When you hear the term ‘Air Freight’ you probably cringe a little because in shipping it’s usually associated with expensive mistakes. But, if you’re like me and you have hidden inside an air freight shipment once just to see exactly what happens on it’s journey, you might already know about the following counter-intuitive facts about the world of expedited freight transportation.
You’ve used a respectable national freight carrier for your freight shipments for a long time, perhaps even years, and you’re happy enough. What’s not to like? Your rep is a nice guy, he stops by every month to ask about your kids and drop some company schwag, and it’s just easier to keep doing what you’ve been doing.
But could a freight broker be even better for your business?
You run a business. You have clients demanding product. You are really freakin busy. How do you make sure you have enough product on hand to fill orders? What can you do to make sure things run smoothly in your demand chain (coinin' that)? Well, the answer is A LOT actually! This blog post will tell you exactly what to expect with inbound freight shipments in the New England area and how to handle your LTL freight shipments like a freight boss.
The best way to think about Concealed Damage is like a new car on a lot. The second you drive off the premises the value drops like your 401K did in 2009 (actually worse). Likewise, the moment you sign the delivery receipt 'clear' and the driver leaves the freight on your dock, it loses 2/3 of it's recoverable value. Yup, 2/3 right off the bat. Which is why you need to be cynical and handle it with a cool head.
Bulletproof Your Shipping
Choosing a freight provider is a lot like assigning the right secret agent to a mission. You want the one best suited to get the job done right. Recently you’ve asked yourself “How can I get better LTL shipping rates in Boston?” or “who has the best customer service for freight companies in the Boston area?”. Can’t you just google “freight brokers in Boston” and snag the first one who comes up? Aren’t all freight brokers and carriers in New England basically the same? Well, my friend, they are not. And the reason there exist so many brokers and trucking companies in the Boston area is that there are so many different niches and specialties to be served. Here’s how to find the one (or two) best suited for your particular logistics finery.
In case you were wondering if you should be reading this blog or not I’m going to make it easy for you. There are at least 10 reasons why someone should NOT read freightsavvy.com. I’m listing them in no certain order but the second you see one that applies I would advise a hasty escape. For your safety when you do find a reason that applies to you the exits are marked by red “X”’s and black “<--“’s. Please proceed with caution toward the first available exit and do not run or toss children and old ladies aside (Looking at you, Constanza).
WHY SHIPPING WARS IS THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO SHIPPING
The freight shipping business is not sexy despite Shipping Wars' Disney-wood portayal. Loud (real) trucks and grizzly (real) drivers commanded by angry (you get it) dispatchers barking orders from faraway outposts. It’s rough around the edges and frankly the middle is not much smoother. But, don’t be fooled, this lean mean trucking machine is meant to do one thing very well: move large & heavy goods from A to B quickly and cheaply. And if you are a startup, small business or Ebay seller you cannot afford not to take advantage of the amazing economies of scale available to you through this vast network of carriers. This post will explain how to get into ship-shape despite not having a dock, forklift, pallets, etc. and why you should avoid UShip at all costs!
EXPLAINING 'LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD' FREIGHT
Every industry has it’s own lingo and it takes time to learn everything you need to know so you can roll in the deep. This article defines 'Less than TruckLoad' shipping and how LTL operations work. If you are new to shipping give yourself time to decode the language. it took me 6 months working full time and I still hear (and make up) new ones all the time. We'll start with most widely used and misunderstood term, 'LTL'.
Purchasing Logistics Made Easy
is a dog eat dog world...and some days you're wearing the bacon pants - am I right? Even after years of ordering the same stuff from the same vendor it can still chew up an entire morning to complete an order you've done hundreds of times. Well there is good news: executing a purchase order doesn't have to take up any more of your time. With the right broker and process setup you can free yourself from the legwork and the headaches of inbound freight without spending any more money (Freight Brokers save you money) or sacrificing an ounce of quality. Download the free routing letter and keep reading this post to learn how to outsource the entire process and even save money while doing so. When we're done you'll know exactly how to evaluate a broker and outsource the entire process to make yourself more productive and maybe actually take a lunch break this week! Sound good? Let's do it!
SHIPPING STEEL BOLTS VS PING-PONG BALLS.
There’s an old saying in trucking “if you can’t truck it…f*ck it”. Thousands of commodities move by truck and each one is assigned it’s own NMFC item number. So how do you determine the annoying 6 digit NMFC number for that next shipment of steel bolts (step 2) or ping-pong balls (step 5)?
The National Motor Freight Classification system aka “NMFC” is a grading system for the thousands of freight commodities that move by truck in the US. There are 18 classifications (from 50-500). The classifications are based on the 4 characteristics of ship-ability (density, handling, stowability and liability). The more shippable your freight is the lower the class (50 is lowest and cheapest). It’s a lot like golf: There are 18 holes (or classifications) and you want to have the lowest score (or class) possible to avoid paying more.
HOW TO OUTSOURCE SHIPPING
You have to ship a pallet (or five) across the country to a customer. Should you ship directly with an LTL carrier or should you try to wade through the sea of freight brokers?
Going directly to the trucking company has it’s advantages. But depending on your business and the amount of extra time you want to spend on managing your shipping process it might make sense to outsource your shipping to a broker. Here are 6 great reasons why: