“But I Don’t Ship Freight!”

05/11/2015 — Matt Nagel

Many companies operate under the same assumption that they don’t ship freight. This idea was solidified on a recent survey we conducted, where we asked the question: “What are your biggest challenges when shipping freight?” About 30% indicated price as their biggest challenge, which we addressed in a previous blog post, and another 18% said that they don’t ship freight at all. Customers are quick to jump to this notion as there are no pallets assembled in their facility and no semis in their parking lot – however, they may be overlooking some important aspects of their company operations that could use some freight optimization attention.

First, we’d like to reiterate an idea that we revert back to quite a bit on the PartnerShip Connection Blog – inbound shipping is one of the easiest and most overlooked ways to save money on your overall shipping costs. We bring this point up again since most businesses do not factor in the freight shipments they receive from suppliers as, many times, the consignee is not being directly invoiced for those shipments. However, costs initially written off as ‘free’ often rear their head in the price of the actual goods that are being moved – meaning the costs are not non-existent, but just hidden. As the customer receiving the goods, your company has a say in how that freight is routed and billed, and you should factor it into your overall freight plan.

The next point we’d like to make is that while some businesses are not shipping freight, maybe they are shipping small packages and reexamining and adjusting that operation may equal big savings. This idea would apply to another portion of the 18% of companies that think they do not have freight shipping but are shipping small packages to or from the same location on a regular basis. As a general rule of thumb, one big order ships for less than three smaller orders. That means businesses should consider consolidating multiple orders into a single large shipment whenever possible, and always strive to minimize the number of packages it sends. All too often, shipments are arranged as they come in from sales or order processing. However, a little planning and visibility will go a long way towards saving on shipping costs, supplies, and time. 

We’re sure there are some customers in the previously mentioned 18% that legitimately do not have or will ever need to ship freight due to factors like their business type. For the rest of us, taking into consideration things like inbound operations and the possibility of shipment consolidation may mean more companies are having a freight discussion that they thought they would never have – and will end up with a more efficiently run company in the process.

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