This economy has forced many companies to look at all their suppliers and try to negotiate cheaper prices. On the surface, Cheaper looks good, but what does it really cost? (damage, time, redeployment, lost sales ...)
In the shipping industry, I continue to see companies complain about costs but do not want to change their business to work more efficiently and wonder why they have all these problems and lost sales.
As a sender (Business Owner, Traffic Manager), ask yourself,
Do my customers call me first?
Will my customers order me from the competition?
Do my customers like the transport company I have chosen?
How much time do my people spend (CSR) on transport problems? and at what cost?
Should improved transport services result in improved customer satisfaction and increased sales? ... and a staff who spends more time on new business than dealing with problems with old sales.
Freight LTL is the largest cost of a business in the traffic department (except for air cargo) and the number 1 way of reducing this cost is to increase your delivery size. This can be achieved in several ways.
Increase your minimum order, (discuss with client)
Set a time, (daily, weekly, weekly or monthly) that your customer agrees to have their orders submitted by. If the orders are submitted for a certain period of time, the product will be included in the next order.
If you have customers located in the same area (state, province or in-line) arrange a shipping program that guarantees that all orders are shipped in the same direction the same day, preferably in the same truck. This allows the carrier to combine multiple orders, with multiple deliveries, for maximum savings. This method is especially effective when you have enough product to compensate Truckload, and you can eliminate your LTL carrier together. Keep in mind, Trucklast carrier.
For example, a sender in Baltimore MD needs to send 1/2 load to Pittsburgh PA, a 1/4 load to Cleveland OH, and a 1/4 load to Chicago IL. Combined, you have 1 truck, with a destination that is in-line with 2 other delivery points. Why not eliminate the LTL carrier, call a Truckload carrier, get an interest in Chicago with another 2 drops? This will not only eliminate any damage, as the freight will never leave the truck to cross. But even though the destinations were in Canada, you can include the entire order on 1 bulletin document and save the cost of 2 additional tax brokerage fees. This also works for 1/2 loads. Remember that when you cross the border, customs are not concerned. WHERE the product goes, but more importantly, the product that ALL accounted for. (Dollar value)
If you ship large quantities, explore the possibility of creating another warehouse that is central to your customers. This can be achieved by renting space in a warehouse. You will receive daily / weekly stock reports and your responsibility will be to store the warehouse (by truck) as needed. You do not need to manage or rent the warehouse, there are companies that will do it for you.
If you contact your current operator to investigate these ideas, you are aware of your agenda. For example, an LTL carrier does not want you to ship multiple-delivery trucks, and the same LTL carrier does not want you to consolidate, it means fewer shipments and reduced revenues. Another quick point, when shipped across the multiple delivery limit, National LTL Carriers will NOT consolidate your orders, they will process each order separately. This will not only increase shipping costs, but will require a separate customs document for each shipment. If this is your situation, find an operator that will consolidate.
If your shipping system needs to be reviewed or if you are looking for any answers to resolve your shipping problems, please contact me. The transport industry offers a variety of options, and it may be in your interest to investigate them. When I talk with a new perspective, I get a good understanding of his concern and create a perfect scenario on paper. Then its my job to make this concept a reality.