SOLVING THE E - COMMERCE EQUATION
providing customers with up-to-the- minute shipment information. “These digital-rst operations demonstrate our company’s versatility and lead- ing-edge strategy,” Smith says. Symbia has found a niche handling odd-shaped items, like furniture and outdoor equipment. It also provides ful- llment for many companies in the CBD industry. “Given our location, we’ve turned these niches into strategic advantages,” Smith says. Symbia is committed to sustainable operations and was an Inbound Logistics Green Supply Chain Partner for 2021. A rst step was installing energy-ef- cient LED lighting and embarking on a massive recycling initiative. In 2020, the company recycled enough metal to build four jumbo jets, along with more than 400 tons of cardboard, among other materials. Every six months, Symbia purchases 10 trees for each of its clients, or about 3,000 trees annually. In addition to the benet to the environment, these initia- tives can save money. While Symbia hasn’t been immune to the challenges facing supply chain organizations, its emphasis on an inclu- sive, equitable hiring process attracts many candidates who are nimble and interested in learning new skills. Cross- training prepares many employees to step into new positions. This ensures sus- tained, quality customer service. While many logistics rms consolidate, Symbia plans to remain family-owned and independent. “People bust down our door daily, but we’ve held strong,” Smith says. “Our independence allows Symbia to remain exible and able to invest in its employees and clients.” ACCELERATING CLICK - TO - DELIVERY SPEED TForce Logistics, an asset-light nal-mile logistics and transportation provider, works with many national carri- ers to offer a cost-effective solution. “We offer a nal-mile solution that can expand quickly and less expensively, particularly in areas of high population density,” Mills says.
“ WE OFFER A FINAL - MILE SOLUTION THAT CAN EXPAND QUICKLY AND LESS EXPENSIVELY , PARTICULARLY IN AREAS OF HIGH POPULATION DENSITY .” - DEAN MILLS VICE PRESIDENT , SALES AND MARKETING TFORCE LOGISTICS
delivery. For instance, TForce drivers might pick up packages at a retailer’s ful- llment center starting at 8 a.m. and extending until 9 p.m. that night. Because the cut-off time for captur- ing packages tends to be fairly late, most packages reach their destinations the next day. In contrast, some other carri- ers have earlier cut-off times, which shifts more packages to two-day delivery. Once a package leaves an e-com- merce company’s site, it moves to TForce’s facility, where it is sorted and co-mingled with other packages heading to the same general vicinity. This pro- cess helps ensure efcient deliveries and keeps costs down. DELIVERING EFFICIENCY From there, the TForce Logistics mobile app maps each delivery per- son’s orders to create an efcient route. Indeed, TForce’s on-time delivery rate is in the high 90s, Mills says. When drivers make a delivery, they place the package in a secure location and photograph it. An online order tracker provides enhanced visibility to shipments as they travel to consumers, who are able to monitor their orders while they’re in tran- sit to see when their package will arrive. The app provides minute-by-minute sta- tus updates, push notications, and location tracking. “Everyone is striving to shorten the ‘click-to-delivery speed’ or the time from when an order is placed until it’s deliv- ered,” Mills says. “We can help most customers achieve this.” As TForce meets this need for its clients, it will continue to grow. “There’s no end in sight,” Mills adds. n
While some regional nal-mile com- panies operate only in a specic region, TForce’s distribution network covers many population centers across North America. In Canada, TForce’s net- work spans from Newfoundland to British Columbia. In the United States, TForce built out its network several years ago, and now covers the most populous areas of the United States. While the TForce net- work spans much of the country, it has a particularly robust presence in the north- eastern and southeastern states, as well as in California and Texas. As important as the network is the technology that connects drivers to TForce, Mills says. Because the com- pany’s business model is asset-light, and isn’t tied to specic vehicles or drivers, it’s generally more cost effective than other options, he adds. Advanced logistics tools enable TForce to identify the most cost-effec- tive solution for each business’s needs. All its drivers are equipped with a TForce Logistics’ mobile app. This sequences the routing for each driver, so deliveries are made as efciently as possible. TForce provides its clients a range of cost-effective delivery and pricing options, including same-day and next- day delivery. TForce’s exible solutions are also affordable, eliminating cost bar- riers for any business seeking same-day or next-day delivery options so they can compete with larger e-commerce enti- ties. Its drivers can pick up and deliver from warehouses or stores or consolidate deliveries at TForce’s docks. The TForce model also allows for exibility, and in many cases, next-day
42 Inbound Logistics • March 2022
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