When was the last time you re-evaluated your transportation network? The industry is seeing increases in freight rates along with shortages in professional drivers and capacity. The processes that worked in the past for your transportation network could now be costing you time, money, and possibly your business.
An optimized transportation network begins with continuous improvement. This includes taking into account new and future challenges, as well as regular analysis of all data.
In a time when consumer demand is putting a premium on the flexibility of transportation networks, you have to make sure you have the capacity and drivers available to ramp up on a moment’s notice. Ultimately, if your transportation network is out of sync, so is your business.
Say you’ve always used a common carrier to deliver goods and materials. Or, you have a private fleet. Or you rely on a dedicated fleet from a trusted partner. In today’s environment, this single source strategy may no longer be cost effective and may be limiting your flexibility.
- What is my active truck utilization rate?
- How stable is my transportation network?
- Can my company, and supply chain, benefit from an integrated approach?
- How much flexibility do I have now? How much do I need?
For many businesses, the key to meeting the challenges of today’s shipping environment is an all-of-the-above strategy. This approach integrates a base private or dedicated fleet with procured common carriers. By considering all network lanes and available freight models, shippers can get the best of all worlds – the reliable capacity, high service levels, and predictable costs that dedicated models offer, with flexibility to ramp up using procured carrier capacity when surges in demand strain fleet resources.
Switching to an integrated transportation solution that combines your fleet and common carriers can be a perfect solution in today’s transportation environment. However, it’s important to do your homework first. Start with a careful network optimization analysis to identify your base needs and the right strategy for moving forward.
Incorporate other factors into the equation such as distance traveled, number of stops, types of equipment, returns and/or vendor pickups, issues with empty miles, and customer delivery requirements.
Earlier this year, Ryder launched a new advanced technology tool – Ryder TranSync™ – that can look at these factors on a daily basis, providing companies with real time analysis of their network, and optimizing it to the lowest cost and best service. For more information on TranSync, click here.
Once the network is in place, you’ll need full visibility. This is where TranSync comes in. The tool was developed because there was no other solution on the market that gives the full network visibility needed to meet customers’ needs.
Having an optimized transportation network that blends your fleet with common carriers is a perfect way to solve capacity and driver issues. The key is finding the balance that makes the most sense for your business.
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Authored by Dan McHugh
Dan McHugh is Vice President of Business Development for the Ryder Dedicated Transportation Solutions. In this role, Dan is responsible for supporting NAFTA-related sales efforts and developing the Ryder Dedicated division. Dan most recently held the position of Group Director in Ryder Dedicated operations team, where he ensured the successful implementation of Ryder Dedicated services for key Ryder customers.