Business owners are often neck-deep in a variety of logistical puzzles. Supply chain management is one of those operational tasks that can weigh heavily on your shoulders if you don’t understand its full scope. Everyone is trying to tighten their operations in the current economic climate, and understanding freight management can go a long way to help you economize.
Companies of all sizes can leverage various logistical freight solutions to save money, improve the customer experience, and build increased agility within their supply chain operations. In this article, we’ll discuss what freight management is, the process steps, and how you can get started with a streamlined solution.
What Is a Freight Management System?
The process of organizing inbound and outbound goods before transportation is what freight management is all about. The freight management system, on the other hand, is more specific. It involves seeing that the right products reach the correct destination—within their allotted time frame and at the right price.
Freight management is arranging many components in an extensive system for a smooth and efficient operation. A freight management system is what organizations use to coordinate the process between all necessary parties. These parties can include:
An effective freight management system aims to prepare, store, ship, and receive goods. Ideally, you want to do so in a way that delivers your cargo to its destination safely and on time while maximizing all relevant resources.
What Does “Freight” Mean in Logistics?
For logistics, we can define freight in three different ways:
- Goods transported via land, rail, air, or water
- The amount an organization pays for cargo transportation
- A combination of transportation systems
What Are Freight Transportation Types?
The four main types of freight transportation are road, rail, ocean, and air. Familiarizing yourself with these transportation modes can be beneficial when negotiating with carriers.
Many shippers primarily focus on ground transportation that includes these two types:
- Less-than-truckload (LTL) designates cargo that only takes up part of a truck. This mode allows you to economize by partnering with other shippers.
- Full-truckload (FTL) is when goods fill an entire truck dedicated to your cargo exclusively.
5 Steps in the Freight Management Process
Understanding what freight management is allows you to see that it’s rarely a simple process. It requires expertise to get everything right every time. These are the five steps of freight management:
1. Selecting a Carrier
Carrier selection is critical to the overall operation. When you work with a third-party carrier, you want to make sure their rates are as reasonable as possible. You should also partner with shippers featuring adequate security and reliability.
2. Optimizing the Route
Optimizing your shipping route means selecting the appropriate transportation method for your products. You can then choose the most cost-effective, quickest, and safest way.
3. Managing Documentation and Regulations
Many business owners learn the hard way that the shipment of goods relies heavily on documentation. It’s also highly regulated, so you must ensure you have all the relevant information compiled and that your processes comply with government regulations.
4. Tracking Shipments
Tracking the location of shipments at any point in the route is more important now than ever. Customers want visibility with their orders, and your operations team needs to know the real-time location of your cargo.
5. Collecting and Analyzing Data
As with all areas of business, collecting and analyzing data is essential. With new technologies and software, it’s easier than ever to leverage data and create actionable strategies.
Why Is Freight Management Important?
You want to provide an outstanding experience for your customers, so you want to ensure they receive their products from you promptly, efficiently, and consistently. Managing your freight system is a crucial part of superior service. If everything runs smoothly, you can rest assured that you’re providing value to your customer.
That’s why partnering with an expert freight management service provider is vital. You may try to do it yourself, but regarding freight management, it’s better to trust professionals.
Start Managing Your Freight Today with Mesa Logistics
Customers expect on-time deliveries at low costs, making it more challenging than ever for business owners to streamline their freight processes. The industry continues to evolve, and there are many resources available to help you simplify the process.
Mesa Logistics can help manage your organization’s freight systems and economize your logistical operations. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for your business.