Full truckload services, especially dry van, are in constant demand, as they are utilized to transport a wide range of freight across various distances. The supply chain industry has seen an increase in dry van rates as product demand has collided with a driver shortage and limited market capacity.
The American Trucking Association (ATA) indicates the industry needs to take precaution as the current driver shortage of 63,000 could surge significantly in the next 5 years. Clearly, this substantial shortage has a consequential effect on supply chain capacity, exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advantages of External Partnerships
The driver shortage has impacted every sector of supply chain operations, making it integral to adjust logistics routes to be as efficient as possible. Experts also continue to predict that consumer volume demand will hold at high levels. Shippers need to prepare and expect freight markets to remain tight due elevated import volumes, inventory replenishment, strong consumer demand and a recovering industrial economy. Armed with this knowledge, shippers need to leverage dry van solutions with 3PLs to minimize supply chain disruptions.
With many shippers struggling to source capacity, it is now more apparent than ever the impact of employing a 3PL to help guide with dry van shipping solutions. It is estimated that the trucking industry needs to hire more than 1 million truck drivers to satisfy supply chain demand. This driver shortage has also resulted in increased dry van rates for shippers, compelling them to adjust operations and modify shipping strategies. Partnering with a 3PL allows shippers to receive competitive rates through long-standing carrier relationships.
Access to Exclusive Dry Van Capacity
Experienced 3PLs continue to expand dry van solutions to accommodate current market conditions. For example, at NTG between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, we’ve increased dry van capacity over 11% in our Southeast region, over 16% in our West region and over 11% in our Midwest region. Providing shippers with enhanced full truckload solutions through an exclusive carrier network expands capabilities to handle unforeseen market challenges and pivot shipping operations on short notice.
Advanced Technology for Seamless Shipping
In addition to increased capacity, shippers need to take advantage of advanced digital solutions that allow for a seamless shipping experience through API integrations and load matching capabilities. Such technology allows for decrease in carrier dead hauls and improves route inefficiencies. Proven technology also allows for shippers to receive real-time shipment updates and any additional notifications warranted.
As current market conditions continue to hold for the foreseeable future, leveraging the expertise and carrier network reach of a 3PL allows shippers to alleviate supply chain challenges at every turn.