How To Navigate Freight During These Times
By: Carolyn Young (Sales & Marketing Coordinator) & Heather Vitullo (Logistics Manager)
As we all have heard by now, YELLOW Freight (YRC, USF Holland) has filed for bankruptcy and are closing their doors after almost 100 years in business. They were the 3rd largest carrier in the freight industry and while we may not be feeling the impact this will have on the freight industry just yet, it is coming. YELLOW Freight closing is going to have a major influence on delays for LTL and Full Truckload freight. Here are some tips and tricks iD Additives is doing to help our customers and suppliers during this time and making sure we are taking into account transit times for our materials.
1. Ordering product with at least a 10-business day lead time
During these times, it is important to be inventory planning as much as possible and try to get your material orders in with at least a 10-business day lead time to your suppliers. This helps alleviate any last-minute shipping and essential delivery dates. There are going to be many delays and freight sitting at terminals, so it is important to build some room for this.
2. Choosing “guaranteed by 5pm” option
Unfortunately, there is nothing guaranteed during this time, but this will help get LTL freight to your customer faster. If you are the one ordering and you are really pushing for a certain delivery date, make sure you let your supplier know this. There is a difference between choosing something to deliver on a certain date and choosing to deliver on a certain date and also choosing to guarantee it by 5pm. It is crucial to emphasize the importance of a delivery date when booking the freight.
3. Triple check your BOL
Delays are already inevitable during this time, but you want to make sure everything is correct with the paperwork so you do not add to the stress. Make sure everything is proper on your BOL like the weight, dimensions, class of the freight, delivery address, contact info for the place it is delivering too, and any other details that are on the BOL. This will set you up for success on shipments and avoid any more issues or delays on your freight.
4. Do not sign a Proof of Delivery if your shipment comes in wrong or damaged
With freight possibly sitting in terminals, this will cause orders showing up damaged or incorrect. For example, if you are supposed to receive 6 skids of material and you only unload 5 skids, you need to note that on the Proof of Delivery before the driver leaves. Or the material needs to be rejected right then and there. If nothing is noted on an order showing up incorrectly or damaged, it is very hard for the person who originally booked that freight to go back to the carrier to file a claim on the issue.
5. Department of Transportation Safety Checks, Environmental Factors, and Holidays
On top of the industry trying to absorb the additional freight from YELLOW Freight that creates all the delays we have talked about in this blog, there are other delays that will be happening that are out of all our control. The Department of Transportation every year conducts brake checks and log checks for truck drivers. Everyone knows when these checks are coming up and it creates a shortage of trucks because drivers avoid being on the road during this time. With there already being such a shortage due to YELLOW Freight closing, these safety weeks coming up there will be even more of a shortage than there is now. We have also been seeing crazy unprecedented weather over the U.S. and this also creates delays that are out of everyone’s control. Soon enough we will also be entering winter, which every year creates delays for freight. We also must take into account before we know it, we will be in the Holiday season which creates even more delays with freight. The biggest thing to remember is to give ample time to your suppliers on orders for material. You may think ordering 4-6 weeks in advance seems too early, but it is never too early to send in a Purchase Order for material during these times.
Just like everything else in the world, this will eventually work itself out. The freight that was once taken by YELLOW Freight will absorb into other carriers and these delays will pass. In the meantime, we all just need understanding from our suppliers and customers. We will all feel this in some way and we all just need to work together to get through it.