The American Trucking Shortage

Anyone ordering raw materials or shipping finished products today is feeling the pinch of America’s latest manufacturing woe—a shortage of skilled & available trucker drivers. Largely the result of newly mandatory and strictly enforced electronic monitoring of daily driving hours and a spike in economic activity—there is a building crisis regarding shipping on our nation’s roadways.

The immediate impact is clear: increased costs in raw materials and also in shipping charges. These haven’t been too egregious to this point—but the longer this shortage lasts—the greater the impact will be on producers already affected by tariffs and shortages of an increasing list of raw materials.

At this point , there isn’t much that can be done other than to focus on two key production areas:

1. Efficiency and process optimization.
2. Maintaining inventory and extending lead times.

Reducing chemical waste is the first and most obvious control that can be exerted. This will buy you the greatest cost-savings, but also extend your on-hand inventory.

Maintaining proper inventory and extending lead times to get new material into production will ultimately prove crucial in preventing shut-downs or missing delivery dates to your customers. This is true for both the suppliers and producers in todays environment. Many material suppliers are recommending building an “inventory cushion” by extending lead times by 50—100% to ensure smoother operations.

Now is the time to optimize your processes and get closer monitoring of your production. Contact IRMCO to see what may be done to get the most out of your stamping and bending applications.

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