If you have meet with me at Solar Power International, or talked with me on the phone; you know i am a big fan of clean, domestically produce, energy sources. That is why i have been attending SPI for the last 8-9 years, since i could afford to fly to attend the show every year. I have also forced myself and my logistics company, to try and focus our freight shipping and regional warehousing services to benefit the solar industry and its growth.
Whether we are trying to set up customer specific freight tariffs that can mitigate some of solar freight shipping’s accessorial requirements. Leveraging our regional warehouse and fulfillment centers to freight ship solar systems just in time to install sites faster. Or simply building up a super nice operations team, that can be very hands on with your day to day freight shipping and logistics needs. We love helping the solar industry grow, leveraging our expanding list of logistical services better.
If that isn’t enough proof that we love this industry and want to be a part of the solution. We have also begun building solar powered, bike-centric, social, infill apartment communities of my own design with my new company Sustainable Village Redevelopment. Starting with our first 4 plex redevelopment project here in San Diego. We hope to deliver 100’s if not 1000’s of solar powered apartment buddings in communities we love the most. We also hope to bring this style of sustainable, solar powered, redevelopment to Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes, and other communities whom need better rental housing that we love spending time in.
Here is a list of our best new ideas to help you further economize, automate, simplify, or plain outsource more of your logistical pain points. If you would like our help with any of these services, we would be happy to set up a short meeting to help you strategize. This is my company, we are looking to grow, and we would be honored to help you with more of your logistical pain points this fall!
16 Tips to help you Crush your Logistical Pain Points!
- API automation for Freight Shipping and Parcel shipping to inject your rates into your Website, ERP business software, and even quick books in some cases. This can fully automate web sales and allow your client to pay for shipping at the same time saving tons of time and effort.
- Use a better more automated Transportation Management Software or TMS for both parcel and freight. Most TMS systems can even import your carrier direct tariffs and allow you shop our bulk rates we have with our carriers, side by side. They can also allow you to import freight classes, nmfc, and general product shipping specs to greatly simplify booking and drastically reduce shipping errors.
- TMS that shops parcel rates side by side with freight rates: This can save you a lot of time and headaches and you will always know which mode of shipping is the best for all loads in real time! We have few options in mind.
- Use a regional warehouse and fulfillment centers to cut ship times and overall cost down. This can also drastically reduce transit related damages and provide you flexibility to cross pack and ship to consumer direct as well as retailers faster. Amazon is coming for us all but we can get set up to compete.
- Try and consolidate shipments into larger truckload or partial truckload shipments if possible. The more you ship at one time, the less it costs per unit generally. Intermodal / Rail, Truckload, Partial truckload, LTL, and Ground is generally the order of Modes least expensive to most expensive per unit shipped.
- Package your items better to reduce transit related damages. Heavy duty boxes, bubbled wrapping, palletized, shrink wrapped, corner protect everything, if your products lend themselves to it. To further protect everything and reduce claim headaches and time.
- Buy a digital weight scale, that will print a receipt label you can attach to your pallet, bol, or packing slip to further reduce shipping price adjustments. https://www.globalindustrial.com/p/packaging/scales/pallet-truck/global-industrial-pallet-scale-48-x-48-5000-lb-capacity
- Get access to Class IT so that you make sure your freight class and nmfc codes are correct all the time to further reduce freight adjustments/ rebills. https://classit.nmfta.org/all/Welcome.aspx
- Look at getting a customer specific pricing tariff with certain carriers. This can help with getting class reductions, further rate reductions, and accessorial exemptions like liftgates, residential deliveries, overlength fees etc waived. Magic number seems to be around $15,000 in freight spend per month to begin this process in most cases.
- For fedex, ups, dhl and parcel shipping services reduce your overall cost. Focusing not solely on the discount level, but dimensional divisors, and accessorial exemptions like over-size surcharges, handling, and over-length fees, etc which can really bring down your overall cost.
- Stock Through Put Insurance to further insulate your goods from overall supply chain and shipping related damages both on international and domestics shipments. Especially if you have a high cost, highly damageable product that some carrier’s normal insurance will not cover.
- Create a written streamlined load booking Standard Operating Procedure. This will save time, confusion, and further eliminate shipping errors that can lead to rebills/adjustments. It can also help if you have to re-train new shipping department team members.
- Learn and know how to use new tracking features for freight and parcel TMS software. Most freight TMS or FMS systems now offer email tracking pings for multiple email addresses at various points of the shipment life cycle. Greatly reducing tracking communication and hassles with clients, sales teams, and logistical teams.
- Consider setting up a direct to consumer final mile/white glove delivery service to sell direct. The costs of these programs can be higher but your margin and profitability in most cases will more than offset those costs. These programs can include inside delivery, setup/install, debris removal etc.
- Hire a low-cost Virtual Freight Assistant to do day to day load booking and other repetitive computer/phone-based tasks.
- Look at a Fully Managed Transportation Offering. Generally, you need to be spending $1-2 million a year in shipping and freight. However, companies will literally build a whole professional team around your logistical needs, so you can focus on your core growth tasks and get ahead faster!