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I don’t need to tell you it’s a tough time to be a less-than-truckload freight carrier. Carrier appointment windows are shrinking, shipping volumes at docks are increasing and it’s getting more difficult to keep your trucks filled.
To further understand the rising challenges you’re facing, Coyote partnered with Martec, a third-party research firm, to dive deeper into what carriers and shippers are really up against today.
According to hundreds of supply chain professionals, keeping up with customer and industry demands — better, faster, cheaper — keeping transportation costs down and sourcing consistent capacity are three of the top shipping challenges.
And the smaller the shipper organization, the more acutely they feel those pressures.
Faster and more innovative solutions
“Given today’s complex market, our clients’ expectations are evolving, so to keep our relationships strong, we need new solutions,” explained Northstar Recycling’s Jonathan Fischer.
Just as shippers like Jonathan are looking to keep up with today’s complex market, suppliers are facing similar pressures, including LTL carriers that must adapt to provide better, faster and more innovative solutions.
In the same survey, hundreds of carriers also cited keeping up with customer and industry demands, keeping maintenance and operational costs down and sourcing consistent freight as top challenges, followed by evolving government regulations and investing in new technology.
While smaller shippers struggled most with managing this demand, it’s the larger shippers (like many LTL carriers) who feel the pressures of demands and operational costs the most.
These challenges likely ring true to many of you. But how do you address cost savings, rising demand pressures and utilization if you’re a LTL carrier?
You rethink how to operate your network to drive greater efficiencies. More specifically, these three value-add services from third-party logistics providers such as Coyote create real, measurable improvements.
1. Transportation solutions for procurement savings
LTL fleets can leverage their 3PL provider’s larger network, partnerships and experienced operations teams to improve network balance and service levels while reducing outsourced transportation expenses.
You can do that by working together to identify capacity solutions such as:
Additionally, your provider can help your fleet create equipment solutions such as:
In 2018, we worked with 15 active LTL carriers to create more than 78,000 linehaul opportunities. These opportunities not only resulted in a nearly 99-percent on-time delivery performance — they also helped yield cost reductions and improve network balance.
Round-trip continuous moves can also lead to procurement savings by overlaying multiple customer networks. This solution matches one-way moves across networks to create an asset, round-trip continuous move at fixed costs, which can help to eliminate market price variability.
2. Asset utilization to fill empty miles
I touched briefly on the cost saving benefits of overlaying networks. Another advantage of working with your 3PL provider to overlay multiple customer networks is the ability to better utilize your assets, thus reducing non-revenue generating (or empty) miles.
The key is to match empty fleet lanes with customer freight through a detailed network overlay process to target underutilized or empty assets.
For example, in one year, three active LTL carriers filled 60 empty legs per day – leading to more than 1 million empty miles eliminated.
Not only does this reduce purchased transportation costs, but it’s improving driver utilization, creating incremental revenue and reducing empty miles within your network.
3. Rebalancing your network to build density
Does your network experience trailer surplus and deficit locations throughout the year? Tired of spending your hard-earned money and precious time to do it?
This can be a common LTL carrier problem, but it’s solvable by allowing the right 3PL provider to help. By leveraging a variety of solutions, you can reposition trailers and rebalance your network with:
In one year, Coyote worked with 30 active LTL carriers to rebalance more than 55,000 trailers. This helped to create quick, same-day capacity, reduce costs, enable special projects (through trailer pool setups) and create more new equipment pickups and deliveries.
To recap, in the face of mounting challenges, including higher, more unpredictable costs, increasing customer demands and the ability keep your trucks filled — look to your third-party logistics providers to help provide added-value solutions.
From dynamic routing to linehaul opportunities, speak to experts about ways to customize solutions to address your fleet’s unique challenges.
Interested in learning more about how Coyote can help you? Talk to a specialist.
Republished with permission, this article first appeared on the Coyote Logistics thought leadership blog.
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