There is a reason that some theorize trucking can fix global supply chain problems. In 2021, the world started to feel the strain that was put on the global supply chain. As orders from both consumers and businesses increased, the consumer pipeline became backed up. All aspects of the chain were strained, from material supplying and manufacturing to distribution and sales.
Customers waited weeks, even months, for basic goods like toilet paper and soap. Businesses had to wait extended periods of time before they could put their supplies on distribution ships. Every consumer felt its effects. But why exactly did it happen? What was the cause, and how exactly can trucking alleviate the pressure? This article will help you understand the basics of the global supply chain, its current problems, and the solution that trucking offers.
What Is a Supply Chain?
A lot of people might know the basic concept of a supply chain, but not many can actually describe a supply chain. At its most basic elements, it is the entire lifecycle of a product from creation to consumer. Each company has its own specific supply chain with its own logistical style. But every supply chain in the world makes up the global supply chain. On the global scale, there are five basic steps in the supply chain:
- Sourcing – The first step in any supply chain is deciding where materials will be retrieved. Sourcing is the process of vetting possible suppliers and choosing which would best fit the needs at hand.
- Manufacturing – Once a supplier has been chosen, materials are received from the supplier. The materials are then refined and crafted into basic parts that will later be assembled into a finished product.
- Assembling – Once the manufacturing step has been completed, assembling receives the basic parts and constructs a finished product.
- Selling – The finished product is advertised and sold, usually to distributors in bulk, but sometimes directly to consumers.
- Delivering – The finished and sold product is shipped to wherever it needs to go, and usually after several stops and transfers, the product will reach the customer.
Supply Chain Problems
The biggest issue with the global supply chain is that each step is so heavily reliant on the step before it. Even sourcing is reliant on delivery. If there is a snag in one step, the remainder of the supply chain is halted. The one step that isn’t as restricted as the rest is selling. Some continue to sell even if they don’t have the finished products in stock, hoping that the chain keeps up. This can, and does, cause supply chain issues. But the biggest problem with the global supply chain doesn’t actually sit in the steps themselves. It sits between the steps, the delivery logistics between manufacturers, suppliers, etc.
So, why can trucking fix global supply chain problems? It can resolve snags. Snags happen between the steps due to transportation bottlenecks, often related to cargo ships and shipping containers. These ships, due to high demand, will all get sent around the world and end up stuck at the same port.
Ships will wait days outside of the port to unload their cargo, putting strain on the rest of the chain. This is caused by an excessive amount of shipping containers at ports waiting to be unloaded and sent to distributors. Those who unload the containers and haul the goods away are doing their best, but their resources are stretched thin. In 2021, this was made worse by the low employment rates caused by COVID-19. The bottom line, the demand far outweighed the ability to supply.
So how exactly can trucking fix global supply chain problems? There are already issues getting products from the shipping containers at docks to suppliers, that is a fact. The key is resolving the bottleneck issues that pile up at ports and railyards. What can trucking do here? Rather than have trucks transfer the shipping container content into their own trailers, causing a massive pileup at ports, trucks can actually haul the shipping containers away.
These containers can be taken to other ports, railyards, or even warehouses where they can be unloaded or transferred there. This system, called drayage solutions, can keep containers from piling up all at a few locations. It also allows the use of more ports and railyards, lessening the chance of hundreds of ships all being stuck at one port.
Trucking and Port Jobs
Well, you may ask, why hasn’t this been done yet? And if it has, why has the supply chain been strained anyway? The truth is, employment numbers are down. During COVID-19, nearly 88,000 U.S. trucking and port jobs were lost. This dealt a substantial blow to the well-greased machine that was the U.S. supply chain. That, in turn, slowed down the global supply chain. In the end, a lack of available employees makes the supply chain much harder to rebuild. Many companies like Heavy Weight Transportation, Inc. carry the weight and continue to accept driver applications. They lead the way in resolving supply chain issues that have long been staring us in the face. Drayage trucking companies are the solution to supply chain problems.
Supply Chain Solutions from Heavy Weight Transportation
Once more, why can trucking fix global supply chain problems? By removing bottlenecks at high-traffic ports. Drayage trucking can undo the snags and buildup that happens between supply chain steps, causing the chain to flow smoothly. No more build-up of ocean shipping crates at ports. Drayage trucking resolves issues within the distribution funnel. That is why trucking can fix global supply chain problems.
The only thing standing in the way now is hiring more truckers who can fulfill this responsibility, and for supply chain managers to choose a drayage company. Services offered by companies like Heavy Weight Transportation, Inc. stand out as a model, and their drivers are the best in the business. For drivers looking for jobs, or supply chain managers looking for drayage companies, look no further. You have found the answer with Heavy Weight Transportation.