Logistics

Supporting Logistics Clients During Change

The U.S. supply chain network is a highly-integrated force that links air, freight rail, maritime, truck, and express delivery service. As we continue to transition towards a distributive economy rather than a manufacturing economy, logistics clients will also need to adapt to keep up with demand. 

Much of that change will come in the form of growth. Shipment volumes estimated for 2026 are now estimated to arrive as soon as 2023.

Supporting your logistics clients during change adds demonstrable value to your service offering. But what do warehouse and logistics clients need from you? Here’s what you can provide.

Talk About More than Claims

As their broker, you meet with clients quarterly to go through losses. But your role should extend beyond filing the mandatory paperwork.

You need to get to know what’s happening with your client right now. What’s going on in their business and in their marketplace? You’ll quickly find that some of the changes your clients need to prepare for include:

  • Scheduling around driver shortages
  • Managing an increased flow of goods
  • Dealing with an aging workforce, including providing health and safety for elderly customers and older workers
  • Switching to sustainable operations
  • Managing an increase in severe weather
  • Finding opportunities in risk management and safety
  • Coping with new entrants to the logistics industry
  • Working out cost issues, such as lower delivery density

These are issues impacting logistics companies across the country, and if managed well, they present real opportunities to improve the industry for the better. So, it’s time to get familiar with them. Because even if your client isn’t staring them down yet, these changes are coming.

Identify Your Logistic Client’s Challenges

A combination of the explosion of e-commerce, sustainability reforms, and an endless string of new and emerging technologies means that transport is no longer about traveling from A to B.

While these issues open up opportunities, they also present challenges. 

There are four key areas of disruption directly impacting your logistics clients: technology, new entrants to the industry, changing customer expectations, and new modes of collaboration.

Your goal is to figure out what challenges can be solved using existing technology — and, of course, to make sure their insurance needs continue to be met. There are significant logistics applications for all emerging tech trends, including automation, artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, and the Internet of Things. 

Support OSHA and DOT Compliance Programs

Many of the opportunities and challenges in logistics will change modes of work. Working with an older workforce will require more ergonomic supports for more workers. Scheduling fewer drivers means reassigning routes, pressing existing drivers to the legal limit, or hiring less experienced new drivers.

Logistics companies must continue to engage with OSHA and DOT compliance. Encourage them to not only use systems to help ensure they meet OSHA regulations but to engage with the OSHA supports available for warehousing and transport organizations.

Don’t forget to check-in with state agencies and local stakeholders, too. 

Too many citations can make your clients less competitive and ultimately get in the way of their ability to meet the industry’s new demands.

Review Their Workers Comp Coverage Requirements

As your clients cope with change, the shape of their business will morph to meet changing needs. All the while, they need to maintain their workers comp coverage and ensure they’re not underinsured or overspending.

A few things to review on a regular basis include:

  • Is your client hiring and firing regularly?
  • What methods are they taking for safety and risk management?
  • Are they collaborating with other providers? Are those providers insured?
  • Do they have plans to scale? Where?

Staying on top of these local changes will help you provide the best strategy for their coverage and ensure they don’t face any nasty surprises.

Act as an Insurance Advocate

As a workers compensation broker, one of your most important roles is that of an insurance advocate. You should do more than take calls and file claims; you need to empower clients. A few of the ways you can act as an advocate include:

  • Help clients navigate claims
  • Explain their policy and coverage limits
  • Remind them of the importance of risk management and offer solutions

Keep Other Insurance Lines in Mind

As you know, workers compensation insurance isn’t your clients’ only worry. They also carry general liability and usually commercial auto insurance. While workers compensation is a relatively stable market, logistics clients are facing difficulties with their other lines. Some of these changes are COVID-19 related, and others, like commercial auto coverage, will likely be exacerbated by problems like staffing shortages.

Use your expertise to help them navigate the insurance market generally. If there are changes coming down the pipeline, let them know. You can use your knowledge to help clients minimize disruption, and if they aren’t already.

Are You Ready to Help Your Clients Grow?

The logistics sector is growing at a pace that will challenge every single provider. A combination of an aging workforce with a difficulty recruiting a new generation of drivers and warehouse workers presents challenges to safety in many ways. As their broker, you can help them navigate these changes and always ensure they have the coverage they need.

Are you ready to help your logistics clients grow? Learn more about Foresight’s cutting-edge technology solutions, and how we can help brokers and their clients improve their business.

Author: Foresight

We’re a team of compliance, safety, and commercial insurance professionals transforming workers compensation. We write about technology, trends, regulations, and value-adding services.