To increase shipping efficiencies and lower costs, distributors should decrease the number of moves in the shipping process, says Paul Johnson, vice president of global solutions consulting at Descartes, a technology and consulting provider of logistics and shipping software, in Strategic Options for Shipping Efficiency.
“The largest opportunity is just decreasing the number of moves that you have to make,” says Johnson who suggests taking advantage of opportunities provided through less-than-truckload shipping, "a critical component of the supply chain."
He also suggests using multistop truckload, which is an "an interim step between intermodal and LTL" that involves contracting the entire truck for multiple stops. According to Johnson, many LTL carriers are willing to do this kind of shipping as well.
The main idea is to increase the productivity of every move by cutting the overall number of trucks needed to bring products to market, says Jason Mathers, senior manager at the Environmental Defense Fund and author of multiple reports on innovating freight transportation models.
Mathers suggests having a system "that’s able to identify that two trucks have the same destination and relatively similar delivery windows," thereby using only one truck instead of two while still meeting customer needs.
Read more about ways to position your company for better efficiency in Strategic Options for Shipping Efficiency.