Mitigating Global Supply Chain Risks in Intermodal Shipping

intermodal shippingIn our increasingly global economy, intermodal shipping and effective supply chain management is essential. Staying ahead of competitive pressures and keeping pace with growing customer demand has meant businesses of all sizes are discovering greater opportunities by going global.

When you want to optimize profits, sourcing from regions with the lowest costs for procurement, assembly and manufacturing makes sense. So too does commercializing your products in areas with high demand.

However, it’s not without risk. Global supply chains with intermodal shipping (some combination of air, sea, truck and rail) are inherently more complex. Anytime there is the flow of goods, services, information and payments across international boundaries, business leaders must be sure there is skilled coordination of these efforts. This is where a Cleveland intermodal shipping and 3PL service like On Time Delivery & Warehouse proves especially beneficial.

Managing the global supply chain in-house is too often more trouble than it’s worth, even under ideal conditions. Throw in a natural disaster, political unrest or fluctuating oil prices, and companies quickly become overwhelmed scrambling for alternatives. Contracting with an experienced 3PL that has a comprehensive risk management strategy already mapped helps largely alleviate your headaches.

How a 3PL Intermodal Shipping Service Mitigates Supply Chain Risks

Every supply chain is going to have potential risks, and these can balloon when you go global. As noted by researchers at the University of Tennessee’s Global Supply Chain Institute, managing supply chain risk involves working out a streamlined process to:

  • Identify your risks;
  • Prioritize those risks;
  • Mitigate those risks.

Risk mitigation plans with intermodal shipping in any supply chain involve both a little art and a little science – but it starts with knowing all the key players.

According to the 2015 Supply Chain Resilience Report survey from the Business Continuity Institute, more than 70 percent of respondent organizations didn’t have full visibility into the supply chain process. Another 10 percent said they couldn’t even identify all their suppliers. This creates major hassles when there is a supply chain disruption. We can help you connect all the dots.

Once we’ve identified the suppliers, risks and probability, our 3PL can help with development of supply chain strategies that either reduce risk probability or at least lessen the blow. We rely on the latest software to give us early warning of supply chain snags, allowing us to better manage them. Technology advances give us fast access to key personnel at each location so we can work to correct delays the moment they crop up.

Another strategy – and it’s part of our creed – is to always stay ahead of the clock. At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, we’re careful to evaluate each of our client’s intermodal shipping processes and hunt for ways to reduce waste and cut back on potential delays at every interval. That way, if an unforeseen issue does arise, it shouldn’t leave you grappling with crippling delays.

Choosing the Best Cleveland Supply Chain Management Firm

Just as it’s important for manufacturers to choose reputable suppliers (domestic and global), it’s equally paramount to be picky about your 3PL supply chain management company. These are the folks you’re going to rely on not only help you minimize the chances of supply chain bottlenecks, but also to quickly and competently address any crisis that flares – and keep you informed.

Our 3PL supply chain management professionals at On Time Delivery & Warehouse are dedicated to making sure your goods move smoothly – consistently – across all intermodal shipping methods.

If you have questions about Cleveland supply chain management or intermodal shipping, contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or sending us an email.

Additional Resources:

7 Solutions to Mitigate Global Supply Chain Risks, May 5, 2018, By Michael D. Parrish, Inbound Logistics

More Blog Entries:

The “Amazon Effect” on Cleveland Freight Shipping, March 29, 2018, Supply Chain Management Services Blog

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