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It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought unprecedented change for people, organizations, and governments, but it’s long-term effects on the global supply chain are just beginning to come into focus. Every supply chain is different, and business leaders have been compelled to respond to this altered future in new and innovative ways. However, common themes have emerged. In this article, GlobalTranz’s leaders and logistics experts share insights gleaned from recent experience developing solutions for customers across a wide variety of industries.

Tightly interconnected global supply chains experienced excessive strain during the height of the pandemic, and some were stretched to the breaking point. Supply chain leaders are taking a fresh look at their supply chains in order to build greater resiliency to future shocks. Everything is on the table, from increased supply chain digitalization to nearshoring and/or reshoring critical aspects of their supply chains to finding new ways to secure capacity and ensure seamless delivery in a tight market.

Building Resilience

As GlobalTranz’s CTO, Russ Felker, commented in a recent article in GlobalTrade Magazine, “As companies look ahead to the economic recovery, it is imperative that they obtain greater visibility into their own facilities, their direct suppliers, and logistics partners. The crisis demonstrates the need for resiliency and accurate, real-time information that can help businesses make better-informed decisions and mitigate the costs of supply chain disruptions.”

Key Factors for Evaluating Nearshoring and Reshoring

Evaluating nearshoring and reshoring options is another important component in building enhanced resilience. David Commiskey, GlobalTranz’s VP of Customer Solutions, shared his perspective with, “Our experience is that shippers are not leaning away from globalization, but they are re-evaluating their strategy and taking a more holistic approach. The traditional approach to globalization was primarily driven by cost-savings. However, as tariffs and COVID-19 have demonstrated, there are other important factors for shippers to consider when it comes to their supply chain. Risk mitigation has grown in importance, leading shippers to diversify their supplier base to ensure they have contingency sources for key products, parts, and components.”

Renewed interest in nearshoring is being driven not just by COVID-19, but other factors as well, including the new USMCA trade deal. David Henry, GlobalTranz’s Regional Manager, Mexico, shared his perspective with The Loadstar, commenting, “For U.S. Shippers, Mexico is attractive from a cost point of view, but also in terms of control of supply chains. The automotive industry initially suffered a lack of spare parts out of Asia, and near-shoring a greater percentage of those supply chains to Mexico brings a lot of opportunity. The ability to expedite a truckload shipment, compared with having to put goods on a container ship and then wait a month for them, or use much more expensive air freight, which has its own capacity issues, the advantage is pretty clear and a lot of organizations are looking to take advantage of it.”

Rising to the E-commerce Challenge

COVID-19 has also dramatically increased the volume of e-commerce purchasing, straining the final mile delivery capabilities for many shippers. As Karen Tyndal, GlobalTranz’s Director of Customer Solutions, pointed out in a new article in Logistics Viewpoints, “…the greatest challenges of final mile delivery are ensuring appropriate levels of customer service and delivering a customer experience that is aligned with your brand. Entrusting a shipment to a carrier is one thing; partnering with a carrier that interacts directly with your customer at the point of delivery is another. Your last mile provider is seen by your customer as an extension of your brand. If they are unprofessional in their attire or demeanor, if they fail to deliver on time, or if they do not perform expected services such as installation, assembly, or hauling away old equipment,  your customer will take notice and may form negative associations which damage brand loyalty.”

Finding Capacity In A Tight Market

To compound the challenges shippers are contending with, truckload volumes are also surging. GlobalTranz recently introduced a Pop-Up Fleet solution for shippers seeking to protect themselves from fluctuating rates and tight capacity in volatile markets. “Truckload freight volumes are now tracking toward one of the highest year-end levels we have seen since 2017,” said Ross Spanier, GlobalTranz’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Solutions. “Shippers are experiencing significant constraints on available truckload capacity, along with the resulting increases in rates,” added Spanier.

While navigating today’s transportation markets can be particularly challenging, finding solutions should not be. To learn more about how GlobalTranz’s logistics experts, TMS technology, and innovative solutions can transform your supply chain, please contact us today.