As a long-time 3PL firm and provider of Cleveland last-mile delivery services, we understand the important role logistics plays in getting products where they need to go – intact and on time. When logistics aren’t effectively coordinated, communication and visibility suffer and bottlenecks and delays become inevitable. This was illustrated recently in early efforts to distribute newly-available COVID-19 vaccines.
We should start by saying this was never going to be a perfect process because of the scale, limited supply, outsized demand and sheer number of stakeholders. But it was largely presumed the rollout wouldn’t be overly-taxing on U.S. transportation capacity. So why the many roadblocks? And what can businesses learn from it?
It’s possible supply chain inefficiencies in some states could be partially addressed with expanded trucking capacity. But complex storage, handling and administration requirements were an undeniable part of the equation. Beyond that though, it does seem the trouble broadly has been less in getting available vaccines from manufacturers to the states and more with logistical struggles in facilitating last-mile deliveries.
This is unsurprising because, as any 3PL service provider knows, last-mile deliveries are often the trickiest. This is true whether we’re talking about airplane parts or toilet paper or medicine. It didn’t help that this was essentially a massive, brand new supply chain with untested routes and logistics coordination.
The takeaway for businesses is that no matter what your industry, it’s imperative that your Cleveland last-mile delivery 3PL service be one with extensive experience, established routes, top-tier technology and trusted supply chain partners.
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.
Some think of logistics and supply chain management as simply moving goods from one place to the next. In reality, it’s a complex and dynamic trillion-dollar industry, with outsourcing proven to be mission-critical for companies edging out competition.
Reliable supply chain management partners know it’s always been a challenging field, though it’s true lately many of us are facing down some tough realities. Those include higher rates, capacity shortages and now a pending trade war and import/ export uncertainties. This tightening of the market (especially in ground transportation) means those of us on the front lines need to be innovative now more than ever – while also holding true to the best practices and relationships that allowed us to ride out past tumult.
If you depend on Cleveland supply chain management, you may be interested in these surprising statistics offering insight into the industry – and where it’s headed.
In 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.
Freight shipping (aka freight transport) is the physical process by which we move goods and cargo through the sea, land and air. Like so many other industries in recent years, freight shipping has been forced to evolve to meet ever-increasing consumer expectations, thanks in part to the so-called “Amazon effect.”
The Amazon effect is named for the multi-billion dollar online retailer that sells everything from podcast equipment to pools – usually delivering in a matter of a couple days or even hours.
Our Cleveland freight shipping experts know that once-upon-a-time (not so very long ago), companies used to capture customers on their own terms. Now, the Amazon effect means customers expect to be addressed on their terms – and on their timelines. It’s not quite as fast as a fairy godmother, but it’s often pretty close.
That means freight shippers must keep up – and we’re committed to doing just that. Freight shipping and 3PL providers that used to launch strategic planning initiatives every three years now need to make sure improvements are constant. On Time Delivery & Warehouse is dedicated to guaranteeing our Cleveland freight shipping services and supply chain operations are agile and responsive and employ the best people and technology available – all while making safety a top priority.
E-commerce is a rapidly-advancing supply chain frontier, driving demand for well-placed public warehousing in Northeast Ohio. But simply providing empty space isn’t enough for many businesses. Effective third-party logistics (3PL) involves a trifecta of quality warehousing, shipping and fulfillment – and it all must be done from a strategically advantageous location.
3PL warehousing and distribution itself isn’t new. It’s a cornerstone business strategy that can streamline the flow of goods through the supply chain by helping you control costs, limit over-stocked inventory and arrange timely transportation. Whether you’re a small start-up company staking a presence or a large firm intent on seizing ripe opportunity in a new area, 3PL warehousing at On Time Delivery & Warehouse offers desirable options for smart scaling of your operations in Cleveland and beyond.
Our 3PL warehousing experts recognize the complexity of fluctuating logistics and will work to help you tailor a public warehousing and distribution plan that fits. Although many companies initially seek public warehousing as a short-term solution, these arrangements often turn into long-term relationships for On Time Delivery & Warehouse. Businesses find our 3PL warehousing and distribution services are not only convenient but key to their ongoing competitive edge.
The market for third-party logistics (3PL, or sometimes TPL) in Cleveland and globally is on an upswing, according to recent analysis by researchers at TechNavio.
For those unfamiliar, third-party logistics and supply chain management is when companies use third-party businesses, like On Time Delivery & Warehouse, to outsource elements of distribution and fulfillment services. A wide range of industries benefit from having a third party involved in the logistics process, which helps reduce cycle times and inventories, lower cost and bolster customer service.
The more companies discovering the profitability of hiring a 3PL, the faster the industry and demand grows. Ohio is considered a prime route for 3PL because of its central Midwest location and easy highway access.
At On Time Delivery & Warehouse (OTDW), our Cleveland 3PL is at the forefront of this growth trend, offering business-to-business operations a reliable means to meet rising consumer demand. We’re not just any Cleveland trucking company or warehouse provider. We pride ourselves on fast, efficient distribution and transloading freight operations. Clients trust us to quickly and carefully load, unload, store and ship their materials and ensure customers receive them punctually and in excellent condition.