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Supply chain resiliency is tested regularly when fuel prices fluctuate, consumer demand shifts, or the next global event or natural disaster unfolds. A flexible supply chain can help businesses manage the disruptions that are beyond control and focus on what can be controlled in order to keep freight moving.
During a live session at Reuters Events: Supply Chain Execution 2022, Landstar Vice President and Chief Safety & Operations Officer Joe Beacom addressed key points for building a flexible supply chain:
- Access to capacity
- Experts who care about your freight
- Scalable technology
Beacom spoke about how flexibility is needed for unplanned shipments. He shared that Landstar’s network of experienced independent agents who have access to a large number of capacity providers across the North America can quickly flex up services. Agents can source additional capacity or secure alternative solutions such as expedited, air, or intermodal transportation to accommodate for unplanned shipments. This experience and access to capacity is not something all shippers have in-house.
Also, the Landstar business model maximizes the ability of independent freight agents and capacity providers to grow their own businesses on their terms. This entrepreneurial spirit benefits the customer because there is no shortage of personally invested independent agents and capacity providers to move shipments, Beacom stated.
The technology available to Landstar independent agents and capacity providers helps them work with customers to develop a shipping solution from beginning to end that is flexible and scalable. Beacom provided examples of Landstar tools, including:
- Landstar’s pricing tools provide freight agents with the data necessary to generate quick quotes for customers to keep freight moving.
- Landstar load management technology enables agents to align the needs of the customer with the preferences and experience of the capacity providers using the LandstarOne® mobile app.
- Landstar Clarity™ tracking technology provides end-to-end visibility to identify issues or delays with shipments early so there is more time – and more options – for problem-solving along the supply chain.
In closing, Beacom shared that building a flexible supply chain for whatever the next quarter brings is easier when the customer has a relationship with freight agents who have a vested interest in exceeding customer expectations, and when those agents have access to experienced, reliable owner-operators dedicated to safety.