Freight is one of the most critical parts of a product-based industry. Materials, machinery, and other physical goods are all delivered through freight services, whether it is in-house or through third-party logistics. Manufacturers often rely on inbound freight to transport all the materials and machinery they need to produce their products.
This is why your inbound freight management must be smooth and foolproof. One error can cause significant delays, fines, and other expensive fees.
So how do you optimize inbound freight management? Why should you optimize your inbound freight management? How do you create a streamlined process for your inbound freight management?
What is Inbound Freight?
Inbound freight refers to the delivery of raw materials and goods into a business. These materials are then used to create the products sold to consumers.
Your systems for inbound freight must be as seamless as possible. Your raw materials must arrive on time, intact, and in the right volumes. Otherwise, your business could suffer delays and hinder your productivity. We can even argue that inbound freight is the lifeblood of your company.
Benefits of Inbound Freight Management
At face value, investing in inbound freight management can look like an unnecessary expense.
You might even think managing your inbound freight is better than outsourcing it to freight service providers. That may be true for some businesses, but perhaps that won’t be your best move.
There are many benefits to relying on experts for your inbound freight management. Here are a few:
- Improve your supply chain reliability
- Improve your relationships with vendors
- Lower risks of unfair vendor practices
- Better inventory management
- Improved customer satisfaction and relations
- Faster information relay regarding freight issues or delays
- Save more on freight costs
These are only a few examples of why you should be investing in inbound freight management. Raw materials are the most crucial part of creating your product. Without them, you would not be able to meet customer demands.
Yes, setting up an efficient inbound freight management system can be challenging, but it has many benefits that you should not take lightly.
How to Create an Effective Inbound Freight Management Strategy
To ensure that your inbound freight systems are seamless and efficient, you will have to pour time and energy into implementing the new processes into your business.
Not to worry, we will help you get started. Here are some tips on how you can create an effective inbound freight management system:
Utilize A TMS
A TMS, or transportation management system, is a platform used in logistics that provides data about day-to-day transportation operations, trade compliance, and documentation. This system also ensures the timely delivery of your goods.
Using TMS allows you to streamline your transportation operations. This way, tracking and tracing the movement of raw materials that are delivered to your business is easier.
Consolidate to Full Truckload (FTL) If Possible
Full truckload shipping, or FTL, is when businesses pay for the entire truckload. Meaning they are not sharing the space or flatbed of the truck with other businesses.
While this might be pricier than LTL shipping, wherein you share the truck space with goods from other businesses, it can be a more strategic investment if you are dealing with time-sensitive products.
Inbound freight is one of the best times to use FTL. You reduce costs by avoiding accessorial fees, do not need to do any freight classification, and enjoy more prompt deliveries, as your truck will not make any stops to drop off other goods.
Work With Reliable Carriers
The FTL and LTL carriers you choose to work with should be reliable and consistent. Not only does this save you from delays and unnecessary expenses, but it also improves efficiency.
If raw goods are delivered on time and without any damages or missing inventory, you can head straight to the manufacturing of your products.
The faster you can finish the manufacturing process, the faster your goods get on your retailers’ shelves. Because your inbound systems are running with 100% efficiency, you can now focus on more essential matters in your company.
One effective way to find reliable carriers is to check out GoShip.com’s list of partners!
Create Relationships with Carriers
Fostering genuine, long-term business relationships with your LTL and FTL carriers will give you access to offers and deals that can save you money in freight costs.
Plus, the more closely you work with your freight provider, the better they know about your business and how to help you meet the demands of your clients – thus growing your sales margins and improving customer experience.
Here are some of the best ways you can foster your relationship with freight providers:
- Schedule quarterly meetings with your freight providers to discuss rates, new strategies, etc.
- Exercise patience when asking freight providers to take on new lanes. They will need time to adjust and plan how to accommodate your needs.
- Communicate in a timely manner. If you have any concerns, questions, or requests, inform your carriers as soon as possible. Make sure everyone involved in freight management is in the loop about any possible changes.
Implementing a new system can take time. So do not be too concerned if you and your staff are experiencing some “growth pains” as you create better ways to manage your inbound freight.
Build Your Carrier Network with GoShip
Forming genuine, long-term relationships with LTL shipping providers is crucial for great deals on inbound freight management. This also ensures that you are always getting only the best services that will help you keep your business running smoothly.
Get access to the top LTL and FTL shipping services through GoShip.com’s partners. Visit our website now!