Common Carrier Errors and How They Can Be Avoided
When you’re in charge of arranging trucking services to move cargo for your company, it’s crucial that you find the most cost-effective and efficient ways to get the job done.
It’s wise to carefully collaborate with all segments of the supply chain in order to increase productivity and keep expenses low. Your carriers have a special place in the conversation, as cost escalations due to fuel pricing, surcharges, capacity and other issues affect your bottom line.
One of the biggest obstacles in the supply chain, carrier error, is a major threat to a smoothly functioning system. It’s one of the major causes of the hidden costs that creep up and hit your budget hard. However, once you’re familiar with the common carrier problems and can identify mistakes, you’re in a better position to prevent them and eliminate hidden costs. Here are some of the more frequent errors reported by logistics managers.
1. Mistakes affecting dock productivity.You probably know that the number one basic rule of supply chain efficiency is to always keep your drivers and equipment moving. Still, you’d probably be surprised to see how much effort and cost is involved with getting your shipments through the last few feet to their destination upon arriving at the dock. The biggest problem with mistakes in the unloading process is that they cause delays, which in turn cost you money. Anticipate the types of carrier error at the docks, and you’ll avoid incurring risky hidden costs.
2. Failure to pay attention to Freight Bill Accuracy.Freight Bill Accuracy is determined by weighing the number of perfect freight bills against the total number of bills during a time period. Obviously, when you see higher accuracy in this metric of the supply chain, carrier error is lower. Incorrect pricing, mistakes in weight and incomplete shipping information are common culprits. Stay on top of freight bills to ensure your FBA remains at appropriate levels.
3. Not knowing your key metrics.Various shipping metrics are key to high levels of performance in your logistics, so make sure you know which figures should be closely monitored. Some of the customary numbers to watch are:
- Transit Time:This metric is measured by the number of days or hours it takes for your shipment to reach the customer once it leaves your facility. Knowing Transit Time helps you with logistics planning and lead time.
- Truck Turnaround Time:Here, you’re measuring the time from when a truck arrives at your facility against its time of departure. It helps determine the efficiency levels of your dock productivity, shipping and receiving processes.
- Claims as Percentage of Freight Costs:Weighing your costs paid for loss or damage to shipments against total freight costs will give you this metric. If this is a high percentage of expenses in your supply chain, carrier error may be to blame.
4. Failing to properly use the clock.It does you no good to offer around the clock shipping operations if your carriers are delivering to customers or warehouses that only operate five days a week. Not only do you suffer delays due to loading and unloading inefficiencies, but you also risk a high level of turnover from frustrated drivers. Know who’s on the receiving end before you send a carrier that will be met with closed doors.