Advance forecasting and prep is more important than ever!
I handle a lot of AG and project freight. The project freight tends to be 6 month lead time; the AG is crop harvest so time and weather defined. Retail has cycles as well. We should be able to plan in advance. Previously we discussed how “just in time” models have not worked well especially if there is delivery window penalties. 2021 forces the planning to include “just in case” shipping to make sure disruptions like strikes, pandemic, weather and mechanical.
- Earthquake in Alaska ; 8.2…potential Hawaii impact from tsunami
- Shanghai Typhoon, flooding inland
- Covid-19 Vietnam
- Mechanical equipment issues port of Houston
Software options offered by Freight Forwarders can help visability in real time. If you can track by purchase order and milestones it will help your receiving and stock level balance. ERP integration is best for high sku number shipping. If you have 10 containers coming into port or rail head, it is important to find which container contains the sku that you need the most urgent. Red flagging the container will push it to the top of the dray list.
Heavy communication whether it is phone, email or software is crucial. Tracking morning and afternoon is very effective to catch the anomalies.
Several of the largest most used softwares are Descartes, Magaya and Cargowise. All can integrate with forward facing forwarder or freight broker web portal. These are international softwares and not to be confused with domestic trucking TMS. Ask your nominated forwarder for capabilities.
Coming for next post; The Energy Issue: Batteries, LPG, Sails and more