Another great guest post for Reload by Adam Robinson of Cerasis. This week, Adam discusses five tactics shippers can use to lower their freight costs immediately.
A challenge for any business is shipping merchandise, goods, and freight. Logistics is one of the most complicated operations at any company, requiring shippers to carefully plan, evaluate and choose the right carrier to work with in order to meet company needs while attempting to realize freight savings. Executing these functions well can mean the difference between success and failure. Losing sales and overpaying are just two of the negative outcomes if shippers fail to plan the logistics process carefully. Shipping freight isn’t just a one-time removal service of goods – it’s your business. As a regular shipper it should be your top priority to make the best of it.
So what are some of the top suggestions that can help you save money on shipping and what are a few of the mistakes to avoid, which can result in overpaying?
Freight Saving Tip #1: Do Your Research
When it comes to selecting the best shipping provider for your business, it’s very important to perform thorough research on the options available. The market offers a diversity of providers, each with a specific policy when it comes to pricing and discounts. Understanding all your options is essential for selecting the best offer and getting the best discount. Some companies offer huge discounts but those are based on inflated prices, so don’t rush into basing your choice on that alone.
Freight Saving Tip #2: Consider Consolidation Shipments
If your needs do not exceed LTL (less than truckload shipment), consider a freight consolidation service or other shipping strategies. This service combines your shipment with other small ones to ship together. By combining two or more smaller shipments into one, you can lower freight costs significantly. While this does require some planning and flexibility on the shipper’s side, the end result can help you realize significant savings.
Freight Saving Tip #3: Consider the Freight Mode
Now, it is true that some products, such as perishables, may need to be shipped with an air freight provider or a more guaranteed mode of shipping like full truckload. But sometimes there is an option of shipping by LTL, which can save you money, but may take more time. Obviously this isn’t a feasible option in all cases, so it needs to be planned and implemented when possible. The key is to know your freight activity and be attuned to business needs as they change.
Freight Saving Tip #4: Plan in Advance
Last minute shipping is always expensive. If you require an express freight with short deadlines, chances are you will be charged extra. By planning in advance you can not only avoid overpaying, but also take advantage of some nice discounts. This can give you time to plan for storage when it’s needed and make you more flexible in terms of choosing a shipping company and tariff.
Freight Saving Tip #5: Avoid Mistakes
It is surprising how often mistakes are made when it comes to shipping goods. For example, making sure the weight and freight class are in line with the carrier’s class. If not, shipments will get re-classed, often resulting in greater costs and a delay in storage. Proper packing on your side is also a must – if there is a need for the carrier to do additional repackaging, chances are the price will go up. Always double check your figures and take special care when it comes to shipping. A great way to avoid this mistake is by using a transportation management system that will allow you to integrate with an ERP, automatically storing data on your commodities and class information. You may also employ a third party logistics company to devise solutions and arm you with the tools and services to minimize mistakes while helping reach your desired shipping goals.
With all this in mind, you now have a sure way of saving on shipping if you follow these five tips as a regular shipper. You will also realize freight savings on future shipments if you approach your transportation management with a strategy.