What’s the New Normal in Logistics?
Let’s stop waiting for ‘the old days’ and adjust to what’s ahead.
By Kelly Greenlee
We are not pining for how it used to be before Covid It’s clear that the pandemic has exposed many pre-existing shortcomings within global supply chains. Shippers are universally struggling with market volatility, supply chain disruptions, and capacity shortages. On top of it all, they are dealing with COVID related labor issues, general labor issues, production issues, and inventory issues.
Then Versus Now
Before the pandemic, delays for shipping and logistics were not the norm. Prices for goods were relatively cheap and plentiful because there were no limitations on the number of ships arriving at port or planes entering other states and countries. Additionally, there were no preventative measures in effect that controlled how people interacted with each other and whether people needed to quarantine themselves. Also, there were little to no limitations on cargo flights compared to now. Countries and states had higher fluidity in terms of movement between them, meaning that transport was plentiful and easy between countries via suppliers.
Nowadays, however, the pandemic has created a slew of inventory issues for a variety of industries. Travel is limited between certain countries, with suppliers being prevented from delivering supplies to those with high numbers of outbreaks. Those that can fulfill supply deliveries are being met with delays due to backups and measures being implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19, further delaying logistics deliveries from fulfillment. As noted previously, because roughly half of all air cargo was transported via passenger flights, the significant reduction in air travel over the last couple of years has had a large impact on transportation and logistics.
The Good News and The Bad News
As logistics experts look ahead, they expect the disruptions to continue at least until the second half of 2022. German economist Monika Schnitzer anticipates that the current Omicron variant will only worsen the global shipping delays as we move into the Spring. “This could exacerbate the already existing delivery bottlenecks,” she warns. “Shipping times from China to the United States have already increased from 85 days to 100 days due to the Delta variant, and that could increase again. Europe is also affected by these problems, as the situation remains tense.”
“There are a lot of discussions taking place about the shipping ‘crisis’ and how it is getting worse. Over the decades, I have experienced all sorts of disruptive events, shortages, and weather in our industry. It is part of what makes our industry challenging and why our customers continually depend upon us. They want to work with RMX Global because we’ve always demonstrated reliability, consistency, capacity relationships and have the hardworking team to push through these difficult situations,” explains Kelly Greenlee, President of RMX Global.
While shippers have been under enormous pressure to keep things moving as smoothly as possible amidst supply chain disruptions, 2021 was quite a profitable year for carriers. Ocean freight rates nearly doubled last year due to shortages in container capacity, and so far, indicators show that the rates will likely continue to increase over the course of this year.
Trusted and established third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are invaluable when your logistics operations are stretched to the max and constraints on all sides. As a well-established 3PL, our team at RMX uses a unique combination of industry expertise, technology, and award-winning customer service to simplify transportation management for our customers. By working with a 3PL, such as RMX Global Logistics, you’ll be able to better manage through the new normal and stay ahead of your competition.
A new normal implies a significant change from our ways of living and doing business as compared to how we lived and worked pre-pandemic. Now, more than ever, it’s become clear that there needs to be significant change, flexibility, and cooperation among everyone in the logistics industry in order to fix the current disruptions and make the supply chains more resilient for the future.
Investments in transport infrastructure, such as such as the new large-scale infrastructure plan, are helping to make the industry more efficient, while digitalization and automation are important steps towards optimizing logistics processes that much more. In addition to the fiscal and technological side of things is the human factor. The shortage of labor, especially among truck drivers, is unsustainable. Changes will need to be made in order to attract a new and diverse labor force.
“We offer tremendous flexibility, long-term industry experience (coming up on 40 years), but what really differentiates us from the rest is our people. RMX is a very well-seasoned team that has decades of experience, which translates to decades of industry relationships. We still enjoy doing business with some of our original customers, and I think that speaks volumes,” stated Greenlee.
RMX is constantly seeking to improve. We continually investing in new technology to streamline our services and provide our customers with a seamless digital experience. Our complete transportation solutions are made to meet all your domestic freight requirements. Not only can our customers effortlessly find a load, request a delivery, and track their order in real-time with our online systems; we also provide our drivers with a loadboard section that allows for easy sign up and one-step bid application.
RMX’s powerful combination of commitment and capability provides you with a single source of professional and dependable transportation management. The entire team here at RMX is dedicated to providing reliability and structure within our freight networks. We have a history of building long-standing relationships with reliable transportation providers, making us your shipper of choice. CONTACT US today!