One of the best ways for companies to maximize profits is to employ the services of an experienced logistics company. The search for a reputable logistics firm should involve careful consideration of warehousing capabilities, international shipping expertise, and industry success. Ideally, logistics companies should have multiple years of supply chain experience and should be well versed on global shipping considerations.
The Significance of Warehousing Capabilities
The ability to provide an organized, climate-controlled environment for products is a major advantage offered by logistics companies. Supply chain activities occur within a shared environment, promoting efficiency. And it is important to note that warehouses provide much more than space required for product storage. Experienced logistics companies have procedures in place to receive, label, store, retrieve, package and ship products as quickly as possible. Specific procedures such as kitting are utilized to save time and maximize efficiency and customer satisfaction.
The Importance of International Shipping Experience
Anyone who has shipped products outside his or her own country recognizes how distinct international shipments are from domestic shipments. Shippers face a variety of requirements ranging from the need for export documentation to the need for special packaging materials and additional fees. A logistics firm with international shipping experience will be familiar with the following key elements of exporting products:
*Experience completing a commercial invoice
*Negotiation with freight companies
*Knowledge of height restrictions that may apply with air freight
*Experience with the container loading process
*Awareness of prohibited materials such as weapons or treated wood
*Experience with crating products for export by ocean container
The Importance of Experience and Industry Success
In addition to warehousing capabilities and familiarity with international shipping, a logistics organization should have a lengthy track record of proven success. When evaluating logistics companies, people should consider the following three factors:
*Total number of years in the logistics industry
*Client references (a minimum of three to five is preferable)
*Versatility (ability to handle large or challenging shipments)
The Power of References and Site Visits
Of these three factors, a company’s references may be the most significant indicator of dependability. When contacting a reference, people should inquire about the logistics company’s dependability, responsiveness, and ability to handle challenging situations. Whenever possible, a facility tour is recommended to evaluate the company’s ability to safely care for and manage inventory. Visitors should evaluate the company’s inventory control process, warehouse cleanliness, adherence to safety guidelines, and packaging processes.
Alternative Solutions to Consider
Some companies prefer to handle their own logistics and warehousing. When this is the case, it is helpful to enlist the guidance of expert supply chain consultants. A supply chain consultant will monitor a company’s logistics department, employees and processes to screen for inefficiencies or poor utilization of resources. For a reasonable fee, a consultant will provide valuable feedback that can help a company reduce costs and improve supply chain procedures. For more information, please visit 3PL Links.
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