A leading issue impacting shipping delays and logistical dilemmas is a lack of warehouse efficiency overall. This is clearly evident in freight market outlook predictions for the year ahead. Issues such as capacity procurement, container loading and unloading, port delays, and many drayage issues continue to plague the supply chain. Combined with increased demands, ongoing delays, renewed COVID shutdowns, lack of workers, and increased pressure from consumers make container drayage a significant concern for management. Drayage covers picking up shipping containers from ports and hauling them to inland locations for unpacking, reloading, and final distribution as needed. It is among the most critical and most volatile of all domestic freight shipping and transportation aspects.
However, the overall process used to handle these final mile transports in most areas is outdated and unable to handle the sheer volume and demands seen today. “Ports in the US struggle to position chassis efficiently, and chassis shortages are a key contributor to port congestion. The issue of chassis maintenance and repair is also a sticking point in employer negotiations with longshore labor unions,” as highlighted by a May 2022 article from The Journal of Commerce Online. Today’s best solution for the warehouse and final mile issue is a shift toward smart warehouse operations and a more tech-driven approach to cargo management and drayage services.
Why Are Container Per Diem Charges?
Warehouse efficiency relies heavily on smooth transitions from one phase of the shipping process. When delays happen, they not only slow down the movement of that particular load but can lead to delays with other orders and quickly create a snowball effect. Per diem and excess detention charges are set up to help discourage long dwell times and delays at ports. Proper drayage training and practices can help streamline loading and unloading processes and reduce the chances for per diem and other drayage expenses, which can quickly add up.
For example, detention and per diem charges were among the hottest button topics of 2021. According to Supply Chain Dive, “ the average detention and demurrage charge more than doubled from 2020, increasing 104%. This translates to an increase of more than $666.” That’s too great of an increase to risk a minor delay and missing the per diem grace period. Failure to return equipment to the port on timeresults in higher costs, cwhich an amplify across thousands of containers. As a result, today’s shippers need a smart warehouse strategy that leverages local solutions to improve container turn times. Thus, they reduce the risk of such charges in the first place.
Smart warehouse technology and processes can help improve drayage fulfillment and make per diem expenses less of a concern overall.
How Drayage Efficiency and Local Warehousing Improves Container Turn Times
A new and innovative approach to shipping logistics and transportation tracking is needed to contend with ongoing delays and disruptions within the supply chain. Improving warehouse efficiency and embracing modern tech and tools can help shippers manage container drayage and avoid excessive fees, surcharges, and other expenses. Drayage efficiency, combined with intelligent operations at local warehouses, improved container turn times and kept cargo moving smoothly and efficiently. The following tips can help shippers maximize drayage transportation with the help of local warehousing.
Manage and Optimize YARD Space More Effectively
At the heart of the smart warehouse, movement is the need to improve overall efficiency and adaptability throughout the drayage transportation process. A significant obstacle to smooth and effective logistics is a lack of drayage training, particularly yard space utilization and management. Optimizing space and organizing the flow of chassis, containers, trucks, and drivers is critical to maximizing drayage efficiency. The more accessible dray freight gets loaded, unloaded, and moved, the easier it is to get shipments sent on their way.
Use Technology to Stay Informed of Inbound and Outbound Container Movements
Improving overall warehouse efficiency and association drayage services requires the proper onboarding of new digital processes, tools, and technology. New systems and platforms provide a quick and easy way to monitor cargo containers, scheduled drop-offs and pick-ups, and driver slots. Real-time tracking and monitoring improve ETA prediction and planning and shed light on inbound and outbound container movements. The right warehouse assets can speed up responses to disruptions and issues.
Maintain Remote Access and Control of All Port-to-Warehouse Moves
It is a digital day and age, and logistics managers and directors must embrace smart warehouse processes to maintain a competitive advantage. Proper digitalization and automation make it easier for team managers and directors to monitor container drayage and container management. Managing port-to-warehouse moves and operations gives greater access to drayage service for cargo shipments. Improving drayage service efficiency is more straightforward with up-to-date tools and technology.
Perform Regular Audits to Understand the Unloading/Loading Time at the Warehouse and Port
Warehouse efficiency, especially in the modern age, requires constant and careful monitoring of current processes and operations. Regular audits are necessary to understand where strengths and weaknesses within the warehouse system can be improved and expanded upon effectively. Identifying minor issues and problem areas and solving them sooner rather than later can ensure a fast and reliable solution that keeps cargo moving effectively. It prevents rolled cargo while reducing drayage delays and expenses.
Maintain Access to Vetted and Certified Carriers
One major obstacle that leads to delays in drayage services and increases the risk for per diem charges and related expenses is a lack of reliable carriers. When drivers cannot effectively move cargo and shippers struggle to find carriers to handle container drayage orders, delays and costs increase. Proper drayage training, along with access to vetted and certified carriers from the start, improves drayage services and logistics planning. Smart innovation and warehouse management make it possible.
Implement Automated Processes to Manage by Exception
Smart warehouse operations also focus on streamlining operations and minimizing the need for extraneous input and actions by automating processes, implementing real-time tracking and notifications, and giving team members a level of self-management control. Automated processes and logistics are critical to keeping up with current market trends and customer demands. Local warehouse partnerships make this possible while avoiding the biggest pitfalls for drayage and last-mile shipping in 2022.
Think About Driver Pain Points
Truckers, carriers, and shippers drive the industry and play a vital role in maintaining optimal warehouse efficiency. Local drivers and warehouse distribution centers make moving, organizing, and shipping containers for final mile deliveries easier. They also make it easier to manage container drayage services, track fees, reduce idle and dwell times, and improve overall services. Addressing driver pain points, leveraging technology and local service providers to handle key consumer concerns, and meeting market standards will improve drayage and avoid delayed shipping.
Look For Network and Collaboration Opportunities
The transportation industry is an expansive network of shippers, carriers, drivers, owner-operators, and state and local companies. No one group or individual can manage everything involved. Looking for and maintaining solid collaborations and networking partnerships provides a unique advantage other companies may not have. Everything from driver networking pools to providing drayage training can become easier with the right collaboration and drayage tech.
Work WIth a 3PL That Has Localized Warehouses
The final benefit of working with local warehouse and distribution hub centers is maximizing container drayage efficiency with fast and reliable turn times. The less distance cargo has to move, the sooner it can be prepared and sent on the final leg of its shipping journey. This local collaboration increases dual transactions and significantly produces turn time and productivity levels throughout the supply chain. The right 3PL can make these connections easier and allow for more significant supply chain visibility and networking.
Embrace Smart Warehouse Operations and Local Services Through Port City Logistics
A lack of warehouse efficiency is a leading issue affecting supply chain locusts and drayage efficiency. The ever-growing pressure from consumers and increasing market stressors and pain points make container drayage a significant area of concern within supply chain management. Drayage covers many of the most critical aspects of final distribution and last-mile delivery services. It is also the one part of the shipping journey that is most likely to experience delays and incur per diem and other related costs. Working with an expert drayage provider can make all the difference.
The overall process in most areas is very outdated and unable to handle the sheer volume and demands seen today. The focus on digital strategies, automated platforms, and smart warehouse processes remains a critical focal point for warehouse and logistics management. There has never been a better time to move towards automation and technological innovation. Take the step today to improve warehouse logistics and overall efficiency. Contact Port City Logistics today to get started and enhance drayage efficiency for your company.