While the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping extravaganza nears, transportation professionals say freight volumes already have been spiking for months.
“We’re in a new day. This is unlike any other tight market,” said Dave Belter, vice president and general manager of transportation management at Ryder System Inc.
Belter joined FreightWaves President George Abernathy Friday as part of FreightWaves LIVE @HOME to discuss an “Inside Look: The Freight Market During the Upcoming Holiday Season.”
Belter added that the explosion in e-commerce shopping since the coronavirus pandemic began has changed some of the flows and volumes in unexpected ways.
“We certainly weren’t planning on this in early 2020. I’m not sure if anyone had a good sense of what the second half of 2020 was going to look like coming out of the pandemic,” Belter said. “We’re really living this in real time and making adjustments kind of on the fly, quite honestly. As we talk to our carrier partners, they’ll tell you the same thing.”
Ryder System Inc. (NYSE: R) provides supply chain, dedicated transportation and commercial fleet management solutions throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom. Ryder manages more than 250,000 commercial vehicles and operates more than 300 warehouses globally.
Belter has over 30 years of experience working with customers in implementing and managing supply chain solutions. In Ryder’s Supply Chain Solutions (SCS) division, Belter is responsible for the strategic development and execution of the company’s transportation management solution in support of customers in the automotive, industrial, consumer packaged goods, retail and technology verticals.
Belter said carriers Ryder works with are reporting that the pandemic disruption has created “new volumes, new lanes from their existing customers.”
“During the initial phases of the shelter in place order, for carriers, a lot of their customers weren’t shipping and they found different ways to fill their trucks,” Belter said. “Now they’re continuing to adjust, to meet as much of their customers’ needs as they can, but they are challenged the same as shippers are.”
Abernathy asked how Ryder envisions growing the company’s transportation management portfolio in the future.
“Are you broadening to different geographies with current customers or bringing in new customers? More embedding of your technology? Where were those places that you really think that Ryder is going to make a difference in transportation management over the next few years?” Abernathy asked.
Belter said Ryder has data links that are built off the back of the company’s TMS application that measures the performance of its networks throughout the day.
“There’s always room for improvement. That’s a key focus of ours,” Belter said. “Moving into 2021 and 2022, we’re really leveraging all that data that we collect across all of our transportation operations to where it’s going to generate the greatest value for our customers.”
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