In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, our Cleveland truck drivers at On Time Delivery & Warehouse have been committed to keeping the supply chain moving as quickly and efficiently as possible.
We are navigating a growing number of challenges on highways and at loading docks, working to meet the spiking demand for medical equipment and key consumer staples. Numerous truck stop restaurants have closed their doors in compliance with the orders of public health officials, though some are still offering takeout service. In some states, such as Pennsylvania, rest stops along critical logistics routes have been closed too (about a dozen were later reopened). This is problematic because these aren’t simply locations to pick up snacks and use the restrooms; they’re critical places for long-haul truckers to sleep.
We’re also working with customers who are asking Cleveland truck drivers to remain in their trucks and use paper or electronic methods for payments and signatures for deliveries and pickups. A number of receiving docks have put in place additional restrictions if they originated or traveled through states that are considered “hot zones” of the virus. Some receivers and shippers are requesting truckers sign affidavits indicating they are not experiencing symptoms.
We live in a world that is interconnected. Substantial disruptions in supply chains highlight the need for resiliency, particularly from Cleveland warehouse and logistics firms. On Time Delivery and Warehouse has proven over 40 years our ability to adapt in dynamic and uncertain markets.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges, we are helping many businesses find workarounds with e-commerce and local distribution. Although there is likely to be a fair amount of volatility in the supply chain for some time, our Cleveland warehouse and logistics will help our clients navigate these new realities.
We anticipate seeing:
- Higher inventory levels.
- Continued e-commerce adoption.
- Diversification of manufacturer locations.
No matter what challenges confront our Cleveland warehouse team, we are here for our customers, and ready to face it.
Cleveland Warehouse & Supply Chain Trends
In general, supply chain managers often prefer to keep inventory levels low to reduce overall costs. However, as we’re seeing shortages of things like cleaning supplies, health products and food, those managing supply chains are rethinking optimal inventory levels and storage locations. We’re anticipating higher demand for warehouse space to handle the uptick in goods and services. Ultimately, we anticipate this is likely to help us improve resiliency against future shocks.
Although the impact of COVID-19 is arguably one of the most substantial we can recall, the fact is that within this industry, our Cleveland warehouse team is familiar with fluctuations in stockpiles and slowdowns.
If you have questions about our Cleveland warehouse services, contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
Warehousing sector well-positioned to whether coronavirus disruption, report finds, March 17, 2020, By Morgan Forde, SupplyChainDive.com
More Blog Entries:
Cleveland 3PL Can Help Limit Coronavirus Supply Chain Impact, Feb. 18, 2020, Cleveland Warehouse Service Blog
Contracting with a Cleveland trucking company is necessary for many business owners looking for multi-level services, reduced shipping costs and loss mitigation. The price tag is usually the first and foremost consideration, but bear mind the cost will only tell you so much. To ensure you’re maximizing value, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting for that price. Skimping on quality service is a mistake most businesses can’t afford to make.
Begin with some internal assessments that will provide a clear picture of your current trucking service needs, and then analyze those that may arise in the future. Finding a trucking company prepared to accommodate growth and change in the months and years ahead will spare you the time and money of a future assessment.
Once your business needs and priorities are outlined, you can begin searching for area trucking companies that fit the basic criteria. There are hundreds of Cleveland trucking companies listed on YellowPages.com, so you’ll have your pick. However, there are ways to narrow your choices and find the one that will be the best fit.
Almost 95 percent of Fortune 1000 companies are experiencing supply chain interruptions thanks to the spread of the coronavirus, according Fortune Magazine. But our Cleveland 3PL providers know it’s not just companies like Apple and Nike that have been hit. Businesses large and small are seeing their supply chains disrupted by the rippling effects of the outbreak. In fact, those employing companies of less than 100 employees are likely going to suffer the greatest blow.
As recently reported by The Wall Street Journal, firms that rely on Chinese suppliers will obviously be affected, but even those with core operations outside of that country may feel some strain. If the spread of sickness continues, some businesses are going to see delayed goods, unfulfilled orders and unpaid invoices.
Maintaining open communication with both your suppliers and your customers during this time can help safeguard those relationships. This is true no matter what the supply chain challenge. Working with a dedicated 3PL can help lessen the repercussions.
Warehousing is a necessity for moving goods throughout the supply chain. For Northeast Ohio companies, the cost of a Cleveland warehouse lease is a key consideration when calculating the business operating budget. Because warehouse space leasing works differently than other types of commercial real estate leases, prices can vary widely. It’s necessary to have a good sense of your own needs to understand how third-party logistics warehousing firms determine their rates.
Most businesses don’t need an entire warehouse dedicated to their operations. That’s why many opt for a third-party warehousing and distribution service. On Time Delivery & Warehouse aims to make the terms of our Cleveland warehouse lease rates as fair and transparent as possible – so you can be confident you’re getting the best rate for the space and value-added services you require.
This is especially important given the warehouse market insight recently published in the Journal of Commerce Annual Review and Outlook. Industry analysts opine warehouse lease rates are likely to continue climbing through 2020, with the average rent increase for industrial properties nationally expected to exceed 5 percent for the fifth year in a row.
Analyzing Your Company’s Warehouse Needs
To begin your search for the best warehouse rates in Northeast Ohio, we recommend starting with an accounting of your own business needs. This will help establish a general price range and give our 3PL team an idea of which warehouse package is best for you.
Like the national trucking industry, Cleveland trucking companies have been working to acclimate to rapid changes and significant challenges that have cropped up in recent years. Among these:
- Too much capacity (mostly added to the market in 2017 and 2018, followed by freight market slowing in 2019);
- Depressed spot rates and contract rates;
- Rising carrier costs (including insurance, equipment and driver wages);
- Higher demand for faster deliveries;
- Driver shortages;
- Increasingly stringent federal safety regulations (with more hours of service rules likely on the way).
Although some of this was actually good for shippers (lower spot and contract rates, for instance), the trucking industry saw a wave of bankruptcies (nearly 800, according to FreightWaves.com). While concerning, the upside of this is that national trucking overcapacity was reduced by about 24,000. This is why highway transportation experts at the recent National Industrial Transportation League summit expressed “cautious optimism” about 2020.
Cleveland warehouse kitting services offer many competitive advantages to manufacturers and retailers hoping to streamline their processes and lower costs.
Warehouse kitting, a service typically handled by a 3PL, involves taking multiple stock keeping units (or SKUs) and combining them into a single package to create a separate SKU. In other words, we’re taking several individual products or parts of individual products and compiling them into “kits.” Those kits are then passed on for production and “just-in-time” deliveries.
Many companies take advantage of 3PL warehouse kitting because it allows for:
- Reduction in the number of purchase orders;
- Lowered administration costs;
- Faster assembly (for manufacturers and/or consumers);
- Optimized use of space;
- Better packaging quality;
- Fewer shipping mistakes;
- Happier customers.
Communication is a core component of any successful supply chain in terms of efficiency, security and transparency. Yet a stunning amount of Cleveland trucking logistics firms lack efficient communication solutions.
Trucking and logistics teams are responsible for moving freight across significant distances, sometimes with multiple stops, while collaborating closely with various shippers, warehouse managers and other stakeholders. Team communication is essential to ensuring deliveries arrive when, how and where customers want them. This is increasingly important because orders and shipping windows are growing smaller. Cleveland trucking logistics companies that aren’t adequately communicating – internally and externally – are risking their bottom line and that of their customers.
Poor communication can result in:
- Wasted time;
- Loss of money;
- Ineffective use of resources;
- Reduced worker morale;
- Missed innovation opportunities;
- Unsatisfied customers;
- Public relations headaches.
It’s easy enough for trucking companies to presume that whatever communication systems they’ve been using for years will continue to work just fine indefinitely. However, as the Cleveland trucking logistics experts at On Time Delivery & Warehouse know, communication inefficiencies can take months or even years to become apparent. That’s why we proactively evaluate our communication systems on a routine basis. We’re committed to making sure that the supply chains for which we are responsible are as transparent and uninterrupted as possible.
In facilitating efficient management of your supply chain, choosing a transportation and logistics partner with right combination of services that fit your company needs is essential. Unfortunately, industry jargon breeds confusion. For example, 3PL (third-party logistics) and freight brokering are often spoken of as if interchangeable. They aren’t.
As our Cleveland 3PL experts can explain, there are some similarities, but also a few key differences. When you’re in the market for a logistics partner, those differences matter.
At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, we want clients to have the information and tools necessary to determine the best solutions for their operations.
What primarily sets 3PL services and freight brokers apart (as well as freight forwarders and motor carriers) is the range of services they provide (including whether they are asset or non-asset services) and the type of primary insurance coverage they carry. Much of this is spelled out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the regulator responsible for ensuring safety and legal compliance of over the road transportation.
Cleveland intermodal transportation is a combination of two or more shipping modes, such as truck, ship, rail or aircraft, used to move goods to their final destination. It’s often most beneficial for shippers who need to move materials a distance of 750 miles or more. Third-party logistics teams are often contracted to help oversee supply chains involving intermodal transport as it involves multiple carriers each responsible for a specific mode.
Intermodal transport has been altered drastically just in the last several decades, with advances including automated terminals and double-stack cars. This led to soaring growth associated with cost reductions and productivity gains. The benefits of Cleveland intermodal transportation are still apparent, but the momentum does appear to be slowing a bit, according to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).
Domestic intermodal volume has fallen 6 percent year-over-year in the first half of 2019 and there was a nearly 8 percent drop in the second quarter of 2019. Intermodal traffic moving in trailers and containers has grown just 0.1 percent in the last five years, but it did hit a peak just last year.