Why Expedited Is Not a Four-Letter Word
Q. Why is it more important than ever to establish a relationship with an expedited carrier?
A. In today's volatile transportation environment, capacity is king. As a result, securing TL or reliable LTL capacity comes at a significant cost. Even when a shipper is prepared to pay a premium, there is a lingering fear their transportation partner may have issues delivering on-time performance.
Because of these variables, shippers are desperately seeking solutions to normalize and optimize their supply chain performance and deliver high-quality, affordable service to their valued customer. For this reason, transportation professionals should overcome a false fear of excessive cost and seek relationships with the ultimate "service-focused" professionals—the ground expedited industry.
Technology is a key component in controlling, measuring, and predicting cost on both the shipper and carrier side. In the current market, trucking companies are optimally maximizing their fleets, carefully managing every penny, mile, and minute for their available resources to deliver a positive impact to the organization.
Supply chain management coupled with concise load planning is paramount, even in a perfectly controlled and normalized environment. Shippers leverage technology to drive the decision-making process so they can optimize their carrier selection which is designed to improve cost while measuring and improving service.
However, human Freight IQ cannot be replaced. Optimal mode-shifting requires human intellect to deliver maximum results.
Transportation and logistics professionals have tremendous responsibility to manage multiple variables to deliver quality service and drive profit. They have multiple internal and external customers they must service without fail. Balancing the needs of everyone can be overwhelming, and having trusted partners is critical to the success of the team.
Variables faced when selecting the right solution include the measurement of:
- Urgency or complexity of shipment (including white glove)
- Historical service performance
- Carrier/asset/driver availability—HOS limitations
- Fleet/route optimization—loaded/enroute/out of route/empty miles/quantity of stops/ backhaul freight availability/backhaul rates/pick up/delivery times/total asset utilization
- Cube analysis—under/over cube decision—rightsizing the asset
All of these variables and associated challenges are often solved through use of an expedited provider.
Effective transportation professionals understand the value of capacity and are capable of mode shifting at the perfect time in order to optimize total landed cost of transportation. While maximizing asset utilization is key, mode selection is critical.
Unfortunately, when mode optimization/shifting is deployed, most companies only think of the FTL or LTL modes of transportation. Often overlooked, smaller truck types like cargo/sprinter vans and straight trucks can fill the gaps. The expedited sector of the transportation realm brings value, capacity, service and yes, can reduce your transportation cost when used effectively.