"Of course, carriers pass those increases on to us and our clients, and the fact that we have seen this all before doesn't make it any easier," says Wendel. "We still have to navigate our way through." Wendel predicts that prices will continue to rise through the summer and will increasingly impact the consumer market.
UTi works with clients to assess options for mitigating fuel price hikes, such as using more intermodal, Wendel says. "We are always looking for ways to drive costs out of the supply chain or, in this case, to avoid costs."
Enhanced visibility is another tool that UTi uses to control costs in the supply chain, Wendel says. "Clients today want to understand what is on the water, on the road or in the air as well as what is inside the four walls. We offer solutions that enable them to see what is coming into their facilities around the world." This visibility enables these facilities to plan their work better and, on a larger scale, to reduce safety stock, he says.
UTi also is responding to clients' requests for vendor management, Wendel says. "Our clients tell us they are struggling with their vendors at origin, so we see this as another big opportunity. Our clients want someone who can hold vendors accountable for hitting production dates and shipping on time, which also would take costs out of the supply chain," he says.
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Keywords: Aberdeen Group, Third-Party Logistics, Inventory & Planning Optimization, SC Planning & Optimization, Supply Chain Visibility, Collaboration & Integration, Customer Relationship Mgmt., Business Intelligence & Analytics, Business Strategy Alignment, Global Supply Chain Management, controlling transportation fuel costs, visibility in 3PL operations
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