Category Archives: Matrix Transportation

Efficient Shipping During the Busy Holiday Season

We all know that Santa’s sleigh is the most efficient way to deliver freight but of course that can’t happen but once a year. On a serious note, the holidays are a busy time of year for shipping freight and it is the perfect time to review your current shipping regimen to avoid stress during this busy time of year.

Great freight shipping services are about preparation and management.  It is crucial to avoid issues in shipping and those that can’t be avoided are addressed quickly to avoid delays.  This is especially true during peak times when there is an increase in the volume of shipments.  Increases in volume can often lead to challenges that are new and unexpected.  This happens in many businesses not just those shipping freight.

Here are some of the major considerations when shipping from large shipments of freight to small e-commerce shipments.

Historical Freight Trends and Shipping Forecasts

Anyone that has been running a business that ships freight, big or small, should understand the shipping process.  There is no reason to go into a busy shipping season unprepared.  You can prepare yourself by simply looking into previous year’s sales and shipping records and your growth as a business to forecast what they should expect.

Newer companies do not have this luxury.  They have not had the experience a busy holiday season to prepare them for what’s to come.  This can be quite the uphill battle.  New businesses must take into consideration the increase in shipping volumes, the frequency of shipments, and destination delivery expectations.

In order to get a sense for what you can expect, take a look at the busiest time period of your company that you have experienced and prepare yourself for something similar.  Make sure to consider if your goods are something that make a great Christmas gift, if so, the shipping surge could be even greater.  Expect this surge in sales.

Shipping Cutoff Times

Many times, online shoppers can be quite cautious when making purchases during the holiday season to ensure the product will arrive in plenty of time. Make your shipping cut off dates and delivery schedule well known on your website.  Without this information front and center many times buyers will shy away.  Buyers are looking for assurance that their presents will arrive in time for the holiday.

Take time to post your shipping schedule and cut off times on your company’s blog, newsletter, and social media platforms.

Tunnel Vision

Many times, we get caught up in the way things have always been done and are afraid to change.  This occurs all the time between shippers and the way that they ship freight.  Often times the cost of freight is fixed when you use the same freight provider.    It is important not to get stuck in the way that things were always done and instead carefully consider your choices.  You need to evaluate your shipping factors from the size of the shipments including the height, length, width, and weight.  Analyze these factors carefully and make a shipping decision based on all the available options.  What is right for your business may not be what you have always done but in fact could be something new. Choose the shipping option that is best for you.

Online shipping services can enhance your shipping experience.  Take into consideration if the freight carrier you are looking into have online capabilities.  These may include: tracking features, optimization features for both time and money, enhanced productivity, and faster deliveries.

Matrix Transportation is the fastest growing freight transport company in the Midwest, founded in 2009.  As an up and coming industry leader in freight management including shipping, warehousing, and cross docking services with the highest quality transportation solutions for the manufacturing and automotive industries. More information can be found at http://www.matrixtransportation.com/.

Reduce the Cost of Shipping Freight with These Strategies

There is an assumption when it comes to shipping freight and costs associated with it that prices are set in stone and there really isn’t anything you can do to change it.  Just because your company has always shipped in the manner that they do does not mean that there isn’t a better way out there to do it. Technology has come along way since many business’s integrated their shipping process into the supply chain.   It may just be time to reevaluate the way in which your company ships freight.

Reducing Freight Costs

Night Time Fright Pick Ups –

Scheduling freight picks up after regular business hours can save a business upwards of 50%.  This is a relatively simple change that can be put into place and works well for companies that have more than one shift.  Freight companies are on the go 24/7 with most of their pickups and deliveries during normal business hours.  Offering pickups at night allows shippers to free up some of that precious daytime schedule.

Contract Steady Lane Volume –

Anytime you can guarantee, in the form of a contract, shipments, carriers are more likely to cut you a deal.  When a carrier can build their schedule around guaranteed shipments, allowing for increased efficiency it benefits both of you.  Carriers are more likely to make room on shipments for loyal customers with contracts in place.

Off-Peak Ship Days:

Who knew that the day you send your shipment could affect the price you pay, but it does.  Fridays and Mondays are both considered off days for shipping freight.  Most companies want their shipments to be in place by Thursday in order to allow for them to be shelved by the weekend.  Monday is another light day for carriers and a good day to ship if your company is looking to save money on freight.  Off-peak shipping may not be an option for fresh goods however for non-consumer goods it is a good option.

Develop Relationships –

Don’t Fall for Special Introductory Rates:  It may be tempting to be a rate jumper but in actuality it can hurt you a great deal because you never have time to develop a relationship with the carrier.  Severing relationships with new carriers each and every year is not the best approach.  A better option is to create a long-term relationship with your carrier.  This allows you, the shipper to create a strategic, long-term relationship with their carriers.  Longer term contracts offer benefits for both carriers and shippers.

Matrix Transportation is the fastest growing freight transport company in the Midwest, founded in 2009.  As an up and coming industry leader in freight management including shipping, warehousing, and cross docking services with the highest quality transportation solutions for the manufacturing and automotive industries. More information can be found at http://www.matrixtransportation.com/.

Strategies That Reduce Freight Costs

Ship only on off-peak days –

Consider using traditionally off-peak shipping days to have your product picked up by your carrier to save money per shipment. Only consider it if it is not going to cause any issues with your customers.

 

For smaller shipment consider using a consolidation program –

LTL shipments can be considerably expensive since they are much smaller than a TL shipment. There are, however, ways to consolidate smaller shipments with other local businesses to create one large, TL and each partner only pays for a smaller portion of the total freight charge. This is a perfect arrangement for all parties involved.

 

Develop long-term agreements with freight shipping –

Instead of always looking for a cheaper freight carrier, consider establishing long-term contracts with your freight carriers to get them to offer you a better rate.

 

Changing your shipping lead times –

By adding extra time to lead time that you give to your customers you should be able to find a cheaper carrier that will still get your customer their product and you potentially end up paying less.

 

Reduce unnecessary weight per pallet –

Try not to use too much unnecessary packing material to convince yourself that it is going to be less likely to get damaged it has all that extra stuff on it.

 

Reduce the number of pallets used on LTL ships –

When it comes to your LTL shipment your carrier will likely offer a lower rate if you have a smaller number of pallets. This may require some creative pallet loading and unbox to accomplish this.

 

Show the carrier that your company loads trucks quickly –

It is typical for a carrier to set aside a two-hour window for loading out a truck when they make their scheduling of pickups. If you are one of those businesses that consistently load their truck quickly, it is possible that you can be given a favorable freight shipping rate.

 

Use night pick hours as ways to use backhaul opportunities with certain carries –

You can offer your carrier to arrive after hours when it might be more convenient (backhaul situation) to arrive after the dock would typically be closed and there would potentially be a way to save money.

 

Change how you ship the product to move more product, but less often –

If you currently have agreements with customers to ship products in small size shipments, you should consider incentivizing them to take accept larger shipments less frequently. This will help to reduce your overall freight shipping costs.

Use a carrier located close to where you are shipping to –

Using a local carrier that is nearby your ship to location should allow the carrier to offer you a lower rate since your shipment will likely be considered a backhaul. This will make it possible for the carrier to fill empty hours for one of their trucks heading back to their facility. This should result is a much lower shipping rate and therefore save a considerable amount of money.

 

Matrix Transportation is the fastest growing freight transport company in the Midwest, founded in 2009.  As an up and coming industry leader in freight management including shipping, warehousing, and cross docking services with the highest quality transportation solutions for the manufacturing and automotive industries. More information can be found at http://www.matrixtransportation.com/.

Difference Between Freight Forwards and Freight Carrier

Among other businesses manufacturing companies often need to ship their products to warehouses and to market. If you have a new business that ships freight as part of your business, you may be wondering whether you should hire a freight carrier service or a freight forwarder to get your goods to market. To decide which type of company to choose when shipping your freight, you need to know the difference between freight forwarders and freight carriers.

 

A freight forwarder is company that works as a middle man between the company needing to ship the product and the freight trucking company that carries the freight. They arrange for various companies to haul your goods from point A to B sometimes involving several different freight carrier services to transport your goods.

A freight carrier on the other hand is the company that hauls your freight from point A to point B. While both types of companies will get your goods where they need to go there are some benefits to you working with the freight carrier service directly.

 

These benefits include:

Cutting Out the Middle Man

When hiring a freight forwarder, you often pay more money to ship your goods because you need to pay the freight trucking company’s cost for hauling your goods and pay an addition fee to the forwarder for arranging for the hauling of your freight. Over the course of a year this can end up costing your hundreds if not thousands of dollars more to ship your goods. You have no control over the freight carrier service the forwarder selects and less control of amount of your shipping costs. By cutting out the middle man and hiring the freight trucking company yourself you likely will end up paying less to get your goods to market.

 

Ability to Negotiate Shipping Rates Yourself

 

By dealing with the freight carrier Service directly you are able to negotiate yourself for a better rate than you might otherwise get. Since cost is a large part of doing business having more control over your shipping costs may make the difference between success of your business or its failure. Depending on the amount of goods you need to ship you can often negotiate much better rates than you get through a Freight Forwarder.

 

You Can Choose A Company You Trust

 

Another important benefit of hiring the freight carrier service yourself is that you can choose the company of your choice and one that you trust. You also have the ability of forming an excellent working relationship with a specific freight trucking and building a relationship of trust and may be able to form a relationship where the Freight carrier service comes to depend on your business and will go the extra mile to see that your goods are delivered on time.

While both the freight forwards and the freight carrier will get your goods to market, hiring a freight carrier service yourself to hire your goods has some distinct benefits.

 

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.

 

Balancing Different Types of Trucking Services with Shippers Needs

All trucking companies work differently, but at the end of the day, they should all have one goal in mind.  That goal should be fulfilling the needs of the shippers that use their services.  Some shippers may only need to send small packages, while others need the assistance of freight shipping services to get their hauls from one end of the country to the other.

Those completely different needs of shippers require all trucking companies to create a balance between their types of trucking services, so that they always have what their customers want and need.  Of course, that balancing act is never an easy process, but trucking companies can create ways to make it work.

Since shippers like to know when their packages are being picked up and delivered, one of the best things that trucking companies can do is create a schedule that works for practically everyone.  By having specific drop-off and pick-up times and understanding what types of packages are going in and out every day, trucking companies will have an easier time balancing their trucking services.

Most trucking companies love to plan ahead, and create contingency plans as well, so that they are prepared for the unexpected.  That way, a broken-down truck, a late driver, or an additional package will not derail every aspect of the plan.  Instead, trucking companies can simply switch to a back-up plan that is already in place and keep everything on time and running smoothly.

After a while, trucking companies have an idea of the volume that they are dealing with every day and what types of packages that volume is broken down into.  Of course, that volume will change throughout the course of the year, with the holiday season being busier than say the month of February, but successful trucking companies will know their volume for every season.

By knowing the predicted volume, trucking companies can plan on which trucks they need in what areas when.  That will alleviate any issues of not having the trucking service that is needed, because that trucking service is halfway across another state.  Instead, trucking companies will always be prepared to move any type of package to where it needs to go in a timely manner, which will keep all their shippers happy.

Successful trucking companies will also work closely with the shippers that utilize their services, so that they can be informed of an upcoming shipping need that is out of the ordinary.  That will ensure that the trucking company will have the services in place in time and the shipper will not need to wait to send their items out.  Balance is key for almost anything nowadays, but never more so than in the world of trucking companies, where every minute counts.

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.

Cross Docking Logistic Services Help Support Your Business

Logistics is an important part of the business and it is the concept of getting products from point A to point B in the quickest possible moment. Depending on where you are in the supply chain is how cross-docking can benefit you and your business.

 

What is Cross Docking

Cross-docking is a supply chain process in that it helps manufacturers and bulk suppliers get their product into the supply chain much faster. The product arrives at one side of the building and it is immediately unloaded and moved directly to the outbound side of the building ready to be loaded onto an outbound truck that is headed in the same location. This helps to consolidate loads and cuts down on expensive LTL shipping cost.

 

Benefits of Cross Docking

Gets the product to market faster – The use of cross-docking helps to improve efficiency in moving product to market faster. By turning around shipment quicker and less handling of the product also helps to speed up efficiency in shipping. The process can be used in both durable goods and those types of products that require refrigeration. It can be useful in the shipping of higher value items that normally need special security consideration.

 

Lowers over shipping cost – Cross docking cuts down on a number things like labor cost through, a smaller warehouse footprint so that you don’t need as much space. It also can help to consolidate several LTL shipments into a single shipment. You also eliminate having to rotate product and having inventory which saves money.

 

Improved service levels – Cross docking can be extremely useful when there is a call for a change in a shipment, this can make any changes downstream a lot easier since shipment arrives in bulk. The shipment is repacked in a container and shipped out to their final destinations. This process helps to speed up the entire supply chain, in turn, help all businesses across the board.

 

Downsides to Cross Docking

Cross-docking does not work especially well in all circumstances and it helps to know when those times are when trying to determine if it fits in with your logistical needs. Here are just a few examples of when it might not be a good fit for crossing docking shipments.  It requires a lot of management time to organize all of the movement of product and all of the planning that goes into can make it counterproductive under some circumstances.  Establishing a cross-docking terminal structure can be time-consuming and the capital expenditures need to be considered ahead of time.

 

Not all suppliers are able to support across dock setup and that could throw a monkey wrench into your operation having to have an alternative system in order to support the supplier’s needs.

In support of an efficient cross dock system, there has to be an adequate number of trucks to move the product in and out fast enough to support such a system.

 

It really works well with mainly high-volume products that break down well and can be repackaged for quicker shipments. In order for a cross-docking arrangement to work the supplier has to reliable enough to get their product to you in order to be able to turn it around fast enough.

 

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.

 

 

 

The Difference Between Parcel Shipping and LTL Shipping

On paper, parcel and less than truckload shipping may seem similar. However, there are plenty of differences between the two. Wondering what these differences are? You will find your answers in this post.

Size of the Package

Also known as LTL trucking, less than truckload shipping generally carries large packages. Hence, if you have a bulky package, LTL shipping is a better option for you out of the two. On the other hand, parcel shipping is preferred by many people for smaller and lightweight packages.

Damage Risk Factor

Another differentiating factor between the two options is the risk of damage. With LTL trucking, the risk is relatively lower since there are limited check-ins as they are bulky. Thus, fewer hands on the packages and ultimately fewer chances of damage. However, it depends on freight trucking specialists who are at the helm of shipping parcels.

Cost-Efficient

Parcel shipping is considered to be more a cost-efficient way to ship goods. The major reason why LTL trucking rates are higher is their bulky size. They end up consuming more space; thus, the more charges are applied by the freight trucking specialists. There is no such issue with parcel shipping; therefore, charges are generally lower.

Easy Tracking

With parcel shipping, there is an added benefit of easy tracking. This is due to the fact that there are different checkpoints through which packages in a parcel shipping method have to go through. Hence, it is easy to locate the parcel when it is in the shipping phase.

Risk of Losing a Parcel

The risk of losing the package is greater in case of parcel shipping. As parcels are less than 150 pounds, they can easily be misplaced or lost. On the other hand, no such issue is associated with LTL shipping. The parcels in LTL shipping, as stated above, are generally bulky. They need assistance to be carried, unlike parcel shipping. Therefore, the chances of losing a package are quite fewer with LTL shipping.

The Shape of the Parcel

If you have packages in a unique shape, it is recommended to go for LTL shipping. The reason behind this recommendation is that LTL carriers generally use forklifts instead of conveyor belts. On conveyor belts, oddly shaped packages are often at the risk of falling off the belt. Hence, they can sustain damages.

Technological Advancement

When it comes to technological advanced, parcel shipping has surged ahead of LTL shipping. It is more automated; the process of carrying goods is more streamlined.

Chances of Delay

Chances of delay are more in case of parcel shipping. This is because packages are initially loaded onto pallets. Then, they are distributed into small trunks. These trunks then reach a delivery van from where they are sent to the recipients.

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.

 

Taking the Unknown Out of LTL Freight Shipping

LTL freight shipping or less-than-truckload shipping is a way of transportation used for carrying products from one place to another which do not fill the space of the container or tuck fully. LTL trucking is good for small and large businesses equally which do not require to load the truck fully. Through this system they can pool in money like a “carpool”, according to the number of products that they want transported without having to fill the truck space fully. It is cost effective and goods are moved efficiently by LTL carriers which optimized their load.

There are many companies who provide services as freight trucking specialists. These companies help you to find the right carrier for your goods transportation but also make sure that your goods have been reached safely to the destination.

Pricing of LTL Freight

The freight trucking specialists will make parcels packages of your products and will determine how much it will cost to transport the load from point A to point B according to the following five factors:

  • The total weight of your shipment
  • Total size of your shipment
  • The total distance the carrier is travelling
  • The type of service or type of speed of the delivery
  • Freight class; which is based on the goods transported or their shipment size

Benefits of LTL Shipment

LTL trucking has several benefits due to its efficient delivery and speedy service.

  1. Cost Effectiveness

In LTL trucking, you can save unnecessary expenditure as you will only pay for space your load is occupying. In this way you will not have to pay the extra amount which is required in FTL trucking.

  1. Beneficial For Small Business

Small businesses require the transportation services for moving fewer goods than large business and tend to spend less on the transportation charges. That is why they can avail services from freight trucking specialists to cut the cost of paying for spaces that they don’t require.

  1. Environmentally Friendly

The trucks produce fewer emissions as the trucks are fully loaded in LTL trucking. Fewer trucks are required on the move rather than a lot of half or partially filled FTL trucks. Thus, it results in a positive impact on the environment.

Services Provided by Freight Trucking Specialists

There are several stages in the process of transporting the load from one place to another. The freight trucking specialists not only meet a single logistic need but can also improve the transportation program of your company. They provide services for:

  • Booking your shipments
  • Finding the most suitable carrier for your load
  • Making sure that you get the best rates
  • Speedy delivery of your goods
  • Providing tracking and tracing services
  • Providing delivery flexibility to any location
  • Assisting in customs clearance in case of cross country deliver
  • Providing trained drivers for safe transport and delivery of your goods

LTL trucking gives you a much faster and cost-effective solution for the transportation needs of your company. We hope this article gives you an understanding to LTL freight trucking. For any further information feel free to contact us.

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.

 

The Lowest Bid Might Not Always Be The Right Choice

Do you ever wonder why some freight trucking companies are profitable? It takes more than knowing how to choose a good route or having the best drivers who know a trick or two about making prompt deliveries. The trucking business is incredibly competitive, and aside from having the right equipment for your company, the smart way to run such a business is to use load boards because they are not only extremely competitive, but it’s also the one way to get quality customers.

Individuals that operate freight trucking companies also know the importance of keeping on top of their expenses in the way of maintenance, truck repairs, truck and trailer payments, fuel, and the cost of their work. Therefore, they must be able to bid low enough to be competitive, but high enough to be profitable and remain relevant in their line of work.

It can be challenging to compete for jobs against other lower-biding freight trucking companies and still keep estimates at a reasonable rate. Low bids can mean anything from shipping delays, safety violations, low-quality products, all which can affect the profitability and reputation of freight trucking companies. With costs like fuel increasing every other minute, expenses can get ahead of revenues, and FTL trucking companies must always look for innovative ways to improve their cash flow to prevent issues like running out of cash-flow or the inability to pull loads until clients start paying.

Choosing low bids may prevent competitors from stealing your customers for some time, and it may also be beneficial, especially for a novice contractor that needs to build their client base, but lower bids can also tell a client a lot about how you are likely to perform and deliver in the long-term. A client may see it as your way of short-changing them in the future should the need arise where you can deliver on your promises. The lowest bids could also mean that customers don’t get additional services when they need them such as on-going support or after-sale services.

The FTL trucking business runs on efficiency and customers need to know that freight trucking companies will always deliver their goods, regardless of the bid (high or low) even in the worst of time. Therefore, bids should be just right in order to prevent the costs of deadhead miles outweighing profits.

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.

 

 

Steps In Choosing The Right Freight Company

Your products need to get to their destination and unless you have your own trucks or shipping company, you’re most likely going to use a third-party freight company. With so many out there these days, finding the right one can be overwhelming and frustrating. You want to make sure that you choose the right freight transport company to handle your goods with care and get them to their destination on time. In order to help you with your search, here are some tips on how to choose the right freight company for the job:

Understanding the Freight Services, You Need

In order to find the right freight company, you’ll have to first understand what sort of freight services are needed in order to choose the one that best fits in with your needs. You’ll have to determine your transportation preference, if you’ll need and specific services and all the details of what you plan to ship before you contact a company. Put together a list of things you want like time frame, speed delivery, special packaging and more so that you’re clear on your needs.

Take Time to Research the Industry

By doing a bit of research on the freight services industry, you’ll be able to understand better what a freight transportation company will and won’t do for you. The research will help you understand various industry terms and regulations that will impact your choice of what company to go with.

Trust Your Gut to Go with Experience

When looking for freight services, you’ll want to go with a company that not only offers a great price, but also has years of experience in the industry. When a company has experience, they know how to handle packages and what it means to provide excellent customer service since they’ve been doing it for so long. If you can, get references to help you make your decision based on what others have said or experienced with that company.

Look for Great Customer Service

The right freight company is the one that will provide the best customers service. You want to make sure the company will communicate well with your about the service from the day they get your goods to the day they deliver them.

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.