Effective freight management is crucial for the success of any business that involves the transportation of goods. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of freight management and how they can be optimized to streamline logistics, lower costs, and ensure timely delivery.
What is Freight Management?
Freight management is the process of planning, organizing, and overseeing the transportation and delivery of goods or cargo. Any company, regardless of size, that produces physical goods has an interest in moving their products from point of origin to final destination on time, in good order and at the lowest possible cost.
Managing this process includes the coordination of various logistics activities such as freight forwarding, tracking, customs clearance, warehousing and distribution, and transportation planning.
Freight management also involves the negotiation and selection of transportation providers, the management of inventory and shipments, and the implementation of cost-saving strategies.
As stated, the ultimate goal of freight management is to ensure the timely and efficient delivery of goods while minimizing costs and maximizing efficiency.
The Benefits of Freight Management
Freight management services are an important aspect to any business. These services help ensure that goods are delivered on time and cost-effectively. Just as systems continue to improve to meet demand, the importance of well-organized freight management continues to increase over time. According to GlobeNewswire, the industry is predicted to grow to an estimated value of $21.13 billion by 2030 globally.
As an essential lever used to move the global economy forward, this service is utilized by the smallest to the largest of corporations to ensure goods safely reach their destination.
Businesses can benefit from using a freight management system in several ways:
- Cost savings: A freight management system can help small businesses negotiate better rates with carriers and find the most cost-effective shipping options. This can lead to significant cost savings for small businesses over time.
- Improved efficiency: A freight management system can automate many of the manual processes involved in freight management, such as tracking, scheduling, and documentation. This can lead to improved efficiency and less time spent on administrative tasks.
- Better tracking and visibility: A freight management system can provide real-time visibility into the status of shipments, allowing small businesses to better track and monitor their goods in transit. This can help with inventory management and customer service.
- Increased flexibility: A freight management system can help small businesses quickly adjust their shipping options and routes in response to changes in demand or disruptions.
- Compliance: A freight management system can help small businesses stay compliant with regulations and laws related to freight management, such as customs clearance and hazardous materials handling.
- Scalability: A freight management system can help small businesses scale their operations as they grow, allowing them to handle more shipments and larger volumes of goods without adding additional staff.
- Better supplier and carrier management: A freight management system allows small businesses to have better control over their carrier and supplier performance, by analyzing the data and identifying the bottlenecks, delays and inefficiencies.
Additionally, there are more intricate parts of freight management, each with its own benefit towards lowering costs and optimizing operations. Some of these integrated services include:
- Load planning
- Route, schedule and transport optimization
- Multimodal and intermodal optimization
- Vehicle tracking using GPS
- Tracking and tracing shipments
- Using barcodes and RFID for package tracking
- Tariffs and regulations management
- Claim management
- Data collection, analytics and reporting
Overall, a freight management system can help small businesses optimize their logistics operations and improve their bottom line.
Different Types of Freight
There are several different types of freight, each with its own unique characteristics and challenges. Some of the most common types of freight include:
- Less-than-Truckload (LTL) – This type of freight is made up of multiple smaller shipments that are consolidated onto one truck for transport. It is typically used for smaller shipments that do not require a full truckload.
- Full Truckload (FTL) – This type of freight is when a single customer books an entire truck to transport their goods. It is typically used for larger shipments that require a full truckload.
- Air Freight – This type of freight is when goods are shipped by air, typically for time-sensitive or high-value items.
- Ocean Freight – This type of freight is when goods are shipped by sea, typically for large or heavy items, or for international trade.
- Rail Freight – This type of freight is when goods are shipped by train, typically for large quantities of bulk cargo or for long-distance transportation
- Special Equipment – This type of freight is when goods are shipped using specialized equipment such as refrigerated containers, flatbeds, or over-dimensional loads.
- Hazardous Materials – This type of freight is when goods are shipped that are classified as hazardous materials and require special handling, packaging, and transportation regulations.
- Dangerous Goods – This type of freight is similar to hazardous materials but has more strict regulations and requirement for special handling, packaging, and transportation.
How Freight Relates to Logistics
Freight and logistics are closely related as they both involve the planning, coordination, and execution of the transportation and delivery of goods.
Freight specifically refers to the actual physical goods that are being transported, while logistics encompasses the broader systems, processes, and strategies involved in the movement of those goods.
Logistics includes freight management as a key aspect, but also encompasses other activities such as inventory management, warehousing, transportation planning and scheduling, customs clearance, and supply chain management. Third-party logistics providers (3PLs), often offer freight management services as part of their portfolio.
In summary, freight is a crucial component of logistics as it refers to the physical goods that need to be transported, while logistics is the overall process of planning, organizing, and overseeing the transportation and delivery of those goods.
Why are Freight Management Services Important For Businesses?
Most businesses are concerned about managing day-to-day operations that allow them to do what they do best. Unless your business is directly related to transportation, this means you shouldn’t have to worry about shipments. For example, in the middle of a busy week, the last thing you want is to have to scramble to make sure that your goods reached their destination.
You should have peace of mind with the right transportation management system in place that easily tracks and ensures products have reached your customers with the simple click of a button. Partnering with a reliable freight services provider such as The Brimich Group gives you this opportunity. It also provides the following benefits:
- Customer Satisfaction: Working with an organization that has expertise in logistics ensures your customers receive their shipments on time. With the right system in place, you and customers can track every shipment until it reaches its destination, leaving you and the customer satisfied with the overall process.
- Cost Effective: You can be sure of low freight rates from these firms. Since these companies handle in bulk, rates are lower and even negotiable depending on the amount of business you give them. The more business you provide, the lower your rates will be.
- Efficient and Time-saving: This goes especially for smaller businesses which don’t have the resources to handle freight properly. Going with a freight company streamlines the supply chain management aspect of your business. With their expertise, shipping will be one of the most efficient parts of your business as you will have all the technology and resources available for a smooth process.
- Detailed Tracking and Reporting: You will have access to state-of-the-art technology that will provide you with all the tracking and reporting information needed for every shipment, helping you maximize your business efficiency.
- Shipping Strategy for Your Business: The best part about freight handling services is the fact that you get a shipping strategy as per your business requirements. The company works with you in devising a custom strategy rather than try to fit your business into an existing mold. This service ensures that all your shipping requirements are met.
Additional Services Provided by Freight Management Companies
Besides transportation management systems, human resources, and expertise, there are additional services you get when opting for a reliable firm. Here are some optional services they also provide:
- Warehousing and distribution, taking care of your inventory, packaging, and labeling.
- Dealing with customs, since the process of either exporting or importing goods is quite lengthy and full of paperwork. The service provider will assist in the customs process making it much smoother for you.
- Providing insurance on your goods in case there is a mishap during the shipping process.
As a growing or established business, you no longer have to worry about shipping your goods. With reliable freight management companies, you can let the experts handle that process for you, so you focus on the continued growth of your business.
As an essential aspect of logistics, freight management ensures the timely and efficient delivery of goods while minimizing costs and maximizing efficiency. For small business, a freight management system can help automate processes, negotiate better rates with carriers, track and monitor shipments, adjust shipping options and routes, stay compliant with regulations, scale operations and have better control over supplier and carrier performance.
Overall, a freight management system can help small businesses optimize their logistics operations, improve customer service and increase their bottom line.
Need a freight management company you can count on? Contact Brimich today!