Four ways you can work with your freight forwarding provider
It still comes as a surprise to me how many otherwise well-organised businesses happily send multiple orders to the same customers on the same day, sometimes within 1 or 2 hours of each other. Many organisations don’t realise they are doing this, of course, but many others don’t realise how much less expensive it would be for them to combine shipments with their freight forwarding provider. The more goods you move, the more likely this is to affect you. Some large companies don’t think twice about sending three trucks a day to the same customer, and spend tens of thousands of pounds a year that they simply don’t have to. DMG Freight Services explains things you could do below to reduce your freight forwarding costs.
First, have a word with your customers. Ask them whether it is of value to them to get shipments of the same goods at different times during the day. Some will need separate shipments for different shifts, to be sure. Others, though, may actually be inconvenienced by receiving 2 or three different truckloads, and wouldn’t mind at all if you consolidated them into one later run. It never hurts to ask.
Second, look at your ordering process. Do you have a manual or paper based process for ordering a shipment to go out from your freight forwarding provider? These tend to work well on a small scale, when investing in an electronic system isn’t worth the expense or the hassle. As your business grows, the inefficiency of a manual process grows even faster, and soon you’re losing money every day on unconsolidated orders. Take a look at how many such orders goo through every week, and consider the ROI on a transportation management system again. You might be surprised.
Next, look for orders that were sent on different days, but were actually delivered the same day. This is something else a good automated ordering system will pick up on, but well-trained staff will pick up on it with a manual process too, if they know to look. Always ask for a new order to be combined with the previous one if it hasn’t yet been despatched. If the morning truck has already left the warehouse so be it, but if it hasn’t, you’re throwing money away.
Lastly, have a word with your customers about moving to weekly shipments. Most will just say no, especially on the ‘lean’ logistics world we find ourselves in, but a few will see the appeal, especially once you explain how much it will lower the shipping costs that you pass on to them. Some night be swayed by the reduced fuel consumption and lower carbon footprint they could claim, as well. Do not underestimate the appeal of being able to report compliance with a green corporate policy. Once again, it never hurts to ask.