The world is just about coming to grips with the continual chaos caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Shipping is one of the most affected pillars of the economy, and it has forced a change in the way providers, carriers, and other shipping industry specialties handle their jobs. The new realities associated with the pandemic mean new challenges and underline an important point: Finding the right freight provider can have a major positive impact on your organization.
As you go through the process of finding the right freight provider and formulating your fourth-quarter strategy, major events impacting the freight market are happening that you should take into consideration. Here’s what you need to know:
Overwhelming Volume Surge
Within a few weeks of the start of the pandemic, shipping was cut down to essentials only. Seemingly out of nowhere, demand shot up. With the pandemic ongoing, demand has now been up for over a year and shippers across the globe continue to scramble to keep up.
This problem is so serious that ports in California are forcing ships to anchor at sea and wait for their turn to discharge cargo. It doesn’t stop there. Warehouses up to 60 miles inland are full.
The effect has seen average pick-up to delivery times increase dramatically. A knock-on effect is prices have skyrocketed to alarmingly expensive levels. These developments have also led to appointments drying up for shippers.
As restaurants across the country have adjusted to ongoing COVID-19-related concerns and restrictions, the number of foodservice distributors and other manufacturers and shippers has also exploded. While there is a mushrooming of these providers, the quality of their services comes into question.
As a shipper, you know this is a time to plan many months in advance. Start by finding a reputable provider that understands how to navigate this shipping paradox brought about by the pandemic. The right provider will get goods to your consignees within the agreed-upon timeframe.
Less Than Truckload (LTL) freight has suffered greatly in this pandemic due to problems on two fronts. The first is with the trucking portion of transportation. Many carriers are currently facing a driver shortage and although efforts to hire new drivers have ramped up, the replacement rate is not fast enough. The shuttering of truck driving schools during the early days of the pandemic in 2020, also caused a delay in the entry of new drivers into the transportation marketplace. All modes of transportation have felt the impact of staffing shortages from carriers to shippers and beyond.
As a shipper or a carrier, you want to work with a provider that understands how to navigate this predicament and get your business moving with minimum fuss and delays.
Many COVID-19 Protocols
Some protocols set in place to protect dockworkers and other shipping industry professionals may still be in place in certain parts of the country. It’s critical to be proactive in your communication with any facility or organization to ensure you know and understand any applicable COVID-19 precautions that may be in place.
What this means for you as a carrier or a shipper, is that you need to, again, plan many months into the future. You should book early to avoid inconveniencing your clients. It will also be cheaper to transport your consignment. This also goes for frozen items that have a longer shelf life, as they can easily be shipped before the holidays.
A good provider understands the ins and outs of these Covid protocols. They can help you get back into your rhythm, albeit with a few changes. In this way, you can work around the restrictions and side effects of the Covid protocols.
The shipping sector has witnessed an unprecedented upheaval since the world came to learn of the pandemic. Not only did it disrupt shipping, but it also introduced bottlenecks and bends which every shipper and carrier would have to workaround. During uncertain times, it’s best to gain the help of a reputable provider to keep your business moving. You can count on England Logistics to help your company take the next step forward. To see what England Logistics can do for you, follow this link. We look forward to connecting with you.
The England Logistics Temp-Controlled LTL division offers a range of services to best fit your needs. Our tailored loads and 24/7 customer service will guarantee your refrigerated shipment will arrive in an efficient and timely manner. By offering reliable support, coast-to-coast services and competitive rates, the England Logistics team is prepared to get your loads where they need to go.