There are three primary methods of hauling cargo by road and they are parcel/small package mode, full truckload (FTL), and less-than-truckload (LTL). Depending on their needs, logistics firms can use any of these methods to ensure maximum utilization of their assets while reducing the overall cost of operation.
Although logistics companies desire this, market forces currently plaguing the industry such as ever-increasing fuel and labor costs, as well as the shortage of truck drivers, are making logistics operations more complex, and less profitable than ever before.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the volume, availability, and quality of logistics data. Accurate analysis of this data can yield insight and visibility into factors that impact automation, efficient use of warehouse space, effectiveness of in-house processes, and above all, the optimization of cargo scheduling.
This last benefit has the power to increase your firm’s competitive edge and enhance customer service levels, thus ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty. The insights gotten from the vast amount of data being collated on a daily basis can help increase your bottom line by reducing the overall costs of shipping cargo to clients. This can be achieved by using the collated data to optimize the following processes
- Cargo scheduling
- Loading capacity
There are many instances where you can combine orders being shipped to different locations to maximize load capacity while minimizing the overall delivery time and cost per mileage. Routing optimizers are ideal for such tasks since they check out the feasibility of possible routing options based on total weight of cargo, volume of pallet spaces and loading parameters.
However, optimized cargo scheduling can deliver this and many other advantages. Let’s take a look at the ways in which cargo scheduling can be optimized for local shipping services.
Consolidating shipments entails the addition of several small LTL orders to FTL orders that are not at full capacity. Doing this effectively dictates that the delivery addresses of the several LTL orders fall within or around the route of FTLs’ orders. The delivery time range for the FTL orders should be factored in since numerous detours and stopovers take up valuable time.
This method of optimizing cargo scheduling involves creating a single shipment consisting of multiple orders from a particular client that will otherwise have been shipped on different days through different routes. In most cases, these orders vary in size and have different delivery deadlines; nonetheless, combining them reduces the number of trips to be made to client’s address. It should be noted that this method could result in the delayed delivery of more urgent orders.
Firms that operate using the LTL model can make use of the pooling technique to combine smaller shipments going to the same region/geographic area into a single truckload shipment. The shipment can be dropped off at pool distribution facilities located within the region, from which individual client orders can be shipped to stipulated delivery addresses.