The objectives of transportation optimization should encompass cost reduction and the enhancement of operational efficiencies, all while elevating customer satisfaction. This undertaking is no small feat and requires continuous analysis and vigilance. Fortunately, you’re not navigating this journey alone. Third-party logistics (3PL) providers extend their expertise in managed transportation services, bolstering your transportation strategy.
Here are 9 surefire points for continual logistics and transportation optimization:
1. Regularly assess your shipping strategy and employ KPIs for evaluating logistics performance. Tracking and analyzing your shipping strategy, while considering recent changes, is essential to determine the effectiveness of your logistics and transportation optimization efforts. Leverage KPIs to pinpoint the areas that are performing well and those requiring additional attention.
2. Explore alternative modes of transportation, such as opting for rail instead of air, to reduce costs whenever feasible. You might even benefit from considering various services within the same mode, such as selecting cargo planes instead of charter planes. This may necessitate additional planning due to extended transit times, so it’s imperative to keep your shipping schedule up-to-date. Collaborate with a 3PL to ensure timely and budget-friendly delivery while managing freight costs.
3. Employ a Transportation Management System (TMS) to compare rates, coordinate shipments, automate processes, and consolidate data within a unified platform. When striving to optimize your transportation services, the ability to execute daily tasks within a single platform is paramount. A reputable TMS, available through your managed transportation provider or 3PL like TruKKer, enables you to search for carriers, track shipments, generate comprehensive billing statements, and more, all with a single login.
4. Continually evaluate carriers for reliability, preferred services, and competitive rates. Given the ever-changing nature of rates and the fluctuations in shipping conditions, ongoing monitoring of your preferred carrier’s rates and reviews is essential. Nonetheless, this task is substantial. Partner with a 3PL offering managed transportation services, as exemplified by TruKKer, to delegate this responsibility.
5. Implement alternative solutions like freight pooling and aggregate shipping to reduce expenses. One established method for cutting shipping costs, endorsed by many managed transportation providers, is consolidating shipments whenever possible. Solutions such as freight pooling and aggregate shipping involve combining multiple Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) orders to maximize truck capacity. Be aware that some of these alternative methods may require additional time, so prudent planning is advisable.
6. Transition between FTL and LTL freight. Customizing the shipping services you use can lead to cost savings. Utilize LTL for smaller loads to reduce expenses, while FTL is suitable for specialized equipment, shipments requiring extra attention, and urgent delivery needs.
7. Monitor shipments and optimize routes in real-time to navigate around traffic, adverse weather conditions, and construction delays. As weather and road conditions remain unpredictable, staying informed is crucial for making timely decisions regarding your shipments. Collaborate with a 3PL offering real-time tracking solutions to help you circumvent potential hazards.
8. Explore backhaul opportunities to curtail costs. Backhaul trucking involves drivers returning to the point of origin with a new load of goods after delivering goods from point A to point B. This mutually benefits shippers and carriers by reducing the empty miles driven by drivers and maximizing the mileage they cover.
9. Contemplate a multi-warehouse approach to reduce supply chain transit time and economize on shipping expenses. Distributing your goods across a broader geographical area, facilitated by a multi-warehouse strategy, can effectively lower shipping costs. For instance, storing a shipment in Colorado will incur fewer shipping expenses when destined for Utah compared to the costs associated with shipping from Florida. In cases where budget constraints preclude the establishment of multiple warehouses, numerous 3PLs, like TruKKer, offer tailored transportation services that incorporate warehousing solutions, simplifying your savings strategy.