deliveries is far too risky a gamble at the moment. To deal with the lag between desired delivery and actual delivery, you can implement changes like ordering extra product so that you have a reserve stock on hand; installing an extra storage tank on site for surplus product; and/or adjusting operations so that you can ship and receive bulk products in totes and drums in addition to tankers and dry bulk trailers.
- Give your provider key info. When booking your loads, you need to give your transportation provider the information it needs to handle your load safely and without delay or disruption. This includes product, equipment and facility information. Failure to communicate essential info can cause disruption that may make your provider less likely to handle your products in the future.
- Lean on your trusted/repeat partners. If you are a regular customer to a transportation provider, that provider is likely going to look out for your needs before taking care of a completely new customer. If you’re more spot-market driven, now is a great time to reconsider your strategy and forge relationships with different transport providers so that you have multiple allies to lean on the next time capacity is tight.
Be sure to check out the Bulk Connection blog to keep up to date on the capacity crunch and ways to secure bulk freight capacity in spite of it.