Inbound Logistics | June 2021

[ IN FOCUS ] Shaping the Future of the Global Supply Chain TAKEAWAYS

CISCO SNAGS TOP SUPPLY CHAIN SPOT Cisco Systems earned the number-one spot in Gartner’s ranking of the 2021 top 25 supply chains. The technology company’s agility and strength in environmental, social, and governance initiatives helped prioritize critical infrastructure for hospitals and vaccine research, Gartner says. Four new companies on this year’s list include Dell Technologies, Pfizer, General Mills, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Gartner determined this year’s companies based on three key qualities: purpose- driven operations focused on keeping society running during the pandemic and meaningful green initiatives; accelerated transformation; and achieving digital- first supply chains to enable a seamless

U.S. Reefer Load-to-Truck Ratio


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customer experience. 1 Cisco Systems

Refrigerated Shipping Heats Up Demand for temperature-controlled shipping is expected to continue to grow as vaccination rates increase and people gather for summer picnics and barbeques, says a C.H. Robinson report. Foodservice refrigerated volumes are also bouncing back as restaurants reopen, the traveling public dines out, and festivals and large functions commence. High prices continue: The load-to-truck ratio (LTR), which indicates loads posted versus trucks posted, for key temperature-controlled markets such as Florida, California, and Texas have already hit record highs before the produce season’s peak weeks, suggesting high pricing will continue as demand outstrips supply. The national LTR in 2021 demonstrates the highest levels of imbalance in six years ( see chart ). Attracting drivers: The temperature-controlled truckload sector faces even greater challenges finding drivers for trucks than dry van, because it requires drivers to manage a refrigeration unit and the temperature of the trailer. Because capacity in the temperature-controlled market will not likely increase significantly, enhanced compensation strategies for drivers will be more successful for dry vans, the report says. Stay flexible: The tight truck market will likely impact capacity and pricing. Planning and flexibility are critical for supply chains this year. C.H. Robinson advises shippers to expect seasonal movement in truckload pricing, with the year-end bringing a higher cost per mile than today. Load-to-truck ratios (LTRs) represent the number of loads posted versus trucks posted on load boards. To determine LTR, the number of load posts is divided by the number of truck posts. The resulting number indicates the balance between spot market demand and capacity. When there are more loads posted, LTR rises. When there are more trucks posted, LTR dips. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in rates.

2 Colgate-Palmolive 3 Johnson & Johnson 4 Schneider Electric 5 Nestlé 6 Intel 7 PepsiCo 8 Walmart 9 L’Oréal 10 Alibaba 11 AbbVie 12 Nike 13 Inditex 14 Dell Technologies

15 HP Inc. 16 Lenovo 17 Diageo 18 Coca-Cola Company 19 British American Tobacco 20 BMW 21 Pfizer 22 Starbucks 23 General Mills 24 Bristol Myers Squibb 25 3M

20 Inbound Logistics • June 2021

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