On the Front
Category: Transportation Management
In order to run as efficiently as possible, it's important for manufacturers and suppliers to incorporate a transportation management system (TMS) into their daily supply chain operations. Not only does a TMS provide a significant return on investment (ROI), but it helps shippers cut freight costs and improve optimization across their company. Below we'll dig into the ways a TMS can help your company: Accountability A TMS is imperative for accountability measures within a company. It not only holds employees accountable internally, but also makes sure carriers are performing where they should. We’ll dig into reporting in a later point, but access to performance reports and compliance helps shippers identify trends and weak points for improvement. Having a robust TMS helps managers better understand their supply chain environment and where their employees and carriers should be performing. Actionable Intelligence Ever hear the phrase “you don’t know what you
As we begin the New Year, the Recon family would like to wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017. Like many of you, Recon looks forward to another year of business and helping our customers succeed in the New Year. Heading into 2017, we wanted to take a step back and understand our customers’ needs and what they value. Recon is not your typical 3PL or broker; to say we value transparency and a partnership for the long-haul is an understatement. We believe in building and cultivating relationships for the betterment of your business while always remaining open and honest. So exactly how is Recon different? To begin, you can always rely on quick, outstanding customer service with each and every contact. We tailor a solution to your needs; whether it’s lower freight costs, reporting and analyzing, freight bill auditing and payment, consulting services, freight rate negotiations, state-of-the-art TMS accessibility, or a valued partner in the industry
Cargo theft can occur anywhere and it happens more frequently on weekends, especially long holiday weekends. You don’t have to be a sitting duck, though; there are steps you can take to help ensure you are not a victim of cargo theft. Outlined below, we explain where thieves typically strike and how you can avoid their traps. When cargo theft happens, it’s usually in one of two ways: the entire trailer and its contents are stolen, or the trailer is broken into and only the contents are taken. In some situations, however, a thief will drive off with the tractor and trailer! After hours at carrier terminals and truck stops are the heaviest hit locations. If you plan to park a trailer at your terminal, backing it against a wall is always a good idea. Make sure the area is well-lit, install cameras,
"The highly anticipated 2013 "State of Logistics" report describes last year's logistics environment as uneven. After a slow start to 2013, mid-year shipments were strong before a very deep dive at the end of the year with not much movement in freight rates across the modes." "Trucking capacity is becoming a "more severe" issue for shippers. The truck driver shortage is the "No. 1 concern for trucking executives," who are coping with higher costs for drivers as well as compliance with tougher government regulations regarding hours of service and other driver standards. All this capacity reduction in trucking likely means higher rates for shippers. Wilson said carriers should be able to "significantly" raise truck rates this year, "probably in the 5 to 8 percent range." For the full article click here.
Reweighs, Classifications, Inspections - Why are they happening, why does it seem like it's escalating recently, and what can you do about them! LTL carrier inspections resulting in reweighing shipments, re-classifying shipments, and adding accessorial charges is now epidemic, but before we get into how to avoid them it's necessary to understand a little history and to have an appreciation for the carrier side of things. LTL carrier profitability has always been under serious pressure due to an abundance of capacity and competition in the marketplace. The recent recession crushed margins for these carriers, but the recovery wasn't as kind to them as other modes. Most are still scrambling for market share and find price increases difficult, but one thing the recession taught us all was to be lean and be smarter. Technology
Managing freight costs is getting more difficult by the day. Everyone thinks managing freight costs are important, but they typically just see it as simply cutting carrier costs. There is so much more to it than that! Yes, there are shippers who are paying too much and in these cases rate cuts are possible, but the really powerful solutions involve looking at the entire process of freight management. Let's look upstream - who is managing the process and how? How does our packaging and palletizing of freight impact our rates and costs? What order quantities are most economical? How about the auditing and freight bill processing systems? What is our carrier strategy and lineup - is it cheap and poor service, expensive and top-quality, or is it the best combination of each dynamically selected for each shipment? Do we have a system to track
Why is it that freight management often escapes C-level attention? Isn't cost reduction and enhancing profitability a C-level responsibility? Step 4 - Distribution of the RFP We've learned the critical importance of understanding your data and your process and have also learned how to construct the components of an RFP that will yield strong results. Now let's put those components together. A good RFP for LTL carrier procurement should include: - A comprehensive bid narrative. Describe the scope of your operations, how orders are communicated, how freight payment will work, your specific locations, carrier performance expectations, and details of your freight characteristics (average shipment size, freight class breakdown, packaging types,
There is a new solution today - In-Sourced Freight Management - and it's what you need to know to regain control over logistics. It is a team approach, a partnership, a collaboration. It's based on transparency and direct control over the carrier relationship. It's no hidden broker or 3PL mark-ups. It creates maximum value for your company and it's available today with Recon! This series explains what you can do to reduce freight. It's a roadmap to how brokers and 3PLs find ways to lower rates before they mark them up to you. So far we've learned the importance of knowing your data (step 1) and knowing your process (step 2). Now that you have your baseline and know where you are today, it's time to move into step 3 which is the RFP (Request for Proposal) process.
Step 1 of How to Reduce Freight Costs discussed the importance of gathering data and developing a deep understanding in order to determine your baseline. Step 2 will emphasize the process side of the equation so you can put the two together to move on to step 3. Let's jump right into it. Step 2 - KNOW YOUR PROCESS Now that you know your data - the details of your freight spend, characteristics of your freight, carriers, fuel surcharges, key metrics and so on - you need to know exactly how you are managing the process today. Start with the life of a customer order AND a purchase order. It is very important to understand how both outbound and inbound orders are managed! Too often these freight processes are separated and to reduce costs you must