Tips for Navigating a Capacity Crunch

DeAnna Swinton
Published on July 8, 2020

As the saying goes, hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Below are a few of our tips for navigating a capacity crunch. In a capacity crisis, where the landscape is competitive and there’s not enough freight to go around, you need to be limber in order to keep your business moving. Below are a few things you can do to prepare: 

Reexamine budgets throughout your organization.

At a minimum, look at budgets in your procurement, finance, planning, and customer service departments. You’ll also want an eye on production facilities, vendors, customers, and any distribution centers — whether owned or leased. Other companies will be doing this. In fact, some wise ones already have.

Provide as much advance notice as possible, and keep your options open.

Your ability to be flexible will be your key to beating out the competition for capacity. You may have to push out pick-up one day or more, but a capacity crunch is not the time to dismiss availability if you’re lucky enough to find it.

Look at the quality and structure of the brokers you use.

In 2018, shippers gravitated toward larger carriers (using brokers as safety nets on “emergency” loads), and were left scrambling when those carriers left them high and dry to follow the freight in a tight market. Don’t let history repeat itself. Talk to your brokers about adding steady capacity as truckers drop lanes. Brokers that specialize in mid-market carriers can add drop trailers and offer 100% electronic visibility on your loads.

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 a capacity crisis, while beating your competitors to the trucks and to the shelves. Trust us - we’ve navigated quite a few crises in our 60+ years of business.

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