The goals of transportation optimization should include the reduction of costs and creation of greater operational efficiencies, all while increasing customer satisfaction. Not a small task, and one that requires constant analysis and monitoring. But luckily, you're not alone. Trusted third-party logistics (3PL) providers like GlobalTranz offer managed transportation services, along with expert support and guidance, to assist you in optimizing your transportation strategy.
9 Tips for Logistics and Transportation Optimization
Businesses can maximize value by identifying opportunities across all aspects of their shipping operations - read on to discover nine tactics to help you achieve logistics and transportation optimization.
1. Routinely evaluate your shipping strategy and use KPIs to measure logistics performance.
How do you know if your logistics and transportation optimization efforts are working if you don't track them? Analyze your shipping strategy regularly — keeping in mind any recent changes — and utilize key performance indicators (KPIs) to identify the shifts that are working and which parts of your operation require additional attention.
2. Consider alternative modes, like rail instead of air, to save on costs when possible.
It may even benefit you to consider different services within the same mode, like booking a cargo plane rather than a charter plane. This may require some additional planning, since more affordable modes often have longer transit times. Make sure to keep your shipping schedule up-to-date and work with a 3PL to ensure your shipments will all make it to their destinations on time and on budget while also managing freight costs.
3. Use a TMS to compare rates, coordinate shipments, automate processes and gather data all in one convenient location.
When looking to optimize your transportation services, you'll undoubtedly want to execute all of your daily tasks on one platform. Luckily, that ability is exactly what a reputable TMS can provide! Talk to your managed transportation provider or 3PL about whether their TMS will allow you to search for carriers, track shipments, provide one comprehensive billing statement and more, all with a single login.
4. Regularly assess carriers for dependability, preferred services and comparable rates.
It's no secret that rates constantly change. With inflation on the rise and shipping conditions that shift daily, it's important that you continuously monitor your preferred carrier's rates and reviews. Mind you, constantly monitoring carrier's performance and rates is a big job. Partner with a 3PL that offers managed transportation services, as GlobalTranz does, and let them do the heavy lifting!
5. Use alternative solutions like freight pooling and aggregate shipping to save on costs.
One tried-and-true way to save on shipping costs that many managed transportation providers suggest is to consolidate shipments wherever possible. Shipment consolidation solutions, like freight pooling and aggregate shipping, are options where multiple LTL orders are combined so that the truck's capacity is maximized. Some alternative solutions like these may require extra time, so plan ahead.
6. Alternate between FTL and LTL freight.
Did you know that you can save money by customizing the shipping services you use? It's true — you can use less-than-truckload (LTL) for greater cost savings on smaller loads, and full truckload (FTL) for specialized equipment, extra attention for shipments and to meet urgent delivery needs.
7. Track shipments and optimize routes in real time to avoid traffic, weather disruptions and construction.
Weather and road conditions are unpredictable, so staying informed will help you make the best choices for your shipments in a timely manner. Work with a 3PL that offers solutions with real-time tracking to help you avoid potential hazards.
8. Find backhaul opportunities to save on costs.
Backhaul trucking occurs when, after a driver delivers goods from point A to point B, they then return to point A with a new load of goods. This helps both shippers and carriers save as it eliminates a good portion of the driver's empty truck miles and capitalizes on the number of miles driven.
9. Consider a multi-warehouse approach to reduce supply chain transit time and save on shipping costs.
A multi-warehouse approach helps you spread your goods out over a broader geographical area, which subsequently helps cut shipping costs. For example, a shipment stored in Colorado will cost less to ship to Utah than if it was stored in Florida. Don't have the budget to open multiple warehouses? Many 3PLs, like GlobalTranz, offer customized transportation services that include warehousing solutions, making it easier for you to save.
Industry-Leading Managed Transportation Solutions from GlobalTranz
If your transportation operations need some TLC, you're not alone. Partner with a trusted 3PL like GlobalTranz to gain access to top freight solutions, expert support, and innovative technologies that will help you optimize your shipping and logistics. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help maximize your efforts.