3 Ways Distributors Can Save Money With Freight Shipping ServicesWritten by Neal Willis
Distributors don’t always associate freight shipping services with the administrative support functions that accompany their shipments. Functions such as freight invoicing and payment, rating and routing are all necessary freight shipping services that accompany freight shipments and, often times, they can be automated to create time and cost savings for distributors. Three common freight shipping services that can help distributors with lowering costs and saving time include:
- Freight Payment and Audit
- Technology & Integrations
- Freight Rate Negotiations and Carrier Pricing
Freight Payment and Audit
Freight bill payment and audit is one of many freight shipping services performed by 3PLs that can help distributors lower their administrative costs. Along with the processing of carrier freight bills and payment of freight invoices, freight payment and audit services can also help distributors with forecasting and identifying shipment patterns. Employing a freight bill payment and audit service allows distributors to gain a centralized dashboard view of all freight activity, which can give them useful insight into customer shipping patterns and freight activities, and it can also allow for spotting opportunities to consolidate shipments to the same location(s) to help lower freight costs.
Technology & Integrations
Time spent on shipment tracking and customer billing issues can quickly add up. With the help of a 3PL and/or freight management firm, the amount of time spent dealing with service issues can be drastically reduced, and functions such as rating, routing and freight rate integrations with eCommerce are freight shipping services that can be automated for efficiency enhancements that lower costs and save time.
Freight Rate Negotiations and Carrier Pricing
Rate negotiations and carrier pricing agreements are freight shipping services that are best performed by someone skilled in the negotiation process and up to date on the freight industry and current market conditions. Sadly, carrier rate negotiations and pricing management is sometimes taken for granted at the highest organizational level. The freight industry and its guidelines are ever evolving and constantly changing. Along with new government regulations, which are frequently sanctioned, the CCSB meets at least three times each year to discuss and enact changes to the National Motor Freight Classification® (NMFC®). Unless your company has a dedicated logistics department that’s experienced in carrier negotiations and well versed in the freight industry, chances are you can benefit from the freight shipping services offered by a 3PL or freight management company.
Freight is one of the largest cost drivers of most companies’ budgets. Just as manufacturers often decide to outsource production because of certain cost and operational efficiencies, distributors should also consider outsourcing freight shipping services as a means for lowering freight costs and increasing productivity.