Increase Your Profits With These Six Tips for Reducing Logistics Costs

In distributing consumer goods, transportation costs are a considerable part of the final product’s cost. This blog post will share some tips on how logistics costs can be reduced and what factors to consider when looking at logistics solutions.

1. Join Hands with other Shippers

The most straightforward solution for reducing shipping costs is to join hands with other companies. When working in collaboration, you can share the transport cost between your companies instead of paying them all yourself. This way, your products can be transported together and everyone benefits.

Collaborate with other shippers and send loads as one shipment. The best way to avoid trucking costs is by avoiding them together. You can do this by working closely with your suppliers and discussing the addition of some storage space at their location. This will help you reduce some of the cost of transporting materials to your production site, allowing you to utilize more local transportation and save money in the long run.

2. Fix Your Sales Data Systems

Having all of your sales data in one place, with correct and consistent information, will allow you to optimize the use of your transport vehicles. You can then plan freight shipments that most optimally serve your needs.

Integrating data from different systems can be time-consuming if it is not automated. Luckily, there are several certification solutions available that enable the integration of your data within minutes. You will even be able to visualize your data in real-time! This will allow you to make more informed decisions on how you should ship your products. It will also allow you to have more control over the entire shipping process.

3. Use Cross-Docking the Freight

Cross-docking is a process where products are directly transferred from the truck to storage and vice versa. This removes the need for unloading and reloading, which means less time will be spent on loading and unloading. Some benefits of this solution include reduced unloading times, easily accessible products, and more efficient storage because there is more space available.

4. Have a Packaging Unit in the Distribution Center

Having a packaging unit in the distribution center lets you pack and ship your products directly from stock. Doing so is more efficient than picking product and packing it on demand at the end of the order process, taking time and effort.

5. Minimize the Charge-backs You Face

If you are using a trucking company, they might charge you for some unwanted expenses. For example, it takes time to plan your shipments correctly to avoid unplanned additional costs such as unloading and reloading. You can avoid these extra charges by following these three steps:

– Use the correct equipment when moving your product

– Make sure you know exactly where your products need to go and how they need to be handled

– Communicate with the driver! Tell them what you want from them before they arrive so that you both have a clear understanding.

6. Increase Order Volumes

If you need a large volume of orders for your company to be profitable, then it is worth considering working directly with carriers. By doing this, you can negotiate cheaper rates and have more control over the shipment process. Working with direct carriers enables you to avoid paying the expensive brokerage fees associated with using third-party carriers.

If you can increase the number of shipped products, the transportation costs will also be reduced per product. You can easily do this by optimizing your supply chain process and planning more deliveries.

This steps are useful in helping you to reduce logistic cost. However, it is essential to consider all factors when looking at each step from a cost-benefit perspective. 

Why I Only Shop Online Nowadays

It is safe to say that this pandemic changed the way that our world is going to be for a long time in the future. Some people do not like to admit that COVID has become part of the new normal, but I believe that this is simply because they are scared of what that means for the future. In fact, I firmly believe that COVID will exist as a problem in my life and the world around me for at least the next 20 or 30 years to come.

While this is really frustrating and saddening to think about, I can imagine that it will just be like the flu or any other sickness that is part of life. However, the thing that I am unsure about is how it will affect in-store shopping and in-person events in the future. It is no secret that COVID really impacted the business world and in-person shopping last year when it was at its height. The government decided to step in and close any non-essential businesses in order to keep the virus from spreading a whole lot. While I am pretty sure that the government would most likely not do this again (since it will literally divide the nation apart and cause huge rioting and unrest), I do think that COVID will exist as a problem and will still impact different parts of the business world. 

With all that being said, I am confident going forward that I will be a huge proponent of online shopping and everything that entails the world of eCommerce. Most people like me started to order way more things online when the pandemic really started to take effect, since most people were either too scared to go outside to different stores or were just trying to avoid the madness that was taking place. Either way, it is safe to say that I found my fair share of cardboard boxes on my front porch last year. If you are not sure what I am referring to, I am talking about how many things I ordered online. I actually started ordering pretty much everything online sometime in the middle of the summer. Who would have thought that people like me would eventually order their groceries online to be delivered to their door? I certainly didn’t. However, you really cannot beat the convenience of having everything you could ever want showing up to your front door in cardboard boxes within 5 to 7 business days (or even more quickly sometimes!). As much as I am on board with hating on Jeff Bezos whenever possible, I have to admit that I spent a lot of time and money ordering things from Amazon. I mean, you really cannot beat those prices that they offer.

In addition to the prices, Amazon really has their shipping down. Their consistency is amazon. Furthermore, Amazon’s customer service is absolutely a game-changer. They are super willing to work with you and refund you or replace your items if there are any problems. As much as Jeff Bezos bothers me, I have to admit that the man runs a tight ship over at Amazon. I will most likely continue to order everything I need online, even if there is less of a threat from COVID in the future. You really can’t beat the convenience!

Packaging Your Product

Packaging products for process and delivery is a labor intensive process and can deal with fragile or sensitive items that need especial care to make travel ready. When packaging an ordered product for a customer, attention to these details will ensure the recipient is satisfied and both the product and shipping company’s receive repeat business.

 When processing a package for delivery, it can get managed by numerous hands and machines before even getting to the post office, so care must given to the package material used. For secured protection from jostling and rough conditions; use packing material to limit space for small or awkward items to move about and damage themselves. Tamper preventative tape can ensure the customers getting their product in mint condition and their privacy stays in tact. For especially fragile items, use of stronger material like wood for crating is suggested to counter the chance of damage while in route to its final destination.

 Packages may come in all shapes and sizes and some can be of less solid material or even be liquid. Think of the properties of the product and make decisions on what material to use. A product may require hazard labels if its found to be sensitive to certain conditions, or it may contain hazardous material such as metals or gases. Be especially aware of temperature sensitive items that may require refrigerated packaging and have a certain time window for delivery to avoid degradation. Taking these steps ahead of processing can save a lot of time and stress in the future.

 Not to be forgotten is the end of a packages journey when the customer opens their product for the first time. Be aware of the customers perspective and how they may interpret the item before them. If they need to open the packaging in a certain order, label plainly and clearly and always make a point to have the customers ease of stress in mind. While security is a priority, there’s not much fun in cutting through a mountain of tape for a small parcel. Customers rely on not only timing but convenience when they order from a company and keeping that trusts helps build relationship between buyer and seller that keeps business growing.

 The average company sells hundreds of thousands of products on a daily basis and over thousands of miles to buyers who rely on postal workers and the brand name they invest in to keep their purchase safe through its journey from store to the customers home. Taking proper precautions in packaging and handling ensures the quality of the product and keeps its worth after going through multiple hands. 

 Using the right materials in the proper procedures ensures the quality is maintained while the hardworking postal worker goes about their duties. Attention to labeling and wrapping safes hardship in the future and avoids a customer opening up their box to see a pile of pieces and a spoiled sense of trust in their preferred retailer. 

 When dealing with shipping matters and packaging in general, it would be preferable for company managers to go to experienced professionals with well versed processes in the handling of materials. Look in the local directory and consult with multiple sources before deciding on a delivery service provider for shipping and packaging needs and always be clear on getting the quality the customer appreciates.

How Packaging rationalization Cuts costs 

Some consumers and companies know about the rationalization of the stock-keeping units and how they’re used as a business tool.But do you know how it can help in the packaging operations area. SKU rationalization is about a merchant that evaluates the profitability of products to determine whether or not they should keep it to the shelves. The cost savings through packaging is a little bit different, and right now, it’s a process of reducing the number by looking at the dimensions and the characteristics of different finished packages. They do offer cost-saving options in some different ways. It allows brands to consolidate the packaging material the suppliers have and purchase fewer sizes and structures. It also gives them a chance to reduce the material on hand, reducing the KSU does offer better warehouse space. It also optimizes the utilization across manufacturing and packaging types f facilities. 

When to Do this 

The process for this is helpful whenever you want to do this, but you should do it when you have similar packages that have similar dimensions and other specifications. This might happen when companies get new product lines, since the are similar to the portfolio of the brand, and also when one company has similar products. A less common use of this is when a group that has the responsibilities for the packaging products that were not previously in the purview. But regardless of your reasoning, companies with different products that offer different kinds of packaging are prime candidates of this, since reducing the SKUs of this offers the brand some chances to optimize the packaging and also offer cost savings too. 

The Steps 

There are different steps hat happen during an SKU rationalization, so there are different scenarios that go into this too, especially if you’re grouping them with similar dimensions, and those made of similar materials. You should remember though that the start of this is the first step, and then you work down the list. It’s pretty much a cycle the brand can start, working through a few steps in a certain order, depending on what’s needed. 

First, you need to build lists of the different product groups that are consolidated, whether based on similar SKUs, or even just on similar materials or packaging. Look at the product line to get an understanding of this step and the similarity.Then group them based on the distribution environments and while it’s helpful to reduce the number of this, it’s not wise to combine packages that need refrigeration when it is shipped out at room temperature with other products. 

You also want to find ones that are good for SKU consolidation depending on the dimensions and weights. Review this again, and then figure out the material dimension consolidation list too. You also should look at the roll and cutoff length, especially for cartons and cases. Then, you can utilize the way that this is optimized in the lines, and where the greatest benefit will be. Also make sure that you leverage that information to decide the best opportunities to consolidate. Then of course, consider the impact of the packaging dimensions for products in the packaging and the distribution process. Think of this as the environment, and any changes and drawbacks which may or may not happen later on. Consolidating all of this can save you materials, and of course resources down at the production line and is something that can benefit so many companies, so it’s worth investing in if you think that it will help your packaging on different fronts as well too. 

A box saved my Dad’s truck

Last year was a really a fantastic year for weather.  I was able to enjoy being outside and it also hit perfectly for hunting season.  I am an avid outdoorsman and enjoy keeping our family woods in great shape.  I am a friend of conservation and keeping our land and the animals on it safe and healthy.  Now due to overpopulation of certain animals keepin our land healthy and safe actually means hunting regularly. If the Deer are not kept in control the crops that grow on our land get destroyed.  They are eaten and trampled by the excess deer and the damage is thousands of dollars every single year.  Sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage can be done if animals are left to roam freely. 

Last year I was able to have one of the best hunts of my life.  I was deer hunting and it was the second day.  I was borrowing my fathers truck because I needed a vehicle to move the deer if I ended up with one and my truck was getting worked on.  So this morning my dad was nice enough to let me go and drive out with his. 

It was like most days, I spend the morning in a tree stand and after that I decided to head back, but I wanted to do one last walk around the woods before I left.  So I decided to stalk the woods.  This is a slow walking of the woods making sure to not have the wind at my back and give my scent away.  This year the walk was worth it.  About 20 minutes in I had walked 200 yards and spotted the buck of a lifetime.  In my location in the country a large deer is around 150 lbs.  This Buck was 174 Lbs after being field dressed.  So I ended up stopping when I spotted him and took a perfect shot. 

It ended up being a great shot and he dropped right there.  I dragged him out of the woods and onto the field.  Now this year the woods drag was about 30 minutes of dragging a 200lb deer.  This is a big hard and I usually get them to the field and drive my truck to go and pick him up and take the deer to processing. This year the field was wet, and filled with clay and mud.  It was so thick that no truck or ATV would be able to make it through.  So I had to drag a 200lb deer across 250 yards of clay and mud.  Now my fathers truck was not lined in the bed.  That means that a wet, muddy, bloody deer would soak right into the bed and cause lots of rust issues. 

It took two hours to get the deer to the truck and I was beyond exhausted. I didn’t know what to do because if I put it in the truck bed it would destroy the bed.  Blood and mud and clay simply would cause rust problems and it was a big problem.  Luckily, inside behind the seats was about 4 cardboard boxes.  These cardboard boxes were the savior of my trip.  I was able to cut them up and line the entire bed of the truck. I popped the deer up on it and boom. It was a perfect safe fit.  With 4 layers of box the bed did not get touched by the, blood, clay, or mud.  What a day, what a hunt!

Using the Right Boxes Shopping

This year I have learned to shop a little differently.  The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed a whole lot of things and the progression of simply going outside has changed how we live.  Forgoing shopping I found that I had to change up all the normal routines in order to stay safe and that has changed a lot over the year.  It was not an easy task to learn to keep safe and also make sure that my family was safe as well.  I ended up changing stores and learning that boxes were a great way to help protect items and secure easier travel from location to location.

This all started when I decided to make my shopping all one-stop-shop.  I didn’ want to travel to many locations and also purchase food for only a week.  I decided that in order to cut down on possible COVID-19 exposure and just the fear of shopping in the wild with crazy people that I would shop at Costco and go only once a month.  This meant that I would need to make one big trip and get all that I needed. 

The first thing I Found out was that they don’t have bags. My friends told me that they had to carry all of their items out from the cart to the car and from the car to the home.  But then another friend said they had boxes that they could use to line your cart.  I decided this was the best way to protect my items from being touched or exposed to COVID-19 and also to carry when I was out of the store.  So I made sure to ask for boxes before I went shopping and every time they have been provided to me.  It was a really nice gesture and an easy way to get over the none use of bags at Costco.

Then I decided to make sure I would stack all of my items in the cart well.  Just be careful not to put all your items in mixed boxes.  Keep hot items with hot and cold with cold.  I ended up shopping and getting my favorite candy boxes mixed with a hot chicken and it melted all my candy boxes and left me with one heck of a mess when I got home.  This was a silly mistake on my part but just remember to separate the items out.  Now I would also suggest trying to be very careful in stacking your items so you don’t crush anything either.  When you shop for a month the weight of your cart gets much heavier than normal.  This means that you may have 100 lbs of products and eggs at the bottom simply won’t work.  Be careful not to ruin any items by having too much weight on them.

I have also found that in the stores I like to be very polite.  Fear is simply rampant in the United States and being paranoid and mean is simply not a good way to shop.  It is already not fun seeing scared people running around.  We also stopped wiping down all our items after we got home.  Turns out covid-19 dies when exposed to the sun, so just keep it in the sun for a minute on the way in and you are just fine.

Make your storage room great again

This year was a crazy time.  The covid-19 pandemic changed lots of things for our company.  This all took place right after we moved to a new facility.  We ended up with so many packaging crates filling our new office that it seemed a bit overwhelming.  We went from a multi office building to a open concept space and the crates filled it up.  So it was my goal to then take our new office and organise it into a wonderful place to work for us all.  Sometimes a storage room is the most important room because it can keep the rest of the work place uncluttered and that in itself can save so much trouble and mental pain for many people.

The storage room is the baine or love of an OCD individual.  We have many people that cannot work in messy spaces and it physically causes them pain to see things that are a mess.  For myself I knew that I needed to help accommodate them and in our new open concept office the mess these crates were going to create was immense.  So I figured the first step was to count every single item we had and make a list of it.

Having an inventory of our items was really important because it created a system for ordering things for the future and it created a great way to know what to order and how much because we started fresh with numbers we could calculate and work with in the future.  So each crate I opened I cataloged and then stored with cardboard boxes in our storage room.  I then market the products and quantity that was in each box. I then left lots of space on the cardboard boxes to let others change the quantity as they used or added to the box.  This allowed for the organization to get really fun.  It allowed us all to not only have a list of what we had but a visual reminder as well that something may be getting low and that is also a great way to keep those visual learners a way to know that we should order more of something.

It seems like such a small thing to keep the storage room organized and it took and entire day to do.  Some may think this was  a waste but it has allowed us to now for a whole year to be organized and keep up with our office supplies.  We have not ran out of anything and wee are all able to find things very easily and it has even been improved upon as we have gone on. It is small things like this that have allowed us to stay on top of difficult times and even stay sanitary.

During this time staying sanitary is important and if we all know exactly where things are we can get to them very easily and without touching lots of other things.  We clean up after ourselves and this is the best way to keep on top of the health and safety regulations that we need. Being safe with a mask, and making sure we use a pair of gloves in that room and then toss them is very important to us. So stay safe and organize well.