Updated: Sep 11
The world of supply chain transportation is constantly evolving, and as a result, it presents numerous challenges to businesses operating within it. The transportation industry plays a vital role in the global economy, enabling the movement of goods across borders and facilitating international trade. With advancements in technology and changes in consumer demands, the industry is under pressure to adapt to new ways of operating.
In this blog post, we'll be exploring how businesses can overcome hurdles in the ever-evolving landscape of supply chain transportation through innovative solutions. To provide insight on this topic, we interviewed one of our partners, Agata Steczek, General Manager of Crusar, a Freight company specializing in road transportation, who uses Easy4Pro daily to manage their transportation operations.
1. Could you tell us a bit about your company's core activities and services?
Crusar specializes in road transportation, particularly just-in-time express deliveries. We also handle regular flows and offer services such as Cross Docking and LTL. In addition, we provide urgent air transportation such as charters, OBC, and general cargo, and to a lesser extent, intermodal and sea transportation. Our services include not only organizing transport but also optimizing its costs. Founded in 2006 by logistics experts with automotive industry experience, our strong team of employees understands our client's requirements and needs. Our potential, knowledge, professionalism, and experience make us a top-quality choice for transportation services.
Our fleet consists of more than 100 trucks available for exclusive use. Additionally, when we factor in the vehicles available through our partner network, this number exceeds 1,000 trucks. Crusar is well-equipped to handle any transportation need with our extensive fleet and network of partners.
2. What are the biggest challenges facing the transportation industry that you have noticed so far in Quarter 1 of 2023? And how these challenges can be tackled?
Since 2020, the world has been facing a series of unexpected events that have had a significant impact on businesses. While this presents a major challenge, it also creates opportunities for growth and innovation. Our company has always been known for its flexibility and adaptability, which have been instrumental in navigating these uncertain times. Although it can be risky to operate without fixed workflows and to respond to market demands as they arise, we appreciate the fact that our prior experience in adapting quickly has prepared us well for these challenges.
Furthermore, the shortage of drivers is a major challenge for the entire industry, and we recognize the importance of addressing this issue. We prioritize timely payments to our subcontractors as one of the ways to mitigate this challenge and ensure smooth operations.
3. What role do technological advancements play in overcoming the challenges facing the transportation industry in 2022?
I am a huge fan of the new technologies and I believe that wisely used can help deal with problems. We have been observing for the past few years how all aspects of the supply chains are being digitalized and automated. And as much as it might be difficult at the beginning, I believe there is no way back.
4. In your opinion, What steps can carriers take to mitigate the effects of rising fuel costs and supply chain disruptions on their business?
Carriers can have many strategies, the crucial part for me is to monitor what works and what does not and then adjust or change based on the results. I believe the PDCA (plan do check act) methodology can be helpful also in this aspect. Just to name a few I think carriers can implement and negotiate flexible price lists, optimize routes, use technology, but foremost build contingency plans.
5. How have changing customer demands and expectations impacted the transportation industry, and how are carriers responding to these changes?
I think that the expectations have not changed that much. Clients still want such things as on-time delivery. They still want to trust their carriers to do the job diligently. That is why we focus on quality and partnership. However, in the past few months, we also noticed greater emphasis is being placed on the cost. In regards to that aspect, there are many strategies, but I think a healthy mix is usually the best answer.
6. What trends do you foresee emerging in the transportation industry in the coming years, and how can carriers prepare for them?
As previously mentioned, many carriers are facing the challenge of adapting to the increasing automation of transportation. With the emergence of various platforms like E4P, this trend is expected to continue growing, necessitating adjustments from carriers. However, as noted earlier, quality always comes at a price, and the question that arises is what that cost may be.
7. How important is collaboration among carriers and industry stakeholders in addressing the challenges facing the transportation industry nowadays?
Extremely important. Nowadays carriers besides market and cost challenges need to face a lot of each country's law regulations, certifications, or licenses. The goal should be to simplify carriers' requirements or to make them as logical as possible. This would definitely help carriers to improve their general performance or to even gain more capacity for the industry because they would be able to focus on these indicators more. It is crucial to keep in mind that the shortage of professional drivers in Europe's transport market is currently exceeding 400,000. Addressing this issue will require strong collaboration from all parties involved to create smart solutions instead of adding more obstacles.
8. Tell us the importance of having software to simplify the logistics process.
I believe that in today's business landscape, including the transportation industry, it is difficult, if not impossible, to operate a company without constantly evolving software. That is why we prioritize this aspect of our operations and strive to improve our internal processes through the adoption of new technologies. For instance, we have automated and robotized many parts of our process and continue to improve others. This approach has numerous benefits, such as increased efficiency, enabling our employees to focus on tasks that require creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, and supporting quality control by minimizing the occurrence of errors and human mistakes within well-designed processes.
9. What was your experience like using the Easy4Pro platform? And how long have you worked with us?
I believe that our company was among the first to utilize this platform. Initially, we were concerned that the increased availability of the platform to other carriers would lead to intense competition. However, we have developed effective strategies to leverage the tool and achieve win-win outcomes with our customers and as a result, we have been able to take advantage of new business opportunities. In many ways, the platform has helped us to streamline our sales process, allowing us to attract new clients by delivering accurate and competitive quotations through the platform.
10. During your experience with us, what was the thing you enjoyed or benefitted the most?
We recognize that the platform serves as a catalyst for growth and adaptation, and although we would inevitably pursue these changes ourselves, external pressure can be a valuable motivator. Each new customer provides us with a unique opportunity to showcase our quality of service to potential future clients. In essence, we can gain new business simply by providing efficient and reliable transport services without the need for extensive involvement from our sales department.
11. What specific feature of our Easy4Pro do you find the most valuable?
Having in mind that we want our processes as simple and effective as possible I think the huge value comes with the way the platform organizes the data. It makes our processes easier to standardize. We can see all offers in one place, and verify and quote them in a more efficient way than sending huge pricing Excel files or even sending emails. It is also much more manageable for our Managers and Team Leaders, as they can see in real-time what is happening – who is quoting, which orders are being left without any bid, what price is being offered, etc.
12. What would you tell a customer who’s considering to start using Easy4Pro?
To try it. You never know what can bring you benefits until you reach out and try! For the shippers, I believe the most valuable thing would be the platform’s effectiveness. They can receive many offers within a very short period of time. This is much more effective than reaching out to each carrier separately using e-mails or phone and also enables very fast benchmarking for each and every transport and that can lead to cost saving in both short and long term.
Are you looking to optimize your logistics and transportation processes?
Easy4Pro known as E4P is designed to streamline operations, increase efficiency, and save time and money for logistics professionals. The user-friendly interface makes it accessible for professionals of all experience levels to easily navigate and integrate into their daily operations.
Ready to take your logistics to the next level? Click the link below to learn more about E4P and how it can transform your business operations.