Business Magazine

When It Comes to Transportation, Are You Struggling with Choosing Between Door Number 1, 2, and 3?

Posted on the 29 May 2014 by Ryderexchange

No need to choose. Get an all-of-the-above solution that delivers results!

Back in the 1960 and 70’s, Let’s Make a Deal was one of the most popular game shows on television. The show’s premise was simple. There were three doors. Behind one door was a prize, typically something great like a car or exotic vacation. Behind the other two doors? Either nothing or something undesirable (a.k.a zonks).

 

Contestants were asked to pick a door. If there wasn’t a prize behind it, they had a chance to pick one more door. Not surprisingly, choosing between the remaining two doors was agonizing, both for the contestant and the audience.

 

So how does Let’s Make a Deal relate to transportation networks today? While it may seem counter-intuitive, it’s a surprisingly apt analogy. For years, many businesses just chose one door, when it came transportation: either run your own private fleet, use for-hire carriers or outsource to a dedicated fleet provider.

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Why the “one-door” approach doesn’t make sense anymore

The one-door approach worked fine for plenty of businesses. Now, however, the transportation landscape has changed. It’s far more complex today than it’s ever been in the past, thanks to:

 

  • Constantly changing customer requirements and market conditions
  • Shrinking pool of qualified drivers
  • Tougher safety and regulatory environment
  • Rising fuel prices that consume more of the transportation budget
  • Freight capacity crunch that makes it hard to get vehicles

 

How an “all-of-the-above” approach opens the door to more opportunity

Here’s the good news. To sidestep the perfect storm of transportation challenges, many businesses are adopting an “all-of-the-above” approach that blends a base dedicated fleet with procured common carriers, and sometimes, private vehicles.

 

By considering all network lanes and available freight models, shippers can get the best of all worlds – reliable capacity, high service levels and predictable costs that dedicated models offer. What’s more, they can flexibly ramp up using procured carrier capacity when surges in demand strain fleet resources.

 

Organizations open to dynamic transportation strategies (compared to a fixed approach) typically realize tremendous gains in efficiencies and cost savings. At the same time, carriers are increasing their focus on reducing empty miles and right-sizing their fleets, which aligns well with shipper and provider objectives.

 

Of course, you may have to make adjustments to get the efficiencies you want. For example, you may run a one-way lane with a common carrier one week and run the same lane with a dedicated fleet the next if products are being returned.

 

See if an “all-of-the-above” model is right for you

Say you’ve always used a for-hire common carrier to deliver goods and materials. Or, maybe you prefer using your own fleet. Or you rely on a dedicated fleet from a trusted partner. Today, keeping the wheels of business turning may call for an “all-of-the-above” strategy that taps every available resource. Are you a candidate for a blended solution? The answer is yes if you:

  • Wrestle with an unpredictable/unstable transportation network
  • Need more flexibility than you currently have
  • Struggle with hiring and retaining good drivers
  • Have customers that either have fixed delivery windows or would be willing to receive larger shipments less frequently to save money
  • Want to reduce the cost of empty miles or inefficient deliveries

 

Opening the door to more transportation options …

The takeaway: do-it-yourself transportation isn’t the best choice for everyone. An integrated transportation solution that blends private, dedicated and common carrier fleets can be a great way to solve capacity issues and improve customer service. The key is finding the balance that works for your business.

 

Learn more about how you can benefit from an “all-in-one” solution by reading our “Be Nimble White Paper”.

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