Why Apathy May Be The Greatest Threat To Your Supply Chain

Even before the pandemic threw a wrench into the supply chain, severe disruptions were years in the making. From 2014 to 2018, drivers reported a 27.4% increase in delays lasting six or more hours. Analysis conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) found that “shippers and receivers are either not aware of the impact the delays are causing or are simply unwilling to address it.”

In other words, there’s apathy: indifference or a lack of concern about supply chain deficiencies. It’s common to become complacent when facing a mountain of logistics decisions, but it can often lead to stressful delays. But much of the stress and hassle can be alleviated with the right supply chain partners and investment in the right technology.

Shipping apathy threatens the supply chain

According to ATRI, expected delays related to heavy traffic volume, unexpected accidents, or weather were common. But they also found inefficiencies were related to labor shortages and dock worker apathy. Other inefficiencies such as overbooked shipping appointments, lengthy refrigerated load protocols, and lack of equipment to load or unload were also cited as causes. Improper estimates of dock capacity causing misalignment with freight movement was yet another significant inefficiency threatening the supply chain.

Survey respondents indicated that delays could be significantly reduced when well-organized carriers use technology, adhere to scheduled appointments, and implement as-needed extended business hours. However, many businesses lack real-time data about what is happening down the supply chain, which forces them to make last-minute and often costly decisions to keep freight moving. The same issues come up survey after survey, indicating that facilities are doing little to address these grievances.

Fleet tracking provides greater transparency

While managers may not have control over every aspect of the supply chain, a Transportation Management System (TMS) provides total visibility and a clear understanding of where action can be taken. Improvements can only be made once there is complete visibility into the freight’s journey every step of the way.

CTSI-Global’s Honeybee TMS™ allows managers to answer critical questions:

  • Which routes are blocked near supplier distribution centers?
  • Which overseas suppliers can be localized to minimize delays?
  • Can any loads get consolidated?
  • Which carriers have the best/worst track records?
  • How can we rapidly source bids to find stand-ins and ensure orders arrive on time?”

Technology generates a good ROI

Though the technology exists to help manage these supply chain challenges, stakeholder buy-in hasn’t been swift. But by investing in new systems, a good return on investment can be realized for companies with tight transportation budgets and thin profit margins. In addition, the money saved by reducing shipping costs, expediting freight, and identifying bottlenecks more quickly allows companies to see a faster return on investment.

Big shippers have looked to technology to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 crisis, but supply chain shortages are predicted to persist through 2023. Every supply chain partner, big and small, can benefit from holistic intelligence to aid in decision-making.

Invest in the growth of your business by contacting us to learn more about implementing a high-tech solution.