Predictable Performance: A Guide to Effective Capacity Planning in Drayage Services

By
Golden State Logistics

In any logistics operation, the goal is to keep goods moving smoothly until they reach the consumer. Drayage services play a crucial role in this process, particularly in bridging the short distances between major transport hubs and final destinations, such as from the LA port to a regional warehouse. Effective capacity planning in drayage is essential to optimize these operations and ensure the efficient handling and transportation of goods across these critical segments.

Effective capacity planning in the drayage service is also necessary to ensure resilience in the supply chain. The Francis Scott Key Bridge's collapse in Baltimore led to the breakdown and disruption of several supply chains. Some are still stranded. Although terrible, the incident is a lesson on the need to establish resilience in the supply chain. Effective planning is a key strategy for that.

The Role of Capacity Planning in Drayage

Capacity planning in drayage correctly identifies the volume of incoming cargo and allocates resources to ensure that the cargo is immediately transported to the next step of the supply chain as efficiently as possible.

Global logistics is fraught with different challenges. These challenges include insecurity, navigating regulatory compliance, and rising transportation costs. All of these can contribute to the disruption or delay of the process. In turn, these can complicate the drayage process, especially when multiple shippers or supply chains have incoming cargo. Suddenly, the resources aren’t enough to cover these shipments.

However, with effective planning, the drayage service can ensure that:

  • There is a seamless and continuous flow of goods throughout the entire supply chain operation.
  • The right amount of trucks and resources are available at ports and terminals, especially when needed. This helps to reduce delay considerably.
  • The trucks and other resources are not underutilized. This helps prevent unnecessary expenses.
  • Customer satisfaction by enhancing predictability in pick-ups and deliveries.

Navigating Through Uncertainty

Predicting the future can be challenging. A few moments before the crash that led to the collapse of the Baltimore bridge, everyone except the sailors on board knew nothing about it. However, an unpredictable future is not an excuse for zero planning. It could be worse in many ways.

Effective capacity planning is predictive rather than reactive. Predictive planning means getting the resources ready to meet the perceived future. It is the anticipation of demand and the allocation of resources to meet that demand. For instance, an arriving cargo. Reactive planning means responding to the demand. Predictive planning beats reactive planning because it means that businesses are ready to meet demands and provide a more seamless supply chain.

Knowing When and Where: The Crux of Drayage Planning

Army Gen. Charles Hamilton, commanding general of Army Materiel Command, said precision and predictive sustainment means “not only knowing when, where and how much a unit is using something like ammo or water or maybe certain parts, it also means knowing precisely where and when, and how much of a commodity that you will need in the future. And the key is getting out in front.”

Knowing the ‘when and where’ is crucial in effective capacity planning. Trucks, for instance, need to be in the right position if you aim for a seamless operation. Knowing the when and where allows for predictive planning and resource allocation to meet the demand.

There are technology solutions that can be leveraged to know the when and where:

  1. Transportation Management Systems (TMS): They enhance transportation planning and operation. Drayage companies rely on this solution for planning processes like forecasting, route optimization, dispatch automation, and yard management.
  1. Tracking solutions: Knowing the location is great, but tracking the vehicles will ensure visibility and help with dynamic driver management.
  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI): To streamline processes and make the future much more predictable, AI-powered solutions are being developed to analyze historical data and predict potential disruptions.

Golden State Logistics: A Partner in Predictability

Effective capacity planning in the drayage operation cannot be overemphasized. It can save supply chains considerable money, improve the efficiency of the logistics process, and ensure a more predictive outcome.

Predictability is the driving force of any drayage service. In many cases, it is the difference between the success and the failure of the operation. Considering how busy and quick-paced the LA and Long Beach ports are, you would need the right partner to ensure that your goods are picked up on time, delivered on time, and have 100% visibility into the entire operation.

By leveraging technology and a team of experts, Golden State Logistics ensures an efficient, cost-optimized, and seamless cargo movement at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Contact us today to build reliable and predictable drayage operations for your business.

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