E-commerce has increased to numbers no one could’ve predicted. And the demands appear to be heading in an upward direction. As reported by Forbes, Vivek Pandya, Adobe’s Digital Insight’s manager summed up this trend across retail supply chains nicely.
“According to our data, it would’ve taken between 4 and 6 years to get to the levels that we saw in May if the growth continued at the same levels it was at for the past few years.”
Of course, the industry goes into chaos with the numbers currently running. In response, more companies are quickly turning to alternative software options, including upgrading their existing dock scheduling software to recapture waste. For a good reason, this trend is evident as yard management and dock appointment scheduling software are essential to becoming and maintained a preferred “shipper of choice.” And supply chain leaders need to know why.
Causes of Increased Dock Traffic and Shipment Volumes
Any strategy for improved loading and unloading process management, i.e., dock management, begins with understanding the causes of increased demands. When COVID hit, many people bought into the Buy Online Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) idea that came out for more of a convenience. Not just that, more people detoured grocery and appliance stores for online stores that could deliver to their home. Growth in the e-commerce industry in such a manner contributed to a sudden peak well outside of the annual norm. As the peak continued growing out of control due to the sheer volumes, stock storage technology, staging and appointment scheduling became a bigger priority. When backups happen, costs go through the roof for the companies on dwell times because of inefficient dock scheduling.
Dock Scheduling Software Helps Managers Oversee Docks and Avoid Extra Dwell Time
Inefficiency on the dock will always lead to added dwell time. But there is another more sinister facet at play. Unchecked dwell time will result in detention charges, assessed by carriers and drivers to justify the costs of not moving. Yes, failure to get drivers in and out on time will result in delays. And in turn, that limits available capacity. Instead of leaving it up to chance, shippers have realized that they can avoid these problems by putting the burden of managing the dock in the hands of drivers.
As an example, self-scheduling of available appointment times through portals can force carriers and drivers to take responsibility. And it helps to free your management staff to focus on other, more pressing concerns. Managers can, therefore, create a flexible and near-responsibility-free timeframe of trucks going in and out instead of going on a “first-in first-out” basis. As a result, carriers and drivers are more likely to view your freight as more attractive and allow you to keep your shipper-of-choice status.
Additional Benefits of Dock Scheduling Software That Increase Shipper-of-Choice Eligibility
The benefits of dock scheduling software are limitless. Think of the endless possibilities dock scheduling software for streamlining pickup, consolidating packages, leveraging cross docking and more. Since carriers can self-manage and reschedule themselves when needed, they are able to maintain more flexibility. Of course, that can come at the cost of not sending orders out on time. But face facts. Even if everything goes perfectly at your company, another stop down the road might result in an unforeseen delay, contributing to a compounding series of delays that eventually make it back to your dock. The only way to overcome that risk is to see its occurrence and do something about it.
When the reschedule happens, an automatic notification happens on the other end. That allows dock managers to schedule another truck or allow other drivers to begin the unloading process. Regardless, advanced dock scheduling software can make most prosses easy and efficient for everyone, maximizing return on investment along the way. Plus, those benefits translate into a greater willingness for carriers to accept your tenders. That is the most fundamental aspect of using such technologies in modern transportation management.
Start Doing More With Less With Dock Scheduling Software and Attain Shipper-of-Choice With the Right Vendor Partnership
With the range of processes dock scheduling software can improve, it’s an invaluable tool in the modern freight tech stack. The world has gone through a big change this year, and a new step in the right direction is upgrading existing or investing in new dock scheduling software. Request a demo of how C3 Solutions can breathe new life into your dock schedule today.