In recent years Vietnam has had its day in the sun, as production of certain items has shifted from China. It’s been cheaper to manufacture in Vietnam, and it’s been a boon to Vietnam’s economy.
But Covid brought a lot of problems to Vietnam, especially at ports. Now firms have to consider whether it’s time to move on, and go to another country.
Instability of supply chains is the new norm. While it’s costly and traumatic to change, sometimes the proper strategy requires it. You can see businesses are thinking hard about it. It’s supply chain strategy playhing out in the real world.
It’s a good time for larger shippers to consider a dedicated fleet, according to this consultant. The driver shortage and inability for carriers and 3PLs to offer good schedules are making it hard to book a good service. It certainly throws cold water on trying to forge a long term (say, annual) contract with a carrier.
There are roadblocks in forming a dedicated fleet, too. Trucks are in short supply, due to the chip shortage among other things. and if you don’t have trucking logistics specialists now, you have to set up a whole logistics department, with knowledgeable dispatchers and logistics managers. Not all firms will be able to pull that off. So there are pluses and minuses for a dedicated fleet.
I think firms need to think strategically and decide where they need to be with their customers five or more years in the future. Then once a strategy is chosen, they need to commit the resources and money they need to get the new strategy up and running in a measurable way, so they can be sure service to customers is really improved, and economically for the firm.