Nearly 40 percent of U.S. trade to and from Asia passes through West Coast ports in California. Keeping the flow of goods through these ports moving swiftly and efficiently is a priority for logistics and procurement networks across countless companies, including Caterpillar.
When a three-month labor dispute at one of these ports resulted in significant terminal congestion, the expertise of Caterpillar’s logistics team translated into millions of dollars in savings, as well as ensuring that our supply flow remained resilient.
When business operations eventually returned to normal, many companies were left dealing with severe financial impact. While Caterpillar experienced added costs and some slowing in our materials flow, these were a fraction of the impact on other companies. That’s how we know our Global Supply Network can deliver under pressure – not merely reacting to fluctuations in logistics, but truly taking charge of and managing our supply network.
Our staying power throughout the slowdown was due, in very large part, to the collaboration and flexibility of our Global Supply Network. Using a winning combination of procurement and logistics data and innovative thinking, a clearer inventory picture emerged to help streamline and divert shipments.
“We were able to see not only the best ports, but also the best terminals in those ports,” explained Global Supply Network Director of Logistics Scott Shepherd, “so we could react faster and accurately re-route shipments. This allowed us to move material more quickly, while limiting added costs and overall supply disruption.”