A Strategic Approach to Strengthening Supply Chains

Q: What is a leveraged platform?

A: A leveraged platform means a logistics service provider employs the same best practices to manage its own supply chain needs as it does for its client base. Benefits to shippers include mode optimization and greater usage of co-load products, as well as intermodal conversion from truckload (TL), or creating TL partials from large less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments.

Combining the scale of a large organization with a locally based station network allows logistics service providers to offer shippers partnerships based on delivering value through a network of shippers and freight patterns.

Q: What innovative sustainability initiatives also increase efficiency?

A: One initiative that transportation and logistics providers can take part in is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay program. SmartWay partners have saved 120.7 million barrels of oil, according to the EPA.

Shippers can also consolidate freight to reduce the number of trucks on the road. LTL carriers collect freight from a group of shippers, then consolidate that freight for delivery to a single point. Functioning like a carpool for freight, LTL results in significant fuel and cost savings.

When shippers partner with a core carrier group of LTL and TL providers, they maintain regular schedules that benefit carriers with constant volumes. In return, shippers receive improved service and price options.

Q: How can today’s manufacturers deal with increasing regulations, demand volatility, and shifting global markets?

A: For many manufacturers, partnering with a trusted logistics provider represents a vital component of dealing with these challenges. Many shippers have benefited from working with local station agents who are familiar with their business and requirements.

Experienced logistics providers offer constant direction and review for freight options and regulations, especially for station agents entering new markets that could require expedited or international movements.

Q: How can value chain partners cooperate to create and share efficiencies?

A: Trust and transparency are key attributes for achieving true collaboration between shippers and logistics providers. Success comes through providers delivering value and understanding shipper needs. Keeping up with the changing wish lists of the many stakeholders that impact the growing number of intertwined supply chains is also critical to success.

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