The trucking industry has seen a tremendous amount of growth since the COVID pandemic began. A rise in consumer shipping demand during global shutdowns and coupled with global supply chain breaks created unprecedented challenges for freight companies. While the supply chain is not yet back to full strength, the trade show and large events industry is already getting back to pre-COVID levels, adding additional requirements to an already overwhelmed logistics industry.
According to an article in NEXT Trucking, the ongoing increase in consumer demand for timely shipping requires a new approach to ensure that shipper-carrier relationships remain intact. In the past year alone, industry leaders have seen skyrocketing costs, inventory delays, driver shortages, and port congestion, each one impacting shipping timeliness. Today, trucking companies are adapting quickly to manage the disruptions impacting the industry and plan for the challenges of the future.
Trucking Industry Challenges in an Ever-Changing Marketplace
The trucking industry continues to adapt to meet the rising demands of consumers, companies, and the U.S. supply chain. Common challenges freight companies are facing today include:
- A Lack of Experienced Drivers. As consumer demand for timely shipping has increased, the number of licensed drivers available to move freight has not kept up with that demand. There are now fewer available, experienced drivers working in the transportation industry.
- Rising Costs. A rise in consumer demand has also led to an increase in costs impacting logistics providers, including fuel. As a result, consumers are seeing rising shipping costs and longer wait times.
- Inventory Delays. Consumer demand has also created inventory delays impacting the materials that companies need to produce products and services. Labor shortages and port backlogs have made this problem even worse.
Avoiding Obstacles When Shipping Materials
Our professional logistics and events team has compiled these handy tips to help you avoid ongoing supply chain challenges when shipping your materials from coast to coast.
- Build longer timelines. Planning 7-10 days for shipping in this market is ideal. Providing even more time for carriers allows them to solve problems that may occur along the way, ensuring your materials meet the required delivery dates.
- Budget for the Changing Transportation Industry. Shipping costs continue to change daily due to the rise in demand and in fuel prices. Today, shipping costs range between 25%-33% higher than pre-COVID. Start an open dialogue with your shipping carrier so you can be better prepared for changing prices and understand that it may be difficult to guarantee a shipping quote in advance.
- Label Materials Clearly. Make sure each item you are shipping is labeled clearly and carefully. Labeling your material makes it easier for general service contractors to identify your freight, minimizing the risk of lost items during transit.
- Check Your Paperwork. Carefully completing and saving your shipping paperwork (BOL and delivery receipts) is crucial to reducing problems along the route. Double-check to make sure you complete all paperwork correctly and file it somewhere safe.
- Select an Experienced Partner. Logistics and large event experience are more crucial today than ever before. Pick a shipping partner that has the experience to help make sure your materials get to their final destination on time. To reduce the stress of shipping in these challenging times, choose a trade show-savvy company that has your back.
Total Reliance Logistics Offers Flexible Solutions to Meet Your Expedited Trucking Needs
We are a woman-owned trucking company that offers quality freight shipping solutions designed to help businesses maximize reach and reduce costs. At TRL, we want to reduce the stress of transporting materials across the country. As an experienced freight carrier, we understand the complexity of the market and know how to meet your most challenging deadlines. Transportation partners across the country help us reduce the impacts of supply chain challenges on your team. Our commitment to customer service ensures a high level of support for each client. TRL’s account managers are there to help every step of the way.