The shipping industry is incredibly dynamic – things are always changing, and shifting market conditions can drastically affect your companies shipping processes, budgets, and plans. The issue with working in shipping is that you don’t have the luxury of mentally checking out once you have a grasp on “how to do your day-to-day job.” The shipping industry requires constant attention, planning, and strategizing every season as new technologies and systems emerge. But how do you stay up to date with it all?
While it may seem intimidating to adjust your logistics plans, it’s essential to keep everything running smoothly. And at the end of the day, it all boils down to being attentive and taking action when necessary. If you’re trying to ensure that your business stays up to date with their 2021 logistics plan, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Keep Tabs on Market Updates
Your logistics process absolutely needs to be based around what is happening in the market – both domestically and internationally. And you shouldn’t rely on the discretion of your freight forwarder alone to know all of that. If you work in the logistics industry, assume it’s your responsibility to stay up to date on what’s happening in the market.
There is a surprising amount of useful information that can come from simple research on what’s going on in certain ports, or what’s happening with specific carriers. If you have anything you’re unsure about, discuss those questions with your freight forwarder. But the underlying message is this – don’t take a rain check on doing your market research. Stay updated, stay in the loop, and be aware of what’s happening in the market insofar as it affects your business.
Talk to Knowledgeable Forwarders
Logistics is so much more than moving cargo from point A to point B. The logistics industry is robust and complicated, and creating specific strategies to tackle nuanced situations isn’t easy. There is 100% a difference between experienced and professional freight forwarders vs. unequipped and stagnant freight forwarders. Unfortunately, it’s too easy for forwarders to mentally check out on continuous development and to fall into their same patterns and habits time after time.
If you’re looking to stay up to date with your 2021 logistics plan, you need to stay in conversation with knowledgeable and experienced freight forwarders that are dedicated to continuous improvement. You’ll know if a freight forwarder is committed to continuous improvement if they are offering unique solutions, perspectives, and answers to questions throughout your time working with them. If you ever feel like your freight forwarder is completely mentally checked out, chances are your gut instincts are correct. Find a good forwarder, talk with them, and use those conversations to fuel further development of your process, which leads to the last point…
Reassess Your Process and Past Decisions
We know that there’s a hundred and one reasons as to why you don’t like intermodal (or whatever other mode of shipping it is for you), but it’s time to ask if that was a decision you made a decade ago (or on the basis of information from a decade ago).
The logistics industry is one of the most affected industries by technological advancement and economic change. As new technology comes out, “outdated” or unstable methods of shipping drastically change. Transportation management systems, shipping vessels, tracking technology, and so much more has changed astronomically over the last several years, and it’s difficult to assume that any one mode of shipping that was unstable several years ago suffers from the same faults.
If you take the time to reassess your current shipping processes and past decisions regarding your “do’s and dont’s” of shipping, you may find significantly more efficient and effective methods of conducting your logistics practices in 2021. Talk with your freight forwarder and ask them transparent questions regarding your concerns and reasons for handling your logistics process the way you currently do. Ask for genuine feedback and take the word of forwarders you trust. The market changes quickly, and you should never presume that something is the same just because it was the case several years ago. In making sure that your logistics plan is fully up date, contact our team to make it happen.