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3PL food logistics

How Can Food Shippers Gain Visibility Over Their Entire Supply Chain?

Nathan McGuire
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March 27, 2023
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How Can Food Shippers Gain Visibility Over Their Entire Supply Chain?
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You know those grocery market flyers you get in the mail? They advertise the future sales and markdowns customers will find on their favorite foods and produce. These ad campaigns are printed, mailed, and delivered to homeowners with the anticipation that those products will be fully stocked and available by the time the customers start coming in. And behind those advertisements and expectations are food logistics providers who ensure that loads of time-sensitive perishable commodities are picked up and delivered on-time and in full. Whether the product is getting picked at the farm, shipping port, DC, or loaded at a shed along the U.S.-Mexico border, food shippers expect that their logistics partner efficiently service their loads muy bien; that communication between both parties is excellent, and that load notifications are sent in a timely manner so logistics managers aren’t left in the dark.

These are the basic ingredients needed to make a good logistics partnership with food and produce shippers. However, there are certain advantages that modern 3PL food logistics companies offer that provide extra incentives for food shippers. Companies like Wicker Park Logistics specialize in food and beverage logistics and supply chain solutions. Aside from industry experience and a team of logistics veterans manning and operating the ship, their company offers a range of value-added services that help food, produce, and beverage shippers streamline their operations, cut transportation costs, and provide real-time visibility on their supply chain. 

What does Supply Chain Visibility Mean for Food Shippers?

Supply chain visibility refers to the process by which shippers can track and trace their commodities while they are in transit. From the moment produce is picked and packed from a farm, to the moment the truck checks in at the receiver, food shippers want assurance that their goods are safely handled. If temperature-controlled commodities are being shipped, shipping managers need to know that the truck’s reefer is set to the proper temperature to make sure the product doesn’t spoil and get rejected during inspection. Whether it’s drayage, cross-docking, transloading, warehousing, final mile, or long haul transit, supply chain visibility matters to make sure customer orders arrive on time and without loss. Visibility helps mitigate risks. Yet, a large percentage of shippers still rely on outdated manual procedures that severely hamper supply chain visibility. For example, most food shippers keep their load data siloed in internal databases, whether that might be the bloated email servers of logistics coordinators, or company-shared excel datasheets. Manual data entry can often cause problems, especially when communication breaks down between 3PL partners, carriers, and operations reps who rely on emails or phone calls to relay load updates. When loads become problematic, or when communication falters within the supply chain, it can lead to major disruptions, service failures, and upset customers.

How Food Logistics Companies Provide Supply Chain Visibility

Companies like Wicker Park Logistics provide customers with modern solutions that bring food shippers the real end-to-end transparency they deserve. Their innovative technology helps eliminate some of the common  problems shippers face in transportation, such as market volatility, capacity issues, and shipping delays caused by poor route optimization. Wicker Park Logistics offers shippers with real visibility on loads throughout their entire lifecycle. It starts with their customizable TMS that integrates seamlessly within their customer’s existing platforms. Their cloud-based technology allows shippers to connect to a digital portal available on mobile devices, helping shippers get load details and automated notifications at their fingertips. This software comes standard for all their customers, providing updated tracking and tracing on all loads without the need of emails or phone calls.

Tech Integration and Data Analysis

Wicker Park Logistics offers a consultative approach when working with their customers. They offer food shippers the ability to analyze their load data.Visibility also comes in the form of making data accessible. Their technology helps food shippers eliminate redundancies within their customer’s operations, improve route optimization in your supply chain, and help customers lower their overall transportation costs. Their API-connected TMS offers a range of customizable features that also help to streamline communication, automate and organize paperwork and billing, and give shippers the ability to get automated tracking and tracing updates on loads. What’s great is the digital platform also has a search function so food shippers can look up PO or BOL numbers to find information on a specific load.

On-Demand Capacity When You Need it Most

To help shippers alleviate some of the common problems found with capacity and market volatility, Wicker Park Logistics offers customers with dedicated capacity for all domestic truckloads and their cross-border freight into Canada and Mexico. Shippers get instant access to their large network of carefully vetted carriers, offering shippers with final-mile, domestic long-haul, door-to-door, and transload service throughout North America. Carriers can use Wicker Park Logistics’ app too, and can bid and accept loads, get instant rates, and find their load paperwork on the portal as well. 

Gain End-to-End Visibility Throughout Your Supply Chain with Wicker Park Logistics

Food, beverage, and produce companies turn to Wicker Park Logistics to help optimize their supply chain, streamline their operations, and improve on-time delivery. As the trusted provider and supply chain solution for hundreds of companies within the food and beverage vertical, Wicker Park Logistics enables their customers to get the end-to-end visibility they expect throughout the entire supply chain. Backed by the power of technology, their data analysis and pricing experts help shippers improve their route optimization, which ensures faster delivery on your time-sensitive perishable commodities. Take advantage of total transparency on your supply chain by contacting an expert at Wicker Park Logistics today.

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