Three Ways Shippers Can be Competitive in the Face of Disruption

There is no understating the level of disruption that the Covid-19 pandemic has created for global trade. For over a year and a half, shippers have been fighting a battle on all fronts with fluctuating demand, labor, and goods shortages, snarled supply chains, and reduced capacity courtesy of lockdowns and closures.

The resulting chaos highlighted the vulnerability of global supply chains and the powerful knock-on effects that even minor disruptions in trade can have. But the crisis represents a unique opportunity for the shipping industry to take a hard look at how it does business, fix what is broken, and come out stronger and more resilient.

Shipping firms’ ability to remain competitive in this volatile landscape will be highly dependent on their flexibility and their ability to make short-term trade-offs in the name of innovation and long-term gains.

Adapt the forecasting process

When markets are moving fast and unpredictably, nimbleness and responsiveness are essential at scale. Adapting forecasting processes to aggregate and analyze data quickly and accurately will enable shippers to spot trends and deficiencies quickly, assess risks, and promptly respond to changing needs.

Analytics and business intelligence tools that provide firms with real-time data can help them make more accurate forecasts and build disruptions into their supply chains and decision-making processes. Once irregularities are identified, shippers can make more informed decisions on trade-offs like paying more for quicker transit times or choosing to wait longer in the name of cost-effectiveness.

Simplify supply chains

The pandemic was a rough awakening to the vulnerabilities of long, just-in-time supply chains. While short supply chains are still vulnerable to disruptions, sourcing raw materials closer to home solves two problems: removing intermediaries and reducing transit times. The fewer stopovers and go-betweens on your supply chains, the fewer opportunities you’ll have to run into snags.

Identifying weak links and finding more efficient alternatives may be costly in the short run, but firms will reap the rewards in more streamlined and disruption-proof supply chains.

Embrace digital transformation

End-to-end visibility of supply chains is essential to support effective forecasting, identifying areas of improvement, and expediting response times. In addition, investing in a platform that centralizes and analyzes data from multiple sources can help break down information silos, promote cohesiveness, and allow shippers to get a fuller picture of their operation.

CTSI-Global’s Honeybee TMS™ allows shipping firms complete visibility into their supply chains and more efficient management of their resources. Modules like Carrier Selection, Load Optimization, and Freight Audit help our clients find the best suppliers and transportation modes for their needs and provide them with the correct data to ensure optimal decisions every time.

To learn more about staying competitive with digital transformation, contact us.