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As the holiday season approaches and the expectations of efficiency and on-time delivery increases, 3PLs must optimize their solutions.

The Christmas holiday season provides many industries with the opportunity to significantly increase their revenue. By the end of this year, retail sales between November and January 2019 are forecasted to ‘top $1.10 trillion’. The reason behind the industries success can partly be attributes to e-commerce sales, which are also projected to increase 22% throughout this holiday season. In comparison to $110 billion in 2017, e-commerce sales are expected to reach $134 billion this year.

To ensure customers experience a positive shopping experience, companies are amping their game in a various ways. According to Deloitte, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP, Rod Sides, states

We’ve seen retailers continue to advance their approaches to shipping, delivery, in-store experiences and tech-enabled commerce.

Sides also defines those companies who will succeed this holiday season are those who exhibit ‘the right balance between innovation, experience and value.’

The holiday season for instance, is a prime time to shine for third party logistics providers (3PLs). By providing optimized solutions to help their clients optimize their customer journeys, 3PLs can leverage holidays to build relationships with customers.

This article by Morai Logistics discuss how 3PLs are an important service partner this holiday seasons.

Top Driver’s This Holiday Season

There are a variety of reasons 3PLs brace themselves for the holiday season. The retail sales industry is projected to prosper significantly this season, by a combination of ecommerce and brick and mortar. Consumers can complete all of their holiday shopping online, without even stepping foot into a store. An increase in convenience and accessibility also increases the ability for shoppers to purchase faster and more frequently. This places considerable pressure on supply chains to ensure:

  • On-time delivery
  • Transparency
  • Cost-effective rates
  • Personalization

However, despite the holiday season, the rise in consumer demand has been nothing short of new for 3PLs. Advancements in technology has forced organizations to compete within a saturated market of providers who offer similar services. This heightens even more during the holiday seasons as organizations must choose the best service providers for their customers. In addition to a peak in orders and next-day delivery, setbacks caused by weather can significantly impact the shipment lifecycle. Let’s take a look at the top reasons 3PLs are an important partner for organizations looking to prosper this holiday season.

Speed is becoming a primary determinant of consumer preference. By 2019, statistics show that 65% of retailers will offer same-day delivery. This transition from concept to standard practice requires companies to seek solutions that will ensure real-time operations.

Visibility

During the holiday season, setbacks in deliveries can disrupt the customer experience, especially when there is a lack of visibility. Once a consumer selects a product, they pay close attention to the shipment life cycle via tracking codes or order updates. It’s important for companies to choose organizations such as 3PLs who can offer a level of transparency that will keep their customers happy.

Efficiency

In addition to speed, another important factor that supply chains should focus on is efficiency. On-time deliveries are essential for companies competing in saturated markets. Aside from transparency, 3PLs also prioritize orders arrive as scheduled. Therefore, hiring service partners such as 3PLs is important to ensure consumers receive their product in a timely and efficient manner.

Inventory Management

For the retail industry in particular a large influx of in-store inventory is not ideal. 3PLs offer optimized warehouse management solutions and technologies that can effectively manage, track and store your stock.

Distribution Centers

E-commerce has made shopping accessible from anywhere across the globe, which increases the need to ensure consistency in order fulfillment. 3PLs often have many distribution centers spread across the country, which helps organizations house product closer to customers.

There is no denying that the holiday season is a busy time of year. Partnering with the right third party logistics provider is important for organizations looking to increase revenue and create a positive consumer experience.

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The integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) can help third party logistic providers (3PLS) optimize their services to improve operations, transparency and the customer journey.

The Internet of Things (IoT) simplifies our day-to-day through the sharing of data between devices. It is a technological movement that has contributed to the digital progression of many industries.

The advancements IoT provides the transportation industry has caused disruption, leading researchers to believe that 3PL providers may become replaced. However, there are three ways that IoT technology will help 3PLs optimize supply chains for their customers.

This week we will focus our infographic on highlighting the way third-party logistics providers benefit from using IoT technology in order to bring their business, and their clients’ business to the next level.

IoT and 3PL Providers: A Glimpse at the Future of Logistics

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That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? Interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider? Then don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

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The Canadian transportation industry is currently facing a capacity crunch, causing small businesses to question what their mitigation strategy should be.

In late January, the Wall Street Journal spoke about the ‘nationwide truck shortage’ causing turbulence for shippers. They identified that the only two options available to offset current inconveniences were shipper’s willingness to postpone deliveries or pay higher rates. Causes trail back to the aftermath of severe weather seasons and the new regulations on electronic logging in 2017, and lingering increases in gas prices.

Third Party Logistics (3PL) providers have maintained a reputation of providing optimized solutions for those small business owners vulnerable to shipping capacity crunches. Their network connections, competitive volume rates and ongoing integration of information technology, are few of the many reasons to outsource logistics.

As a capacity crunch challenges Canadian markets, 3PL providers continue to leverage technology to fulfill the needs of their customers. Research proposes that concrete data provided by predictive analytics could help offset the stressors faced by shippers and 3PLs.

Overview of Shipping Capacity Crunch

As the demand for immediacy increases and ecommerce markets continue to emerge, a capacity crunch can put pressure on both SME’s and large corporations.

On February 8th, 2018, Forbes discussed four trends facing the transportation industry this year. A capacity crunch and an increase in freight rates were at the top, with a lack of drivers and the 2017 electronic logging devices mandate (ELD) as primary causes.

The ELD mandate and the implementation of electronic stability control technology are two initiatives that aim to improve road safety. These processes achieve the following:

  • Help driver maintain control
  • Prevent rollovers
  • Improve navigation

In addition, ELDs are also being installed into trucks to monitor driving time across the shipment lifecycle. This is a positive move to ensure the health and safety measures for drivers and the roads, while also limiting the paper administration associated with logging. Forbes reports that,

By law, drivers are only allowed to drive for 11 hours with a mandatory, continuous rest period of 10 hours, daily.

However, compared to larger corporations with the infrastructure to implement large scale devices, smaller companies are finding this to be costly. Thus, in conjunction with capacity crunches, an increase in freight rates has also said to impact the industry.

Freight Rates

With ecommerce enabling consumers to make immediate buying decisions, the trucking industry is seeing a different pattern in demand. Although this time of the year is low-tide for truck deliveries, research describes an alarmingly high ‘desperation of brokers to move freight’. In fact, freight rates in 2017 remained the highest they had ever been.

Research has also attributed the increase in rates to the ELD mandate, which could cause more problems for smaller companies. While it may cause an inconvenience for divers, it has also meant higher rates for companies looking to ship. A decrease in drivers means an increase in prices, and these projected rates will only get higher.

Forbes also adds that spot rates – or the spot quotes – are the highest, following contract rates. With immediacy following in line with more on-the-spot deliveries, 3PLs may be a wise strategy.

Mitigation Strategy for Small Businesses

As technology platforms continue to advance the processes of the supply chain industry, 3PLs utility in combating the above issues show promise. With the recent implementation of the ELD, a 3PL will have the resources to provide a reliable fleet. In addition, 3PLs also have a large network that go beyond local borders, which can help cut costs. Linkage to competitive volume rates would also help mitigate risks associated with capacity crunches and increased freight rates.

If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

Earlier this month, Research and Markets added to their “Third Party Logistics (3PL) Market Analysis By Service, By Transport (Roadways, Railways, Waterways, Airways), By End-Use (Manufacturing, Retail, Healthcare, Automotive), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2014 – 2025” report.

Experts are estimating the 3PL market to reach USD $1.24 trillion within the next decade. That’s a massive increase considering that the current market is estimated to sit at USD 721 billion according to Armstrong & Associates, Inc. There are eight reasons why this is the case. That’s why this month we thought we’d focus our infographic on the top market growth predictions for 2025 when it comes to the third-party logistics industry.

Third-Partly Logistics Market Growth Predition for 2025

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As business around the globe continue to expand their operations, the 3PL market will continue to parallel its growth. The Research and Markets updates highlight how this will affect revenue and coverage. Overall, it looks like the next few years will be a good time for the 3PL market.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

Outsourcing is business strategy of contracting work out to a third-party. Companies use outsourcing to gain access to cheaper labour, larger specialized labour pools, and/or obtain other benefits through an economy of scale. The term encompasses both the setup of a subsidiary, and the off-site activities of a company.

For decades, companies used outsourcing strategies to meet the needs of their business, but it was not formally identified as business strategy until 1989.

The three main types of outsourcing are: offshoring, nearshoring, and reshoring in the logistics and supply chain industry. The main difference between them is the location of the third-party. Each has its own benefits and costs, but because of the dynamic nature of global political-economy these are always changing.

We created this eBook to kick off 2017 to clarify why companies choose a particular offshoring option over another. This way, you can see how manufacturers think about these strategies.

What is the Difference Between Logistics Oursourcing Options

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Choosing Shoring Options

There are many advantages to outsourcing certain jobs and functions—cost advantage, access to bigger pools of skilled labour, increased efficiency, and saving on infrastructure and technology. However, the biggest advantage is that it allows your business to focus on core areas. Your business will be able to spend more time on building its brand, R&D, and providing higher value added services.

Offshoring, nearshoring and reshoring each have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Though, what will work best for your business will depend on its goals and core competencies. Talking to a third-party logistics provider is a very useful way to learn more about sourcing options.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

On February 4, 2014, we released a white paper detailing the different ways the logistics landscape had changed. Developments in the industry had created new challenges and opportunities all along the supply chain, shifting the world of transportation.

The last few years has seen many developments in the realm of logistics. The recent carrier, port, and labour issues; rate instability, primarily in ocean carrier; and rising costs in other areas of the world, specifically China, has led a number of global companies to reconsider their outsourcing strategies.

This week on the blog, we are taking a look at these changes in the logistics landscape and what progress has been made since 2014.

White Paper: Third-Party Logistics and Mexico Nearshoring Still Growing

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That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

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The 3PL industry has come a long way in a few short years with its evolution from tactical service providers to collaborative partners that take on greater accountability and control.This week on the blog, we wanted to focus on the relationship between shippers and 3PLs.

In the past, the question was why a company should hire a 3PL as many companies had their own in-house logistics teams; then the question became if a company should hire a 3PL as the cost-benefit of outsourcing certain functions was weighed. And now in 2016, the question is which 3PL a company should partner with as a growing number of companies have as best practice, the outsourcing of some or most of their logistics functions.

The 2017 21st Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, which was released recently by Capgemini Consulting, Penn State University, and Penske Logistics at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida sheds light on the change in strategy.

Data for the study was based on feedback from 194 usable responses from both shippers, or users of 3PL services, and non-users of 3PL services, as well as a separate, related version of the survey by 148 respondents from the 3PL sector.

One of the focuses of the study was looking at the 3PL and shipper partnerships in tandem with the strategic nature of relationships.

Of those surveyed, 91% of shippers and 97% of 3PLs indicating they have successful relationships that are bringing about positive results, which is up from 2012, which showed that 88% of shippers and 94% of 3PLs cited successful relationships.

75% of shippers and 93% of 3PLs also indicated that using 3PL services has led to over all logistics cost reductions, and 86% of shippers and 98 percent of 3PLs said that has led to improved customer service.

Big data, the new core competencies of 3PLs

A selling point for 3PL partnerships is the effectiveness such a relationship provides in preventing visibility “black holes”.

By selecting the right 3PL provider, a company gains in-transit visibility for all inventories from point of origin to final destination, information concerning production status, and projected inventory at destination distribution centered as well as accurate ETAs and data that would allow for easy comparison of expected performance to actual performance.

Big data, the study indicates, is the new way visibility is ensured and the new core competency 3PLs are providing.

Key Area for 3PLs

The biggest focus areas related to big data cited in the study for shippers included: improving integration across the supply chain; improving data quality; improving process quality and performance; increasing levels of data transparency; improving customer interaction and service; and improving logistics optimization.

98% of 3PL’s indicating that improved, data-driven decision-making is essential to the future success of supply chain activities and processes, which was supported by 93%of shippers.

86% of 3PLs and 81 percent of shippers also noted that effective use of big data will become a core competency of supply chain operations.  

The study ultimately explains why so many businesses have turned to 3PLs for their logistics needs. Strategic shipper and 3PL relationships create value throughout the supply chain.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

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With so much discussion over omni-channel fulfillment being the future, it is interesting then that only 19% of the top 250 retailers are currently fulfilling omni-channel demand profitably, according to a new the third annual Sands Future of Retail Report.

Despite such a small percentage of top retailers making a profit from omni-channel fulfillment, the service is in high demand by customers and growing.

For example, for nine out of ten consumers, free shipping was reported as the top incentive to shop more online. This number has grown to become the top consideration. One-day shipping (69%) and free returns (68%) also continue to be top drivers.

The Future of Retail and Logistics

There were other key findings of note in the study:

  • Nearly a third of consumers (31%) now shop online at least once a week, an increase of 41% from two years ago.
  • Only 9% of consumers have used same-day shipping in the past year, but almost half (49%) say same-day shipping would make them shop more online if it were offered more frequently.
  • 40% of consumers expect to receive their first drone-delivered package in the next two years or less. Less than a third (31%) think it will take more than five years.
  • Among consumers who don’t trust drones to deliver packages, theft and damaged packages are the top concerns (72% each), but safety (68%) and privacy (60%) seem less risky than they were a year ago.

A theme throughout the study from customers was the expectation of greater and greater speed of the supply chain. This can be seen by the finding that consumers who shop online more than twice a week are twice as likely to be persuaded by same-day shipping as consumers who shop online only a few times a year (63% vs. 32%).

The main reason that so few top retailers are yet to make a profit from omni-channel fulfillment is simply that they have yet to figure out how.

According to the 2015 Third-Party Logistics Study, fully one-third of all respondents (nearly 800 manufacturers, retailers and 3PLs) say they’re not currently prepared to handle omni-channel fulfillment.

Tim Foster, managing director, Asia-Pacific, with supply chain consulting firm Chainalytics weighed in on the discussion.

“Forester believes manufacturers and retailers will address this market transformation by eliminating non-value-adding activities within the supply chain. He cites the example of pharmaceutical distribution, where the traditional supply chain flow from manufacturer to wholesaler to retail pharmacy is being replaced by either a direct flow from manufacturer to retailer, or a loop with the 3PL in the center” summarizes Material Handling and Logistics News in this article.

3PLs have some time to catch up to customer demand. Privacy and security concerns are hampering the demand for omni-channel distribution in the areas of mobile phone payment. “This could explain why adoption has essentially remained flat year over year, with about a third of consumers having used these applications. Still, U.S. mobile payment transactions are expected triple in 2016 to $27 billion, a sign that a few eager early adopters and the growth of Apple Pay could eventually force more widespread changes in consumer behavior” concludes the article.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

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Nominated during OWIT (Organization of Women in International Trade) Toronto’s Annual Awards Ceremony, where Kelli Saunders of Morai Logistics Inc. wins Woman Exporter of the Year.

Toronto, ON (June 16,2016)

On Thursday, June 9th 2016, Kelli Saunders, President of Morai Logistics Inc., an Authorized Agent of Mode Transportation, was the recipient of The Woman Exporter of the Year Award from OWIT-Toronto (Organization of Women in International Trade-Toronto). Nominees had to have at least 50% ownership of a profitable business registered and operating in Ontario for more than 3 years. Nominees also had to have earned their primary income from the business and must have been responsible for its daily operations. A significant portion of her company’s business had to have come from exporting products or services.

The Woman Exporter of the Year Award honors an outstanding woman entrepreneur who, through her exporting endeavors, is advancing women and the image of Canadian business women in the international community.

Network and Cherish Those Around You.

Kelli was presented this award for her company’s work with major fast-moving consumer goods companies as a third-party logistics provider with expertise in cross-border intermodal logistics in the US and Mexico.

Jim Damman, President of Mode Transportation, said:

We are all very excited for Kelli. She is an outstanding businesswoman, and she and her team do a great job of providing the best export solutions to her valued customers. This award is very well deserved. Her hard work in receiving this award is something that makes all of us very proud.

Kelli’s advice to other women is to network and cherish those around them. Surrounding yourself with energetic high achievers will give you the foundation for a strong, career-long network from which to grow.

Shown above is Kelli’s acceptance speech.

ABOUT OWIT TORONTO: OWIT-Toronto (Organization of Women in International Trade) is a non-profit professional organization designed to promote women doing business internationally, by providing networking opportunities, export education and global business contacts. Members include women entrepreneurs, service providers and business women involved in international trade.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) leverages the interconnectivity of machines and systems with sensors, intelligent data, and analytics to provide increased visibility and better insights into the performance of equipment and assets. Despite what its potential offers, attitudes surrounding IIoT are mixed. Some industry leaders are optimistic, others are dismissive.

For this week’s infographic, we’ve decided to cover nine facts and figures about the opinions of industry leaders related to this topic.

9 Facts About the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT)

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.