Logistics managers and supply chain operators have a lot to contend with regarding food and perishable item transportation. Foremost among grocery supply chain issues is the wastage of food during its transport. According to the USDA's Economic Research Service estimates, "in the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply. This estimate, based on estimates from USDA's Economic Research Service of 31 percent food loss at the retail and consumer levels, corresponded to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010. This amount of waste has far-reaching impacts on society." A transportation partner with in-built and dedicated solutions for transportation, warehousing, and delivery can handle most of the issues shippers face in the grocery supply chain. Having an extensive network of carriers and intermodal facilities is essential to the smooth running of the supply chain machine from the back office to the front line.
The relationship between shippers and properly vetted carriers forms a crucial part of the grocery supply chain. Trust and transparency are essential to building a solid relationship, which is facilitated by a real-time tracking system of the shipment. This also allows the carriers' drivers to be as independent as possible. Shippers can get real-time access to the load with transparency established throughout the system, enabling drivers more independence and creating a safe environment.
The grocery supply chain is dependent on truck transportation. FTL, LTL, and Reefers require care, and a proper maintenance schedule can go a long way in mitigating issues. According to Safety Culture, fleet maintenance creates a safe environment for drivers and carriers. General maintenance can take care of common mechanical problems, like brake issues, underinflated tires, and specific component wear and tear to avoid fleet delays. A third-party logistics company with dedicated and integrated solutions can be crucial for shippers as it helps them avoid delays, wastage, and other Covid- related grocery supply chain issues.
A centralized document management system provides the users across the supply chain with data and facilities to increase efficiency and save time and money. Real-time access to the shipment becomes easy with such an integrated system. This approach also ensures transparency in the design, thereby allowing real-time solutions to the grocery supply chain issues. A single point of contact that manages and monitors logistics throughout the grocery supply chain ensures proactive resolutions.
A Lean Six Sigma process enables streamlining the routine processes within the modern grocery supply chain. Lean Six Sigma refers to integrating process improvement and reduction of wastage in the supply chain system. Adaptation of Lean Six Sigma leads to cutting short delays and creates clarity in the overall process. Most notably, with an in-built facility for emergency management, the process allows for continuous improvement and flexibility in the grocery shipping and supply chain network.
Choosing a reliable 3PL is as crucial as choosing a business partner. According to Inbound Logistics, all 3PLs are not created equal. While outsourcing logistics management to a third-party company is the best way to mitigate grocery supply chain issues, proper vetting of the 3PL partner is of utmost importance. Besides many other factors, a reliable 3PL should have years of experience, integrate solutions and offer transparency throughout the process.
The supply chain starts from the producer to the shipper, carrier, driver, and customer. Besides, drayage and warehousing also form equally essential parts of the grocery supply chain. Real-time visibility of the shipment becomes crucial in such cases. Real-time tracking also provides current data on the inventory throughout the supply chain. The current baby formula shortage has brought several issues in the supply chain.
Shippers can overcome the most common delays and disruptions by implementing more drivers and taking advantage of other delivery options such as direct store delivery. Ports are still facing congestion leading to major grocery supply chain issues, and this only reiterates the importance of real-time tracking and data analysis more than ever. A 3PL company with proper vetted solutions can mitigate the challenges created by such emergencies.
Grocery supply chain issues are many, so one needs to have multiple solutions for the same. Partnering with a 3PL leader like Port Jersey Logistics with their sister companies, Tyler Distribution, Continental Logistics, andÂ 21st Century Distributioncreates a comprehensive lean solution for the grocery supply chain. Choosing the right partner with years of experience and actionable insights remains key to the success of your business and for continued growth. Grocery supply chain issues can easily be overcome with the right tools, approach, and support. Contact Port Jersey Logistics to explore solutions for your valuable shipment and thrive even in challenging times.