Whether your company is massive or small, freight management can be challenging. It involves numerous procedures and calls for close attention to detail. However, when these procedures are streamlined, you can raise productivity, enhance operational effectiveness, and enhance customer happiness.
Your company’s success depends on how well you handle your freight. Better freight management can help you cut costs, enhance daily operations, and boost your standing with the people you ship to. Meanwhile, ineffective freight management severely hurts your bottom line and can significantly lower your performance. Here are some crucial pointers to help you manage your freight better.
Start with a plan
Without a plan, it is hard to optimise or tweak any process. Examine your present freight management, noting any problems or weak points. Once you’ve identified the main issues with your freight management system, you can start planning to address them one at a time.
This closely resembles an audit. Examine every aspect of your freight management to see if there are any areas where you can make improvements. If you want to be more effective, stick to your plan. However, you might need to attempt new strategies if your plan doesn’t work.
Find & Pick the Best Carrier
Finding the best shipping partner for your freight by comparing options can mean the difference between having your items delivered on time, safely, and economically against having them damaged or delivered late. Even though this procedure can take some time, contacting several carriers can help you choose a better shipping service that will ultimately be beneficial in many ways.
The following are things to consider while choosing a shipping partner:
Naturally, price is the first thing to consider when choosing a carrier for your freight needs. Working with a business that can help you cut shipping expenses without compromising quality is essential since high shipping rates can diminish your margins and directly impact your company’s bottom line.
- Services Provided
When choosing the best carrier for your business, you need to consider the carrier’s services. It is advised to check whether the services are suited to the products you’re shipping and whether they cover the routes and destinations you’re interested in shipping to. Value-added services like delivery confirmations and real-time order tracking might also be necessary.
Working with a recognised business is one of the most crucial components of the selection process. Make sure the carrier has a solid track record by conducting a comprehensive background check on them.
Packing your freight effectively can decrease expenses and greenhouse gas emissions (the heavier and bigger the packaging, the more emissions are released during transportation).
Limiting the amount of packaging material used will help you save on shipping costs because freight prices are based on the amount of space your goods take up. Also, adequate freight packing frees up trucking space so your business can transport more goods.
Order consolidation is a straightforward method that can help you save money on shipping, lessen the quantity of packaging material needed, and minimise vehicle emissions.
It entails combining various shipments going to the same area into a single container or collaborating with other businesses to carry goods collectively. With this technique, your company can move loads that take up less room for a fee based on the cargo volume. Additionally, they are transported to the destination with slight handling in the middle of the process, reducing the possibility of damages and claims.
Low Season Shipping
The cost of shipping your cargo during off-peak hours might significantly affect it. Here are some things to consider when it comes to off-peak shipment to help with that:
- As most shipments are sent out near the end of the week (Thursday, Friday, or Saturday) to satisfy weekly quotas, Mondays typically have extra capacity.
- Since most deliveries take two days, Wednesdays also frequently have capacity.
- It’s also a good idea to steer clear of shipping around the end of a month or a quarter because businesses aim to meet sales quotas by shipping during these times.
- Avoid shipping on days with severe weather or holidays because driver availability may be an issue.
Creating and Monitoring KPIs
You must set up performance-based KPIs to maximise the efficiency of your freight management processes. This is because, without measurement and analysis, they cannot improve efficiency.
Here are a few significant KPIs to think about monitoring to assist you in the beginning to measure and optimise:
- Complete and On-Time Delivery
The OTIF measure, which combines Perfect Order and On-Time, is used to determine the proportion of shipments that arrived at the client with the correct product and quantity at the appropriate time.
- Percentage of claims for freight costs
Businesses can use the total number of loss and damage claims divided by the total cost of transportation to construct this measure. High percentages are a sign of packing, transportation, or storage issues.
- Loading and unloading times on average
A carrier’s average hours to load and unload freight make up this KPI. By monitoring this KPI, you can find the physical locations that require improvements, like cramped holding yards or poorly lighted loading docks.
- Trailer Utilisation Rate
A measurement of how effectively a trailer asset’s capacity is being used, with 100% being the most effective. This KPI’s measure aids in identifying issues with loading optimisation and the requirement for better load planning.
- Average Dwell Time
This is when a vehicle remains stationary at a planned stop or effectively waiting time. It is an excellent measure to assess overall delivery efficiency because this metric impacts a driver’s hours of service (HOS).
- Pickup and Delivery on Time
This gauges whether an order is picked up or delivered at the precise time and date specified without being early or late. This measure enables shippers to assess how different carriers’ timeliness affects their delivery timetables.
Transporting goods in a safe, effective, and timely manner is the aim of successful freight management. You may achieve these objectives and boost your productivity, operational effectiveness, and customer satisfaction by using the advice provided above.