If you’re a shipper feeling the impact of an unpredictable market, you’re not the only one. A seismic shift from last year’s pandemic peak to a drop in consumer demand due to the cost-of-living crisis has caused shippers nationwide to rethink their approach to supply chain management. What we need most is reliability, something that DigiHaul’s Head of UK Transport Solutions, Graham Jones, says can be achieved through strengthening relationships and building trust.
Turn the clock back to 2021 and the transport sector looked very different for shippers. High demand for capacity amid a driver shortage crisis prompted a flurry of last-minute traction shifts in 2021 which drove prices up and resulted in a huge amount of wastage. Now that inflation and the cost of living continue to creep up, prices have stabilised but the lack of drivers continues to prove problematic. Amongst so much uncertainty, what can be done to give you the ease and surety of service that you need when you’re shipping goods to customers?
“The biggest thing shippers are looking for at the moment is reliability,” explains Graham. “The last thing you need as a shipper is to find out your haulier can’t take your order, or that they can’t hit the booking time.
Graham’s team is dedicated to doing just that. “Our transport solutions experts are on hand to find the best hauliers and the best prices, including at the last minute, to ensure you receive a reliable service. This gives you more time to focus on other areas of your business such as sales or customer service.”
From a longer-term perspective, getting to know your business by identifying trends in your deliveries – such as regions, sites and times – creates opportunities to unlock value in your supply chain operations.
Visibility also plays a big part in making the whole process as easy and straightforward as possible. “Shippers can view the status of all their orders at any time on our Shipper Web. They can simply go online to find out whether a delivery has been completed, or what time it’s due to arrive.
“Of course, if you prefer to pick up the phone and speak to someone, our team is always here to help.”
Access all your transport bookings in one place
Following in the footsteps of many other industries, there’s no doubt that future of freight is digital, but this is a big change for people in the industry. With that in mind, any new processes need to be as simple and user-friendly as possible.
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Cross-sector solutions for shippers who own trucks
Amidst the surge in demand for capacity over the past two or three years, you may be one of many shippers who invested in your own fleet of trucks and drivers. While this plugged the capacity gap in busier times, this is a big overhead to manage during quieter periods.
“When combined with the drop in consumer spending, we’ve seen a big dip in demand for traction shifts during peak periods,” says Graham, “but we can help utilise those trucks by bringing them into our haulier network, particularly SMEs. Those customers have the option to place a ‘one and final’ offer for work through our Carrier Web to help fill backhaul journeys and cover their running costs.”
Building trust to help you grow
While there’s a big focus on digitalising manual processes, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that people work with people. There will always be traffic delays, adverse weather and other factors that are out of our control, but good communication builds trust and reassurance.
“While we are a digital transport business we do have the human touch,” Graham explains. “Our teams are at the end of the phone, and we like to meet our customers face-to-face to talk through ideas or issues and help make their shipping experience as smooth as we possibly can.”
The good news for shippers and hauliers alike is that we do expect the sub-contraction market to bounce back. And when we do start seeing peaks in demand again, we can find capacity in our large carrier network to give you the reliability and surety of service that you need. So, you can get back to focusing on your business, and let us take care of your transport.
Find out more about shipping with us.