There’s currently no end in sight, but there are a few recommendations I would implore shippers to consider. You’ll need to be limber in order to keep your business moving, as it’s going to be more competitive than ever. To start, I recommend reexamining budgets throughout your organization, from procurement, to finance, to planning, to customer service, your production facilities, vendors, customers, and please don’t forget about any distribution centers owned or leased. Trust me, you’re not the only company doing this, and some wise organizations are ahead of the curve. Second, your ability to be flexible will be your key to beating out the competition for capacity. Provide as much advance notice as possible, and keep your options open. You may have to push out pickup one day or more – but now is not the time to dismiss availability if you’re lucky enough to find it. The trucking market is as alive as the stock market. It’s far more stable and predictable, but it moves up and down, and nobody—not the largest shippers, the largest carriers, and the largest 3PLs combined, control it. It does what it wants. If you’re able to budget accordingly, incorporate flexibility, and strengthen partnerships with your loyal carrier and broker friends, you’ll be able to weather this crisis, while beating your competitors to the trucks and to the shelves.
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