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Returns, employment models key issues at ECA MarketPlace

Returns, employment models key issues at ECA MarketPlace

A key part of staying ahead of your competition in any industry is attending trade shows and other learning opportunities. One opportunity in our industry is a favorite for our leadership to attend every year. The Express Carriers Association MarketPlace was held in Tucson, Ariz. earlier this month and Tim Ward, our director of sales and marketing, attended.

According to the ECA website, “The ECA MarketPlace is the signature networking and business development conference produced each year by the Express Carriers Association. During the two-day event, Shippers and Carriers participate in one-on-one pre-arranged interviews, with a goal of providing information and referrals and forming logistical partnerships. For over 20 years, the unique format of the ECA MarketPlace has connected hundreds of Shippers with Regional and Specialty Carriers.”

Two major topics rose to the top during the conference: how to better process returns, and how to better manage the independent contractor model of employment. Both of those issues focused on an important point, which is that effective communication is vital for success.

Return logistics

We shared last December about the importance of efficient return logistics and that topic is becoming increasingly prevalent as the number of online orders, especially of large items, grows exponentially.

During the ECA MarketPlace, many of us in the shipping side of logistics talked about how we could change operations to make it even easier and affordable to process returns. Communication between all parties involved from the consumer to the logistics provider to the retailer is vital if this process is going to decrease in its complexity including time spent and costs incurred.

Independent contractor employment model

At On Time Logistics, we have worked with independent contract couriers since the inception of our business. The concept of using contract labor instead of more traditional employment models is growing across the country, especially in industries such as technology and logistics. There are many rules that must be followed when using contract labor and we’ve been conscientious about that since the beginning.

Navigating those rules, especially for companies who are more accustomed to traditional employment models, can be difficult. During this event, many participants shared knowledge and ideas about how to manage the contract courier model better.

As we close, there are two more thoughts we wanted to share.

First, a big part of any industry event or expo are the vendor tables. They are a great way to get your products in front of hundreds of industry experts. At On Time Logistics, we can help vendors coming to trade shows held in Little Rock, Northwest Arkansas and Tulsa with their vendor booths. Vendors can ship the materials to us, and we can deliver them to the event venue.

Second, Tim plans to share even more thoughts about the ECA MarketPlace in this month’s newsletter. Our monthly newsletter shares valuable business insights, safety tips, and OTL family news. We’d love it if you signed up here!

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