In 2021 automotive tire distributors learned a harsh lesson. With UPS & FedEx stretched to the breaking point, tires became persona non Grata for parcel shipping. The saying goes, "high tides float all boats," but the parcel industry, in a capacity crunch, threw the tire companies overboard. First, these parcel providers took significant rate increases on many "non-conveyable" products. These non-conveyable items included tires. Next, they limited how much volume they would accept from tire distributors. Finally, at month-end, it was not uncommon to find out that parcel carriers delayed picking uploaded and ready trailers filled with sold tires awaiting shipment. This ugly reality hit hard this year, and many were left scrambling to find alternatives.
Fortunately, there were alternative delivery solutions due to the final-mile and "gig" logistics capacity growth. Setting up independent private networks for tire distribution became a smart alternative to the congested parcel market. By connecting independent contractors and regional trucking companies on a single tech platform, tire companies could ensure on-time, in-full deliveries. A surprising additional benefit was the improved transit time, converting overnight shipments to same-day delivery. The transit time improvement was because tires went directly from D.C. to the dealer or installer without moving through a cross-dock. Costs are compared favorably but with a faster and more flexible network.
These virtual dedicated delivery operations are made possible due to platforms like Decios by DeliveryCircle, which connects multiple independent providers to create a unified tracking environment. In combination with driver management & recruiting of driver contractors, the technology provides a delivery experience like a dedicated fleet but without the overhead and management headaches. These networks can expand and contract with volumes and frequently cost less while delivering faster.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention, and so the days of tire distributors dealing with parcel problems may be coming to an end.