Halloween 2020 Blog Post Image

The Supply and Demand of Halloween Candy in 2020

Halloween is an exciting time of year for manufacturers, suppliers and retailers alike. The holiday is marked by spiders, cobwebs and most importantly candy! In fact, candy may be one of the few aspects of Halloween that will remain largely unchanged during this tumultuous time. With October 31st approaching quickly, chocolate and candy manufacturers have worked hard to make the most of the season despite the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Shoppers spend a total of $4.6 billion on Halloween candy every year in the United States. Most retailers placed their orders in preparation for the holiday back in March when the pandemic was still in its early stages. As October has drawn closer, retailers have had to place additional orders or adjust current ones based on consumer demand in their area. 

Fewer public events this year have brought the overall Halloween spend down to an estimated $8.05 billion in comparison to last year’s $8.78 billion. However, those who are participating are spending an average of $6 more than last year on more outdoor decorations and greeting cards. Despite the pandemic, Americans are finding ways to celebrate while still practicing social distancing and mask wearing. 

What This Means for Candy Consumption

While Halloween celebrations will look different this year, the practice of buying and consuming candy will stay the same. A study conducted by marketing research firm Suzy found that 80% of consumers plan to purchase at least the same amount of Halloween candy this year as in the past. Manufacturers are taking a couple of different approaches to ensure that consumers stock up on sweets regardless of their holiday plans.

Leading chocolate brand Hershey produced more of its popular assortment and snack size bags featuring Reese’s, Hersey’s, Kit Kat and variety brands this year. All of these treats have had an increase in sales during the pandemic. To account for changes in consumer shopping habits related to the pandemic, Hershey focused on producing smaller-sized variety bags instead of the 200-plus count bags used for trick-or-treating. The brand limited the amount of product they released with Halloween-inspired wrapper designs to minimize waste that would be offloaded at a discount after the holiday.

Hershey is forecasting flat sales this year during Halloween, the season that makes up 10% of it’s annual sales. “We’re tracking it very closely and we’re ahead at this point,” said Phil Stanley, the company’s chief sales officer“The category has proven to be resilient.”

Other Candy manufacturers like Mars Wrigley have spent the summer and fall getting ahead of what they knew would be a challenging Halloween season. In an effort to bolster sales early, Mars’ subsidiary companies strategically targeted states and cities with marketing efforts in line with safety guidelines put in place by governors. They also elongated the Halloween candy season by putting up displays in stores early to tempt consumers stuck at home.

Candy makers have also worked to elongate the season, moving displays into stores earlier to bolster at-home consumption. Total Halloween chocolate and candy sales were up 13% for the four weeks ending Sept. 6, with Halloween chocolate specifically up more than 25%, according to IRI data. Most of these sales appear to be for personal consumption however, as detailed by the IRI survey.

Halloween Statistics 2020According to Sebastian Garcia-Dastugue, Ph.D., marketing & logistics professor at Florida International University, “It’s a very important moment to gain customer’s trust, to show that you are top of your operation and that you are on top of what’s going on in the world.” Though the pandemic continues to persist across the globe, shoppers are turning to ordinary things, like Halloween candy, to feel a sense of normalcy. By supplying the products consumers have come to expect, companies can earn brand loyalty from customers for years to come.

How to Prepare Your Supply Chain

Chocolate and candy companies and their supply chains have to be flexible to get through this Halloween. Consumer shopping habits are constantly changing and orders must be adjusted in response. With a transportation management system (TMS), manufacturers, suppliers and retailers can all collaborate on a single platform. Complete supply chain visibility makes it possible for supply chain stakeholders to have real-time tracking information and make necessary adjustments. 

Data from past holiday seasons has been instrumental in helping chocolate and candy companies prepare for this year. A TMS collects user data and uses it to generate detailed reports and dashboards that empower logistics professionals to better plan for the future. 

Whether you purchase candy for yourself, family or to mail to friends, a lot of thought went into getting your sweet treat on store shelves this year!

Tech in Trucking Blog Post Image

Forward-Thinking Technology is Improving Safety on the Roads

In recent years, technological advances have influenced nearly every aspect of the transportation industry. Technology has improved the ease and efficiency of training new drivers, optimizing truck routes, managing inventory and more. Kuebix’s parent company Trimble Transportation offers video intelligence, onboard event recording and safety analytics to help understand accidents and prevent future collisions. More recently, technology has been enhancing safety for truck drivers on the roads. 

Accidents involving trucks are less common than those between passenger vehicles. However, accidents that do involve trucks are especially dangerous because trucks weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger vehicles. A new study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that outfitting large trucks with high-tech, front crash prevention systems stop two out of five rear-end truck collisions. 

Front crash prevention systems use cameras, radars or other sensors to monitor surrounding traffic. These systems incorporate forward collision warning (FCW) technology which is designed to make drivers aware of obstacles directly in their path. Additionally, many incorporate automatic energy braking systems (AEB) to detect nearby vehicles and automatically apply brakes when obstacles get too close. 

Data collected by the IIHS revealed that rear-end crashes in trucks equipped with FCW were reduced by 44%. Similarly, trucks using AEB reduced their number of rear-end crashes by 41%. In cases where accidents couldn’t be prevented, technology was still able to reduce the speed of the truck involved by 50% and lessen the damage done by the collision. 

While advanced safety technology’s main goal is to improve safety directly within the transportation industry, FCW and AEB technology have a positive impact on the roads as a whole. Newer models of commercial vehicles have also been integrating forward-thinking technology, bringing the number of accidents between commercial vehicles down as well. 

As more companies adopt new technology, the safety and efficiency of populated roads and highways throughout the U.S. will only get better!

What an Early Holiday Shopping Season Means for Supply Chains

Whether or not consumers, suppliers and retailers are ready, holiday shopping season is right around the corner! Experts predict that due to evolving shopping habits, Covid-19, a delayed Amazon Prime Day and general supply chain disruptions, consumers will start shopping for the holidays earlier than usual this year. This newly extended holiday shopping season creates many opportunities for retailers as long as they’re prepared.

One of the driving forces behind the early start to holiday shopping season is Amazon Prime Day. Supply chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic led Amazon to delay the event (traditionally held in July) until October of this year. Amazon Prime day acts as a catalyst for Amazon’s competitors like Target, Walmart and Best Buy to create their own limited-time offerings. Instead of pausing promotions when Amazon Prime Day ended on October 14th and restarting closer to Thanksgiving, many retailers are taking a more continuous approach. Target has promised its customers “Black Friday pricing all November” while popular hardware store Home Depot has vowed to make their offerings available until the end of December.

Companies that don’t run promotions around the time of Amazon Prime Day run the risk of a decline in business. Starting promotions after the unofficial holiday makes it harder for retailers to ensure they have enough inventory to keep their shelves stocked when they’re running low. Retailers that started early or plan to start earlier in November than Black Friday will be able to identify and keep up with new consumer shopping trends. 

Popular Holiday Purchases

With so many different companies offering discounts well into the holiday season, all that’s left for consumers to do is shop. However, the pandemic is expected to have a direct impact on this year’s popular purchases. Instead of luxury items being the focal point of the holidays, consumers are gravitating towards practical purchases. Products like winter coats, snow shoes and fire pits are at the top of many lists because they enable friends and family to gather outside during colder months as social distancing efforts are still in place.

Electronics have always been a popular item on wish lists and this year they hold even more importance. With so many people still working on furnishing their home office or remote learning space, laptops, keyboards, monitors and desk decór are all in high demand this holiday season. Internationally sourced electronics will have an especially difficult time keeping up because of widespread shipping delays brought on by the pandemic.

Making the Most of the Early Holiday Season

Taking full advantage of the early start to the holiday season requires more than launching a new discount. Companies that want to stay ahead need complete visibility throughout their supply chains. Supply chain visibility makes it possible for logistics professionals to view each aspect of their supply chain in detail as moves are being planned, alerts are sent and real-time adjustments are made along the route.

Achieving true supply chain visibility starts with implementing a transportation management system (TMS). Companies that leverage a TMS are able to seamlessly rate, book and track their freight. Visibility makes it possible for users to quickly view the status of shipments and pass-along tracking information to customers and partners. With the power of a cloud-based TMS and supply chain visibility, logistics professionals can improve operational efficiencies, provide better customer service and leverage detailed analytics to make better informed decisions.

Amazon Prime Day 2020 Blog Post

What Supply Chains Should Expect from Amazon Prime Day this Fall

Amazon Prime Day is approaching quickly with a start date of October 13, 2020. While Amazon typically holds this digital shopping ‘holiday’ in July, supply chain disruptions brought on by Covid-19 led to a postponement of the event. Despite setbacks beyond their control, Amazon has high hopes for this year’s Amazon Prime Day!

The 3-day holiday filled is the most important event of the year for Amazon, drawing in more sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In 2019, Amazon made over $7 billion from the 48-hour event. In addition to being an opportunity to increase sales, Amazon Prime Day draws in many new Prime membership registrations for Amazon. The great digital deals entice many consumers to become part of this growing community of shoppers.

Popular Amazon Prime Day Deals 

While the offerings of this year’s Amazon Prime Day will remain a mystery until it begins, the past couple of years have had a focus on electronics. Popular purchase items included e-readers, vacuums, blenders, smartphones and smart TVs. Amazon has already started offering a discount on the Apple iPad 2020 to entice customers to start shopping. 

With so many kids attending school remotely and parents working from home, products like laptops and computers are already experiencing a surge in consumer demand. New discounts and limited-time offers just before the holiday season are going to tempt consumers further. 

In a bid to compete with Amazon Prime Day, competitors like Walmart, Target and Best Buy often launch their own series of discounts to compete for customers. There are plenty of options for consumers to choose from, but they’ll have to wait until Amazon Prime Day to find out who has the best deals! 

What Amazon Prime Day Means for Supply Chains 

When it comes to Amazon Prime Day, supply chains should be prepared for anything. With so many different offerings on a wide range of products, there’s no way to predict how many orders will come in for each. Companies manufacturing in smaller quantities may have to pick up the pace on production ahead of the holiday. 

Manufacturers of products like laptops, monitors and headphones are already experiencing a higher volume of orders because of the pandemic. Discounts are likely to amplify the number of orders. Since this year’s Amazon Prime Day is closer to the holiday season than usual, many shoppers have more concrete lists and are ready to order. This, combined with the fact that many consumers are choosing to keep their shopping digital during the pandemic, makes it likely that this year’s Prime Day will dwarf previous years’.

The best way for supply chains to prepare for the impact of Amazon Prime Day and the sales that follow is by leveraging visibility tools in their supply chains and remaining proactive instead of reactive. Companies need to provide real-time tracking information and shipment details to meet consumer expectations. The same information can empower retailers to make strategic decisions regarding their freight.

The key to true supply chain visibility is a transportation management system (TMS) like Kuebix. With Kuebix TMS, stakeholders can collaborate on a single platform for complete visibility and control of their shipping operations. Real-time tracking information helps everyone to stay informed and detailed reports and dashboards help companies analyze their performance and identify areas to improve. 

Regardless of where customers shop for this year’s Amazon Prime Day, supply chains have their work cut out for them!

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week 2020

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week holds a special meaning this year as truck drivers have gone above and beyond to keep stores, hospitals and other healthcare facilities stocked in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 3.5 million truck drivers working in the U.S. continue to safely and securely deliver essential goods. From passing out lunches to decorating highways with ‘I 💚  Truck Drivers’ signs, everyone’s finding a way to get involved and show their gratitude. Here are just a few of the reasons to be thankful for truck drivers:

 

1.   Truck Drivers Work Long Hours

Being a truck driver demands a lot of time spent on the road. The average truck driver works 60 hours a week and drives 107,000 miles per year*. Long weeks paired with long drives require a serious amount of dedication!

2.   The Trucking Industry Keeps Our Economy Strong 

The trucking industry is responsible for the transportation of products that are classified as essential. Keeping stores stocked and supply chains moving requires a lot of involvement – that’s why 5.8% of jobs in the U.S. are related to the trucking industry.

3.   Truck Drivers Adapt to the Unexpected 

Covid-19 has required truck drivers to adapt to new conditions on the road. Many rest stops have closed for business in the spring and restaurants have introduced new restrictions. Even though finding a place to park or eat is looking a little different, truck drivers are still powering through.

National Truck Diver Appreciation Week 2020 Infographic

4.   They Leveraged Reduced HOS Restrictions to Work Even Harder 

The Covid-19 emergency declaration resulted in the reduction of hours of service (HOS) restrictions. Truck drivers throughout the U.S. took this in stride, working harder and for longer hours to transport essential goods across the country.

5.   Truck Drivers Keep Our Shelves Stocked 

The full shelves shoppers have grown accustomed to wouldn’t exist without truck drivers. In 2019, the transportation industry was responsible for 72.5% of all freight in 2019. Without truck drivers, it would be a lot harder for so many products to make it from point A to point B! 

6.   The Transportation Industry Supports Front Line Workers 

The transportation industry has worked tirelessly through the pandemic to keep hospitals, care centers and homes supplied with the essentials they need. Products transported by truck drivers empower front line workers to perform their jobs as safely and securely as possible.


Kuebix is extremely thankful for the work truck drivers do every day, and it has never been clearer than now that truck drivers are our heroes on the road! 

 

*source cdc.gov

Back to School 2020 Blog Post Image

Back to School Looks Different for Supply Chains This Year

Fall is approaching and with it comes back to school season. However, Covid-19 has left the 2020-2021 academic year looking different than previous ones. School districts throughout the U.S. are deciding between in-person, online or a mix of the two instruction styles for their students. Many of the country’s major K-12 schooling systems including Los Angeles, San Diego and Chicago have chosen to move forward with a remote learning environment. With so many districts expected to follow their lead, companies manufacturing products considered essential for a successful online learning experience are scrambling to keep up with heightened demand. 

Preparing for the unpredictability of the school year has proven itself costly. According to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school spending will increase by 26% in comparison to last year. Families with children attending K-12 plan to spend an average $789.49 per family, while college students and their families expect to spend an average $1,09.20 per family. Additionally, 55% of families expressed that they’d be shopping online for back-to-school items rather than in person.

The most essential back-to-school item every student needs for online learning is a laptop. Three of the world’s biggest computer companies, Lenovo, HP, and Dell, have reported a shortage of nearly five million laptops. Schools purchasing electronics in bulk for students started to experience shipment delays in the spring. Setbacks worsened as the pandemic continued to spread. A combination of increased demand and supply chain disruptions caused by Covid-19 have made it challenging for these companies to prepare themselves for back to school season.

Accessories like wireless headphones, microphones and monitors are also experiencing an increase in consumer demand. Many students have traded in their concerns about the first day of school outfits for ones about the proper desk setup and gadgets to have the best video call possible. 

Adjusting to New Shopping Patterns

Manufacturers, distributors and retailers of electronics and other office products have their work cut out for them this fall. Products that may have previously been considered optional on back-to-school shopping lists are a necessity for those starting their school year at home. Clothing stores dependent on students shopping for their first day of school outfits are trying to stay on trend and produce more loungewear. 

A successful supply chain must be able to adapt to changes regardless of how unexpected they are. The best way to stay on top of things is to leverage technology like Kuebix TMS. With Kuebix TMS, users have visibility throughout their transportation supply chains and can adapt to last minute changes by leveraging the built-in truckload spot market, Kuebix Community Load Match

Being aware of details regarding shipment location and order information helps companies stay prepared. Users are able to automate manual processes and allocate the time saved to more sensitive areas of their supply chains and improve customer service. Detailed reports and analytics serve as feedback for companies by helping them identify potential opportunities for improvements and strengths. A transportation management system strengthens logistics operations as a whole, making it easier for companies to handle any fluctuations in demand the school year brings!

What is a Transportation Management System TMS?

What is a Transportation Management System (TMS)?

The term ‘Transportation Management System’ or TMS has become more common in the supply chain industry as companies turn to technology to stay competitive in a changing marketplace. Technology has revolutionized everything from how we watch TV, to how we buy our groceries, and even how we meet each other. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that a key component of the American economy (the movement of goods, materials and other freight) would eventually turn to technology to keep pace. Transportation management systems are the logical next step. Now, companies of all sizes are researching transportation management systems to learn more about how technology can save them money, streamline logistics operations and improve customer satisfaction.

But What Exactly is A Transportation Management System or TMS?

Definition – According to Gartner, an analyst firm providing companies with insight, advice and tools to evaluate technology:

“A TMS (transportation management system) is used to plan freight movements, do freight rating and shopping across all modes, select the appropriate route and carrier, and manage freight bills and payments.”

Simply put, a TMS is a system that companies can use to digitally manage their freight operations instead of calling and emailing internal and external partners. Transportation management systems often sit between a company’s ERP system and a warehouse management system (WMS) and connect the two for increased supply chain efficiency. Orders flowing between these systems create continuity and speed up the time from customer order to final delivery.

At their core, most transportation management systems have rating, booking and tracking functionality. Others have advanced reporting and dashboards, freight pay and audit, and other modular features that can be added as needed. Transportation management systems come in all shapes and sizes, so it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are some of the potential benefits companies can gain by implementing a TMS:

  •      •     Save money and grow your bottom-line
  •      •     Save time and repurpose labor to value-added projects instead of “firefighting”
  •      •     Improve customer satisfaction
  •      •     Get insight into your operations to make strategic changes
  •      •     Simplify collaboration with supply chain stakeholders
  •      •     Grow your business!

Step-by-Step Guide on What You Need to Know About Transportation Management Systems (TMS)

Types of Transportation Management Software – Transportation management systems have been around since the 1980s, but they’ve come a long way from the clunky, monolithic machines of the past. Now there are many varieties which cater to companies from every industry and of any size. Some TMSs focus on small – to – medium-sized businesses (SMB) and only offer very basic functionality including rating and booking. Many TMSs that cater to a smaller market don’t offer customization or advanced features like reporting and analytics or integrations. Instead, they focus on being low total cost to own (TCO).

Other TMSs focus on the high end of the market and cater to enterprise-size companies. These TMSs often only have a few customers and their price-points make it nearly impossible for smaller companies to benefit from them. According to Adrian Gonzalez, President of Adelante SCM, “In the case of shippers, large enterprises (over $1 billion in revenues) were the early adopters of transportation management systems (TMS), due in large part to the high cost of buying and implementing on-premise applications (typically over $1 million).”

Kuebix IntegrationsEnterprise-class TMSs usually offer advanced functionality like integrations, freight pay and audit, order and route optimization, and many other features. Unfortunately, most of these legacy systems come as a complete (and pricey) set, leaving companies who don’t need certain features with a bill for the technology they won’t use.

The solution to this is to find a TMS that will expand and contract along-side your business so that you always have the features you need and aren’t paying for the ones you don’t. It’s important to realize that not all companies operate in the same way, and a scalable transportation management does just that. Transportation management systems like Kuebix TMS are built to serve companies of all sizes and needs.

Kuebix Free Shipper was the industry’s first truly free TMS and has removed all barriers to entry to SMB customers looking for rating, booking and tracking functionality. Companies looking for financial management, advanced analytics and other premium features can upgrade to Kuebix Business Pro and Kuebix Enterprise and then seamlessly add additional features.

What’s the Difference Between Cloud-based / SaaS, and On-Premise TMS?

Besides being geared toward specific audiences, transportation management systems are housed and accessed in two different ways. The traditional way which many early adopters of transportation technology used was on-premise software.

On-premise software is installed and run directly on local computers. This requires a representative from the TMS provider to physically install the TMS “on-premise” at the user’s headquarters so that the company can gain access to it. This can cause difficulties whenever a problem arises or a new version needs to be updated, not to mention the customer’s inability to take their TMS on the road with them.

Cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) TMS are becoming strongly preferred over on-premise software. They are much more agile and easier to install, maintain, and upgrade, leading to a faster return on investment (ROI) and less hassle.Cloud-based platforms create an opportunity for next-level collaboration across supply chains. With software that is housed on the “cloud” (online), users can access it from anywhere, even from mobile devices, and aren’t constrained to “the four walls” of their office building.

Most cloud-based transportation management systems are sold as software-as-a-service (SaaS). This means that users subscribe to the technology on a monthly or annual basis instead of purchasing the technology outright. Not only is this more cost-effective, it also means that users are always on the most recent version of the software.

What is the Core Functionality of a Transportation Management System (TMS)?

As mentioned above, most transportation management systems provide these three core features:

  1. Rating: Any logistics professional with a TMS can easily find rates for their customers’ orders and book those orders for delivery.
  2. Booking: Instead of needing to call individual carriers or visit each carrier’s website, the user can simply access the TMS to see all of their negotiated rates laid out side-by-side. Picking the rate with the best price and service level is both faster and easier!
  3. Tracking: Transportation management systems provide detailed tracking information on shipments all the way from the warehouse to their final destination.

Together, these features unlock potential for improved operational efficiencies and increased visibility throughout the supply chain.

Common Transportation Management System (TMS) Upgrades

Though most TMSs provide the standard rating, booking and tracking, other more advanced TMSs also offer additional features. These can sometimes be added on in a modular fashion so that the user only pays for what they need, or may come as a package deal with the TMS. Here are some of the common capabilities of more advanced transportation management systems:

  •      •     Freight Pay and Audit – This feature helps companies automatically audit each carrier invoice. TMSs like Kuebix indicate which bills are within the predetermined threshold and can be paid and calls-out others which do not fall within the limit. This makes it much faster for financial teams to pay carriers and helps them avoid overpaying on accident.
  •      •     Order Integrations – An integration between the TMS and an ERP or a financial system like NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, or QuickBooks can vastly improve the speed and accuracy of booking. Order information flows directly from the ERP system and automatically populates within the TMS so that users never need to re-key information. This eliminates user-error which can lead to endless firefighting and incorrect deliveries.
  •      •     Order and Route Optimization – Some TMSs offer load and route consolidation and optimization through algorithms within their technology. The system can suggest the most efficient and cost-effective method of shipping a group of orders and the user can book the load quickly and easily.
  •      •     Reports and Dashboards – Analytics are a major draw for many companies interested in improving their logistics processes. Actionable reports and dashboards let users understand every detail of their freight spend and make strategic decisions on the basis of data. They can be used to evaluate carrier KPIs, total freight spend by item, and to provide insight to leadership.

Order and Route Optimization Infographic What is a Transportation Management System TMS?

How Can a Transportation Management System (TMS) Software Save Me Money on Freight Spend?

Compare Rates: Transportation management systems let users automatically access all their negotiated carrier rates side-by-side for easy viewing and comparing. TMS users save time by no longer switching between individual carrier websites but instead have all their tariff information contained in one, user-friendly screen. Often, logistics professionals don’t have time to check the rate with every carrier, so inevitably end up missing out on quality rates. With a TMS users can choose the most attractive rate out of all their carriers for each shipment, saving them money on every load.

Pay Bills Correctly: Invoice audit is another way many companies use a TMS to save on total freight spend. Often, accidental or incorrect charges can be added to a shipment. Things like lift-gate fees and incorrect detention charges can increase the final amount on an invoice. These miscellaneous accessorial fees are easy to overlook when manually auditing invoices and are often even intentionally ignored because they waste too much time to rectify. These fees add up quickly, however, so having a system to automatically audit every carrier invoice can save huge amounts each year.

Understand Freight Spend: With a TMS that isn’t tied to a certain carrier or 3PL, users can access all of their rates side-by-side in an unbiased way. And with the addition or reports and analytics, users know exactly how well each carrier is performing on each lane. With this knowledge and understanding of the market rate, TMS users are positioned to negotiate for better rates and service levels with their partner carriers. This saves money overall and helps to improve relationships and customer service all at once.

Gain Visibility: Shippers leveraging a TMS like Kuebix also gain benefits from improved visibility to their supply chain operations.  All stakeholders can use the common platform to plan their moves, receive alerts to changes as they occur, see every status update made, and make real-time adjustments to keep the supply chain moving smoothly and the customer happy. By sharing a single common system, suppliers can plan inventory levels more effectively to offer better customer service. Carriers can move shipments in and out more efficiently, making their operations more cost effective and the customer can improve the management of their inbound operations and warehouse.

Optimization: For companies with large or complex supply chains, features like order and route optimization can also save significant money. This is because manually building the perfect load is a challenge, and more often than not too time-consuming to bother with. There are countless factors a logistics professional needs to take into consideration such as delivery date, location, class, weight and size. Weighing all of these factors without the help of technology usually results in missed opportunities and wasted resources. Instead of pouring through spreadsheets and manually grouping orders onto a single truck, Load Builders and Optimizers can be leveraged to help logistics teams build and optimize the perfect load every time to save significant money.

Click here to see how one company saved $2.2 million dollars in cost-avoidance within one year by leveraging a TMS!

Will a TMS Save Me Time?

Many people are concerned that a TMS won’t actually save them time because they’ve been doing their job for years and know how to do it like the back of their hand. While “tribal” knowledge and relationships gained over a career aren’t easily replaced, a TMS can speed up even the most seasoned logistics professional. Instead of managing an inbox and voicemail of hundreds of loads, every load and stop on a route is tracked in one place. Spreadsheets are no longer required to transfer order information back and forth and users can spend more of their valuable time working on strategic projects instead of troubleshooting errors.

Many transportation management systems can be implemented within a matter of days or weeks. The cloud-based nature of the platform makes online updates and troubleshooting significantly easier for users. Simplified installation and upkeep leads to significant and long-term time and money savings.

From shippers with only a few loads a week to enterprises with hundreds of complex orders to sort through each day, leveraging technology can save countless hours. ERP integrations to automatically flow order information back and forth between systems not only improves accuracy but also makes the process of rating and booking much faster. Auditing and optimization features remove previously tedious processes and result in a faster speed from order to delivery. A few minutes saved per order adds up quickly no matter what size company is doing the shipping.

Inmod Furniture Case Study

Not all transportation management systems (TMS’s) are created equal. Make sure to be aware of these common TMS challenges and if you’re thinking of implementing a TMS within your organization:

  •      •     Not every TMS supports all modes of transportation

What to ask: Ask the TMS provider what modes of transportation they do support and whether support is included in all of their purchase levels. Find out if they support full truckload (FTL), less-than-load (LTL), ground freight, air, intermodal, and ocean.

  •      •     The technology wasn’t built on the cloud

What to ask: Find out whether the technology is/ has always been housed on the cloud. If it hasn’t been, make sure that customer reviews reflect the provider’s ability to support a cloud-based technology. Many legacy transportation management systems have not had smooth transitions to a SaaS cloud-based model.

  •      •     Biased in favor of one carrier or 3PL

What to ask: Ask whether the technology is owned by a carrier or 3PL. If it is, determine whether you will be able to add all of your negotiated carrier rates to be viewed side-by-side in the technology. Many TMSs owned by a carrier or 3PL have preferred rates which could detract from your savings. Remember, a TMS should give you an agnostic way to find the best carrier rates.

  •      •     Bad customer reviews

What to ask: Ask to see some customer references before deciding on a TMS. If the TMS provider cannot show you any customer case studies or videos, that should be a red flag. Check out technology review sites like Capterra and Gartner Peer Insights for unbiased reviews from real customers.

TMS’s Can Be Integrated with Users’ ERP Systems

Most transportation management systems (TMS) have several out of the box ERP integrations but can also customize an integration for any ERP system capable of sending and consuming data. Shippers can seamlessly integrate with some of the most popular ERP systems including NetSuite, Sage 100 and Microsoft Dynamics.

ERP integrations are commonly added to a TMS like Kuebix to increase efficiencies for shippers and drive cost savings. These integrations allow information like product and order details to flow automatically from an ERP or ordering system directly into TMS software and vice versa. This means that users don’t need to waste their time rekeying data between different systems and removes the risk of human error.

So, what is a Transportation Management System?

A TMS is a tool that any size company can use to improve the efficiency of their shipping processes. TMSs like Kuebix TMS help companies capitalize on supply chain opportunities through visibility, control and the use of predictive analytics. Kuebix TMS allows all supply chain stakeholders to collaborate on a single platform. Actionable analytics and detailed tracking information help to improve customer service. And since Kuebix is built on the latest cloud technology, it can be implemented quickly so that any company can begin seeing rapid ROI.

In conclusion, to learn about Kuebix TMS visit here.

Trimble Visibility Blog Post 2

Complete Supply Chain Visibility with Trimble Visibility in Kuebix TMS

Supply chain visibility is the ability to view each aspect of the supply chain in detail as moves are being planned, alerts are sent and real-time adjustments are made. Shippers with complete visibility across their supply chains are able to improve operational efficiencies, provide better customer service and leverage detailed analytics to make better informed decisions. 

True supply chain visibility relies on a cloud-based transportation management system (TMS). Companies that utilize a TMS automatically have a dynamic record of their logistics operations they can use to identify improvements that need to be made. For Kuebix TMS users, achieving and utilizing visibility is even easier thanks to their recent integration with Trimble Visibility.

Overview: Trimble Visibility in Kuebix TMS 

Trimble Visibility inside of Kuebix TMS is helping shippers gain true visibility to their supply chains. With Visibility, any shipper can track and trace orders in real-time by modularly adding Trimble Visibility as a Premier Application. This means there’s no need for external or disjointed systems, improving usability and accelerating customer service. 

This Premier Application offers companies real-time insights and aggregated supply chain data for the answers they need on their FTL, LTL, and parcel loads. With Trimble Visibility, shippers can leverage GPS technology in use by their carriers to track shipments and leverage predictive analytics to proactively manage exceptions.

Key Features

  •     •  Real-time status updates
  •     •  Automatic text and email alerts for milestones
  •     •  Predictive analytics to determine loads in jeopardy
  •     •  Geo-fencing and GPS tracking
  •     •  Live mapping

Key Benefits

  •     •  Quickly view the status of shipments
  •     •  Be able to act on loads in jeopardy before they become late
  •     •  Pass-along tracking information to customers and partners
  •     •  See exceptions in minutes, not days
  •     •  Accurately report on OTD, detention, etc.
  •     •  Do it all from one platform!

How Does Trimble Visibility in Kuebix Work?

Trimble Visibility aggregates tracking information from EDI and API connections, mobile apps, ERP or WMS integrations and telematics from carriers. Any way a carrier reports out on statuses can be captured with Trimble Visibility, or even an Excel spreadsheet sent through an FTP channel. From here, Trimble Visibility applies advanced algorithms and predictive analytics to present users with important alerts like loads which are in jeopardy of being late.

Kuebix has integrated Trimble Visibility fully into the TMS so that users can seamlessly access Visibility data on their shipments without needing to leverage separate software. When accessing Trimble Visibility through Kuebix, a user can simply click on the tracking icon on a shipment in Kuebix’s Manage Shipments grids to ‘drill down’ into quick view information like origin, destination, routing, and a shipment progress bar. From here, users can view information including departure times, in-transit statuses, delays, and warnings based on traffic, weather, and other predictive analytics.

Users can dig further into the status of an order by viewing shipments in real-time on a live map for a visual representation of all their loads. This view is fully customizable and filterable based on pre-defined parameters such as location, product brand, customer, SKU, or business unit, etc.

Mobile App for Carriers

Carriers that don’t already have connections via traditional EDI, API or other integrations can incorporate Trimble Visibility’s mobile app, VisibilityDrive, into their operations to provide seamless tracking information to shippers. Drivers simply download the app on their cell phone, select statuses like “In-Transit” and deliveries are tracked via satellite GPS. Drivers can also upload pictures of damages, discrepancies, or signature captures so that customer service departments have the information they need to act quickly when issues arise. Any type of OS&D message can be lumped into the Exception status type. Information is transited automatically back to Kuebix for accurate record-keeping and ease-of-access.

Proactive Shipment Alerts and Status Updates

Instead of combing through shipment statuses looking for trucks which are in jeopardy of missing their delivery windows, users can leverage Trimble Visibility’s dynamic alerting capabilities to get notified via email or text message. Alerts can be automatically sent to vendors, suppliers and customers as well, cutting down on communication time and improving visibility. Alerts are easy to set up and customized using a menu of options within the platform so that important shipment milestones never get missed.

In addition to automatic alerts, users can click the “Share” button on a shipment to send a scrubbed, ‘shared view’ to customers or vendors via text or email.

Location Settings and Polygonal Geofencing

Users can define specific locations by importing or drawing on satellite images or specifying radiuses around a target location. For example, a user could set a .2 mile radius around a customer’s warehouse to know when the driver has arrived for delivery. This provides users with an independent and accurate version of a truck’s location. When a truck passes a predefined marker, an alert will trigger marking the delivery as “Arrived” or “Departed” from the location. Shippers can use this information to get specific detention accessorial and OTD reporting.

Optional Branded Web Address (or URL)

Companies that want their own fully customizable URL can opt for their own instance of Trimble Visibility. This allows the format of the page and tracking links sent to customers to be branded with the company’s colors and positioning. For example, Anheuser-Busch used www.TrackMyBud.com for their customer portal. SSO support is also available to dedicated tenant users looking to access the application without keeping track of separate user credentials.

Digital Agility Blog Post Image

How Digital Agility Can Help Prepare Your Supply Chain for Anything

Businesses’ ability to successfully navigate unexpected events is a large part of an overall successful supply chain. Many companies have found ways to mitigate the effects of events like hurricanes and blizzards. However, most organizations were not prepared for the implications of a pandemic like Covid-19 and its long-term impact on global supply chains.

In a survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, 50% of respondents cited that digital agility is their greatest opportunity for post-Covid-19 resilience. Understanding the full impact of the crisis and learning from the many unexpected circumstances the pandemic has caused will help companies strengthen their supply chains moving forward.

Digital agility is formally defined as “the ability to move quickly and easily by applying and leveraging digital technology and tools.” By utilizing technology, businesses can secure their supply chains by improving real-time visibility, securing last-minute capacity, tracking KPIs dynamically, and generally setting themselves up for the best chance to weather ‘the unexpected.’ 

The most effective technology for digital agility that’s designed to better logistics operations while offering a number of benefits is a transportation management system based in the cloud. With an advanced TMS, companies can plan and book freight across all modes, find the best route and carrier, manage payments and so much more! Below are a few of the features a well-rounded TMS  must have to help companies improve the digital agility of their operations:

The Latest Cloud Technology

The best transportation management systems leverage the latest cloud technology. TMSs that are cloud-based store data in the cloud rather than on a local server or computer. Storing information on the cloud makes for a faster start-up, lower usage costs and greater flexibility. Installing updates doesn’t require an in-person visit and the process of troubleshooting is simplified. A TMS that operates on the cloud helps supply chains stay digitally agile and prepare for the unexpected.

Complete Supply Chain Visibility

Companies that have complete visibility throughout their supply chains are able to continuously improve. Transportation management systems that provide real-time information on the location and estimated arrival time of shipments improve logistics operations, digital agility and customer service. Companies can leverage visibility to answer questions from partners which makes for better collaboration. Visibility throughout the supply chain helps companies strengthen their logistics operations and prepare for the unexpected. 

Detailed Reports and Dashboards

It’s important that data is collected and organized in a way that companies can utilize it to make better informed decisions both during and after unexpected events. With a transportation management system, data is collected and used to generate detailed reports and dashboards that digitally agile companies can leverage to improve their logistics operations and address issues as they arise. Data can be overwhelming and difficult to understand, but a transportation management system makes it easy.

Truckload Spot Market

Having a diverse selection of carriers and potential truckload volume is a key component of a flexible supply chain that’s able to adapt to adversity. Companies looking to strengthen their digital agility need an alternative for when situations arise where they can’t get their freight covered by a traditional negotiated rate but have a delivery date that needs to be met.

Kuebix TMS users gain access to Community Load Match, Kuebix’s load matching platform and shipping community. Community Load Match leverages Trimble MAPS to provide advanced matching capabilities and map visualization. Since it’s built inside Kuebix TMS, shippers can meet all of their truckload shipping requirements on the same platform that handles the rest of their shipping needs.  

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Staying digitally agile is especially important for companies in such an unpredictable environment. Implementing a transportation management system that leverages the latest technology like Kuebix TMS ensures companies are prepared for anything. Click here to learn more about the benefits Kuebix can bring to your supply chain.

Food Distribution and Restaurant Blog Post

Flexible Food Distribution and Restaurant Business Models

Covid-19 has left restaurants and food distribution companies scrambling to stay afloat. Many are straying away from their traditional business models to keep their companies from going under. The food distribution industry is already expecting to take a $110 billion loss for a year which is a third of their 2019 revenue. The industry lost somewhere between 60% – 90% of their sales in April.

Changing Rules and Regulations

Guidelines for restaurants and food distribution companies looking to operate in the midst of the pandemic vary by state, but they all agree that smaller crowds limit the chance of exposure. Restaurants are advised to limit the use of shared items like condiment bottles, salt shakers, menus and avoid pre-setting tables with silverware.

Regardless of steps being taken to make dining out safer, many people still aren’t comfortable with the idea of going out again. A survey by the Democracy Fund and UCLA Nationscape Project found that only 50% of respondents feel comfortable going out to eat. Restaurants are getting creative in an attempt to change this statistic by setting up patios for outdoor eating, launching new menus, offering cocktails to-go and creating QR codes to allow guests to view their menu online.

Changes to the traditional food distribution and restaurant business models demand a change from their supply chains in return. Many restaurants and food distribution centers had to shut down for a period of time when Covid-19 began to spread. Pausing a company’s supply chain altogether is expensive and leaves products at a standstill. Restarting a supply chain, especially when perishable goods are involved, can be just as costly. Food distribution companies and restaurants were left to find a way to continue to operate under these new circumstances. Here are a few examples of how companies are making it work:

How Traditional Business Models are Responding

Restaurants Become Grocery Providers and Distributors

The Cork and Barrel Wine Bar in Zionsville, Indiana is one of the many businesses that temporarily shut down as a result of Covid-19. Rather than wait until they were allowed to resume business as usual, owner Sarah Hine transformed the bar into a delivery business and mini grocery store.

The restaurant partnered up with Piazza Produce, a wholesaler in Indianapolis that was also looking for a way to keep their operations moving in the midst of Covid-19. Together, the companies produced consumer-sized quantities of products that people needed but were struggling to locate at the grocery store. They began doing 30-40 deliveries a day and while it didn’t replace the business lost, it helped the Cork and Barrel Wine Bar and Piazza Produce keep their doors open.

Both businesses were fearful of not being able to re-open should they have to close their doors. While shifting to a delivery model changed the stock and supplies they needed for operations, it prevented them from having to press pause on their supply chains altogether.

Deli Counters Utilize Grab-and-Go Method

Many deli counters initially responded to the pandemic by shutting down because they were unsure of how to operate. However, deli meats are convenient and easy to snack on – two qualities that are especially important to consumers during the pandemic. To meet rising consumer demand, deli counters are starting to pre-package popular products. While Covid-19 has made it uncomfortable for customers to stand in lines or crowds, they are more than happy to adapt to a grab-and-go method for their favorite deli meats.


While retail food and beverage companies have always needed to remain nimble to respond to changing customer demand, the pandemic has forced many to rethink their supply chains in order to stay open. Having a flexible supply chain that is able to adapt to a changing environment ensures that companies that need to rethink their business models can do so and continue to thrive even after economic hardships like the Coronavirus pandemic.

Save Money on Truckload Shipping Kuebix

9 Ways to Save Money on Truckload Shipping

Keeping freight costs down while maintaining efficient logistics operations is no small task. Consumers are relying heavily on e-commerce in the wake of Covid-19 and aren’t sacrificing their heightened expectations. The transportation industry is struggling to keep up with the surge in order volume with a limited number of truck drivers. Supply chains are one of the largest cost centers for businesses, so finding ways to save on truckload freight is a top priority.

Here are 9 ways to save money on truckload shipping:

 

1. Improve Internal Efficiency

One of the easiest ways to save money is by streamlining logistics operations. Leveraging a transportation management system will help save time rating, booking and tracking orders. Replacing traditional methods with a transportation management system will eliminate tedious and repetitive tasks, cutting labor costs and saving time that can be reallocated into other areas important for operations

2. Increase Lead Time

Increasing the lead time of full truckload shipments will help companies save on shipping costs. Working a few days in advance helps companies avoid higher rates for last-minute capacity and gives them a wider selection of carriers to choose from. Carriers will be able to better manage their time and plan routes more effectively, all of which contribute to meeting consumer expectations.

3. Eliminate Manual Entry and Paper Trails

Recording everything by hand and calling carriers for every truckload shipment is old-fashioned and inefficient. Additionally, these traditional processes hold a higher risk for mistakes made due to human error. If the incorrect order quantity or weight is recorded, paperwork is likely to get messed up and getting paid gets complicated.

Instead, companies who implement a transportation management system (TMS) can integrate it with an ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics or NetSuite. An integration between a TMS and an ERP allows information to travel automatically between the systems and ensure that BOLs are correct every time. With an ERP integration, logistics professionals can avoid wasting time bouncing back and forth between systems and re-keying information.

4. Treat Carriers Well 

It’s important for companies to treat carriers with the same level of respect as they would any other partner. Getting carriers in and out of the yard quickly by clarifying expectations (i.e. who is unloading the truck) and paying bills on time should be a priority.

5. Monitor Accessorials 

Accessorials are a tricky thing for most companies to manage. They are difficult to budget and often have spend that goes unnoticed until it’s too late. In order to keep overall truckload costs down, companies should constantly monitor and evaluate their accessorial charges. Find the root cause of carriers being told the wrong weight and address it. Communicating about any complications ahead of time will result in lower charges than if the carrier discovers them mid-trip.

6. Leverage Volume 

Truckload shippers are in a unique position to leverage volume. Instead of working with dozens of different carriers and only giving each one a small percentage of their volume, truckload shippers should identify preferred carriers and establish routine, reliable lanes with them. Preferred carriers may be able to offer truckload shippers a discounted rate based on the fact that it’s repeat business. This strategy is a win for everyone involved – truckload shippers maintain enough capacity to ship their routes more efficiently, resulting in better service to the end customer.

7. Leverage Kuebix Community Load Match 

Circumstances where regular or preferred carriers can’t fulfill a truckload that needs to be shipped will always exist. Maybe it’s a last-minute shipment or maybe it’s going to a new destination. Whatever the case, sometimes companies need to find truckload capacity fast. A situation like this works best when a full truckload spot market is available. Spot markets are places where companies can go to have different carriers bid on their freight. From there, they can select the best bid and book their freight.

Kuebix Community Load Match connects users with its extensive carrier community from Trimble’s network of 1.3 million commercial trucks, digital freight matching services and brokers to satisfy every truckload need. Users can input their shipping parameters and freight information and view carriers with available capacity in the lanes they requested. By comparing every option on a single platform, users can be sure they’re getting the best rate for their freight and maintain control over their logistics operations.

8. Stay Flexible

The supply chain industry requires teams to be ready for anything, including unforeseen circumstances like inclement weather or mechanical failure. Visibility down to the SKU level for orders helps companies react to situations they can’t plan for. Having all of the information regarding shipments in one place helps make answering questions like ‘Where’s my order?’ or ‘When is the truck arriving?’ easy.

Staying flexible goes beyond handling negative situations. Companies should aim to always be flexible when booking their truckload shipments. Orders with specific due dates are often flexible in terms of what time they get dropped off. Companies who work with all available options are able to discover the best rates for each and every shipment!

9. Leverage Analytics

Analytics on truckload shipments empower companies to make strategic decisions that will benefit their operations. Reports can reflect important information about carriers like their OTD percentage. Analytics down to the SKU level also help companies calculate their freight cost per item and determine if they are making enough of a profit. With a TMS, all of these different metrics and more are captured in one place for easy analysis.

 

Construction Industry Blog Post

Surmount Supply Chain Challenges in the Construction Industry with Technology

Between companies regularly distributing, manufacturing or using construction products, the construction industry experiences a steady flow of business. One thing all construction companies can agree on is the importance of operating efficiently in order to meet project deadlines. There are a number of barriers between smooth logistics operations and successful project completion for the construction industry. Below are just a few of the obstacles present in their logistics operations:

New Site Safety Regulations

In most cases, completing a project requires a number of professionals to be on-site completing tasks as a group. The pandemic has restricted the amount of workers that can safely work together at once. Adjusting to having fewer team members on-site and able to contribute to the project has resulted in a decrease in overall productivity

Rising Cost of Construction Materials 

The cost of raw materials needed for manufacturing construction materials rose by 2.2% in June. The surge in price can be largely attributed to supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic. Construction companies who realize they’re short on materials in the middle of a project will have an even harder time replenishing their stock in addition to dealing with a hefty price tag.

Strict Deadlines 

Deadlines are common within the construction industry, but Covid-19 is making them more difficult to meet. New rules and regulations in warehouses, supply chains and on construction sites slow down operations to ensure cleanliness. Anything sourced internationally has even more stops to make before it can reach its final destination. Visibility throughout the supply chain is essential for companies to make sure they’re able to comply with new rules and regulations and that their deadlines are feasible. 


Technology’s Role in the Construction Industry 

With the help of a transportation management system like Kuebix TMS, any construction company can take control of their supply chain and overcome industry-related challenges. Kuebix TMS helps logistics teams plan, book and gain visibility over all of their shipments. Whether the company is sourcing raw materials for delivery to a manufacturing plant or shipping to a construction site, Kuebix TMS can simultaneously cut costs and improve operational efficiencies.

Kuebix TMS users can seamlessly rate, book and track their freight to save time and improve customer service. Real-time tracking information keeps users informed and allows them to provide customers with better information in regards to the location and estimated arrival time of their purchase. Kuebix TMS provides users with detailed reports and dashboards that can help them make better informed decisions to further improve their logistics operations.

Integrating Kuebix TMS with an ERP like Microsoft Dynamics or NetSuite can drive additional cost savings. An ERP integration eliminates the need to re-key long lists of order line items, decrease labor costs and increase order accuracy.

The construction industry involves a wide range of products and professionals, but that doesn’t mean their logistics operations have to be overwhelming. Any construction company can leverage technology to help them successfully complete a project, meet deadlines and more!

Food and Beverage Blog Image

Unique Challenges Facing Food & Beverage Supply Chains

Food and beverage companies produce and distribute essential products every day. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in food shoppers buying supplies for a longer period of time (ex. shopping for 2 weeks at a time instead of 1) and purchasing products such as toilet paper, paper towels and disinfectant wipes in bulk. Practicing new skills like baking banana bread and sourdough bread have become popular ways to pass time. A recent study by Acosta revealed that 50% of respondents are spending more on groceries than they did pre-pandemic. Below are just a few of the elements challenging food and beverage supply chains as they race to keep up with heightened consumer demand.

Temperature Control Needed for Freshness

Not all products are able to travel in a standard truck responsible for the delivery of many different types of freight. Some food and beverage products must be stored at a specific temperature. Failing to meet the optimal conditions can result in the degradation of the quality of food and render products unsellable. To meet the needs of these products, shippers have to use refrigerated trucks. Making sure that a temperature-controlled truck is available and able to fit all of the required products is an added process for logistics professionals to consider.

Products Sensitive to Expiration Dates 

Nearly all food and beverage products have an expiration date on their label. While non-perishable items offer more flexibility in terms of when they hit the shelves, products like fresh produce and vegetables are not as forgiving. Time-sensitive products must be moved efficiently to ensure they reach their final destination in a condition that’s prime for selling. Shoppers want fresh vegetables and produce that will remain fresh for a period of time even after purchasing. It’s up to food and beverage companies to make sure their perishable products are in the right place at the right time.

Rapidly Expanding Product Variety

Consumers are starting to gravitate towards healthier products made of fewer ingredients. However, they are not interested in compromising on taste. Manufacturers are constantly adjusting to consumer taste and preferences which creates a wider variety of products. For example, a product as simple as yogurt now dominates the refrigerated aisle of grocery stores to accommodate different flavor preferences and dietary restrictions (oat, almond and soy bases to substitute for dairy). With each new product comes new storage and transportation specifications, making it even more complex for supply chains to keep stores stocked.

How Technology Can Help Keep Food & Beverage Supply Chains Moving

Food and beverage businesses are juggling unique challenges within their industry and those brought on by Covid-19. Implementing technology like Kuebix TMS into their supply chains gives power back to the shipper and lightens their workload. With Kuebix TMS, food and beverage companies can rate, book and track their shipments in a single system. Kuebix TMS gives users complete visibility and control over their logistics operations, making it easier than ever to keep even the busiest supply chains moving. Real-time tracking information and detailed analytics empower shippers to improve their customer service and make better informed decisions.

Chemicals Blog Post Image

What to Keep in Mind When Managing a Chemical Supply Chain

The chemical industry faces a unique set of challenges regarding safety in their logistics operations. The transportation of chemicals requires next-level care and expertise as it deals with sensitive and potentially dangerous materials. Errors in shipping chemicals that are hazardous can have serious consequences.

While logistics operations are typically intricate by default, shippers and manufacturers responsible for the production and transportation of chemicals have to pay even closer attention. Here are some of the things to consider when preparing your logistics team to transport chemicals:

Appropriate Number of Drivers 

Companies shipping chemicals need to be aware of the number of truck drivers they have and the strain they’re put under based on the number of hours spent on the road. The risk of an accident is heightened when hazardous materials are involved. Truck drivers must be well-rested and prepared to transport goods or products that carry the weight of these additional risks.

Accurate Product Labeling and Storage

Such sensitive materials must be accurately labeled to ensure they’re going to the right place and are properly stored. Many chemicals call for temperature-controlled trucks or especially cautious handling. Improper labeling or storage can result in delivery to the wrong destination or a potentially harmful reaction. 

Product labeling and storage relies heavily on effective inventory management. Knowing how much of a product you have and where it’s located is crucial in being able to successfully load and ship orders. Ineffective inventory management can lead to higher levels of waste and excess storage costs. Companies that are shipping chemicals need to be especially careful because of expiration dates on their products that can be dangerous if forgotten or neglected.

Strategic Route Planning

Chemicals need to be transported both quickly and safely. Detailed route planning is a significant factor in helping truck drivers make their deliveries on time. It can also help truck drivers navigate roadblocks or construction sites that they wouldn’t otherwise be aware of. Route optimization requires logistics professionals to be aware of the number of required stops, requested delivery time and traffic patterns in the area.

How to Manage Complex Chemical Supply Chain Needs

Upon first glance, managing the demands associated with a successful chemical supply chain may seem overwhelming. However, implementing a transportation management system like Kuebix TMS can simplify the process regardless of your supply chain’s size. 

Kuebix TMS is a cloud-based platform that enables customers, suppliers and carriers to collaborate and have complete visibility and control of their shipping operations. Kuebix TMS offers features necessary to combat the unique challenges in the industry including product compatibility when building loads involving hazardous materials, route optimization and detailed analytics that empower shippers to make better informed decisions.