— A note from Aaron Gerber, VP of Sales
I’m proud to introduce the first of our new series, Industry Insights. We value our community and stakeholders, and one way we’re showing this is by sharing our industry knowledge and insights. You’ll be hearing from all of us over time, but right now, here are some words of wisdom from Jamie Tolis, Director of Sales & Marine Logistics.
At some point, we will tire of relating everything to pre- and post-COVID, but until then, it is difficult to overstate how much the pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of daily life. This is especially true when it comes to global supply chains.
Throw in increased shipping traffic from Asia, worker shortages in the US, rail closures in Canada, and canal blockages in Suez, and it’s not a gross exaggeration to say that the world of logistics has become a new Wild West.
Demand has outpaced supply, prices have skyrocketed, new fuel regulations loom, and there is no real global guidance for how to manage any of this. However, it’s not all doom and gloom; there are ways to safeguard your business and position yourself to thrive in these unsettled times.
1. Secure Your Freight as Early as Possible
When the market was down recently, ship owners were not investing in newbuilding programs. Committing to a new vessel is measured in decades, not years, so producing new ships is no small undertaking. To further complicate matters, a global shift from fossil fuels is underway, but what that will actually look like in 10 or 20 years is anyone’s guess. Shipbuilders are waiting to build until these questions are answered, so the lack of supply isn’t going away soon.
We tell our clients the best way to protect themselves is to secure freight arrangements as quickly as possible. Prices will almost certainly continue to increase, so locking in shipping rates while they are still relatively low is the best safeguard against exorbitant costs.
2. Think Creatively about Your Transportation Solutions
Being reliant on one form of transportation means you are at the mercy of market fluctuations. We work to provide our clients with as many options as possible when it comes to solving their shipping needs. When container rates are sky-high, consider putting your freight on a breakbulk carrier. If road closures and construction are delaying your shipment, look for ways to ship via barge.
We use the power of our combined creativity and experience to remain open to the best possible solution to our clients’ logistical needs, and part of what makes us successful in this aspect are the relationships we have in the industry.
3. Leverage Relationships to Your Advantage
Everyone at Pinnacle is an expert in our respective area(s), and we’ve cultivated solid relationships with suppliers. Because of these relationships, we’re able to call those suppliers and obtain more favorable rates than current market conditions. Building and maintaining strong relationships is essential to thrive in the new Wild West. Invest in them, and you will be rewarded in time.
These are just some of the ways that you can maneuver through this wild, post-COVID market. We’ll continue to share our insights with you, and look forward to working to help you solve your logistical challenges now and in the future!
PINNACLE LOGISTICS SOLUTIONS
DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARINE LOGISTICS