Our industry has been changing a lot, in the last months, freight volumes have been skyrocketing and there’s an evident constraint behind capacity. This issue has been impacting all processes and we've found an increase in the frequency of missed pick-ups and delays in deliveries. It seems this increase in demand and tight capacity is here to stay for a while, so we want to share with you some best practices so you can mitigate problems with your freight in the shipping process.
Tips to get the best results:
- Break down your shipments in parts, this is a strategy that will help you ensure the pick-up as small shipments are not going to significantly affect the truck’s capacity.
- Schedule pick-ups in advance at least with a 24-hour window, this will help you secure your capacity. Include extra days in your schedule, especially during peak seasons such as the Chinese New Year, and the Holiday Season where ports and warehouses get congested. As you already know we're globally experiencing port delays, and this is the result of diverse strains of high import volumes, contingencies, capacity, and lack of staff attending the port. Adapt your strategy and add more days to meet deadlines.
- Pick-up and delivery dates in LTL shipping are an estimated date, if you have a time-sensitive shipment, make sure to draw on guaranteed or even expedited services.
- Make sure to keep checking the weather of the locations your shipment is going to be around as infrastructure can be significantly vulnerable to changes in weather.
- Use a TMS that allows you to keep all the information on just one platform.
- Freight visibility is a must, leverage on real-time data so you can detect disruptions, inefficiencies, bottlenecks and make fast and accurate decisions. If you can’t get access to this technology, partner up with a company that can help you with this valuable information.
- Make sure you have accurate information of the shipment, double-check your data in the labels and BOLs, and make sure it matches with the information provided in the quote.
- Confirm you have included the specific documents required to clear certain areas such as CFS. Try to avoid mistakes or typos to keep the flow of your shipment.
- Communication is key! Make sure to have an open and multi-directional with your team, this will help everyone to be aware of any novelties and make better decisions upon any disruption.
- Work hard to become a shipper of choice. This is not something you can reach overnight. This is a long-term plan, and you need to start making changes to improve your processes. The perks behind this status will help you with carriers as your practices are going to be aligned with what’s desirable and efficient, it will also help you in terms of rates. If you want to learn more about tips to become a shipper of choice, listen to this presentation recap took from our last Logistics Sessions and learn what it takes to become a shipper of choice! Click Here