Our industry is experiencing a time like no other. Shipping delays have been the topic in the news for the last several months due to a variety of reasons. Bottlenecks at the port, an uneven supply and demand for a variety of products and skyrocketing reliance from consumers for online inventory are only a few of the contributing issues.
Here at CTE Logistics, we’ve seen this issue firsthand. In fact, 2021 has been one of our busiest years to date. We’re breaking down why that is, and what we’re doing to make this crazy time a little easier for our clients.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many issues in our nation’s supply chain. As consumers around the United States started heavily relying on shipping in 2020, we really saw the crunch when consumers began spending more in 2021. As demand increased, inventory fell – some, in part, due to businesses shutting down during the pandemic as scrambling to catch up.
In addition, the labor market has been difficult with job openings at high levels. The average worker has many choices when seeking employment, which is a great opportunity for a skilled worker. However, for businesses, this means finding good people can be challenging and competitive.
How It’s Impacted Business
The increased strain on the supply chain has eliminated an off-season. This means businesses, like CTE Logistics, that typically experience a slower season before the holidays has been operating at peak levels for an extended period. Businesses are increasingly frustrated – they rightfully want to move their inventory and get it into consumer hands as quickly as possible.
What We’re Doing About It
Many factors are out of our control, but our team is working hard to make sure we fulfill our clients expectations to the best of our ability. For us, it’s meant hard work, long hours, a flexible mindset and preparing ahead for potential roadblocks. Here are five ways we’re keeping our clients happy during this time.
1. Communicate Proactively. We’re working hard to communicate and plan proactively with our clients and carriers, communicating foreseen challenges and market situations as best possible. By making this our mindset, we’ve been able to set expectations and share solutions when problems arise.
2. Work Through Potential Scenarios. Whenever we provide a quote, we think through different scenarios that could arise, like varying timelines or budgets.
3. Practice Transparency. We routinely pass on our insights and anticipation of possible challenges to clients and offer potential solutions. Our clients have come to appreciate how transparent we are throughout the process.
4. Continued investments in our TEAM. In busy times, many organizations make the mistake of forgetting to take care of their people. We’ve made sure to maintain the aspects of our culture that make CTE great, like our annual offsite leadership meeting, holiday party, catered lunches and encouraging everyone to take their PTO.
5. Offering Recovery as Needed. We are providing recovery options and hot shot services in markets where carriers are over capacity or standard service may be jeopardized. This gives our clients additional options for critical shipments should challenges occur in their standard supply chain.