As a purchasing, traffic or operations manager dealing with regular transport of goods in bulk, you have to set a robust freight procurement plans for your business. Your goal is to ensure that your company’s freight reaches its destination safely, in time and at a reasonable cost.
If you want to ensure that you can achieve this primary goal, start by sending a Request for Proposal (RFP) and go over rounds of quotes before you settle for a particular service provider. To reach your goals, you have to find a highly reliable third-party logistic (3PL) and shipper to work out. This means ensuring that the 3PL is qualified and can commit to perform at a relatively low cost.
That said, below are five practical tips for your freight procurement goals and plans:
1. Be familiar with your product accurately
When sending your RFP, you must know exactly what products you want to send out. This means providing your freight provider with all the required information and avoiding having blank fields on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). Sure, certain confidential information shouldn’t be shared. Nevertheless, make sure to provide as much information as possible so that you can obtain an accurate quote and maintain the integrity of your load.
2. Make sure you understand the market
It will make a huge difference in your freight procurement process if you fully understand your market. By that, we mean knowing important aspects, such as capacity and rates. As much as possible, you will want to strike a balance between quality transport service and affordability, which is why there is a wide range of freight providers to choose from. By understanding the market, you’ll be able to make a sound decision in choosing the right service provider.
3. Provide all the necessary details to the provider
From the standpoint of a transportation provider, more uncertainty means more risk. On the other hand, when the provider has all the necessary details about your load, then there’s less perceived risk. This simply means that you have to provide all the required information about your shipment, such as volume, the number of goods, rear or centre unload, loading hours, and equipment needed, among others, to the provider. By being upfront with as many details as possible, you can ensure you get the best rate and service rolled into one.
4. Plan the schedule carefully
The timeline is a crucial factor in the entire freight shipping and procurement process. In fact, the days and times you target for freight procurement can significantly impact your rate and service delivery. For instance, Mondays can be crucial for freight shipping and procurement. The same is true for bad weather conditions such as heavy rain or storm. This is why you need to plan your schedule properly so that your shipping timeline will be met as best as possible.
5. Prepare a contingency plan
As unexpected and unforeseen circumstances are inevitable, it’s best to set a contingency plan in place for your freight shipping and procurement. When something goes wrong, or there’s a sudden interruption, you know exactly what to do, what resources to use, and what service provider to contact. For instance, bulk goods can be temporarily stored in totes or drums on certain premises during emergencies until the situation is resolved.
Whether you are a purchasing manager, traffic manager, or operations manager, you’re likely tasked with primary freight procurement goals. That said, make sure to follow the practical tips outlined above to ensure that your company’s freight will reach its destination safely and at a relatively low cost.
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