Successfully Hurdling Current Logistics Challenges in 2021 – Focus on ServiceFebruary 25, 2021 News
Across the globe, customers and suppliers alike are impacted by the ever-evolving logistics challenges both caused by the current pandemic and overall shortages within the industry.
As a seasoned import-based distributor of raw materials, TRInternational, Inc. (TRI) has experienced its share of threats to business from freight disruptions, learning how to navigate and overcome along the way. Over the 26 years in service, finding the pain-points, refocusing on a solution, and quickly pivoting to action has kept product moving and supply-chains open.
One of TRI’s primary focus points is collecting, inspecting, and sharing market intel to support effective decision-making. “Securing allocation is a top priority,” says TRI’s Operations Manager, Michelle Connor, and she does just that – daily. TRI does more than simple volume contracting with ocean freight carriers and finding the best lanes with over-the-road transportation companies. By using sales and market forecasts, deep-dive communications with sourcing contacts and freight forwards, TRI can plan and negotiate space allocations on steamship lines and cast a wide net for over-the-road logistics needs.
Critical factors for TRI’s logistics success:
– Strong relationships with steamship lines such as Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM).
– Quarterly forecasting collaboration through our sales, purchasing, and operations teams to understand customer and supplier requirements for freight demands.
– Utilizing freight forwarders to fill in the gaps.
– Trusted freight network of approved carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders.
– Contracted LTL carriers and dedicated bulk equipment relationships assigned to support specific product needs.
– Access and understanding of market trends through research and intel sharing.
– Ability to be flexible yet strategic on choosing locations and modes to fit customer needs best.
– Communicating with customers ahead of time and proactive servicing of accounts.
Domestic & Import challenges to overcome:
– Ocean freight delays and disruptions are creating premiums and increased surcharges.
– Increased volumes and demands are creating shipping container shortages, blank sailings, port backups, and further delays.
– Driver availability decreases – continued truck driver shortages due to retirement, lack of interest in driving by younger generations, and fewer hazmat driver certifications.
– Bulk specialties and hazmat certifications require dedicated equipment and drivers.
– Port congestion and not enough equipment to get containers out of the ports.
– Detention and storage charges due to longer lead-times.
– Slow discharges and delays on inland imports using rail to transit containers to final destinations.
– Slower paperwork processes due to work-from-home factors impacting all levels.
– Increasing freight costs must be absorbed and cannot always be passed to the customers or negotiate back to manufacturers.
We have to “keep control of our product timelines to make decisions,” says Connor. We are giving carriers as much notice as possible, proactively communicating with the customer, and providing the best solutions possible. We stand as stewards of your trust to always deliver the highest quality customer service, even in unprecedented times.
Learn more about how TRI can solve your sourcing problems by visiting us online at https://trichemicals.wpengine.com/services/ or contacting our TRI Headquarters at +1(206) 505-3500.
About TRInternational, Inc.
TRI is a full-line chemical distributor based in Edmonds, Washington, with team members throughout the United States and Asia. Our mission is to continue to create sustainable partnerships worldwide by providing innovative and competitive sourcing solutions. Our success is based on the ethics and ingenuity of our team; we create an environment that promotes growth for our employees, partners, and community.
TRI is WBENC, NGLCC, and SBA WOSB certified. TRI is an active member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD), where CEO Megan Gluth-Bohan serves as the organization’s first female officer on the Board of Directors.
Ms. Jennifer A. Calvery
Director of Marketing & Business Development