We delve into how shippers can leverage the quiet season’s relative calm to prepare their operations for the year ahead and beyond.
While not all industries have seasonality in their logistics operations, many shippers follow a common trend of lower activity from January to March. This respite from the surging volumes of the spring, summer, and holiday months can provide an excellent opportunity to assess your logistic partners’ performance over the previous year, improve your IT resources, and evaluate new industry trends.
Deepen and expand vendor relationships
Examine your productivity and points of friction from the previous year, and evaluate your relationships with your partners. For example, if your carrier performed well, consider deepening that association and transitioning to a more contractual relationship to lower costs.
Conversely, if your carriers performed poorly or needed to be more communicative about issues facing your freight, consider expanding your carrier network to find a more suitable partner to meet your logistics needs.
And when establishing new relationships with carriers, or deepening existing ones, look for ways to implement early planning and book as many shipments as possible on more profitable terms.
Evaluate new industry trends
Drone delivery or fully electrifying your operations might not be in the cards for your business, but that doesn’t mean new industry trends can’t apply to your business. Machine learning algorithms are increasingly making the logistics industry more efficient and profitable.
Implementing a new or improved warehouse management system (WMS) is often low-hanging fruit shippers can look towards to innovate during the quiet season.
Many shippers are still running outdated technology in their warehousing operations. Upgrading these systems can improve efficiencies and provide actionable insights.
How long does it take to load a truck? How long does it take you to strip a container? A modern WMS can help you identify where you’re performing well and areas you need improvement.
Strengthen IT infrastructure
If you’ve been hitting the snooze button on multi-factor authentication or other IT security best practices, the 2023 quiet season is the time to act.
The number of supply chain cyber-attacks is growing exponentially, and they are becoming more sophisticated. CrowdStrike Intelligence observed an 82% increase in ransomware-related data leaks in 2021, with 2,686 attacks as of Dec. 31, 2021, compared to 1,474 in 2020.
What can you do to protect your business from these online threats? Invest in infrastructure and your people to build a workplace culture of cyber security.
Nearly 80% of cyberattacks leverage identity-based attacks or social engineering to compromise systems. Continuously educating your employees and creating a culture of cyber security is an essential pillar of defense against cyber threats.
If you’re interested in a fast and free quote for your shipping needs at ENERGY Transportation Group, get in touch with our logistics professionals!