During a recent stakeholder meeting between President Biden, port leaders, union leaders, and logistics executives from companies such as FedEx, UPS, and Walmart, we learned that significant changes are coming to the supply chain, and they might be here to stay for the long run.
In the past year, almost everyone around the world, whether businesses or consumers, have felt the effects of supply chain shortages due to various bottlenecks. These bottlenecks can occur within the production or logistics phase of the supply chain, but ultimately, it all impacts our ability to get the goods we want when we need them. To address some of the bottlenecks, the White House has announced the logistics industry is coming together in a unified way with a significant commitment that will nearly double the hours that cargo can move out of docks, onto highways, and ultimately to the end-recipients.
Bottlenecks often happen at points of convergence, similar to a lane reduction on the freeway. For instance, ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California (which account for a staggering 40% of all shipping containers entering the U.S.) recently had 62 ships berthed at the two ports and 81 waiting to dock and unload, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California. Biden specifically announced that the Port of Los Angeles would be now running around the clock 24/7, with many of the largest retailers making a commitment to unload during off-peak hours.
“These are major commitments, but they’re most effective when every private company along the supply chain does the same thing, and now we’re looking to trucking and freight to expand hours as well to help with the bottlenecks,” an official from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union described in their statement.
This commitment to staff ports and warehouses 24/7, made by the labor union, will have a direct impact on the rest of the logistics and courier industry as they urge everyone to collectively pick up the pace. 24/7 operations may seem simple in theory, but it is a complex adjustment that requires enhanced administration and management to make happen. Here at CXT Software, we are proud to offer a highly customizable software suite that is well-tuned for 24/7 operations.
Even if a carrier is running their shipments 24/7, they may not staff customer service or clerical positions throughout the night, so having automated portals where clients can track and manage their parcels, is essential to maintaining a high level of customer service. Many of our customers take advantage of our Client Portal, where they can white-label a beautiful interface for their clients to stay well informed about their shipments, even with reduced staff and overhead outside of normal business hours. Still, couriers will be encouraged to meet this new 24/7 demand as the industry tries everything in its power to alleviate some of the pains caused by supply chain shortages.
“Those disruptions in the supply chain don’t go away overnight, but opening up night capacity through that entire chain is the fastest way and the most effective long-term way to actually turn it around,” the ILWU Union Official said.
It’s not just about 24/7 operations. As we saw from the White House press release, UPS is committing to enhanced data sharing with the ports, which along with 24/7 operations could allow it to move up to 20 percent more containers from the ports. The operational benefit of data-sharing is one of the many reasons that we’ve built our robust API Integration here at CXT Software.
We are proud of our partners within the shipper and carrier space that work hard to move goods around the world 24/7, and agree with the White House press secretary Jen Psaki when she told reporters, “Solving this issue is going to require cooperation between the private sector, including rail and trucking, ports and labor unions”. Cooperation is something that the courier industry does best and we know that they will meet this demand that is being asked of them. On the technology side, we are continually advancing our software suite to better power carriers and shippers in the final mile.
24/7 Operations is just one of the many changes that will be coming to our industry in the next few years, so make sure to stay up to date by connecting with us on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.