One of the costliest endeavors for many product-driven companies involves freight. Getting your product from the manufacturer to the consumer often means packing it up onto trucks and monitoring deliveries on a national scale. The bigger your business, the bigger these costs become. Freight costs have such an impact on producers that it’s often the first place a company will look to streamline when margins need to be refined.
Cutting the cost of shipping isn’t always easy, however—especially if your business distributes nationwide. Further complicating matters is a reliance on erratic shipping patterns or LTL trucking in Minnesota, which can further inflate costs. All told, cutting freight costs is no simple endeavor. Luckily, there are a few useful tips that can actually yield big savings if factored into distribution logistics:
- Consider peak shipping: Chances are, you’re shipping during peak times to ensure your product hits the shelves on a specific day. To save money, consider shipping on off-peak days! You won’t encounter peak pricing and will afford yourself a better cost-savings window. Many companies have discovered savings of up to 10 percent by shipping on off-peak days!
- Combine LTL shipments: If you have an LTL load, the cost for freight transport is automatically going to be higher—but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to absorb that cost at face value. Instead, consider the option of combining your LTL trucking in Minnesota. If possible, pack several LTL loads together to reach load capacity—it’ll save you the cost of transport on individual LTL loads, without putting a cramp in your logistics. There’s a massive potential for savings here—up to 25 percent on each LTL load you’re able to consolidate!
- Explore off-hours pickups: Night pickups involve making your load available for pickup during off-hours. Your dock may be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., but in an off-hours situation, it may open for an hour at 9 p.m. to accommodate a special pickup. Many trucking companies will offer discounts for these jobs because it’s work they might not otherwise get due to schedule conflicts during peak hours. You may end up getting haulage for 10 to 15 percent less than advertised!
- Backhaul whenever possible: Trucking freight both ways makes economical sense for both companies and trucking firms. If your logistics dictate freight that’s going both ways, talk to a trucking company about backhauling. Pulling this type of double duty will save you the cost of re-contracting trucking and streamlines logistics. You may even find that you’re saving 5 to 10 percent on freight costs through backhauling deals.
- Cultivate a relationship: Freight transport is a competitive business, but it’s also an industry built on loyalty. You can shop rates continually and leave yourself vulnerable to logistical nightmares, or you can develop an ongoing relationship with a trucking company that will offer you competitive rates for your continued It may only amount to 5 percent savings per year, but you’ll also save tremendous costs by keeping your shipping operations tight and error-free.
Shipping freight across the country can be costly, but it doesn’t mean there’s not room for opportunity when it comes to savings. Take some of the above tips into account the next time you’re trimming the fat off your company. Get in touch with K-Way Express, Inc. today to learn more about how we can help.