How did we get here?
- A strong, but late produce season from California.
- A cold spring in the Northeast that delayed seasonal purchases.
- Devastating hurricanes in Houston and Florida, and the ongoing recovery efforts which will tie up capacity.
- The faster-growing economy means more goods being shipped, further restraining capacity.
- The driver shortage continues especially as the economy does well, and most drivers are already employed.
- E-commerce has increased demand throughout December, meaning no post-holiday slowdown.
- The upcoming Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) mandate that will go into effect on December 18 might also impact capacity, at least temporarily, as the industry adjusts to using the eLogs.
Surviving (and possibly thriving in) a capacity shortage
Here are 5 Tips for Finding the Capacity You Need:
- Add more carrier choices for each lane, but avoid risk by using a trusted Carrier Management Solution to onboard these new carriers.
- Focus on load optimization, and more fully load your trucks, which means fewer loads that need coverage.
- Don’t sacrifice service for savings; don’t just go with the cheapest carrier. Select the carrier that’s going to deliver on time.
- Actively monitor the market, through a Freight Rate Market Index that gives you a clear and accurate picture of current market rates (spot and contract) and automates rate analysis. This information gives you more negotiating power.
- Deploy the new technology to help find capacity. A transportation management system (TMS) platform can provide the tools to located capacity more quickly, including routing guides that display preferred carriers by lane, and analytics that can tell you how many times a carrier on a lane rejects tenders.