A Quick Primer on Transportation Logistics
On the surface, your transportation logistics seem fairly simple. Just get your materials and products to the next link in the supply chain.
And that’s really it – unless you actually want to understand and optimize your transportation logistics to increase delivery times throughout the supply chain, improve customer satisfaction and reduce your costs.
If any or all of those points are your goal, then you need to get a little more granular than treating your transportation logistics as simply getting from point A to point B.
Here are just a few aspects of transportation logistics to help give you an idea of what you might need to improve and optimize.
Truckload (TL) and Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) Shipments
Life would be wonderful if all your shipments were just the right size to fill a truck. But the reality is that your shipments are of varying sizes and you need the logistics in place to manage and optimize every load.
Sometimes the fastest, most efficient delivery route means using more than one mode of transportation. Whether by road, rail, air or sea, or any combination of them, you need the logistics in place to get your freight delivered in the fastest, most cost-efficient way possible.
Government regulations and/or the need to reduce spoilage means you need to have climate-controlled transportation options available.
When your shipment is over-sized, odd-sized, heavy or includes hazardous materials, you must have the suitable transportation vehicles and trained personnel to transport them.
Whether your freight is shipped using a single mode or using intermodal transportation, it often needs to be cross-docked, which is unloading the shipment from one vehicle and loading it onto another vehicle so that the shipment gets to the delivery point as quickly as possible. In addition to simply changing vehicles or transportation modes, cross-docking might be needed when shipments must be divided or consolidated for different or similar destinations.
There is no other part of your transportation logistics that is more crucial and rapidly changing than last-mile delivery. The expectations for delivery times to get finished products to your customer’s door seem to increase every day. Your last-mile delivery logistics can make or break your ability to meet those expectations.
Shipment Planning & Execution
Even if you have all the transportation options in place, they won’t give you the desired results if they are not planned and executed properly. Optimizing loads, routes, modes and carriers is as crucial as having the right transportation modes. You must have the people and systems in place to know that your freight will be transported in the most efficient way.
One of the most difficult and time-consuming transportation logistics to manage is finding different carriers to meet your various distribution requirements. Freight brokerage companies can instantly solve the problem by giving you access to a network of transportation options that are already in place to meet every requirement you have.
Shipment Tracking & Reporting
]GPS and online technologies have evolved to the point where tracking shipments online, in real time, from shipping dock to destination, is now an integral part of transportation logistics. By knowing precisely where your freight is at any moment helps you to deal with any issues and delays and keep everything on schedule. Analytical reporting helps you examine each shipment, and all your shipping, to identify areas for improvement.
So when you get right down to it, there’s a lot more to getting your shipment from point A to point B than meets the eye. If you would like expert assessments, detailed recommendations and practical solutions for all your transportation logistics, get in touch with us here at PiVAL. We’re ready to help.
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