Managing Your Shipping Costs

05 Jan 2016 10:04 PM | Anonymous

By Nathan Kallen

We all strive to effectively manage our costs of doing business. One of the easiest components to manage is finding ways to diminish our shipping costs. In order to help drive down these prices and ship the most efficient way possible we talked to Brady Tinkham of Champion Logistics, a fellow ITRA member. Brady has offered the following suggestions of things to consider when engaging a transportation and logistics partner:

1. Allow enough time for ground transit. The standard times would be 5 – 7 days coast to coast, 3 – 5 days for Midwest to East/West coast and 2 – 3 days for regional shipping.
2. Keep your case/crate/pallet dimensions in mind as these contribute to freight costs. Pack items in to the most efficient container possible as to limit the amount of extra space. A 48x48x48 pallet that only weighs 150 lbs. will be shipped and priced out at a 450 lbs “dimensional weight.”
3. Provide all shipping details up front to eliminate driver wait time or additional pickup/delivery charges. These details should include:
a. Arrival time, event name, venue/business name, loading dock and on site contact
b. Trade show shipments require: show name, exhibitor name, booth number, general contractor and specific delivery and pickup times
4. Keep freight claims to a minimum by packing electronics in a crate/case rather than on a pallet. This will reduce both theft and damages while providing your equipment with the most efficient form of transit.
5. Be sure to use a carrier that has experience with your kind of business. Get to know your freight rep and ask questions about your specific needs. Using a direct carrier will provide a much better level of service than a freight broker. Don’t simply go to a carrier that may be slightly cheaper without doing your research because this can lead to late deliveries and damaged goods, which ultimately increase your costs.

When auditing freight costs, be sure to analyze shipping invoices as well as all related over-expenditures. Did a late shipment cause your labor crew to work an extra 4 hours? Did you have to air freight items because of damage or lost equipment? These costs are related to the performance of your shipping partner.

By following these simple steps you will be able to ensure your company is maximizing revenue by cutting down on costs that are potentially not needed or come from poor planning. For further information please contact Brandy Tinkham at Champion Logistics. Brady can be reached at: 312.888.6888.

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