Ideas to minimize freight costs in today’s economy
- Partner with customers: Treat your customers as partners and brainstorm freight savings opportunities that would yield a win-win. There are a myriad of possibilities once you have a common goal.
- Partner with suppliers: Fierce negotiation isn’t going to “win the race”. Instead, treat your freight carriers as partners. Share goals and expectations. Brainstorm win-win’s that will reduce your costs and yet provide a “win” for the carrier (a preferred route, etc).
- Consider pooling: If you have several customers located in a city or geographic area, you might be able to combine their shipments to the hub and then break the loads and deliver to the individual customers from the hub.
- Consider milk runs: If you have a few customers that are on a lane (perhaps one customer in Northern California and two others in Portland), see if you can combine their loads into a standard milk run (for example, set it up to deliver customer 1 on Tuesdays, followed by customer 2 and 3 on Wednesdays). This provides a reliable, standard route for the carrier and a typically lower cost, more reliable service for you and your customers.
- Consider all modes of transportation in combination with customer requirements: why ship over the road if the customer is happy if the load is delivered on time and reliably via a less expensive alternative. Ask questions to find out your customers’ priorities.
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