Articles by: Anthony
Cleveland public warehousing and distribution demand is at an all-time high.
The Journal of Commerce attributes overall warehousing demand in part to the second-quarter surge in imports that led to higher inventories. From this emerged a greater need for logistics and distribution space – particularly in the Midwest and other inland hubs. Beyond that, shifting distribution patterns that emerged during the pandemic have opened new corridors, driving higher demand in markets that used to be considered secondary. Plus, warehouses in major supply chain hubs start brimming to peak capacity, it’s the adjacent smaller markets that absorb the overflow.
Growth in this sector may mean organizations have fewer Ohio warehousing options to choose from, but it’s still important to carefully consider whether the facilities you’re eyeing can check all those “must have” boxes. For many small-to-midsized businesses, that has increasingly meant opting for Cleveland public warehousing vs. private warehousing.
What is the Difference Between Public & Private Warehousing?
As an industry sector, warehousing has evolved far beyond the times of a simple storage space. Today, warehousing is widely recognized as a central service relied upon by industries of all kinds – from consumer goods to manufacturing to retail. As an industry sector, it’s evolved far beyond
Large corporations with high volume product turnover often opt for private warehousing, in which they own or rent warehousing space that is internally operated and overseen. But for any organizations lacking the infrastructure, expertise, and capacity to take on these responsibilities, private warehousing is an attractive alternative that offers affordability, flexibility, efficiency, and convenience.
Put simply, a public warehouse is usually a large facility owned/operated by a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that offers storage space, inventory management, product fulfillment, kitting and packaging, and distribution services to many different businesses.
Cleveland public warehousing costs are typically based per-square-foot, with add-on services available depending on the customer’s needs. Some warehouses require minimum average order volume and/or higher storage rates for slower-moving shipments.
Outsourcing Northeast Ohio warehouse functions is smart when companies:
- Are just starting out and/or are relatively small.
- Have unpredictable inventory cycles.
- Need specialized storage and distribution.
- Lack the investment capital, bandwidth, time, or desire to invest in opening, staffing, and maintaining a warehouse in-house.
It’s important if you’re in the market for public warehouse space to make sure your top picks are not only cost-effective but centrally-located with scalability potential and a great reputation.
Key Benefits of Cleveland Public Warehousing
Among the primary advantages of public warehousing:
- Low investment. Private warehouses are very expensive. There’s procuring and/or building the structure itself. Then there’s maintaining the building, covering all operational expenses, recruiting/training/supervising workers, investing in technology to boost transparency and efficiency, and paying all tax-related expenses. With public warehouses, it’s essentially turnkey.
- Experience and expertise. Labor is usually the biggest expense for most businesses – especially if you want good people. Public warehousing allows companies to avoid direct management of that labor, while still trusting that the workers are knowledgeable and skilled.
- Specialty storage. If you require Ohio warehousing facilities with certain specialty requirements such as FDA registration or hazardous material capacity, it’s often easier to onboard with a public warehouse rather than start from scratch on your own. Not every public warehouse will be capable of fulfilling every specialty requirement, but they can usually refer you to one nearby that does.
- Location. Warehousing real estate goes for a premium these days. It’s increasingly tougher to find/build warehouse property in key markets for reasonable costs. Warehouse location is a key consideration when you’re looking to optimize distribution and find reliable workers. 3PL public warehouse providers are often already established – and right where you need them.
- Flexibility. Markets fluctuate all the time. Public warehousing allows for flexibility during ebb-and-flow cycles. Easy scalability means greater cost efficiency when companies aren’t paying for space they don’t use.
- Add-on services. Things like kitting, packing, assembling, labeling – these are services that many public warehouses offer.
If you have questions about whether our Cleveland public warehousing facilities can meet your needs, contact us for a consultation.
For information on Northeast Ohio Warehousing, Inventory Management, and Trucking Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
US warehousing demand shifting inland: JLL, Aug. 16, 2022, By William B. Cassidy, Journal of Commerce Online
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Tips for Choosing an Ohio Warehouse, Oct. 27, 2022, Northeast Ohio Public Warehousing Blog
When it comes to the shipping & logistics, moving goods from one destination to another, Cleveland transloading is a standout service that delivers value and results.
Transloading is a service that involves the transfer of goods from one mode of transportation to another along a designated shipping route. Most often, transloading involves full cargo containers shipped as ocean freight received at a port of entry. The goods are then processed and transferred to a different mode of delivery – usually trucking, rail, or barge – with products often palletized.
Transloading can also involve truck-to-truck and train-to-train exchanges. This is what often gets transloading confused with cross-docking. Cross-docking involves moving an intact pallet (or pallets) from one truck to another. Transloading, meanwhile, involves sorting and re-palletizing items and then transloading them to rail, air, or truck. Cross-docking can reduce or eliminate storage time and often involves quick turnaround times that are ideal for businesses operating on a deadline. Transloading can also deliver cost-savings, flexibility, and faster shipping.
Determining whether Cleveland transloading services are ideal for your situation involves weighing numerous factors. Our dedicated team of Northeast Ohio logistics professionals can help you identify the optimal solution for your operation.
Companies that avail themselves of strategic Cleveland transloading services keep their freight moving efficiently while keeping costs in check.
What Can Cleveland Transloading Do For You?
Transloading has become increasingly popular as e-commerce and international trade becomes the norm. Long-haul shipments often mean numerous shipping companies and transit modes. Transloading can help simplify complicated logistics and save businesses money.
Among the many advantages of transloading:
- Lower costs. Transloading is a great way to reduce your costs, particularly when you’re importing ocean container goods. Shippers can save big – usually in one of two ways. The first involves moving the contents of three, 40-foot containers into two, 53-foot trailers or domestic containers. You have the ability to select the transport mode through different legs of the journey that is going to be the most cost- and energy-efficient. Secondly, when you transload at the port, you avoid the need to use ocean containers to ship items inland. Steamships put a premium on maritime freight containers, so this is a major cost savings. (Bonus: A shipping container that is returned to more quickly to circulation means faster turnaround time on the next shipment, reducing bottlenecks and allowing for more efficient supply chains overall.)
- Faster transit times. It’s true that transloading takes a bit of time, usually about 1-3 days. However, by having the flexibility of several different transport mode options, you have the option of identifying the fastest option.
- More destination options within reach. Because transloading offers the option to choose any combination of freight transportation to best reach a certain end point, your goods can reach just about any destination.
- Simplified operations. Any bulk or heavy material shipping is going to pose some challenges. Transloading consolidates your shipments, and makes them easier – and cheaper – to transport.
- Promotes business growth. By allowing companies to hold down costs while reaching new markets and decentralizing your supply chain, transloading offers more opportunities to keep the customers they have – and attract new ones.
If you are considering transloading for your operation, our Cleveland team is prepared to offer detailed answers to your questions and provide a quote.
For information on our Transloading in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
Transloading, by Will Kenton & Amanda Jackson, Jan. 31, 2021, Investopedia
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Cleveland Warehousing Helps Businesses Optimize Resources, Maximize Profits, July 30, 2022, Northeast Ohio Warehousing & Trucking Blog
The threat of a potential U.S. freight train rail strike had Cleveland trucking carriers steeling their fleet and operations to help absorb at least some of the would-be mammouth impact. A last-minute tentative agreement struck with the intervention of the U.S. Department of Labor may have offset the immediate threat, but the whole ordeal underscores just how vital trucking services can be when other elements of intermodal transportation are jeopardized.
The New York Times reported tens of thousands of rail workers had threatened to strike in pursuit of better working conditions. Such action would have a catastrophic impact on supply chains across a vast range of industries throughout the U.S.
Rail moves an estimated two-fifths of long-distance U.S. freight and one-third of exports. The stakes of a potential shut down were very high – particularly as there isn’t a ton of slack in the trucking sector. If you are an organization that relies on the timely movement of goods across the country or the globe, this close call underscores the importance of securing a third-party logistics partner with strong connections to reliable Cleveland trucking carriers who can help arrange alternative transport and delivery methods in the face of unexpected hurdles. And let’s face: Unexpected hurdles of all stripes are almost a given with global supply chains.
A rail strike and increased reliance on Cleveland trucking carriers would mean substantial delays and higher costs. But it’s worth noting that truckers are already responsible for carrying nearly three-fourths of the nation’s goods as it is.
If all of America’s 7,000 long-distance daily freight trains were brought to a halt, the American Trucking Associations estimates it would require some 460,000 additional long-haul trucks daily to meet the current demand. Although there is no longer a trucking shortage, there isn’t much of a surplus either.
As our Cleveland trucking carriers can explain, rail is a central component of our complex global supply chains, which rely on the carefully-coordinated movements of cargo ships, freight trains, and trucks. This is known as intermodal transportation, and it helps to effectively eases the movement of goods across air, sea, and land. Compromise one of those links in the supply chain, and there will be a near-immediate domino effect to the system – one that has already been under significant strain since the pandemic.
Still, rail is generally recognized as the weakest of the three intermodal supply chain links. It is less flexible in responding to demand surges and bottlenecks. Over the last five years, as carriers have sought to limit service to lower costs as part of a strategy known as Precision Scheduled Railroading, nearly a quarter of rail worker jobs have been slashed. Rail companies say the reconfiguration has been an effort to become more agile and responsive to supply chain demands and challenges.
There are 12 railroad unions that form the National Freight Rail Bargaining. This coalition uses its combined power to push for employee labor demands. The most recent disputes concerned matters like higher pay, better working conditions, more paid time off, and schedules that are more flexible. (Attendance policies in particular have been a huge point of contention.)
There hasn’t been a U.S. railroad strike 30 years – and the impacts of that one in 1992 were immediate and serious. It took only three days before Congress intervened and a new contract was brokered.
Negotiations for the current rail worker contract have been ongoing for three years. Recognizing the potential harm this might do, the White House and U.S. Labor Secretary stepped in, brokering a tentative agreement. However, it’s still not officially finalized, meaning our Cleveland trucking carriers are still gearing up for the possibility the deal could fall through. The new contract won’t become final until members review the terms and approve it with a ratification vote.
Still, companies might still want to prepare for setbacks just in case. Some retailers are already diverting Asian goods that typically come through West Coast ports to those on the East Coast, at places like Newark, Savannah, and Charleston. Cleveland trucking carriers’ routes frequently take them to-and-fro at these ports. The added demand could mean an uptick in trucking rates, but worth it for many organizations if it means their goods arrive in tact and on time.
If a rail strike were to still happen now or in the coming months, our Cleveland trucking and logistics experts opine it probably wouldn’t last long. Too many industries are too deeply invested, and the pressure to resolve matters quickly would be enormous. The government’s heavy-handed involvement at the final hour is further evidence of that. But even a short-lived strike could have wide ripple effects, so companies would do well to plan for that possibility.
If you are a Northeast Ohio firm that relies heavily on rail transport to move your import/export goods, diversifying your mode of transport and collaborating with a third-party logistics firm with trucking capabilities may improve the overall security of your supply chain.
For information on Trucking, 3PL, and Warehousing Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
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Seasonal Cycles of Ohio Trucking Are Back, Per Cleveland Trucking Experts, July 20, 2022, Cleveland Trucking Blog
Supply chain instability and challenges – from labor shortages to backlogged ports to pricey spot truck rates – have basically been the status quo ever since the pandemic. Although some aspects may be starting to even out, Cleveland 3PL experts at On Time Delivery & Warehouse recognize that with the height of peak season 2022 on the horizon, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers are bracing for these challenges to take on greater significance. Those able to effectively leverage the resources of a Cleveland 3PL trucking, warehouse, and logistics firm will ultimately be the ones that carve out a competitive advantage.
In general, peak season typically occurs annually, starting with the back-to-school shopping season in late summer and rounds out sometime in November, just after Black Friday (with a final holiday rush in late December). However, some suppliers say that with unpredictable surge-and-trickle demands, those clear seasonal trends have been tougher to nail down.
Still, logistics industry insiders are predicting tsunamis of demand in certain sectors, with ripple effects spreading far beyond those directly in the center. That could mean we’re likely to see delivery delays, price increases, and further labor shortages. Northeast Ohio companies seeking to minimize their vulnerability to supply chain challenges would be wise to tap into the resources offered by a dedicated Cleveland 3PL.
Primary Peak Season Challenges
To effectively prepare for the challenges of peak season, you must first identify what that time frame is for you – in your industry, your region, and your organization specifically. That alone can be tricky, particularly given the lack of market predictability in recent years.
This is one area where a Cleveland 3PL can help. You know your business, but we know supply chains. We utilize the latest data software to analyze inventory and the movement of goods critical to your operations. Once we pinpoint trends, weaknesses, and bottlenecks in your supply chain, we help create a strategic end-to-end plan to minimize delays and losses.
Some common issues likely to arise:
- Fluctuation in peak season length. When you know how long your peak season is going to be, you can better prepare by matching the appropriate level of seasonal labor and delivery costs. Even when it’s difficult to nail down, there may still be precautions we can suggest to help you minimize the consequences.
- Inaccurate volume forecasting. This has been especially challenging in recent years. A third-party logistics firm can help with accurate data analysis to better identify when spikes and lulls can likely be anticipated – and prepare effective responses if outcomes deviate from earlier predictions.
- Lack of efficiency in labor management. If you’re trying to manage your own operations while also managing your own supply chain, warehousing, and delivery can be next to impossible for some firms – particularly when you’re under additional demand pressures. Transparency, accurate communication, and proper training are imperatives. Errors and oversights can result in wastefulness and depletion of customer confidence.
Peak season predicaments can sometimes be forecasted, but not always. Working with a competent Cleveland 3PL helps ensure you are better prepared for both the known and the unknown.
Cleveland 3PL Predicts Warehouse Bottlenecks Likely to Be a Problem This Peak Season
Although industries vary on the specific challenges they face during peak season, our Cleveland 3PL is fairly certain as we head into the last quarter of 2022 that warehousing bottlenecks will become nearly everyone’s problem.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal noted that the shipping capacity struggles that were apparent at traffic-snarled seaports has been moving inland the last few months. It’s only likely to be exacerbated. As those of us in the logistics field know, trailers needed to transport goods on trucks are already being tied up – sometimes for weeks on end, even as demand for container ships has waned – because so many warehouses are at capacity. Distribution hubs in the Midwest and throughout the U.S. are seeing lengthy delays.
Recognizing these headaches are likely to drag on well into next year, our Cleveland third-party logistics professionals work closely with clients to arrange the most streamlined, cost-efficient modes and methods of shipping, storage, and delivery. We can help you access the most up-to-date, transparent data to help identify optimal rates, diversify carrier relationships, hone in on flexible warehousing partners, and anticipate reasonable timelines.
For information on 3PL Warehousing, Inventory Management, and Trucking Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
Warehouse Bottlenecks Are Snarling U.S. Supply Chains, Aug. 26, 2022, By Paul Berger, The Wall Street Journal
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6 Supply Chain Insights From Northeast Ohio Third-Party Logistics Warehouse Pros, Aug. 28, 2022, On Time Delivery & Warehouse Blog
As the Cleveland Centralized Examination Station (CES), we understand the goals of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in examining cargo imported by land, air, and sea. The foremost purpose is keeping our country secure and citizens safe. However, we also fully understand the anxiety that can accompany word that your cargo has been flagged for a U.S. Customs exam – particularly as such action can result in major delays and expense for stakeholders.
Bear in mind that in addition to its own regulations, the CBP is tasked with enforcing hundreds of laws on behalf of 40+ other federal agencies, including the USDA, the FDA, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Understanding what triggers an examination may help you avoid one. At the very least, you’ll know better how to aid authorities in a manner that helps expedite the process and get your goods moving as soon as possible.
That said, not all circumstances that result in a U.S. Customs exam or manifest hold are within shippers’ control. In fact, shippers might do everything “right” and still find their goods among the 3-5% selected for closer inspection.
Some of the holds that authorities can place on international shipments include:
- Manifest hold. This occurs when there is a problem with documentation. Usually, it’s the result of missing paperwork, such as a bill of lading. Typically, the U.S. Customs agent is going to request additional or corrected paperwork and then your goods will be on their way.
- CET Hold (A-TECT). This is a hold imposed by the Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team. This is a special branch of the CBP, which imposes holds on shipments suspected of containing potentially unlawful items (drugs, currency, weapons, or other illicit materials).
- Commercial enforcement hold. This is sort of a blanket hold that is going to cover a range of potential issues – not only from the CBP but other federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The overarching goal is to ensure that any goods entering the country are compliant with federal laws and regulations.
- PGA Hold. Similar to a commercial enforcement hold, a Participating Government Agencies Hold means the shipment in question was flagged for compliance issues, rather than customs issues.
- Statistical Valuation Hold. This occurs when there is a discrepancy between your shipment and the manifest. For instance, if the weight of your shipments is much higher than might be anticipated given the commodity, the shipment might be flagged for a statistical valuation hold.
If your shipment is flagged, there can be one of three types of customs exams: Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System (non-intrusive inspection), a Tail Gate Exam (examiner breaks the seal of your container and reviews some of the contents), or an Intensive Customs Exam.
That last type is where a CES comes in. For this kind of exam, your goods must be transported to a CES, unloaded, held, inspected, and then reloaded before heading to its next destination. The shipper must pay for drayage and detention costs, as well as the labor to load and unload and reload. An Intensive Customs Exam may cause up to 30 days in delays and cost up to a few thousand dollars.
Having an efficient Cleveland Centralized Examination Station can help to speed up the Customs inspection process and reduce the amount of time your goods are tied up.
What, Exactly, is a Cleveland Centralized Examination Station?
A CES is a place where Customs officials can come to physically inspect and examine import and export freight and cargo. These are privately-owned and operated facilities (like On Time Delivery & Warehouse) that allow for physical examination of internationally imported or exported goods.
Ohio trucking services have historically adhered to clear seasonal cycles, generally broken down into four quarters.
We all know that trucking – and the transportation industry as a whole – are heavily influenced by supply-and-demand, which set the bar for rates and capacity. Market conditions can vary year-over-year, but there are also consistent seasonal patterns that emerge as well.
But as our Northeast Ohio trucking service providers can explain, the largely predictable ups-and-downs of the trucking and freight industry were thrown completely for a loop during the pandemic. As noted by the International Finance Corporation, land freight was a somewhat less impacted cog in the supply chain wheel (compared to air and ocean freight) if only because roads across the globe largely remained open (except in countries or places under severe lockdown). Trucking capacity ended up being strained, particularly as there was a booming demand for food and medical supplies.
What we’re seeing now is those supply chain imbalances start to ease. The Journal of Commerce reports the market is beginning to realign (though not quite to the level of pre-COVID levels and pricing). What this means is we’re going to start seeing a shift back to seasonal Ohio trucking trends.
Being Prepared for Seasonal Ohio Trucking Trends
An understanding of trucking seasonality is important for stockholders in a broad range of industries because it can be used to forecast capacity, rates, and delivery times.
Those in the trucking and logistics sector typically identify four key seasons in freight:
Quiet Season (January – March). Volume tends to be down during this quarter. Weather across much of the U.S. (including Northeast Ohio) is not ideal for shipping. It may be possible during this quarter to find somewhat reduced shipping rates because demand has slid.
Produce Season (April – July). Ohio trucking volumes start to kick into high gear. The market tightens, demand increases, and finding a truck becomes more challenging. As a result, this season is associated with rate increases.
Peak Season (August-October). The produce season is starting to ease, but shippers are still very busy. They’re prepping for the back-to-school supply demands, as well as ramping up for upcoming holiday demands. Both volumes and rates are going to be at their peak during this period.
Holiday Season (November-December). Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve put a lot of demand on the freight industry – with pressure to get it all wrapped up before the final week of December. Once we get to that final week, demand for trucking freight begins to slow, and continues that lull until the following spring.
Specifically here in the Midwest, we’re going to see the highest trucking volumes between June and September.
A new law promises sweeping changes to the ocean shipping industry following more than two years of port delays, congestion, and growing consumer costs – all of which may have an impact on Cleveland warehousing and trucking. The bipartisan act has several goals. These include:
- Promotion of U.S. shipping exports.
- Limiting ocean carrier market power (thereby reducing shipping costs, which have risen dramatically this past year).
- Improving supply chain efficiency overall.
As our Cleveland warehousing and trucking professionals can explain, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act is the most significant overhaul of shipping regulations in nearly 25 years. The precise impact it will have on Northeast Ohio supply chains isn’t crystal clear, but there is almost certain to be a ripple effect.
Many shipping companies have lauded the measure as a substantial step in the direction of addressing the growing list of shipping disruptions in recent years, including not only astronomical fees, but a lack of containers fit for agricultural exports.
However, much of the law’s effectiveness is going to come down to the Federal Maritime Commission, which has the authority to regulate the shipping industry, but with limiting funding, has always been slow to do so. The law does empower the agency with more enforcement power to investigate and penalize unfair practices. However, even the head of the FMC acknowledged to Supply Chain Dive that the law is “no silver bullet” and there may only be so much the feds can do to check shipping port congestion and soaring costs driven by supply and demand.
Supply Chain Delays, Congestion Drive Up Costs
Virtually all supply chains are subject to some degree of volatility, to varying extents. That’s why our 3PL Cleveland warehousing and trucking team is prepared at all times to forecast sudden shifts and changes and quickly adapt.
But federal legislators have been under intense pressure to do something as global supply chains have been disrupted and erratic ever since the start of the pandemic more than two years ago. Unpredictable schedules have thrown off regular business operations, resulting in higher prices for transportation, even amid big delays.
Blocking & bracing are essential to ensure maximum protection of your Cleveland CFS cargo.
As our logistics professionals can explain, meticulous planning is critical in container loads to ensure equal weight distribution during transit. It’s especially important for damage prevention when moving larger-sized loads.
Properly securing cargo may take a bit of extra effort, but it ultimately saves you time and money, increases safety, protects business relationships, and is required by state and federal laws.
We work to correctly block & brace every portion of loaded freight containers, ensuring your cargo gets where it needs to be – intact, on time, every time.
What is Blocking & Bracing?
Blocking is the means of preventing loads from moving laterally (side-to-side, front-to-back). Bracing, meanwhile, is the means of preventing vertical movement (up-and-down). Failure to brace properly can result in loads jumping over the blocks. And if the blocks aren’t implemented properly, the braces aren’t going to hold.
Visualize your heavy load resting in a container. Some assume that because it’s heavy, it’s unlikely to budge much. This is a miscalculation – a potentially catastrophic one. As our Cleveland CFS cargo experts can explain, once a container is moving, the internal object’s momentum in any direction is going to be proportionate to its weight.
Whatever the mode – whether it’s rail, truck, or ship – proper blocking, bracing, and loading is critical. It’s also important to understand that these techniques differ from load-to-load.
In the case of CFS shipments prepped for intermodal transport (cross-country or international), expect the potential for all kinds of jostling movements, including:
- Forward surges
- Front-to-back pitching
- Side-to-side rolling
- Up-and-down heaving
- Irregular motions
- Sudden impacts
When your shipment is properly blocked and braced, it’s going to be protected on every leg of the journey.
Some of the factors impacting how we block and brace:
- Container size
- Loading type (cartons, drums, pallets, etc.)
- Number of pallets or units
- Whether the cargo will be loaded onto pallets or floor-loaded
Top-performing businesses have always felt big pressure to earn and maintain superior customer satisfaction. These days, however, they’re faced with the herculean task of doing so while grappling with the aftermath of a global pandemic, long-standing labor shortages, and a seemingly unrelenting stream of supply chain disruptions. The good news is: These challenges too shall pass – eventually. However, some recent changes are part of bigger movements that are likely here to stay. Primarily, these include booming e-commerce sales, high demand for direct-to-consumer deliveries, and robust enforcement of warehouse worker rights. One way to gain an edge on the competition is by working with a dedicated Cleveland 3PL warehousing & distribution company – particularly one with a rock solid reputation and the flexibility to shift amid changing times and customer demands.
Recently, the Logistics Managers Index (which measures U.S. supply chain pressures) rose to a record-high. This reflects not only soaring inflation costs impacting inventory and logistics, but also the waning amount of available warehousing space. Bloomberg reports inventory stockpiles many companies purchased during the pandemic may be contributing. Companies are now holding excess inventory at premium rates, something likely to continue for at least another year. Consumer hesitance driven by inflation appears to be further exacerbating the issue. On the flip side, given the global supply chain tumult of late, many manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers have seen the value of having at least some inventory stockpiled so they aren’t caught short.
In any case, one thing is clear: Whereas warehousing was once considered an afterthought for most companies, it’s now recognized as a critical element in the go-to-market strategy for most firms.
“It’s sort of like the shift we saw with the information technology sector in the early aughts,” explained On Time Delivery & Warehouse CEO Anthony Figliano. “What was once basically a background function quickly became a pivotal part of intraorganizational planning – and for good reason. Today, it’s the warehousing and distribution functions that are increasingly acknowledged as mission critical.
“But of course, that’s been at the core of our wheelhouse from the start, so we’ve always recognized its inherent value. As 3PL partners, we’re as committed as ever to continuing to meet fluctuating demands with both top speed and accuracy.”
The safety and well-being of our valued Ohio warehouse & logistics workers have always been an imperative at On Time Delivery & Warehouse.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that given the heightened demands being placed on warehousing and logistics employees, it would be launching a new initiative to vigorously enforce these workers’ wage and hour rights and safety protections.
“The increased demand and constraints on the global supply chain have combined to place enormous strain on the nation’s warehouse and logistics industries,” the DOL said in a news release.
Regulators are ramping up federal enforcement to ensure employees are safe from harassment, paid their legally-owed wages, and are afforded proper family and medical leave in accordance with applicable employment laws. They’ll also be watching for potential misclassification of employees as independent contractors, a practice that tends to result in underpaid wages and benefits, as well as an unfair competitive advantage for companies in the free market.
Of course, the agency has had its eye on the industry for some time now. But the pandemic underscored the critical economic function of warehouse workers, truckers, delivery drivers, and other Ohio warehouse & logistics professionals. Ongoing supply chain exigencies have left more than few logistics firms scrambling to keep pace. Still, the DOL doesn’t see that as an excuse to make concessions on worker pay and safety measures. The recent announcement involves news that the agency is hiring more than 100 new wage and hour investigators – with more likely on the way.
Our Ohio Warehouse & Logistics Team is Committed to Worker Safety and Customer Satisfaction
We recognize that Northeast Ohio warehouse & logistics costs and challenges have risen in recent months, but investment in dedicated employees and their well-being is a core tenet on which our team has never compromised. We’ve had this commitment dialed in for decades, so the DOL’s announcement has no real impact on our day-to-day activities.
Meanwhile, companies that are just launching and/or struggling may want to reconsider any internal warehousing and logistics operations – especially knowing that there will be additional federal oversight and zero room to cut corners without significant penalties.