How to Use Routing Instructions for Better Inbound Management
07/27/2016 — Leah Palnik
Retailers face many challenges when it comes to inbound shipping. Freight costs are constantly on the rise and resources are limited. On top of that, many retailers lack visibility and control of the shipments they receive from suppliers. The good news is that can be remedied – simply by utilizing routing instructions.
Before you can compose your routing instructions, you need to conduct a thorough analysis of your current inbound shipping operations. Take a look at the invoices from your major suppliers to identify what they allocate for shipping and handling. Compare these rates with the rates that you receive with your preferred carriers or broker. Often times, you’ll see that you’re able to get better pricing by using your providers.
If you don’t currently have better rates, working with a freight broker can help. Brokers are able to aggregate the freight volume of their customers and help them negotiate better discount rates and terms. They can also provide additional value-added services, sometimes at no additional cost, that are designed to lower your overall logistics expenses.
Once you’ve conducted your analysis and you have secured competitive pricing, you’re ready to create your routing instructions. It’s important to use clear language and include specific service requirements about the mode and carrier. Here are a few examples:
- Ground shipments between 0 lbs. and 199 lbs. – FedEx Ground billing account #999999999
- Ground shipments between 200 lbs. and 5000 lbs. – UPS Freight Third Party Prepaid billed to PartnerShip at 500 E Lorain Street Oberlin, OH 44074
- Air shipments between 0 lbs. and 149 lbs. – FedEx Express billing account #999999999
In most cases, to obtain vendor compliance you simply need to draft a letter that includes your instructions. Be sure to include your full company information and a message requesting compliance within 30 days to avoid shipping fees being charged back to them. You can then include your routing letter in your next order or next communication with your vendor.
Once your routing instructions are in effect, you’ll benefit from streamlined receiving operations, lower costs, and dependable service. When everything is running smoothly, you can focus on growing and improving other parts of your business.
At PartnerShip, we know that it can be difficult for retailers to conduct an in-depth analysis and prepare routings on their own. That’s why we provide our customers with full inbound shipping management. We can provide you with a free analysis, create routing instructions, and work with many of your vendors on your behalf to obtain compliance. Get started by clicking here to request a free inbound shipping analysis.