Logistics Capacity Needs Reach New Highs
by Scott Vigneault, on December 20, 2017
The changes affecting the retail and services industries, many dealing with a shift from in-person shopping to online sales, have drastically impacted the demand for various links in companies' supply chains. While some measures, such as relative amounts of goods purchased in conventional stores, have fallen, there are a few eternally relevant needs. For instance, there is transportation of products and materials.
Driven by New Models of Commerce
Materials still need to get to manufacturing plants, and finished items must reach customers. While the nature of the transactions enabling this flow of items has changed appreciably in recent years, the demand for trucks, trains and ships to move freight has not. In fact, Supply Chain Dive recently explained that e-commerce surges such as Black Friday still have the power to stretch supply chains beyond their previous capacity.
Carriers are boosting hiring en masse, changing their pricing structures and increasing their responsiveness in any way possible. In the era of e-commerce, "peak" retail seasons truly reflect new peaks in activity and demand. Logistics Management noted that according to official statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation, companies preparing for the end-of-year rush turned October into the busiest shipping month in history, according to the agency's Freight Transportation Services Industry measure.
Battling Back through Technology
Facing levels of demand that have literally never been seen before, logistics firms are finding advantages wherever they can. Building internal process efficiency is one way to stay on top of operations when need reaches pinnacle levels. Getting a more effective enterprise labeling system can provide a few such advantages for transportation firms.
For example, logistics organizations that are able to connect their labeling systems with other organizations' digital resources can potentially eliminate re-labeling when shipments pass between companies. Centralized and consistent systems are also more accurate overall than cobbled-together solutions that might replicate data across multiple locations. Preventing data mistakes is another way to potentially save time in the busiest freight era on record.
For more on Enterprise Labeling, check out this report on the Changing Landscape of Barcode Labeling.