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    How to Leverage the Slow Summer
    Stream Impact | Jul 26, 2019

    For the past eight years, the freight market has been bullish, as seen by the increasing demand each year.?During the summer, the freight market is usually flooded with seasonal freight such as produce, construction materials, and seasonal retail, all of which led to an increase in the national demand for freight service.warehouse Stream Logistics

    In the past, these effects were exaggerated by strong economic conditions, which increased the baseline demand throughout the year. This trend causes freight rates to skyrocket, and driver availability to be limited, forcing shippers to pay more while receiving less reliability.?

    With a relatively fixed number of truck drivers throughout the year, this typical summer spike in demand created a shortage of availability for shippers. In response, trucking companies have been investing in new trucks and aggressively hiring additional drivers.

    Now, if you’re used to these chaotic summers where drivers become scarce and rates spike, then this summer has been kind to you. So far, in 2019, these trends have reversed. In fact, two weeks ago, ACT said that the trucking industry is officially in a recession after two consecutive quarters of declines.

    The shipping volumes for the first two quarters of 2019 have been noticeably slower, making this the first time since the last recession where the key growth indicators are reversing.?

    If these trends hold, we will see freight costs drop, and savvy shippers will use this opportunity to build a competitive advantage — this is an excellent opportunity for you to look like a rockstar to your team.?

    We want to offer you three helpful tips to make the most out of these current market conditions.

    1.?Get Organized.
    With the number of shipments decreasing, your job is likely getting a little less hectic. Take a well-deserved breath. But, then, use the additional time to get organized. There are probably some things you have been putting off because you’ve been so busy managing more shipments. The best shipping managers are organized with their data and processes. You can begin by organizing your documentation, such as rates, lane data, and requirements for each client. When you are organized, nothing gets past you.

    2. Assess Your Partners.
    During a chaotic shipping season, it’s difficult for you to break your processes to try out new logistics partners. Even if your current providers are not fully living up to your standards. Questions to ask yourself while assessing your partners:

    If you didn’t like the answer to any of the above questions then this slowdown affords you the perfect opportunity to find a logistics partner you’ll love working with. If you don’t?love?your current providers, now is the time to make a change.

    3. Revisit Your Freight Rates.
    For the past several years, freight rates have been on the rise. If you have not re-bid your lanes recently, now would be the time to do it. Not only are the rates lower right now, but you should be able to upgrade to a higher quality partner for less. With less demand in the market, carriers have fewer choices on which freight they can haul, which gives you the upper hand in negotiations. You can use that upper hand to reduce freight spend and ask for more value, such as more tracking updates, faster response times, lane analysis, and more. Don’t be afraid to push your partners to step up their game, or partner with a logistics company who operates with higher standards.

    By implementing these three tips, you will make your life easier while adding more value to your company. Have additional questions on how to make the most of the slow summer? Reach out to our amazing Stream team to see how we can be a part of your summer slowdown strategy.

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