January 2024 has most certainly come in like a lion or maybe a better description is a wrecking ball. Across the US, we have experienced some wacky weather to kick off 2024 from tornados, heavy and freezing rain, frigid temperatures, snow in all 50 states (yes Florida too), and today widespread fog! 

 

But how does all this winter weather impact your shipment and what tips does RCT Logistics give to be successful when shipping during the winter months?

 

Bad road conditions are always a concern in winter and are what usually cause delays. But there is more to safely shipping in winter. Here is a good article on why shipping in winter becomes more difficult. 

https://www.atsinc.com/blog/how-winter-weather-impacts-trucking-industry

 

RCT has been diligently working with shippers and carriers to be very proactive these last few weeks. Here are their tips for troubleshooting winter weather shipping.

 

  • Practice foresight. Watch the weather and know the forecast along a route.
  • Be flexible. The safety of the carrier and the shipment is most important. If Plan A isn’t safe, be ready to suggest Plan B. Discuss with the client and carrier preemptively postponing shipments out of an abundance of caution. 
  • Open lines of communication and set expectations. Communicate often with the carrier, and provide timeline updates to the customer.
  • Negotiate. In times of bad weather, the market pricing temporarily goes haywire. Advocate for a reasonable and fair price for all involved. Review pricing for any near future shipments and begin the proactive process again.
  • Get feedback. What does your customer or carrier think could be improved? Learn for the next bad weather situation.

 

Does your freight broker act proactively?  Call RCT for a consultation today (330) 441-7310.

As Dr. Willy Shih from the Harvard Business School wrote in the Wall Street Journal, the supply chains that link producers of goods to consumers of goods can be intensely complex and difficult to understand. As long as supply meets demand, we don’t pay much attention to the supply chains whose function is to ensure that the basic principles of supply and demand exist. When, like they have for the past three years, things “gang agley,” we focus on those chains. Dr. Shih provides basic fundamentals for supply chains. To understand them is to succeed in the ever-more-complex science and art of logistics. Here’s Dr. Shih’s primer on the supply chain:

  1. Supply chains are complicated, with ever-increasing layers of intricacy and scope.

Supply chains have two phases—a production side, where the final assembly of a product takes place, and a distribution side, where it gets to the buyer. The production side can be incredibly complex. That’s because some products have lots of parts—3,000 or 4,000 for a smartphone and as many as 30,000 for a typical gasoline-powered car.

On the distribution side, a supply chain might have steps that connect a manufacturer to a retailer, overseas shipping, passing through a trucking link on the way to a distribution center, and then on to the store. Distance adds even more convolutions.

      2.  Because demand is hard to predict, many producers use to just-in-time parts inventories. 

When parts suppliers are local, a condition Cleveland manufacturers experienced in the 20th century, this works. But we live in a global economy today with suppliers spread everywhere. The logistics of scheduling deliveries exactly when needed becomes much more complex. During and after the Covid pandemic demand spiked; bottlenecks disrupted international shipments of parts; gridlock hit continental logistics. Just-in-time was neither in time, nor just.

      3. Ordering more than needed makes shortages worse. 

Typically, a retailer or manufacturer only orders what is saleable or consumable until the next cycle begins. But sometimes a hot seller or short supply item appears, so the producer orders extra—just in case. Like Woody Hayes said about the forward pass, “three things can happen; two of them are bad.” Producers might succeed by carrying excess inventory, but it will probably contribute to even more shortages of key parts or more inventory than a producer can use.

     4. Longer supply chains equal more logistical problems.

Many distribution supply chains are very long series of steps. Getting a television from China to Cleveland means truck transfers in Asia, long sea voyages, numerous rail and truck transport. More congestion takes capacity out of the supply chain system. The more things back up, the fewer things move through.

     5. Bottlenecks are hard to spot because so few can see the whole picture.

People at different links in the chain only see problems upstream or downstream from them. A starkly visible problem of 100 ships idly waiting to unload – blame the Port of Los Angeles. The real bottleneck was in distribution centers close to the consumer, with labor and logistics shortages. Even when the port was running 24/7, there was no place for containers to go, no one to drive them, and no one to unload them.

Producing better products effectively and efficiently and offering those products to consumers at lower costs doesn’t work if you lack the logistical depth and support to collect the parts and distribute the goods.

The Covid pandemic upset global logistics in a fascinating, provocative way. Logistics and supply chain executives have found that, beginning with the disarray of Covid, customers needed more and more data on where their shipments were, along with real-time information on deliveries so they could plan more efficiently, reported Bloomberg.

 

Global C-suite management took note, leading to innovation in logistics, where – from inventory management to manufacturing to transport to a grocery store shelf  – everything is automated and tracked. It is not a craze – private financiers and venture capitalists have been investing $9 billion a quarter into logistics technology companies since late 2020. 

The future of logistics is in software, artificial intelligence and automation. More than 60 innovative, high tech logistics firms have been founded in the past 18 months. This is real. Make certain your logistics are in synch with the 21st century.

Brunswick, OH -RCT Logistics today announced that it joined the SmartWay ® Transport Partnership, an
innovative collaboration between U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the transportation industry
that provides a framework to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of goods movement supply
chains.

RCT Logistics will contribute to the Partnership’s savings of 357 million barrels of oil, $47.6 billion on fuel costs,
2.7 million tons of NOX and 112,000 tons of PM. This is equivalent to eliminating annual energy use in over 23
million homes. By joining SmartWay Transport Partnership, RCT Logistics demonstrates its strong
environmental leadership and corporate responsibility.

Developed jointly in early 2003 by EPA and Charter Partners represented by industry stakeholders,
environmental groups, American Trucking Associations, and Business for Social Responsibility, this innovative
program was launched in 2004. Partners rely upon SmartWay tools and approaches to track and reduce
emissions and fuel use from goods movement.

The Partnership currently has over 3,000 Partners including shipper, logistics companies, truck, rail, barge,
and multimodal carriers.

RCT Logistics LLC was created in 2019 and is a subsidiary of River City Wood Products. RCT provides
flexible, customizable, and creative freight solutions in a responsive timeframe as required to keep supply
chains moving. RCT offers full truckload, flatbed, over-dimensional, refrigerated and less-than-truckload (LTL)
transportation services.

For more information about RCT Logistics, LLC, visit http://www.rctlogistics.com or call 330-441-7310

For information about the SmartWay Transport Partnership visit www.epa.gov/smartway.

When the Cleveland Browns heard early weather warnings last fall about a potential blizzard in Buffalo before their upcoming game with the Bills, their logistics team rushed into action. The NFL then canceled the Buffalo venue, moving the contest to Ford Field in downtown Detroit, according to a report in Crain’s Cleveland Business. Browns management immediately searched for and booked a hotel for team members, coaching, and other staff. The Browns usually bus to Detroit and Pittsburgh, and fly by charter to other NFL cities. Once the hotel was set, Browns logistics management had to find and schedule seven buses; as well as find and schedule equipment trucks.

They also needed pre- and post-transportation to Ford Field from their hotel, supported by police escorts. All went smoothly, except the Browns lost the game. The lesson for logistics professionals? Plan well in advance, but always be ready for the worst contingencies and be prepared to change quickly.

Hurricane Ian and shipping…What’s next?

September 29, 2022

We are all watching Hurricane Ian as it impacts Florida. Are you wondering how is this major natural disaster going to affect shipping? Tim and Arron provide some thoughts. 

“During catastrophic storms or disasters, the freight market can turn upside down. Capacity can be affected which can see delays in service and price increases due to supply and demand” said Aaron. 

In times of natural disasters, what can be done to minimize the impact on your supply chain? Both Tim and Arron agree the most important things are safety, communication, and flexibility.

“It is important for your broker to talk to the shipper, receiver, and dispatcher to ensure the product can be loaded/unloaded safely and resources like fuel are available in the area”, said Tim.

Other questions to ask, Have operating times changed? Are there new restrictions? Is there a safe passage for the driver into and out of an area? Customers should be made aware to expect possible change, disruptions, and a temporary spike in the cost of freight. Since there is constant change after a disaster it is also very important to remain flexible. Everyone must be up to date on the current situation and heed directions from officials.

Just like the hurricane this too shall pass, and we will get through this temporary market shift together! 

Would you like RCT to help with shipments to and from Florida? Call 330.441.7310 or email rates@rctlogistics.com

How can you help those affected by Hurricane Ian?

RCT has family and friends in Southwest Florida. We have selected 2 charitiable organizations that are providing impactful support. Please consider making a donation.

The Community Foundation: #WeAreFMB campaign. They were formed to help restaurant employees during COVID. This is a group of local people that will turn around 100% of the money you donate to the beach community.  DONATE HERE

Florida Disaster Fund: The state’s official private relief fund was “established to assist Florida’s communities as they respond to and recover during times of emergency or disaster.” DONATE HERE or text “DISASTER” to 20222 to make a $10 donation

THANK YOU!

 

 

 

Sign up for the latest news from RCT

Opt in- to stay up to-to-date with RCT New and the industry directly to your inbox.

Contact Us

Phone

330.441.7310

Fax

330.230.6200

Connect With Us

 

The 

Prime Day Fascination

July 11, 2022

Let’s be honest even though this is not RCT’s niche, aren’t we all fascinated with Amazon’s logistic magic? Their business model has permanently changed the way we shop and ship. 

Prime Day has become an e-commerce behemoth over the last several years. Like most everyone, Amazon has not been able to escape supply-chain disruption. Many are watching to see if Prime Day promises of free and fast continue and how small businesses are impacted by Amazon’s initiatives. 

See how Amazon is hedging its bets in an attempt to double sales on Prime Day.

Read Bringg.com article: 5 Logistical Challenges of Amazon Prime Day 

The question this raises is should your company be following Amazon’s lead regarding shipping and supply chain?

Explore your options with a specialist at RCT!

330.441.7310 

email: rates@rctlogistics.com

 

Sign up for the latest news from RCT

Opt in- to stay up to-to-date with RCT New and the industry directly to your inbox.

Contact Us

Phone

330.441.7310

Fax

330.230.6200

Connect With Us

 

freight market trends

Is the freight market about to be disrupted again?

Market Trends – April 2022

One thing we can all agree on is that the freight market has had both ups and downs over the last several years. At RCT, it is our mission to be a relationship-focused third-party logistics provider and pride ourselves on providing trusted solutions to our customers and carriers regardless of the transportation environment. Well, we believe our environment is about to change again and our team is here to help.

FreightWaves.com has published several articles regarding its forecasts for the freight market. This particular article “Just 3 years after 2019’s trucking bloodbath, another is on the way” explains what changes are coming and affirms the market trends RCT began to notice in March.

  • Volume is down. Volume has continuously trended up for the last 2 years. March was the first month the trend turned.
  • Demand is down. Trucks are beginning to compete for loads again.
  • Truckload rates are dropping. Lower rates are always good for a customer’s budget but signals a slowdown.

These trends are telling and ominous. This change may not be as dramatic as the “bloodbath” of 2019 however time will tell. Our goal is to educate and facilitate open conversation in order to minimize surprise and impact.

The trucking cycle will always be volatile and while these trends signal a change, there are things RCT can do to help. 

  • Continue open and honest communication with customers
  • Flex rates to correspond with the market
  • Start proactive planning to hedge impact

Call today to discuss the potential impact to your supply chain and how we can help?

330.441.7310 

email: rates@rctlogistics.com

 

Sign up for the latest news from RCT

Opt in- to stay up to-to-date with RCT New and the industry directly to your inbox.

Contact Us

Phone

330.441.7310

Fax

330.230.6200

Connect With Us