Blog Posts Want to Master Outbound Transportation? Read This

Key Takeaways

  • It is important to consider a number of key factors when building out a transportation solution.
  • Take into account the distance freight must travel when determining the best mode of transportation.
  • Choose distribution sites carefully, paying close consideration to location and amenities.
  • Analyze typical shipping patterns and trends before making transportation decisions.
  • Read the ebook for other key factors, trends and tips.

Transportation management is more complex today than ever before. In order to get products from Point A to Point B, shippers must understand all the issues at play and develop strategic solutions to address them.

Saddle Creek Logistics’ new ebook outlines the basics of outbound transportation and offers guidance for those charged with transportation management.

Following is an excerpt…

5 Factors to Consider for Effective Outbound Transportation

When planning for an optimal transportation management solution, it can be helpful to consider the following factors.

1. Distance
The distance your freight must travel is a key consideration when determining the best mode of transportation. Typically, options are as follows:

  • International: ocean, air, rail, parcel
  • Cross-country: truckload (TL), multi-stop TL, less than truckload (LTL), rail/intermodal, air, parcel
  • Regional (<250 miles): truckload/LTL, parcel

There are many variables to consider, but, as a rule of thumb, the longer the distance, the longer the time in transit and the higher the transportation costs.

The need for final mile services also impacts shipment cost. With the growth of ecommerce and omnichannel, demand is increasing for store deliveries, home delivery, white glove and haul away services. While the distance varies, these services cover the last leg of transportation and usually take place closer to the consignee.

2. Location
The point of origin for your shipments also plays a critical role in transportation decisions, so it is important to choose your distribution nodes carefully. For some companies, it can be beneficial to be located near a manufacturing plant. However, a growing number of companies are positioning distribution centers in close proximity to their end customers to help reduce transit time and cost.

When selecting the exact location of your distribution facility, look for sites that offer convenient access to ports, rail hubs and/or major interstates as well as readily available labor. For full truckload or less than truckload shipping, it is also wise to consider ease of backhauls to make your shipments more appealing to carriers.

3. Freight shipping patterns
Frequency and average shipment volume also play an important role in transportation decisions. Significant spikes in volume can make freight management especially difficult. It can be helpful to analyze historical shipping data. Understanding your typical usage patterns and trends will make it easier to find a transportation solution that meets your needs.

For example, if you routinely send truckload shipments cross-country, intermodal shipping may be effective. If you’re shipping a significant volume of small packages to the same destination, LTL could be a better option than parcel. If long-haul, multi-stop loads are routine, it might be time to consider utilizing a transload option to split up the line-haul and deliveries.

For more factors to consider and tips for determining the best solution to meet your outbound transportation needs, read the Guide to Effective Transportation Management.

Related to: Transportation Management