Shipping Food With an Eye on Visibility to Reduce Delays & Bottlenecks

MercuryGate Blog - Freight Category

In the current situation, it’s easy to assume disruption caused by COVID-19 triggered problems in the supply chain. However, it is not necessarily the virus causing these problems; it’s the changes in shipping and purchasing behaviors. That’s right—consumers still control the flow, and when shipping food, consumer changes in demand will have resounding effects on the ROI of your systems. Such effects compound when highlighted by a crisis.

As explained by Supply Chain Dive, “food supply chains are running at full tilt downstream, with essential businesses like grocery stores posting Thanksgiving-like sales volumes in recent weeks. But upstream, the global raw materials supply chain is suffering from bottlenecks and diversions caused by varied national responses to the COVID-19 global pandemic.”
As a result, shippers and logistics service providers (LSPs) need to understand the causes of delays, why visibility solves the challenges, and a few tips for increasing food shipment management.

Causes of Delays and Bottlenecks

The causes of delays and bottlenecks within food transport derived from the issues that arise when poor visibility exists. Failure to maintain proper temperature controls may lead to delays for carriers and refusal to accept shipments at the dock. Poor planning of the route could result in a lengthy trip and an inability to move product fast enough to ensure its freshness. Unfortunately, some problems are inevitable, such as a sudden surge in demand caused by an unprecedented event that literally drained available suppliers of food and necessities. However, increased visibility could improve shipping food processes and avoid such issues as well.

Visibility Is Paramount to Shipping Food Safely

A few factors contribute more to the importance of shipping food than visibility. However, visibility is only as good as the technology that enables success in food shipping.
As explained by Food Quality & Safety Magazine, “integrating telematics is a process of continuous improvement. Fleets that are just beginning to utilize telematics typically start by installing door switches to ensure the unit turns off during deliveries, while fleets that take an all-inclusive approach to telematics implement driver training, change loading practices, adjust pre-cooling procedures, and more.”
Shippers and LSPs need to increase visibility now to successfully reduce delays and bottlenecks by improving the dock schedule and reducing the risk of congestion at the facility.

How to Improve Food Shipping Processes

Instead of relying on a manual, labor-intensive process for managing inbound and outbound low in food shipping, organizations should follow these best practices:
  1. Implement processes to track temperature.
  2. Optimize routes, carriers, and trailers to avoid risky transport options.
  3. Track entry to the trailer.
  4. Enable airflow and circulation, identifying when problems arise early with analytics-driven insights.
  5. Connect telematics to improve transparency to B2B partners.
  6. Let robotics process automation intervene when necessary.

Reap the Value of a Connected, Advanced TMS for Food Shipping Now

A connected, advanced transportation management system (TMS) gives businesses the resources necessary to increase visibility and achieve transparency within their supply chains. Food logistics is subject to the same principle as well, and MercuryGate has the experience and resources to make it possible.

Request a demo of the MercuryGate platform to learn more today.

MercuryGate

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