Shipping a lot of truckload freight? The key is to look at it as a tactical planning process consistent with your supply chain strategy; not as an operational detail. Here are 9 tips to reduce transportation costs and improve service levels:
1. Make safety an issue. Which areas of your supply chain are vulnerable? You need to be able to recognize them and take the right steps to ensure proper safety.
2. Use a system that provides in-transit status. Rates can change from day to day or even from hour to hour. Time of year and seasonality are variables that affect rate changes. You need real-time access to this rapidly changing information.
3. Use the combined value auction. This lets carriers combine multiple freight lanes into a single bid package, identifying the combined value of lanes.
4. Comply with regulations. This one is obvious, but not always simple. Make sure that cargo is arranged in compliance with loading rules, customer requirements and legal restrictions.
5. Use load planning software that determines how cargo should be palletized. Load planning software lets you decide how to stack and arrange cargo, eliminating arbitrary cube or weight targets.
6. Use flexible and scalable planning. This allows you to add new customers, carriers and orders without taking a large amount of time out of your workday.
7. Use a software tool to view all shipments – from a single site, multiple sites or multiple companies. This helps with consolidation, pooling, dynamic crossdocking and continuous moves.
8. Optimize transportation variables. This includes orders coming in, shipments going out, carrier commitments, carrier availability, customer requirements, appointment times and transit times.
9. Link suppliers, shippers and partners via the internet. This allows for better information sharing and prevents data loss that can occurs when transferring between systems.