In the fourth of our multipart series, we will continue discussing the impacts of the pandemic from a 3PL cold storage company’s vantage point. In this post, we will be covering post-pandemic suggestions and strategies for the limited labor supply.
Limit case picking if at all possible. With a coast-to-coast shortage of labor, full pallet pulls will appeal to a larger number of potential cold storage partners.
When choosing a carrier, make “driver on-time arrival” KPI the top priority. Poor carrier performance will affect the cost of supply chain in a bigger way than in pre-pandemic times. The cost of late drivers is not very quantifiable in a spreadsheet, but that cost is skyrocketing.
Know your inventory profile: Annual turns, handling procedures, pallet heights, number of SKU in inventory, desired temp ranges for your freight, hours of operation needed to support your inventory, and data needed capturing on inbound for proper release. Start the conversation with potential cold storage partners by addressing specific needs that may disqualify potential partners early. Examples would be humidity needs, ultra-low temperature requirements, case picking above 20%, pallet heights above 85”, or even exceptionally slow or exceptionally fast inventory turn (less than 4 or more than 14 annual turns).
If your inventory has more than a 40% inventory swing between the low and high-water mark, address the seasonality in advance. Provide a monthly annual forecast to ensure your cold storage partner understands your storage needs. While some of these requirements may not have been limiting factors two years ago, they are best to address early in your inquiry when choosing a cold storage partner.
Interstate Cold Storage is a leader in cold storage, shipping, and distribution, with a network of facilities strategically located across the Midwest. For over 40 years, the family-owned company has been committed to providing cost-effective refrigerated services as well as outstanding customer service and logistical support to carriers. Among IARW members, Interstate Cold Storage ranks among the largest 25 public cold storage warehousing companies in North America, with five locations and nearly 22 million cubic feet of refrigerated space. Qualified staff and modern facilities enable us to handle all your needs, from standard warehousing to the most extensive and customized long-term storage programs. Our multiroom locations comprise a network offering temperature ranges from -13°F to +35°F, providing the flexibility of multiple rooms and set points to accommodate your specific needs.