In spite of the recent improvements concerning shipping container shortages and similar, the capacity crunch is still a real concern. In fact, it is likely to remain one indefinitely. So, coming up with viable solutions to the problems is one of the foremost tasks for any business involved in the shipping and transporting of goods. To contribute, we have prepared a guide on the top strategies for coping with the capacity crunch!
Work on your efficiency
The first way of coping with the capacity crunch is to make it easier for carriers and logistics companies to work with you. Since the capacity crunch makes it necessary for them to be slightly pickier with their partners, choosing someone who helps them do their work quickly and effectively will always be a priority. Meaning they likely won’t choose to work with you if your handover of goods is not optimally organized. Besides, some effort to optimize your distribution center will also help your own business, as well. It is only better to invest time and resources into such a project.
Form long-term cooperative agreements
If you want a guarantee that you’ll be able to ship your goods consistently, the best thing to do is form long-term cooperative agreements. If you know you can rely on your partners for shipping space; you won’t need to worry about a capacity crunch. They will also feel more motivated to provide you with enough space for all your shipping needs. In addition, working more closely together gives you the benefit of knowing your goods are being handled well. And that they will arrive safely at their destination without any damage. Which is not something you can absolutely guarantee when working with new carriers.
Improve your routes
If you rely on your own truck fleet or other transportation methods, one way of coping with the capacity crunch is to optimize your delivery routes. As logistics experts like to point out, working on the improvement of your everyday traveling routes can shave off a lot of time from your schedule. This would, in turn, free up your trucks faster and allow you to make more rounds. It may not be an obvious thing when just paying attention to short-term boosts to your delivery efficiency. However, over weeks and months, it will slowly add up to a significant improvement well worth all the effort to achieve it!
Ship more frequently
Yet another method of coping with the capacity crunch is making more yet smaller shipments. This somewhat synergizes with our previous piece of advice. Of course, there is a serious downside to this, especially if you are doing it yourself. Frequent smaller shipments still use up fuel, which would increase your operating costs. Still, if your goal is to get your goods to the destination as quickly and reliably as possible, this is likely one of your best options. The downside is somewhat minimized, too, if you are working with logistics companies or carriers. The price of their service is, after all, primarily based on the amount of inventory you have them transport. Especially if they are picking up your goods while running their own pre-set routes. In this scenario, you should definitely prioritize making this your preferred mode of operation.
Organize your shipping dates better
If the idea of shipping more frequently does not appeal to you, then there is a decent alternative. Namely, you can simply try to put the dates forward a little. If you ship your goods earlier than the stipulated deadlines, you will have the time required to deal with any delays or issues that pop up. Now, this does cause problems of its own. Namely, it causes potential inventory and warehousing issues. If the goods are delivered too early, the recipient may not have enough space to store them. Or the delivery may overlap with another and cause a delay in unloading the goods. This is why, if you opt for this particular solution, make sure to properly communicate the changes with your partners or customers. This way, they will have an opportunity to fix things on their end, and problems can be largely avoided.
Cooperate with multiple logistics companies
Whether you are doing shipments yourself or have a set partner, another potential solution for capacity crunch is simply working with multiple carriers instead. After all, if a single company cannot properly account for all your needs, then several will. Naturally, this does mean you need to carefully pick and choose whom you want to work with. You would also need to go through the process of fine-tuning your cooperation with them once again. But, if you consider the current state of global logistics, this is not a bad idea at all. If any of your partners run into serious issues, you still have the option to fall back on. As such, working with multiple companies would not only solve your capacity crunch problems but provide you with a sense of security as well.
Invest in your own expansion
The final way of coping with the capacity crunch is to expand your own shipping capacities. Now, this is both the most expensive and most viable solution. Obviously, it requires a considerable short-term investment. And even an increase in your everyday expenses as you work to ensure the maintenance of your trucks. But, consider this: you would have your own solution, which you can have absolute confidence in, and would not be required to deal with agreements, partnerships, or schedule syncing. In other words, you would have complete control over the shipment of your goods. This is by no means a small boon for any company! Especially since you could fine-tune all the deliveries and the expenses associated with them.
We hope that the top strategies for coping with the capacity crunch we have prepared will be helpful to you! Of course, whatever solution you settle on, know it will take some time to properly integrate them into your business. So, make long-term plans rather than temporary fixes!
Jacob Fabre is a logistics expert associated with Movers Not Shakers and has over two decades of experience in the field. He draws on this knowledge to produce quality texts and articles on various subjects related to his field of work.