It’s already been a year chock-full of uncertainty for less-than-truckload carriers as each month has presented its own sets of challenges. Truckload capacity in August continues to tighten, as outlined in SONAR’s U.S. Outbound Reject Index (OTRI.USA), an upward trend that has subsisted since late April.
In fact, entering August, U.S. capacity tightened beyond what was seen in March when consumers flocked to stores in anticipation of the health crisis. As of Monday, outbound tender rejects hovered around a score of 24, which is the highest since July 2018.
While freight volumes are up and LTL pricing remains relatively steady, the current health crisis has proven to threaten the status quo. Now’s the time for carriers to improve efficiency and learn to adapt when unforeseen factors threaten freight volumes.
FreightWaves market expert and analyst Zach Strickland welcomed Chad Crotty, vice president of sales at DDC FPO, to discuss key workforce planning and business continuity strategies that LTL carriers should explore as we approach nearly the six-month mark of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.
Crotty addressed the growing interest among carriers to consider application programming interface (API) integrations to improve visibility and enable the sharing of data across supply chains. However, due to supply chain complexity and the fact that not everyone invests in advancements at the same level, the reliance on manual processes continue to stifle progress. Therefore, Crotty urged carriers to keep practical knowledge as a key component in deployment plans.
“We recommend that carriers take a measured approach between technology integration and applying practical knowledge,” Crotty said. “Now’s the perfect time to engage with an outside expert to guide your company through that process.”
Crotty detailed other efficiency initiatives being implemented, including the adoption of in-cab scanner technologies. He noted that poor image quality can reduce productivity by up to 20%, reinforcing the need for a reliable workforce strategy.
“All of these issues can and should be solved in lockstep with business continuity planning,” Crotty added. He suggested that carriers put greater trust in their vendors to adapt and innovate as needed when changes threaten the status quo.
“DDC leverages its expertise and tech stack to present carriers with an approach that best works for them,” Crotty said. “We’ve had some challenges to overcome throughout the health crisis, but DDC has remained operational this entire time and has adapted as quickly as possible to help support the carriers we work with.”
DDC specializes in strategic business process outsourcing (BPO) for the transportation and logistics sector, supporting over 50% of the top LTL carriers as ranked by revenue. The global back office solutions provider was recently listed on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing, privately held companies.
In three years, DDC has recorded growth of 132% which it attributes to increased demand for its back office programs, which support motor carriers, 3PLs and freight forwarders.