direction for many companies.
Greg Newman, Marketing Manager for Agile Network, a company that provides integrated transportation and logistics management solutions, points out that the climate surrounding the way
in which companies interact with freight is changing as well. “The
biggest trend that we see is the notion of buying versus selling
freight. There really can be money to be made in the difference
between buying (negotiating carrier contracts, rate shopping, etc.)
and selling freight (cost passed to end customer). Smart companies recognize this delta and maximize it to their benefit,” says
Newman. If distributors can endow their shipping rates with more
value for the customer such as overnight delivery or free returns
and exchanges, the total cost of the transaction has more value
overall for the consumer, resulting in less freight sticker shock.
“The bottom line,” summarizes Sasser’s Peterson, “is that you
are looking for a partner that focuses on you, so you can focus on
your customers and your product.”
Down the Road
As companies continue to operate their business plans under the
banner of the “new normal,” logistics and transportation services
are only going to become more important to have included in end-to-end strategy plans.
Steve Palagyi, Principal at PwC’s Advisory Services, recognizes
this, encouraging distributors to make the best of their situation
by looking at all of the options in order to optimize their supply
chain. “By combining the effects of strategic sourcing with more
advanced logistics solutions, companies can decrease total cost of
their products — improving gross margins and operating margins,”
says Palagyi. “Make a decision on lowest total cost.”
A trend to watch going forward is one that is popping up all
over the place. Portnoy notes that the reshoring and nearshor-
ing efforts that continue to make a splash in the headlines will
have a definite impact on the transportation industry, potentially
reducing the complexity of the supply chain and lowering the
risks associated with global transportation. And as always, keep-
ing informed of the latest technological offerings to help mitigate
risk and increase efficiency will continue to play a big role in the
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The Sixth Wheel
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