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Have you ever wondered how companies can accurately predict future trends before they happen? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! This is a technique that many industry leaders in freight use to stay ahead of the competition called forecasting. In this blog, we’re going to dive into logistics forecasting. As the best logistics firm in Raleigh NC, Synchrogistics is here to guide you through the ins and outs of staying ahead of industry trends. Our certified freight logistics company uses forecasting to analyze market trends and improve our supply chain. This allows us to proactively adjust our strategies, optimize our operations, and ultimately provide better service to our clients. So, the next time you’re wondering how companies seem to always be one step ahead, remember that it’s all about forecasting!

What Is Logistics Forecasting?

Logistics forecasting predicts future demand for goods and services in supply chain management. By analyzing market trends, consumer preferences, and economic factors, companies can make informed decisions about production levels, transportation routes, and inventory levels. This process often involves using advanced tools such as time-series analysis and machine learning algorithms to predict demand patterns accurately. Effective logistics forecasting can lead to cost savings, improved customer service, and better overall supply chain performance. 

Types of Forecasting:

1.Time-Series Forecasting: Analyzes historical data to predict future demand patterns using moving averages and ARIMA models.

2. Causal (Explanatory) Forecasting: Identifies underlying factors driving demand, such as economic indicators and marketing campaigns, through regression analysis and econometric modeling.

3. Qualitative Forecasting: Relies on expert judgment and market research when historical data is limited, using techniques like the Delphi method and scenario analysis.

4. Machine Learning Forecasting: Utilizes advanced algorithms like neural networks and random forests to uncover complex patterns in big data for more accurate forecasts.

5. Ensemble Forecasting: Combines predictions from multiple models to generate a consensus forecast, enhancing reliability and mitigating biases.

Why Is Logistics Demand Forecasting Important?

Logistics demand forecasting is crucial for anticipating market trends and consumer preferences, optimizing inventory levels, and enhancing customer satisfaction. By utilizing historical data and advanced analytics, organizations can proactively align production, warehousing, and distribution processes with anticipated demand to reduce costs and improve order fulfillment rates.
McKinsey reports that autonomous supply chain planning can lead to a 4% increase in revenue, a 20% reduction in inventory, and a 10% decrease in supply chain costs for major CPG companies. This emphasizes its importance in driving operational excellence and competitive advantage.

What Is the Difference Between Logistics Forecasting and Supply Chain Forecasting?

Logistics and supply chain forecasting are distinct realms within demand planning and management. Logistics forecasting focuses on the movement and storage of goods, including transportation, warehousing, and inventory management. Supply chain forecasting encompasses the entire supply chain, from procurement to distribution. While logistics forecasting optimizes operational processes for timely delivery and resource utilization, supply chain forecasting integrates upstream and downstream activities, stakeholders, and geographical boundaries. Both disciplines aim to synchronize demand with supply for efficiency, resilience, and marketplace responsiveness.

Synchrogistics | The Best Logistics Firm in Raleigh NC

At Synchrogistics, we leverage the latest forecasting trends in logistics and supply chain management to accurately predict demand, optimize inventory levels, and improve overall operational efficiency. Our proactive approach allows us to minimize risks, reduce lead times, and enhance customer satisfaction. Our team is committed to staying ahead of the curve and continuously improving our forecasting models to deliver the best possible outcomes for your business. By partnering with a certified freight logistics company like Synchrogistics, you can trust that your supply chain is in good hands. Contact us today to see how we can help you stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing marketplace. Discover why we are known as the best logistics firm in Raleigh, NC!

 

Photo credit: FTR | Transportation Intelligence


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According to the latest analysis by FTR, the FMCSA approved 5,187 new carriers in March while revocations came in at 5,034 resulting in a net increase of 153. While it’s a small increase and only one month, this marks the first time since March 2023 that the number of companies increased. Overall, the pace of capacity attrition has decelerated in 2024, with 1Q24 seeing the fewest carrier exits since 4Q22. At the same time, the ISM emerged from 16 straight months in contraction territory, led by Production and New Orders. These two components are drivers of freight demand.  
 
What does this mean? 

  • Shippers: Continued uncertainty! Carriers exiting the market generally lead to higher spot markets, so if the carrier population stabilizes, we expect rates to not increase as fast. However, if manufacturing increases the number of shipments on the market, then we have more demand and stable capacity, leading to higher prices. 
  • Rates: Broker-posted spot rates have risen for four straight weeks in the Truckstop system for the first time in two years. Of course, the rate increase was 6 cents, so not a hockey stick. Still too early to call this a shift in the market.
  • Existing Carriers: Strong operators are hanging in there and finding opportunities with strong shippers and 3PLs like Synchrogistics.

Overall, uncertainty continues to govern the freight market. Continued shipment growth may yet push rates up, but it feels like forecasters have been saying that for over a year now…. For regular updates and freight industry insights, follow us on LinkedIn!

References:

  • FTR Data Analysis

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According to FTR’s latest forecast, total truck loadings in 2024 are expected to increase by 0.8%. While there will be fluctuations, the industry will remain stable. Are you interested in the key statistics and which sectors could be the most impacted by this forecast? Let’s dive in!

Key stats:

  • Dry van loadings: 1.1% y/y increase
  • Refrigerated loadings: 2.7% y/y increase
  • Flatbed loadings: 0.6% y/y increase
  • Specialized loadings: 0.3% y/y growth
  • Tank loadings: No growth y/y
  • Bulk/dump loadings forecast: 0.4% y/y growth

Sectors this may impact:

  • Food & Packaged Goods: Anticipate a substantial 2.7% year-over-year rise, driven by increased fruit shipments. Potential disruptions in refrigerated transport could lead to price fluctuations and shortages.
  • Construction: Flatbed shipments may experience a slight dip at 0.6% year-over-year, primarily due to slower growth in building materials. Construction projects could face delays as essential supplies take longer to reach their destinations.
  • Automotive: Dry van shipments are poised to grow by 1.1% year-over-year, signaling a promising outlook for the automotive industry. However, any transportation disruptions could result in extended wait times for car parts and repairs.

We hope this overview provides valuable insights into the trucking industry. Be sure to visit our LinkedIn page and website for more forecast updates.

References: Freight Transportation Research Associates, Inc. (FTR) 


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Companies with substantial LTL freight budgets are looking for ways to lower expenses and boost service efficiency. One strategy gaining traction is the consolidation of Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipments into multi-stop truckloads, which provides cost savings and a variety of operational improvements.

  • Cost Savings: On average, Synchro clients have seen a reduction of 5% to 15% in their LTL spend.
  • Indirect Savings: The consolidation process leads to fewer labor hours spent on handling pallets for LTL shipments, translating into significant labor cost savings.
  • On-Time Tracking Improvement: Tracking a single truckload is simpler and more efficient than monitoring multiple LTL shipments, leading to better on-time delivery rates.
  • Yard Efficiency: With fewer trucks entering and exiting the yard, businesses can experience a smoother flow of goods and reduced congestion.
  • Claims Improvement: By minimizing the handling of freight and avoiding LTL cross-docks, the risk of damage during transit is significantly reduced, leading to fewer claims.
  • Environmental Savings: Consolidation results in fewer trucks on the road, which in turn reduces carbon emissions and contributes to sustainability efforts.
  • Savings in Refrigerated Freight: For businesses dealing with refrigerated goods, LTL consolidation can lead to savings of over 20%, making it a highly cost-effective option.
  • Leverage with LTL Vendors: demonstrating that you can remove freight from higher-cost vendors leads to discussions with the vendor about lower costs and a better partnership.

By embracing LTL consolidation, businesses can not only enjoy substantial cost savings but also contribute to a more sustainable and efficient supply chain. Synchrogistics has the experience and team to implement an optimization program for you. Reach out to us for a free optimization assessment.


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Three bullet points about LTL pricing and long-term capacity. As shown in the chart below, fuel prices and Yellow’s exit have produced an increase in LTL pricing. However, how long it lasts is another question…

1.  Yellow Freight’s Impact: The demise of Yellow Freight in August took 10% of industry capacity offline, which provided a backstop against the price erosion seen over the last 12 months. However, the distribution of its market share has not been uniform. Carriers with more pricing and footprint overlap have benefited more, with Saia and XPO being notable gainers among public companies.

2. Pricing and Capacity: The worries about overcapacity have been somewhat allayed by Yellow’s exit. Carriers are trying to hold the line on GRIs and are more aggressively going after rate increases on less profitable customers. However, the tea leaves are not looking positive for LTL volumes to increase meaningfully in the near-term – ISM new orders are still in contraction territory (though it’s improving from earlier this year). We see a balanced pricing environment in the LTL space in the coming months.

3. Terminal Capacity: Longer term, terminal capacity in the industry remains constrained due to significant inflation in real estate prices. Carriers have been cautious in expanding, and the sale of Yellow’s real estate portfolio is expected to take time and require renovation. Net fixed capacity in the industry is believed to be declining. As e-commerce increases and (hopefully) the economy improves, terminal capacity could become a bottleneck leading to higher LTL rates in 2024 / 2025.

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics Data