New technological offerings that promise to solve a myriad of supply chain woes hit the market almost daily. An influx of options — combined with a pandemic-fueled push to become more tech-savvy — has made it more difficult than ever for companies to know which solutions are worth adopting. Additionally, rapid adoption can make it more challenging for companies to ensure they are taking advantage of each tool’s full potential.
In the midst of an unprecedented economic resurgence and resulting capacity crunch, it is crucial for companies across the supply chain to use all the tools in their arsenal. In addition to healthy consumer spending, there has been a steep increase in the general public’s willingness to shop online, resulting in a monumental e-commerce surge. This trend has had and will continue to have a ripple effect across the industry, resulting in everything from congested ports to driver redistribution.
“The social adoption of online shopping will certainly change the landscape,” Nucor Director of Logistics Rob Roberson said. “The demand for parcel and LTL drivers will draw from the full truckload pool.”
Truckload drivers are already in short supply, even before accounting for the effects of a sustained e-commerce boom. Drivers are retiring in record numbers, and there are not enough young drivers entering the space to replace them. At the same time, the federal Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse is sidelining a substantial number of drivers. All these factors combined contribute to the ongoing driver squeeze, ramping up pressure on capacity and making the market even more difficult to navigate for everyone. Without the right tools, it is difficult to overcome these challenges.
IntelliTrans is an industrial-focused TMS Control Tower, providing execution and visibility for rail, truck and waterway transport. As the subject matter expert in supply chain management and technology for bulk commodity manufacturers and suppliers, the company strives to provide clients with 100% supply chain visibility and become a partner and adviser in their end-to-end supply chain management process. That includes helping clients ensure they are adopting the right technologies and using them in the best possible way for their unique business models.
“The TMS partnership has been monumental. We ship upwards of 1.2 million truckloads a year,” Roberson said. “We have been IntelliTrans customers for about 12 years. The differentiating proposition for us was the holistic visibility and ease of tendering.”
Having a technology partner that makes securing and tracking capacity easier is important no matter what is going on with the market. At a time when inefficiencies could leave a company without any transportation options at all, however, it is essential.
“When we started looking for a TMS to support our road map, it was clear that IntelliTrans was the most resourceful and well thought out in terms of providing an operating advantage to their customers,” said Lee Leifsen, manager of transportation analytics at Clearwater Paper Corp. “It is very much designed to support operations coordinators, but it also supports transportation analytics teams in developing and executing strategies to help manage their carrier relationships.”
Ultimately, companies that resist technological innovation or refuse to audit their current systems at this point may be risking more than just favorable rates; they may be risking the viability of their business. The right partner can not only help companies make it out of a stressed market in one piece, but can help them thrive in the process.