By Mona McFadden, RedPrairie
Retailers are facing increasingly complex supply chains, with less room for error than ever before. Imports from overseas, multilevel networks, store delivery and returns, and direct-to-consumer delivery are all operations requiring their own unique focus when organizing efficient transport from suppliers or distribution centers.
With this ever-increasing number of delivery channels, the complexity is becoming difficult to manage. Now on the horizon for late 2010 is a predicted freight shortage, which may be unkind to retailers, especially given the very low level of current inventories. Transportation costs are likely to rise while spot market prices and capacity may be volatile. This situation means it is essential for transportation managers to leverage both their fleets and market carriers more efficiently to continue.