Challenges in logistics and transport
It’s no secret that the trucking industry has gone through something of an upheaval because of the implementation of the electronic logging device mandate that went into effect last year. In its simplest form, the ELD mandate enforces how much truck drivers can drive and when, dictating that they cannot drive for more than 11 hours during a 14-hour period. That has caused prices to go up, drivers to look for other jobs and companies to scramble for solutions.
“The ELD is obviously a problem, and has led to something of a driver shortage,” said Jason Reed, chief executive officer of ReedTMS Logistics, based in Tampa, FL. “We are trying to stay ahead of the issue and provide solutions, but also watching what customers are doing to combat this as well.”
ReedTMS works diligently to stay abreast of all changes that could impact its customer base and tries to stay ahead of current issues and market conditions to help solve any other challenges that arise.
“Some of the innovations we have enacted to help our produce customers include trying to make the pickup and deliveries easier and changing the way we do things,” said Jordan Strawn, chief sales officer for ReedTMS Logistics. “That could be consolidation, more single or double drop and relying on line hauls. We’re also installing technology and tracking capabilities that make sure everyone is on time and that there are no delays.”
Additionally, some of its growers are starting to source items from other regions and some of the receivers are starting to do more distribution warehousing to shorten transit. Although that increases the costs on the warehouse side, it decreases the more expensive costs.
ReedTMS Logistics offers dry van, refrigerated, blanket wrap and dedicated/private fleet services delivering superior, on-time performance through a strong team, quality equipment and effective use of technology.
Reed said transporting temperature and time-sensitive truckloads with specific requirements is a challenging task but the company executes these requirements with ease as it can accommodate a range of requested temperatures, anything from below 0 to 70 degrees.
Nicholas Falk, president of Burris Freight Management, based in Orlando, FL, said carrier capacity is the biggest issue that has impacted his business.
“The providers that had and have the best relationships with carriers are the ones that have been able to grow and provide good, quality capacity for customers,” he said. “While carriers found rate increases and prices rose, many of the higher prices that were paid did not come with an increase in on time pick up or deliveries. Rate increases seemed to have been driven by some carriers looking at increased margins and not on reinvestment to their businesses to increase service or safety.”
While this was the case for many carriers, the company was one that invested in quality drivers, technology and support that will position itself over the next year to provide significant performance increases while maintaining costs.
“Capacity and maintaining some level of control over pricing will be difficult over the upcoming year,” Falk said. “The peaks and valleys of the market seem to be sharper than they have in the past, finding partners who will help to flatten out the peaks and valleys while providing good service at a price that is fair for all involved will be the challenge. In order to address this, we are spending an equal amount of time and effort focused on customers and carriers to build more dedicated support, capacity and long-term relationships.”