In the world of freight, one area that causes ongoing confusion for our small to midsize
clients is inbound shipping. When you don’t have a dock or logistics resources, inbound shipping can quickly be pushed to a vendor responsibility and control of costs and visibility lost. Here are some inbound shipping basics to help you save time and money.
Create a vendor Compliance Policy
It’s beneficial for vendors, shippers and everyone in-between for a supply chain to operate efficiently. This can be done through visibility, compliance, and continual examination of the supply chain operations.
You can start with a solid vendor compliance policy. A vendor compliance policy is a document that can help your company avoid numerous problems, including improper purchase orders, incorrect labels, incomplete bill of landing, late deliveries, damage, and much more. You can use a vendor compliance document to spell out your company’s requirements, expectations, and penalties regarding orders and shipments to your business.
You can achieve visibility over inbound shipments by implementing a set of specific ‘Ship Via’ instructions. Using the term ‘Best Way’ for your shipping instructions, allows your vendor to choose a shipping method and bill you accordingly. In most cases, it will be the most convenient method for your vendor, not at the least cost to you. This section should be used to refer the vendor to your compliance policy or your 3PL for proper shipping instructions.
You can also gain visibility of your shipments by using a transportation management system (TMS). There are a wide variety of transportation management systems on the market to fit every business’ needs. Most companies can cater their software to fit your processes and budget, driving the value up for you.
Many SMB’s choose to partner with a 3PL, such as GTS, to handle their shipping and freight needs. Not only do you gain access to their TMS and carrier network, but you also get a team of logistics experts for personalized service and solutions.
By instituting a standard receiving process and enforcing it among employees, you can make sure you receive a proper settlement if a claims situation occurs.
When a shipment arrives at your location, it is imperative that you inspect the container and contents for damage. When you sign a delivery receipt without noting the damage or missing pieces, your freight claim may be denied.
If you approve the condition of your shipment, review the delivery receipt closely. If you sign on the dotted line without reviewing all of the information, you could pay for services that weren’t needed or rendered.