Do you have concerns about local issues affecting your supply chain and distribution?
Let us take a look at some of these issues and how best to avoid them in this post.
Labour disputes and local problems are serious issues which can affect how you control your supply chain.
In 2015, a lock-out of the West Coast of the US meant that many supply chains were interrupted, and while the doors were opened again after 10 days, the knock-on for freight forwarding continued for over 6 months.
It is estimated that another such lock-out would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs, and be extremely expensive.
With mounting problems in the EU starting to affect the UK supply chain it is important that logistics teams think ahead before they find themselves caught behind dispute lines.
How local issues affect the freight forwarder
Just as the majority of manufacturers in the US have been affected by the shutdown on the West Coast, it is likely that any major issue in the EU will have a long-term impact on road haulage in the UK.
For example, a UK insurance provider recently reported that problems in the supply chain cost firms more than £200,000 a year.
In 2014, 61% of manufacturers said that suppliers failing to provide the essential goods on time cost industries, at least, £17.2m, with an average loss of £55,000 per company.
Clearly, if a significant problem, such as a Calais blockade, was to occur in the near future, the cost to both-end companies and to supply-chain teams would be extremely high.
What supply chain logistics can do
The majority of transport logistics teams will face some local issues during transportation of goods. Whether that is a weather-based problem such as flooding, strikes or social issues on the roads, freight forwarding teams need to think carefully about how to manage these problems.
The most basic solution is to have a system which offers alternative routes or transportation methods to customers whenever there is a hold-up.
Adopting strategies designed to avoid blocked ports or flooded roads can be useful. Auxiliary distribution locations can also help.
If this is not currently practical, then logistics teams might consider another solution, which is to make use of modern technology to help reassure the customer, and to make sure that your transport system is working correctly.
Adding technology to transport systems
Making use of modern technology to help avoid delivery delays is essential to any logistics teams. Most successful logistics companies will know that you cannot control the environment or society, but you can learn to react to changes in circumstances very quickly.
Agility is the key to being able to adapt to situations, and real-time visibility through technology can be essential.
Networking your transportation systems through parcel trackers, in addition to Sat-Nav location markers will help you to devise ways around local or temporary issues.
Systems which monitor local weather and police reports can also help you strategize your supply chain while it is in motion so that you manage your road haulage rather like an air-traffic control tower.
Using the Internet of Things is the best way to start managing your supply chain.