While new vehicle production is still slow due to supply-chain shortages on critical parts like semiconductor chips, and retailers face the ongoing reality of low inventories, there is hope on the horizon. As disruptions are remedied over, auto parts become more available and the supply chain goes back to running at its usual pace over the next few months, an inventory surge will come about – likely no later than the end of 2021 or early 2022.
To prepare for this surge, auto makers are beginning to map out their strategies for moving large amounts of vehicle inventory from plants to retailer locations across the country. Undoubtedly, rail will be the primary mode of vehicle transport. But just as rail will be used regularly when inventory starts flowing in again, so too, will there be delays related to high demand of rail cars, congested rail ramps, weather setbacks and any significant repairs. Beyond rail disruptions, strikes and inventory backlogs at soon-to-be inundated West coast and East coast ports will likely present additional challenges – and a lack of truck drivers coupled with an overall lack of available trucks with OEM contract carriers could cause even further setbacks.
In order to both prepare for and navigate these disruptions, car manufacturers must plan to employ different modes of transport to move inventory, including carriers and drivers as needed.
Rail Disruptions will Happen – Having a Backup Plan is Key
Currently, consumer demand for new vehicles is high; however, due to parts shortages and a slow-moving supply chain, auto makers currently can’t ramp up production fast enough to keep up with the high volume of requests coming in. Despite this reality right now, experts in the industry anticipate that there will be a surge in production and a more regular supply-chain flow by either end of year or early 2022.
Rail will be the primary mode of transport to take finished vehicles off the line; however, rail is notorious for having disruptions related to lack of bi-level rail cars in the pipeline, too many railcars in either western or eastern regions, weather interruptions or track repairs and re-routes. Beyond setbacks due to rail concerns, additional disruptions will likely occur at ports, which will soon be overwhelmed with vehicle inventory coming into the country. And any labor strikes at ports, or lack of available drivers or trucks, will only present additional challenges for auto makers at that time.
If any of these circumstances take place during the surge of new inventory into the US, it will lead to major delays at plants, ports and railheads. To mitigate unnecessary risks and prevent further delays when such events occur, it’s critical to find the right partner to support and expedite the transport process. Vehicle-logistics providers that have the flexibility, capacity and efficiency necessary to come in and help with transports wherever required – and move however many vehicles as needed, wherever needed.
A reliable logistics-management provider will ensure broad geographic coverage, agility to flex on demand and ensure speed to market. Whether auto makers can’t position railcars timely enough for some of their orders, are experiencing issues with some of their rail transports or are already producing at 100% capacity and need additional support, the auto makers will need to fall back on other transport options with a logistics provider like ACERTUS.
ACERTUS’ Logistics Services Can Help
Regardless of what type of pickup location, drop-off location, distance or number of vehicles involved, ACERTUS is committed to supporting OEMs. This most certainly includes helping OEMs navigate challenges around rail transport once a surge in new inventory is ready to hit the market.
As a 3PL logistics provider, ACERTUS aggregates and provides access to carriers of all sizes to support customers’ needs, while also ensuring quality and training to all drivers on new-car standards. ACERTUS has the ability to handle any volume of inventory, transporting that inventory to and from anywhere. This provides the OEM with the agility and flexibility to scale up or scale down swiftly – specifically when disruptions hit.
ACERTUS can also provide customers full transparency and access to their vehicle inventory at any given point, thanks to its proprietary technology. Its easy-to-use ePOD mobile app tracks all drivers as they move in real-time, sending proofs of delivery instantly and removing the need for any unnecessary paperwork. This ensures any company it partners with has full visibility into its assets and has the insights it needs to make the right decisions for its business.
With services extending far beyond vehicle transport, ACERTUS offers complete solutions throughout the lifecycle of a vehicle, including title and registration, care and maintenance, storage and vehicle home deliveries. This means ACERTUS can address these other service needs for auto makers– even mid-route in some instances – to address whatever is needed and ensure speed and efficiency throughout the transport process.
Learn more about ACERTUS’ car haul services, as well as its full range of transport and automotive-logistics solutions, at https://acertusdelivers.com. To connect with one of our team members or receive a quote, contact us here or call us at this phone number: 855-ACERTUS (855-223-7887).