Missed inbound freight pickups have a disastrous impact on the profitability of your business. While shippers often focus on outbound logistics, shippers must not overlook the importance of inbound logistics in reducing costs and achieving full freight visibility. Unfortunately, inbound logistics takes a backseat to outbound logistics, but since most companies operate as resellers of products from vendors and suppliers, failures in inbound freight will lead to failures in outbound freight. However, shippers that understand the extent of missed inbound freight pickups, the value of outsourcing inbound freight management and a few tips can avoid missed inbound freight pickups in the first place.
Extenuation of Problems From Poor Inbound Freight Pickups Planning
Waiting to schedule freight carrier pickups is a significant drain on resources. It detracts from actual work, and too much time lost will have a compounding effect on productivity. Depending on your carrier relationships, a mere 11 minutes spent scheduling inbound freight pickups could amount to more than $200 per day in lost costs, reports KDL.
For example, a fully paid logistics person at $25 per hour that schedules 50 shipments per day will cost the company $229 per day, more than $59,000 year.
Meanwhile, missed pickups affect your customers, lead to delays in carrier’s subsequent schedule and more. Furthermore, carriers will not want to notify shippers about an impending missed pickup. Essentially, they lose business, and while most carriers engage in this practice, it still occurs. Now, imagine the savings possible from avoiding missed pickups. However, shippers still need to know how to avoid missed pickups in the first place. The answer is simple—outsourcing.
The Importance of Inbound Logistics in Effective Freight Management
Outsourcing Is the Best Way to Avoid Missed Inbound Freight Pickups
The causes of missed inbound freight may vary. Mother Nature may have other plans and can disrupt even the most robust of schedules. Although these problems may be outside of the control of a shipper, customers will not grant an exception or forgiveness for your company being out-of-stock; they will move on to your competitor for their purchases. As the number of hats shippers wear increases, it makes sense to focus on outbound logistics and leave inbound freight management to other companies. In other words, outsourcing vendor inbound freight management and scheduling pickups is a great way to avoid this risk. In addition, working with a third party logistics company may open the doors to additional pickup times and availability.
Third-parties also help by ensuring your freight is weighed correctly and palletized or packaged for transit which reduces confusion in planning and helps keep inbound freight costs under control. Meanwhile, tight capacity in LTL freight will contribute to an increase in the frequency of missed inbound freight pickups. Working with an expert, like Cerasis, empowers shippers to take control and streamline the process of working with your vendors. More control around inbound freight pickups thru a dedicated freight desk or a vendor module that both capture all inbound shipments within your TMS will allow your organization with the ability to mitigate or avoid altogether, detention fees and the hassles of inbound freight scheduling and management.
Tips for Avoiding Missed Pickups
The worst time to figure out what to do about missed pickups
is after they occur. Instead of trying to put out fires, shippers should take a
proactive approach to avoid missed pickups with these steps:
- Set clear, realistic expectations for pickup. Carriers and vendors should know what to expect when arriving at your dock, including requirements for pre-arrival freight deconsolidation or consolidation, planning of loads, and what detention fees may exist. Visibility on the dock is a two-way process, requiring both shippers and carriers to understand the other’s expectations.
- Ensure accuracy in documentation. Ensuring documentation accuracy is another excellent way to avoid missed pickups resulting from missing paperwork or errors in shipment details.
- Work with other shippers to optimize routes and pickup planning. Although your company has established relationships with vendors and suppliers, working with other shippers aids in optimizing routes, planning pickups and reducing costs. For example, reducing time lost at poorly managed docks for drivers effectively makes your freight more attractive to carriers and gaining “Shipper of Choice” status.
- Focus on the next day’s pickups; today’s pickups are too late. Planning and scheduling inbound freight at least 24 hours in advance reduces the risk of not securing a truck and leading to missed pickups.
- Automate inbound freight pickup scheduling. Automating freight scheduling with a dedicated TMS and expert guidance will reduce the likelihood of missed pickups as well.
- Know carrier scheduling limits and pickup windows. Carriers have limits and pickup windows; varying your carrier network will increase carrier schedule availability.
- Work with carriers to reach shipper-of-choice status. Once you reach shipper-of-choice status, drivers will recognize your freight as more valuable, laying the foundation for better shipper-carrier-vendor relationships.
- Take advantage of contract details to recoup the costs of missed pickups. Depending on the terms set forth with contracts between your supply chain partners and carrier networks, you may be able to recover costs relating to missed inbound freight. However, the terms and conditions dictating when chargebacks are appropriate can be difficult to navigate, so a third-party that goes to bat for your organization, in this case, is crucial to recouping lost costs.
What Does It All Mean?
Missed inbound freight pickups amount to lost costs, higher charges from drivers, poor dock scheduling and much more. Instead of wasting your time trying to deal with missed pickups, put the tips as mentioned earlier into practice. The best-missed pickup is one that does not occur at all, and shippers that are proactive can gain the upper-hand and avoid the mounting costs of missed pickups or inaccurate freight management.
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