The concept of lead time is a frequently overlooked factor when delivering freight in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Lead time is the time it takes to process an order and receive the shipment of your products, and providing more lead time for a shipment will help lower costs significantly. The more time in advance a freight forwarder books a shipment, the more time and control they have over various steps in the process. These steps include negotiating prices for a lower cost, researching for savings or efficiency improvements, securing the top providers, and scheduling the best delivery times. If you have a short lead time and try to book a truck for next-day delivery, it is very likely that capacity will be tighter, delivery options will be limited, and the prices will be much higher. In addition to decreasing costs, here are a few more benefits of providing more shipment lead time!
Logistics Providerâ€™s Role
Increasing lead time will allow your logistics provider to play a consultative role to ensure they find the most cost-effective solutions. The more time you leave between when the order is scheduled and when it needs to be picked up allows your logistics provider to analyze efficient resolutions, such as switching from truck to rail or using the consolidation technique. However, if they have a small window of time, your logistics provider must immediately respond to the request without researching for the most economical solution.
Capacity will always be tight with a short lead time, especially during a holiday. Any last-minute orders you make must be delivered before the facilities shut down for a holiday, which in turn will increase the need to ship and demand more capacity. Drivers may also be more selective with the destination when trying to get home for the holidays, and most will want to plan and book their runs far in advance to make sure they get home in time. Planning early increases your chances of finding drivers that are heading in your direction to deliver products on time. With the holiday season just around the corner, an increased lead time is the best way to ensure logistics managers can regulate time in their operations more precisely and generate more capacity.
The last thing you want when booking loads are unwanted surprises such as rejection rates or price hikes. By planning in advance, you can be prepared for any potential issues and have additional time to resolve them. Short lead times also often come with higher carrier rejection rates, while a longer lead time increases carrier commitment and the chances of securing the capacity you need. Ideally, 48 hours lead time is required for each shipment, but the longer the lead time, the more you will benefit!
Other important benefits of providing more shipment lead time include preferred carrier availability, access to ideal delivery appointment times, higher service levels, better on-time performance, more control over expenditures, and the possible identification of new savings and efficiencies. Advanced scheduling is crucial to ensure there is enough time to negotiate prices, research for savings or efficiency improvements, secure the top providers, and schedule the best delivery times to deliver freight efficiently and economically.
AFP Global Logistics
For any and all of your freight shipping and warehouse storage needs nationwide, look no further than AFP Global Logistics. We provide a full range of shipping and logistics services, and our 25 years in the business have given us the tools we need to create customized logistics solutions that are tailored to the needs of each client we serve. We have what it takes to provide the superior shipping and logistics solutions that your business needs to thrive. For more information or to start designing your own logistic solutions today, get in touch with AFP Global Logistics at 410.590.1234 (toll-free 800.274.1237), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our quick and easy contact form here!