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Lean Supply Chain Practices: Eliminating Waste and Maximizing Value

Posted on: May 5, 2023
Classic Carriers' Storage Warehouse

There’s no denying that the recent pandemic has had a continuous impact on the global supply chain. While specific industries have recovered, others, like manufacturing, still deal with the effects. 

Staffing shortages, limited warehouse space and the disorganization of shipping ports have hurt many manufacturers. However, some businesses have eliminated waste and increased value by outsourcing components of their supply chain to a third-party logistic partner like Classic Carriers. 

The following sections will examine some of these pressing issues and discover how 3PL companies can benefit manufacturers

What Supply Chain Issues Are Manufacturers Facing in 2023?

Before the pandemic, manufacturers faced certain supply chain issues that sometimes made operations challenging. However, the spread of COVID caused severe strains on multiple parts of the global supply chain simultaneously. While pressure has begun to ease, manufacturers still feel the effects of the following problems. 

Decreased Factory Output

One of the most essential areas of the world that has been slow to recover from the pandemic is Asia. Many countries like Malaysia, China and Vietnam, where key suppliers for U.S. manufacturers operate, have experienced severe shortages in factory output. 

Since these facilities are only operating at a limited capacity, it has caused a significant decline in goods entering the United States. Without key machinery, electronics and agricultural products leaving these countries, United States-based manufacturers haven’t been able to keep up with customer demand. 

Limited Shipping Container Availability

Another recent challenge that many manufacturers managing their supply chain are experiencing is the cost of shipping products. While many people are aware of the labor and raw materials shortages, another shortage is driving up costs — a lack of shipping containers.

Since there are limited shipping containers, pallets of goods are filling warehouses at ports worldwide, waiting to ship. With this delay, manufacturers find it hard to forecast when they’ll receive shipments from other countries.

Disorganized Shipping Ports

The disorganization of shipping ports directly results from limited shipping containers, employee shortages and little available warehouse space. Along with the cluster of goods taking space at the port, there has also been a breakdown in the information-sharing process. 

Truckers aren’t receiving the appropriate data to pick up orders and return empty containers quickly. As a result of this lack of information sharing, ports continue to have warehousing and logistics issues. 

Scarce Warehousing Space

As mentioned above, storing goods in seaport warehouses is limited in many locations. Many facilities find unloading containers and prepping trucks challenging without the appropriate equipment and staff. Finding space to store products along ports is nearly impossible until staffing shortages and machine delays are improved. 

Trucking Shortages

Even though finding quality drivers for vehicles has been an ongoing issue for decades, it has worsened since the pandemic. Many truckers who worked through the initial stages of COVID burned out and opted for other less demanding careers. Likewise, recruiting new truckers to organizations continues to be another problem area.

Increased Chassis Tariffs

Recently, the United States imposed an additional tariff on Chinese-built chassis, causing a shortage in available equipment. With the decrease in Chinese chassis, American manufacturers have tried to keep up with demand but haven’t been able to produce at the rate required by the industry. 

Utilizing a 3PL to Overcome Supply Chain Challenges

Even though many manufacturers feel the impact of the strained global supply chain, there are ways to eliminate waste and maximize value. One of the best ways to create a lean operation is outsourcing your organization’s logistics.

Full-service logistics providers have the expertise and insights to help navigate the challenging landscape of disorganized shipping ports to help prevent logistical delays. They also have a fully staffed roster of experienced drivers, have access to the latest supply chain management technology, can streamline efficiencies and can bring organizational alignment, which is often an issue when working with various partners in shipping and warehousing.

For more information or to see how our industry-leading logistics team can support your organization, contact us today for a free quote. 

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