It’s easy to look at your supply chain and think “well, we’ve always done it this way”. The transportation industry has been engulfed with technology in recent years, so if you haven’t revisited your methods lately, you could be spending more than you realize.
While cost shouldn’t be the standalone criteria for choosing a provider, the experts at Radius have compiled a list of tips that could help you significantly reduce costs, allowing you to put your hard earned money elsewhere!
1. Pack Smart
It’ll make a difference if you can get logistics involved in earlier decisions about packaging and product design. Packaging optimization can very positively or negatively impact shipping costs. You can also review your current packaging methods to make sure you aren’t wasting any valuable space. Is your cargo able to be collapsed in any way? Additionally, allowing your freight to be stackable will give you a lower cost as you won’t be paying for truck space to the roof.
2. Be Flexible
Are you open to combining multiple transportation modes? Intermodal is a great option if you’re moving over longer distances, and is generally more cost effective than trucks. Ocean is often cheaper than air, especially when it comes to international goods. Mixing transportation options is a great way to lower costs. Are you willing to ship a day later or a day earlier? Depending on whether or not your goods are perishable, scheduling shipments for off-peak days could be a great option. The less competition for capacity, the more you’ll save.
3. Be Transparent
When providing shipment information to your 3PL, be as specific and honest as possible. Being transparent about your needs will result in the most accurate cost upfront, and won’t leave room for potentially costly surprises. If you fail to mention some important factors like the insurance requirements, loading and unloading methods, or other delivery requirements, it could result in unexpected charges later on.
4. Plan Ahead
It’s never a good idea to ship on short notice, especially when you’re looking to be cost effective. Forward thinking is your wallet’s best friend when it comes to shipping. Leaving things to the last minute could force your 3PL to pull in additional drivers and equipment, resulting in a much higher cost to you. Providing a reasonable amount of notice not only helps your peace of mind, but helps control costs as well.
5. Develop Relationships
Notice how none of these tips are simply asking or begging for a lower price. They involve dedicated teamwork towards a common goal; getting your goods from A to B. Once you find a reliable transportation partner that aligns with your vision and values, put real effort into that relationship. Shopping around for the lowest possible rate quote every time and “speed dating” every 3PL in town isn’t a lucrative long term strategy.
Don’t be tempted by a potentially disreputable provider offering rock bottom prices. Rolling the dice with your supply chain rarely pays off and could result in some seriously unhappy customers. As a smart business, developing a strategic, meaningful relationship with a trusted third party provider means you’re committed to long term success.
Many of these solutions might seem like no-brainers, but when it’s been “business as usual” for so long, it’s tempting to get comfortable in your old routine. Contact the transportation experts at Radius today to see how we can make your supply chain more cost effective and efficient.