Is Your Transportation Network a Nightmare? – The Top 10 Things Keeping Supply Chain Professionals up at Night

Posted - October 31, 2016

Halloween is a time for ghosts and goblins, pumpkins and candy corn, fun and festivities. But for many supply chain and logistics professionals, sometimes the transportation network is far from a treat – in fact, it can get seriously tricky. As we head into the end of the year, we wanted to take a look at some of the things that may be keeping supply chain professionals feeling uneasy – and carve up some possible solutions to these tangled scenarios. Check out the list below for what may be haunting your supply chain!

  1. The Upcoming ELD Mandate Implementation Deadline: The FMCSA’s ELD mandate, created to improve safety within the transportation industry, is currently a very hot topic. And while a lot can happen between now and when the mandate takes full effect on December 16, 2017, most carriers anticipate a noticeable impact to utilization and capacity, making this a big industry priority to tackle.
  2. The Next Generation of Transportation Management Systems: What if you wake up one morning to find out that there is a blizzard about to hit the Midwest, and you have 100 time-sensitive shipments heading into Chicago that day? A next-gen TMS may have the solution, from web crawlers, weather and traffic data to a graphical view of shipments and key KPIs.
  3. The Supply Chain Talent Shortage: Good talent can be hard to find, especially in the supply chain industry. But great mentoring and a solid talent program can give your business a serious boost. And, not only do you benefit from investing in your own talent to shore up experience and knowledge, but your customers also benefit by gaining fresh perspectives on their business.
  4. The Truck Driver Shortage: From HOS mandates to keeping drivers healthy on the road, many in the industry are focused on recruiting and retaining truck drivers. Shippers want to be sure that carriers can efficiently deliver their freight on time, and carriers in turn want to ensure they will have enough drivers to meet demand. Finding this delicate balance is no easy feat.
  5. The Evolution of the 3PL Industry: As technology advances and provides more and more visibility into the supply chain, it’s important not to forget the value of industry expertise to effectively apply the power of tech. What’s as critical as a “TMS 2.0” is the deep understanding of key processes within the specific verticals in which a shipper resides.
  6. The Ever-Changing World of Legislation and Regulation: There is always something changing transportation. And as these changes happen in various, diverse markets – for example, the chemical industry and the food industry – carriers and shippers alike must always be keeping abreast of the latest happenings – which leads us to our 7th scary topic…
  7. Staying Ahead of Industry Trends: With so many things happening in the industry, sometimes transportation and supply chain professionals might find their heads swimming trying to keep up with it all. Taking the time to keep yourself informed and stay ahead of trends is important, and there are ways to help make it simple and easy!
  8. Reducing Costs and Gaining Supply Chain Visibility: Many companies are constantly on the lookout for ways to gain enhanced supply chain visibility for improved efficiency and cost savings. And whether they are looking to optimize shipment costs or rebalance time versus cost to stay competitive, leveraging the industry expertise, logistics technology and innovative processes of a 3PL might be a good way to start!
  9. Navigating Cross-Border Transportation: Tackling the many diverse complications of shipping cross-border can give many organizations a real headache. Troubles at the border such as the imbalance in northbound-southbound trade and peak season surges can be a real obstacle for shippers. Luckily, transloading and intermodal options have helped to alleviate some of the burden!
  10. Packaging and Retail Trends: With big buzzwords like drone delivery, the Industrial Internet of Things and self-driving delivery vehicles, the retail and packaging industries are certainly on the minds of many this fall. (Especially with big shows like NRF and Pack Expo coming up soon!) Are you ready to tackle some of the hottest trends in these industries? Stay tuned here on Logistically Speaking for a Pack Expo preview!


Which of these spooky supply chain troubles are keeping you up at night?