by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Cultivating the Next Generation of Supply Chain Leaders

Cultivating the Next Generation of Supply Chain Leaders

Three strategies cold chain shippers can use to ensure strong supply chain leadership today and in the future.

With the national unemployment rate hovering around 4%, the supply chain field is in the same quandary that many other industries are in right now—namely, finding skilled and available talent to fill their employee pipelines.

Going a step further, identifying and cultivating individuals who can lead the supply chain of the future is even more difficult, what with the abundance of jobs and opportunities that experienced professionals literally have at their fingertips online.

“Manufacturing, retail, logistics, and a range of other companies are scrambling to find supply chain professionals amid a severe talent shortage that threatens those companies’ very livelihoods,” Margaret Harrist writes in Supply Chain Talent Shortage: What’s an Industry To Do?

“At the same time, the skills needed are changing rapidly,” Harrist continues. “The challenge for employers is to find people with the necessary technical and operational competencies, as well as the ability to lead, apply analytical thinking, and innovate.”

Three Steps to Take Right Now

Here are three strategies that cold chain shippers can use to start shoring up their supply chain leadership pipelines for the future:

  • Define your company’s mission. According to the American Management Association, only 18 percent of managers and executives have a succession plan in place to respond to a sudden loss of key executives—not nearly enough to keep business productivity up as people retire, despite the added number of supply chain undergraduate and graduate programs. This is a major oversight for any cold chain shipper that wants to ensure a smooth transition to the next generation of supply chain leadership. “To get started, define an organization or team mission that identifies the specific objectives of your vertical, then use that mission as the foundation of your succession plan,” Tisha Danehl points out in Supply Chain Quarterly. An example of a mission may be something like: “Our goal is to provide quality service to customers while using technology to be sustainable.”
  • Position supply chain as a hotbed for new technologies. According to a recent industry survey, 70% of companies said that candidates’ perception that the “profession lacks status and opportunities for career growth have a high or very high impact on employers’ ability to find, attract, and retain talented people,” Harrist writes, noting that in many cases, those perceptions sometimes are perpetuated by the employers themselves. To buck this trend, focus on how supply chain professionals use emerging technologies (i.e., the Internet of Things, machine learning, robotics), and on how it “allows professionals to focus on several areas that are attractive to young people: improving environmental sustainability and increasing standards of living.”
  • Look outside of your organization’s four walls. “While it’s ideal to look internally, the truth is that sometimes you must go outside your organization to find the right person to lead your logistics or supply chain organization in the future,” Danehl suggests. “With senior leadership potentially approaching retirement, partnering with outside resources, such as a recruiting firm, can help you fill important roles.” Social media (i.e., LinkedIn and the new “Jobs on Facebook” feature), professional trade organizations, and partnerships with area educational institutions are all good resources for shippers to explore.

“By hiring talent directly out of college,” Danehl writes, “you can get an early sense of the candidates’ capabilities and build your workforce from the ground up to ensure that your future supply chain leaders have the right management skills.”

Are you interested in joining the Hanson Logistics team? We look forward to getting to know you, contact us today to learn about our current openings!

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Maximizing Quality in the Global Cold Supply Chain

Maximizing Quality in the Global Cold Supply Chain

Moving a shipment across the supply chain without suffering any setbacks or temperature anomalies requires the establishment of a comprehensive logistical process to maintain the shipment integrity.

The cold supply chain, for example, is getting more and more difficult to manage as regulatory issues, carrier capacity crunches, the need for sophisticated technology platforms, and driver shortages all take a toll on a firm’s ability to make the best possible transportation decisions.

In fact, these challenges can make maintaining the in-house expertise needed to stay profitable nearly impossible. Maximizing Quality and Profits in Cold Chain Logistics, author Pat Hughes notes that the most common causes of profit loss in the cold supply chain include temperature abuse, humidification abuse, ethylene/CO2 abuse, microbial growth damage, and damage due to mishandling.

5 Key Considerations

In The Geography of Transport Systems, Hofstra University’s Jean-Paul Rodrigue notes that the process includes several phases that range from the preparation of the shipments to final verification of the integrity of the shipment at the delivery point. Each of these can impact the supplier’s profits:

  • Shipment preparation. When a temperature sensitive product is being moved, the shipment itself should already be at the desired temperature.
  • Modal choice. “Distance between the origin and the final destination (which often includes a set of intermediary locations), the size and weight of the shipment, the required exterior temperature environment and time restrictions (perishability) of the product all affect the available transportation options”, Rodrigue points out.
  • Customs procedures. “If the freight crosses boundaries, custom procedures become critical”, Rodrigue writes, “since cold chain products tend to be time sensitive and more subject to inspection than regular freight (e.g. produce, pharmaceuticals, and biological samples).
  • The last mile. “Key considerations when arranging a final delivery concern not only the destination,” he notes, “but also the timing of the delivery so the critical labor and warehousing space is available.”
  • Integrity and quality assurance. “After the shipment has been delivered, any temperature recording devices or known temperature anomalies must be recorded and made known”, Rodrigue points out.

“The setting and operation of cold chains is dependent on the concerned supply chains since each cargo unit to be carried has different requirements in terms of demand, load integrity, and transport integrity,” Rodrigue concludes. “Because of the additional tasks involved as well as the energy required for the refrigeration unit, transportation costs for cold chain products are much higher than for regular goods.”

As one of the fastest growing 3PLs in the cold chain industry, Hanson Logistics moves millions of pounds of freight across the country for many of the most respected brands. Leverage Hanson’s extensive transportation carrier network, technology, and expertise to assure efficiency and service are delivered on time and at rates that allow your company to exceed its own profit expectations.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

You Don’t Have to Go it Alone: Why Outsourcing Transportation is a Smart Idea in 2017

You Don’t Have to Go it Alone: Why Outsourcing Transportation is a Smart Idea in 2017

Depending on which industry you’re working in, transportation logistics account for between 5% and 50% of your product’s total landed cost. That’s a significant outlay for any company that wants to remain profitable and viable in today’s constantly-changing logistics environment, where “going it alone” isn’t always necessary or financially feasible.

The cold supply chain, for example, is becoming more and more challenging to manage as regulatory issues, carrier capacity crunches, the need for sophisticated technology platforms, and driver shortages all take a toll on a firm’s ability to make the best possible transportation decisions. In fact, these challenges can make maintaining the in-house expertise needed to stay profitable nearly impossible.

The question is, how do you know when it’s time to stop handling transportation internally and turn some or all of it over to a reputable third party? Here are three obvious clues:

1. You can’t keep up with increased and/or fluctuating order volumes. If the 2016 holiday season hit you hard, or if your company is growing but not keeping up with the new order volume, it’s time to take a good hard look at how you’re managing transportation.

2.You’re not focusing on your company’s core competencies. Spending too much time and effort managing the complicated transportation process? It’s time to re-center your focus and outsource transportation to a trusted business partner.

3. Your labor costs are skyrocketing. Labor is one of the most expensive aspects of running a cold supply chain. When you outsource the task to a third party like Hanson Logistics, many of these labor worries and expenses will disappear.

The Power of One

It’s no secret that transportation buyers who move high volumes of freight have more buying power in the marketplace. As one of the fastest growing 3PLs in the cold chain industry, Hanson Transportation Logistics moves millions of pounds of freight across the country for many of the most respected brands. As an LTL shipper, you can leverage Hanson’s extensive transportation carrier network, technology, and expertise to assure efficiency and service are delivered on time, at very competitive rates.

Outsourcing transportation also allows you to:

• Drive the complexity out of transportation. From our TMS portal to your point of contact, we remove the complexity from your transportation and make it simple. We solve customer problems, deal with carrier performance, and make things happen.

• Leverage better rates. Our negotiated rates are far less than most smaller shippers can hope to achieve; and that savings goes right to your bottom line. You’ll save in many ways, including lower rates, better audits, and lower overhead.

• Tap into sophisticated technologies. Leverage our market-leading transportation management systems (TMS) technology and gain complete transparency into rates, capacity, carriers, and documentation.

• Better allocate your time. Entrusting us with your entire transportation spend allows you to devote your resources to your operational tasks and to your firm’s core competencies.

• Utilize a wide range of services. Inbound, outbound, multi-temperature, parcel; standard, expedited, guaranteed, white glove, and flatbed; we have the expertise, carriers, and competitive rates you need to thrive in today’s logistics environment

• Tackle transportation from concept to completion. From rating to scheduling, track and trace, exceptions, audit, and freight bill payment, we serve as your dedicated resource to handle the entire process.

For more information, please contact us today.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Request the Best Supply Chain

Request the Best Supply Chain

When manufacturers need their product shipped out, they trust Hanson Logistics to get it done.

As a global leader of food and foodservice solutions, Request Foods, Inc. ships over 230 million products every year. This means they need a reliable transportation team.

Five years ago, Request Foods was utilizing multi-drop stops. These stops force a driver to carry one product, making multiple stops each day that can be over five hours apart. Not only do these multi-drop stops take a toll on the driver, they are inefficient in scheduling and communication.

Multi-drop stops are even more ineffective when retailers want small orders to keep stocked inventory low. This is an incredible hurdle for shippers.

That’s when Request Foods utilized Hanson Logistics. They began working in our Velocities Multi-Vendor Consolidation Program. This is where Hanson loads trucks with multiple brands, keeping stops fluid. Drivers can better stay on schedule so products can be delivered on time.

The Velocities Program is creating consistency for Request Foods. Their distribution centers have a better idea when shipments are coming in and a routine is developed, creating seamless shipping for everyone involved.

Don’t settle for inefficiency when it comes to the delivery of your products. Contact Hanson Logistics today for the best in shipping and delivery.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Down with Red Tape: Compelling Reasons to Work with Smaller, Family-Owned Service Providers

Down with Red Tape: Compelling Reasons to Work with Smaller, Family-Owned Service Providers

Defined by Merriam-Webster as a system of government or business that has many complicated rules and ways of doing things, “bureaucracy” is often used to describe the inner workings of any organization that tends to operate with a lot of red tape, rules, policies, and decision makers. Hanson Logistics, on the other hand, has effectively bucked this trend and instead focuses on making it easy for customers of all sizes—and across numerous industries—to do business with it.

Counted among the largest refrigerated public warehouses in the country, Hanson is smaller than the conglomerates and internationally held PRWs.  Smaller companies are well known for their agility, growth potential, and ability to turn on a dime when the market calls for it, and Hanson is no exception.

Add “family-owned” to the equation and the attention to customer service, longevity, and sustainability becomes that much more focused. Rather than concentrating on what’s best for shareholders, for example, smaller firms empower their employees to make decisions instead of just deferring to corporate management. These qualities translate into less bureaucracy and more personal client and supplier relationships.

“When looking for a company to do business with, whether that’s as a supplier, a distributor, or service provider, it can be easy to go straight to the biggest names in the field,” notes Complete Biz Systems’ Size Matters: The Benefits of Doing Business with a Small Company. “However, when you look at the day-to-day reality of business, smaller companies often offer much more in return, providing you with a personal service that could suit your requirements far better than any global corporation ever could.” Just a few of those benefits include:

  • Understanding:  A small company is far more likely to recognize how your business works and what it needs to grow.
  • Accountability:  In large national or international companies, finding the person who is responsible for dealing with your query or complaint can be almost impossible.
  • Accessibility:  When contacting a small company, they’ll know exactly who you need to speak to, and if they’re not in the office, should be able to help you get in touch quickly.
  • Personal service:  Smaller operations are far more likely to take each client on individually, talking through their exact requirements and molding products and services to suit those needs. This way, you get a much more practical and targeted solution for your business needs.
  • Price:  Big businesses may be able to offer competitive prices due to the volume of business that they take on, but generally small companies will be able to offer you better deals on their products.

According to the National Research Center, other great reasons to work with small businesses include the ability to easily build relationships with owners and staff (and perhaps even feel like they’ve become part of a “family”); the opportunity to support the nation’s biggest job creators; and the fact that small business owners are generally experts in their field. This makes them better equipped to answer complex questions or provide innovative solutions for their customers.

For more information on how to leverage Hanson Logistics’ strength as a small, family-run logistics provider please visit us online at www.hansonlogistics.com.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Road Congestion’s Costly Impact On the Logistics Industry

Road Congestion’s Costly Impact On the Logistics Industry

While traffic is a large cause of frustration and a time waster for many drivers, road congestion is especially detrimental to truck drivers. In a recent report by the Department of Transportation’s National Freight Strategic Plan, the DOT announced that road traffic congestion costs the trucking industry nearly $27 billion annually due to lost time and excess fuel consumption. Congested roads cause shipping delays, which, in turn, raise product prices.

The plan calls for exploring other, more efficient transit more efficient transit options, as well as encourages the use of existing resources (such as improving and modernizing intermodal and rail facilities) to help the highway systems move easier, as 13,500 miles of the current system are consistently slowed down below posted speed limits.

Recognizing that freight projects can be costly, U.S. DOT hopes to better invest in the freight system, including the investment in education, recruitment and training of the freight workforce. DOT will continue to develop newer freight data resources—in addition to the current data achieved through advanced GPS-based truck location information—to help make more informed decisions that could affect the freight system.

One city that exemplifies the growing highway congestion is Chicago. Five of the 20 most congested stretches of road in the United States are in the Chicago area. In 2014, drivers endured an average of 61 extra hours on the road due to delays caused by gridlock, construction and collisions. The cost of truck congestion in Chicago last year reached $1.5 billion, accounting for five percent of the national cost.

Shippers may have a difficult time avoiding Chicago and other metropolitan road congestion altogether, but Hanson Logistics has an innovative solution. By locating the Hanson Logistics Chicago Consolidation Center east of Chicago in Hobart, Indiana, truck drivers are not restricted by the city’s congestion that can increase travel time, sometimes by 60 percent. This creates more reliable and efficient routes and more rate certainty, resulting in significant long-term savings. Though the crippling congestion issue may not disappear overnight, Hanson Logistics’ best-in-class distribution program is prepared to step up to the challenge.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Shipper of Choice and the Golden Rule in Transportation

Shipper of Choice and the Golden Rule in Transportation

A few months ago, we wrote on the importance of becoming Shipper of Choice, especially in the face of tightening capacity. The context of Shipper of Choice centers on attracting and maintaining good, qualified carriers; an ongoing way of working for Hanson Logistics.

Now, shippers are seeing more and more capacity migrate to the spot market. Many carriers are talking more with brokers than in the past; capacity in some lanes is difficult to come by, and costly in the spot market.

As the shipper for a steadily increasing volume of frozen loads, Hanson Logistics is known for consistent, albeit seasonal truckload or near truckload shipments that help keep carriers running with better ratios through a fluctuating economy. Yes, we contract for and purchase capacity at the most attractive rates for our clients. We also manage a significant volume of freight for customers who hold their own contracts. But we don’t unfairly play one carrier against another or stretch out payment in attempts to play a spread at the expense of carriers.

Temperature-controlled transportation is a tier above in terms of visibility and accountability. Help your carriers reduce if not eliminate dwell time, loading quickly and helping them with return trips if possible. In the end, the Golden Rule will help you over the long run.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Support Our Professional Driver Heroes

Support Our Professional Driver Heroes

As I write this, Outgoing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration head Anne Ferro has finished defending her agency’s regulations limiting the amount of time drivers are allowed to work, during what probably was her last appearance before Congress as the agency’s chief.

There continues to be ongoing debate on timing and extent of the Hours of Service, but regardless of your stance on the matter, everyone wants safer highways. No one should be in harm’s way as #30,000 travels down the highway.

Transportation is a demanding service, especially when a poorly planned cross-country appointment is difficult, if not impossible to make without violating regulations or common sense. Is it fair to have an entrepreneur driver watch any sort of profitability being squeezed out by high fuel costs? Or driving on an infrastructure that doesn’t really support the continuous moves of today’s planners?

At Hanson Logistics, we go to great lengths to assure drivers are given a level playing field to perform their job safely. We believe professional drivers are the heroes of the supply chain. We provide convenience for drivers with excellent communication, completely detailed load information, and quick turnaround time at our docks. We treat drives with respect and hospitality to allow them to do their job to the best of their ability.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Maintaining Shipper of Choice

Maintaining Shipper of Choice

The capacity crunch is here, and many shippers find themselves forced to compete with one another for carriers. If you don’t own your own fleet and aren’t aligned with your core and contract carriers, you may find yourself with a dock staged with missed orders and upset customers. Here’s what we focus on to stay a shipper of choice:

  • Tender Accordingly: Your carriers have their sweet spot just like everyone else. Make sure you understand how your outbound and inbound aligns with your carrier needs and then tender accordingly. Make transportation a win-win partnership.
  • Reduce Dwell Time: Keep your yard clean, your doors clearly marked and your loads ready. Have the resources to load efficiently and help your loading driver get on his or her way. Make it nice to do business with at the dock as well as the corner office.
  • Respectful Treatment: We value our drivers and the carriers we partner with, and we greet them with a “Yes, We Can!” hello and hospitable facilities.
  • Open Communication: Being a shipper of choice means assuring your carriers with ongoing communication and complete, detailed load information and availability. Our expertise and TMS allow us to make communication with carriers a top priority.
  • Quick Payment: Hanson recognizes the importance and vital role our carriers play in the success of our logistics business. We back our commitment to carriers by offering Quick Pay – payment within seven days of invoice receipt. It’s just another way to show our respect and give reason to join our carrier community.
by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Mitigating Recession-Altered Transportation Costs

Mitigating Recession-Altered Transportation Costs

Over the last five years, many temperature-controlled transportation companies have seen an increase in average load weight as well as a decreased number of loads shipped. This has impacted smaller carriers who struggle to survive. Rising transportation costs have increased the quantity of SKUs shipped per load well, in efforts to mitigate costs.  However, for the mid-tier food supplier this is not always a feasible option. They may feel forced to ship in smaller lots (LTL), which creates a higher cost per pallet. In order to give the economic advantage back to the smaller refrigerated shipper, Hanson Logistics has created Velocities TM Multi-Vendor Consolidation (MVC) program. This allows many smaller companies to take advantage of the full truckload price by combining product lots with the same temperature requirements from multiple vendors who have all sold product to a single or low number of receivers.

As the country progresses through recovery and financial ability improves, the affordability of LTL shipping may come back into range for the mid-tier shipper. But the loss of many temperature-controlled carriers currently leaves the country with a combined capacity for the major carriers of approximately 10,500 tractors and 15,000 trailers at 3500 cubic feet of available space per 53 ft. trailer for national coverage. Additionally, the US Department of Transportation (US DOT) currently limits drivers to 11 hours of driving daily up to a maximum of 70 hours per week. Within each day’s driving, a 30-minute rest break and a 10-hour sleep period are required. Most major transporters limit the maximum speed of their trucks to 62 or 65 mph for fuel economy, allowing drivers to cover 500 to 550 miles per driving period. All this results in a shortage of capacity as the demand becomes greater. Hanson Transportation Management Service works hard to meet the needs of the mid-tier processor by offering consolidation plus national, regional and local distribution.