As an expert transportation and logistics company, our team at PPLUS gets asked about the tips that they have that can help businesses when creating their logistics shipping strategy. Here are some of the top logistics shipping tips to help you plan.
The National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) of freight not only affects the shipping process, but it also impacts the type of equipment used to haul them. The NMFC standard groups commodities into one of 18 classes–ranging from 50 to 500. The lower the class, the lower the price.
They base the classification on a few calculations. If you accurately have the numbers, then you can choose the accurate freight class. Take accurate measurements of the pallet, height, length, and width. Be sure to have the most precise weight of the shipment and know the type of commodity inside. Whether an item is fragile or not is a factor in the NMFC number.
When developing a shipping strategy for your business, it is important to understand all the options and pricing factors that go into it. Are you shipping domestically or internationally? Is it urgent and needs to be expedited? Does it need that extra touch at the end, like last-mile service?
However, once you decide if it is by land, air, or sea, there are still more options; Less-than-truckload (LTL), Truckload (FTL), Intermodal, rail. How you classify the contents of your shipment will make a difference, but you still need to find a cost-effective solution. There are multiple solutions for freight and a variety of factors must be taken into consideration, to find the best for your needs.
Price fluctuations within the shipping industry are common and not always predictable. This is why it might be in your best interest to consult with PPLUS.
Bill of Lading (BOL) benefits everyone in the shipping of freight. It acts as a contract of carriage and can hold up if legal issues come up.
The basics that are on a bill of lading are pickup and delivery addresses, contact information, total weight, piece count, freight class, NMFC code, additional services, special instructions, commodity description, freight dimensions, billing party information, and shipping/purchase order numbers.
It can include other information that is critical to the shipment or destination. For example, always include the freight description on the bill of lading. Not only does this help when it comes to classification, but it can also determine how the freight is handled, loaded, and packed by the carrier. It can help keep your freight from being damaged.
The timing of pickup and delivery windows is crucial when shipping. Some destinations offer delivery windows while some require appointments. However, most of all, it is important to know if the destination has specific times to receive the shipment. If the delivery driver has to make a second attempt, not only will it cause a delay in delivery, but an additional fee will be charged, an accessorial fee.
Predicting what Mother Nature has in store is not always easy or definite. Winter weather, storms, and earthquakes can have an adverse effect on the shipping industry, and it trickles down to the retailers and consumers. Whether you are in an area that is affected or not, the effects are felt worldwide.
PPLUS uses the most accurate weather information to re-route and stay ahead of winter to ensure the smallest amount of profit loss for everyone. While nothing is guaranteed, having a plan can help take the stress out.
Do you know which method of shipping is best for your freight? Are you confident you are minimizing your expedited shipping costs? Do you have all the documentation filled out correctly and accurately? Do you have logistics management plans for emergencies and weather?
At Performance Plus Global Logistics, we understand all the options and how best to get your freight to its final destination, on time and cost-effectively.