Over the last two years, Walmart has tightened their delivery standards. The strict guidelines were implemented to help the company run leaner and be more exact with inventory levels.
Unfortunately, most suppliers have been unable to meet the strict guidelines.
Walmart went from requiring a four-day shipping window in 2016 to a two-day shipping window in 2017 and a no-day shipping window in 2018. They are now relaxing rules to allow carriers to deliver one day early.
NOTE: Zipline Logistics spoke to our Walmart contacts and confirmed that this change only applies to Regional Distribution Centers (DCs), not High-Velocity DCs.
Why so strict? Deliveries that come one day before they’re due can create overstocks and congested warehouses. But as we noted above, suppliers have largely been unable to meet the requirements.
A consultant who works with small- and medium-sized Walmart suppliers told Bloomberg that trucks picking up clients’ orders have been arriving two or three days late, prompting a flurry of emails and conference calls between vendors and Walmart’s transportation and replenishment managers.
Most blame the current trucking capacity crunch. A report from the American Trucking Associations says more than 70% of goods consumed in the U.S. are moved by truck, but the industry needs to hire almost 900,000 more drivers to meet rising demand.
Walmart is making the shift in standards to simplify delivery requirements for suppliers who handle both food and slower-moving consumables like baby products, beauty products, and pet supplies.
Walmart has even felt the pinch themselves, reporting that higher prices to move goods weighed on its profit margins in the fourth quarter and that the problem has worsened in recent months due to the ELD mandate. Even the retailer’s trucks are showing up late to pick up suppliers’ goods, for those engaged in a CPU relationship.
Zipline’s Take on Walmart Deliveries
We’ve been working alongside our customers to continually adjust to Walmart’s changing standards. But even when orders had no leeway during recent months, we still hit compliance standards.
How? Our carefully vetted network of reliable carriers, our deep knowledge of Walmart requirement and systems, and our dedication to customer success.
Fees tied to late delivers can equate to thousands of dollars in lost revenue for our customers. We work tirelessly to ensure that doesn’t happen.
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