The logistics industry is characterized by volatility, and companies hoping to thrive in space need to be able to adapt to change more or less instantly. Dexterity is more important than ever as pandemic confrontations continue to operate, and new technologies strengthen competing companies by offering increased flexibility.
A few weeks ago, carriers squeezed the market, leading to fluctuations in volumes and rising spot rates. Now volumes are beginning to stabilize, tender rejections are declining, and the spot market is cooling. While industry experts have been waiting for this shift for quite some time, pinpointing his arrival has been difficult or impossible.
The most agile shippers immediately realized their benefits, and their less flexible counterparts stuck in outdated market conditions. At the same time, the most agile shippers will be the first companies to warn of less favorable changes in the market, which will allow them to prepare for any challenge that arises before them.
“Adaptation and visibility are key. If a company is aware of future pitfalls or has data that supports a seismic – or even minimal – shift in their supply chain, they may be active rather than reactive, ”said Robert Houston, Emerge’s vice president of business development. “I’ve seen many companies wait until the hammer falls to gather around to find solutions.”
There are many tools that provide such visibility at almost no cost. For example, Emerge offers real-time market information as part of its cargo procurement platform. By taking advantage of this information, shippers of weapons against delayed reactions and help them respond to market changes in real time.
“At Emerge, we have developed a benchmarking feature as part of our procurement offer that provides shippers with real-time information on where their cargo lanes are going compared to market rates,” Houston said. “Then shippers can, with very minimal effort, make the necessary corrections to save money and streamline the process for their organization.”
When some companies have access to current and up-to-date information, companies without the same knowledge base find themselves behind the curve. Navigating a volatile market requires diligence, coordination and insight. This is especially true when companies compete with their counterparts in the same space.
While the latest information is the basis for action, companies also need to make sure they can take steps and turn around quickly. This includes reducing the sensitivity of decision-makers to their fear of change.
“You have to be an agent of change, otherwise all the data in the world will not be useful,” Houston said. “The vast majority of logisticians are aware of this important skill. Visibility does not work without adaptation. And vice versa.
Ultimately, shippers need to emulate new technologies, seek up-to-date information, and make changes if they hope to remain competitive – or even relevant – in today’s fast-growing market.
“There is so much information to show shipper trends, expectations, and current and future technology,” Houston said. “Companies need to encourage or assist in educating their employees on what knowledge can help them be more effective. Whether it’s information or new technologies / suppliers, shippers are obliged to take the time to find out what else is available. “