Inbound Logistics | May 2022


Port delays and driver shortages have been making daily headlines of late. But there’s a key piece of the transportation equation that hasn’t been getting as much attention: Many trucks clogging dockyards and highways are moving at less- than-maximized capacity. Delays, damage, and waste are inherent to less-than- truckload (LTL) and truckload (TL) shipping modes, finds new data from Drive Research and Flock Freight. It is these inefficiencies, and not just the labor shortage, that is breaking supply chains, the companies assert in a new report. The report illustrates how often LTL and TL inefficiencies cause late delivery and increase shipping costs. In fact, of the 200 shippers surveyed, only one in seven were Finding Increased Revenue in Agility-Boosting Tech While it’s clear that pandemic-induced business disturbances and supply chain disruptions wreaked havoc on many businesses in 2021, a new survey from B2B software firm Cleo, conducted by Dimensional Research, brings to light a lesser-known finding: executives making investments in agility-increasing technology were able to increase revenue during the pandemic in 2021. The study highlights the top supply chain and technology challenges facing businesses today and shows that respondents are prioritizing agility via integration technology in order to mitigate disruptions. A New Fix for Broken Supply Chains?

highly satisfied with their current shipping process for mid-size freight. The inefficiencies stem from unoptimized trucking routes, time wasted in transloading, high damage rates, changing size restrictions, and accessorial charges, according to the survey. Shared truckload (STL) solutions—where several shippers share trailer space in one multi-stop full truckload—may be the solution to mitigate the risks inherent in traditional shipping modes in order to maximize efficiency and cut costs, notes the report. Freight sent via STL stays on the same truck during transit without transloading at shipping docks, which reduces damage risk. It also travels on technology-optimized routes that avoid hubs and terminals. And, by reducing potential for shipping delays, shippers using STL can meet OTIF (on time in full) requirements and reduce fees. An increase in STL use could be one fix for broken supply chains, the study concludes.

Companies focused on business agility & integration technology investments to increase their revenue:

71% 35%

invested over $100,000 in supply chain technologies invested over $100,000 in inte- gration technologies

93% 87% 50%

focused on improving their business agility in 2021

say supply chain investments mitigated business disruptions

increased revenues by $1M or more from improved agility

Technology Investments • 71% of respondents invested $100,000 or more in supply chain technology in 2021; the investments were made largely to combat disruptions and business threats. • 59% of those surveyed invested in integration technology as their primary method to respond to disruptions threatening their business, while 53% invested in back-office applications such as ERP, CRM, WMS, or TMS solutions. • Business leaders from one in five companies (19%) state that increased agility resulting from investment in integration technology drove $3 million or more in additional revenue in 2021. 50% report at least $1 million in additional revenue and 73% saw increases of at least $500,000. • 99% of leaders report increased revenue because of agility- increasing technology investments.

Here are the key findings from the survey: Business Threats & Resulting Concerns

• 68% of respondents report the pandemic was the greatest external threat to their business, followed by supply chain disruption (44%). Both groups say these threats were damaging to business partner relationships as well. • 90% of companies say they replaced or terminated at least one business partner in 2021, citing: o Supplier problems (60%) o Manufacturing problems (50%) o Shipping problems (44%) • 48% of businesses suspended or terminated two or more lines of business in 2021.

May 2022 • Inbound Logistics 25

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