Category: Rail Shipping
What a Successful Retail Procurement Team Looks Like
Continuously finding ways to improve and run a business more efficiently doesn’t apply only to those in manufacturing or logistics. Retail companies need to consistently look for more ways to innovate how they procure and work with suppliers, in addition to keeping stores full of the items customers want the most.
Optimizing expenditures, both direct and indirect, can help retailers reduce costs and improve services offered by suppliers.
The successful procurement team and their habits
- Support company strategy – The leadership team works to create a strategy that can be followed by everyone in the company, from the CEO to the newest employee. A great procurement team will use that strategy to drive decisions and support the organization. Pushing the strategy forward unifies the procurement team and the entire company.
- Implement continuous improvement strategies – No strategy is worth following if it doesn’t somehow emphasize continuous improvement. The procurement team should work toward improving the quality of products while reducing costs. It’s that simple.
- Ensure better service – Procurement teams can improve quality and cut costs, even if the products themselves continue to be more expensive, by negotiating for improvements in services offered by the supplier. As the cost of goods increases, prices for the consumer can be maintained if services such as shipment tracking work efficiently or if the goods consistently reach store shelves without damage. Often procurement teams can find room for improvement in last-mile deliveries. Suppliers help the retail company reduce costs and customers benefit from better prices.
- Test the market – As much as relationships matter, a great procurement won’t simply accept that their current supplier is the best for the business. Consistently researching vendors and making changes if necessary is crucial to an efficient procurement organization. A supplier that just didn’t fit a few years ago may be the best for the business today. Staying on top of development within the industry and supplier infrastructure enhancements can make a big difference. It’s up the procurement team to stay on top of changes with suppliers. We all know the business world moves fast and procurement teams need to be nimble and ready for change when an opportunity presents itself.
Keeping the customer first
Sitting in an office and constantly working to improve the bottom line can make it all too easy to forget what matters most to a retail business – the customer. Hopefully, the company strategy focuses everyone on the customer, but if not, it is essential for procurement teams to base decisions on how they will affect the end customer. If changing the way products are delivered to stores only helps the team working from the corporate office and not the folks working at the store, you could be damaging customer relationships or product availability.
A few pennies saved from the bottom line won’t matter if the change drives customers away. Great procurement teams can see the effect of changes all the way through the supply chain and into the store. The customer is still king – that much about business hasn’t changed.
Working with a 3PL Provider
Successful procurement teams work with logistics management providers who implement the latest technology and offer services that are a complete turnkey solution. The latest technology supplies your procurement department with the vital information needed when organizing build outs or remodels, whether for one store or hundreds.
STC Logistics will work directly with your procurement department or with your individual vendors. As a complete turnkey solution, in addition to our direct logistic management and supply chain management services, we also provide white glove service, sort & segregate fulfillment and installation services nationwide. To learn more about our 3PL retail logistics services and expedited shipping, click below!
Advanced Logistics Technology: The Benefits of Proprietary Logistics Services
Whether you run a new or established business, you know how important it is to have your goods carefully prepared, shipped and arrive at their destination on time. Failure to do so can have a negative impact on your customers—and even more so on your business—when issues like delivery delays, damaged items and cost overruns. Your reputation suffers and you can lose out on revenue, resulting in a black eye to your bottom line.
A New Advanced Logistics Technology
How do you choose the right 3PL provider for you? You can shop around for a logistics solution and review all of your options or quickly choose a 3PL provider and simply live with your choice, hoping your goods don’t get damaged by trial and error.
Rather than take a chance with just any 3PL provider, STC makes available a new technology for all of our clients. Electronic Logistics Format, also known as E.L.F., manages the logistics, shipping, and tracking of your freight, alongside our logistics team and allows for visibility and flexibility. This tool is a proprietary services logistics technology that supports traffic managers or anyone who handles major regional or nationwide distributions, pickup assembly services, and multi-location rollouts.
What the E.L.F. Logistics Technology Does
E.L.F. logistics technology helps you accomplish a number of tasks. First of all, this service coordinates every stage of your shipping order. You would send our logistics experts at STC a spreadsheet that contains your shipment’s information; we can receive information by EDI, Excel or any format you prefer to use. STC will then develop a customized rollout or a multi-destination distribution blueprint.
From there, STC Logistics uses the E.L.F. logistics technology to plan, organize, and arrange for the final delivery of your cargo. The shipment’s progress is also tracked and traced through its numerous steps, in conjunction with our expert customer service team; we will never lose sight of your goods.
Before your freight goes into transit, you will review and approve the logistics plan, pickup and delivery specifications, your pricing estimates, and the shipment’s delivery date. Everything is sorted out well before your shipment’s pickup is made. Preplanning is a key factor for a successful logistics design.
Your Own Mini-Website
After your shipment’s order is approved, STC’s IT department publishes your E.L.F. logistics technology design to a web-based viewing area. This is your very own “mini-website” for the distribution project. Your web portal is linked directly to STC’s internal operating system and is updated in real-time. You’ll be able to see the status of any of your shipments as they happen and delivery POD’s as they arrive.
Any relevant parties you choose will be granted access to the “mini-website” and allow them to follow the status of your shipment. This way, everyone who you’ve appointed will see that the shipment is picked up, shipped, and arrived on time to the correct recipient.
The Benefits of Proprietary Logistics
When you partner with a 3PL provider like STC Logistics, you can enjoy the logistics technology benefits that you wouldn’t necessarily see from other logistics technology products. Consider these perks:
- Eliminates the confusion experienced when random shippers pick up and deliver your items. Using STC Logistics as an extension of your team keeps everything under one roof.
- Improves pick up times, length time in transit, and the actual delivery date and time by providing a schedule in advance.
- Reliable nationwide affiliates allow for consolidation of goods, TSA certified access to all airports and strong networks to meet your deadlines. We are all linked together through the system.
- You receive an entirely coordinated effort from the team to ensure that your shipment arrives safely, undamaged, and on time. Adjustments are easily made and updates are in real-time.
STC Logistics uses the very latest in advanced technology with its specialized Electronic Logistics Format logistics technology. For more information or to obtain a quote for your next shipment, contact us 24/7 at 800-547-4324. To learn more about the industries we specialize in, click the button below.
The Impact of White Glove Service for Logistics Solutions
There are many different types of freight being shipped every day across land, air, and sea channels. Some items tend to be far more fragile than others,thus require specialized attention in order to prevent an imminent disaster. The most ideal logistics solutions needed for cargo of the most delicate nature will come from carriers who embrace the concepts behind white glove service and understand its overall importance. As a result of such diligence, any business can feel secure knowing that their logistics affiliates are willing to take the time to carefully secure, handle and transport their cargo based on the unique physical attributes each shipment possesses, as well as the price tag of the items themselves and the time-sensitivity they require.
Countering Potential Shipping Issues:
Just as different types of freight require different levels of hands on attention, each unique shipping method offers its own challenges regarding the way that freight must be handled. Fortunately, the use of white glove service presents a measurable counter for any potential threat that may or may not occur during all steps of the shipping process. Direct line-haul service can be used to minimize transfers, while special attention can be given to pick up and delivery methods. Transit times are reduced and your freight is tracked consistently to ensure on-time deliveries of your most time-sensitive cargo.
When moving shipments by truck, some of the preventable dangers that can be experienced on the road include:
- Jostling of freight that could easily cause it to crack, break, or otherwise be damaged – remedied by packaging and securing the freight with the proper equipment
- The ever present threat of getting into an accident while on road – accidents occur, but timeliness in recovering from them is determinant in completing the job.
- Problems that could develop based on the temperature of the cab depending on the type of freight that is being shipped – temperature controlled equipment and temp tabs can regulate and monitor these issues
- Theft or vandalism that could easily happen while a truck is parked at any location – inventory tracking technology, secure cross-docking facilities, locked trucks and video monitored loading docks are some precautions taken to minimize theft
Problems that could be encountered by sea are somewhat similar and include:
- Waves from bad weather conditions that could easily cause the freight to be bounced around – contracting the correct size equipment and securing cargo is important in preventing slippage
- Long travel times that could cause time sensitive freight to expire – by knowing anticipated transit times and the nature of the product, your logistics company can lead you to choose the best service based on your type of freight.
- Temperature issues, especially if freight is being kept below deck – remedied just as any temperature sensitive situation
The issues for freight moving by air are less serious, even though this is considered to be the safest means of transport:
- Jostling that could take place during take-off and landing – packaging practices are crucial
- Turbulence in the air – D-containers may be implemented to prevent moving inside the cargo space
Any business will find that logistics companies who pride themselves in offering white glove service can effectively combat each and every one of these issues. In doing so, such companies will assess if all items are neatly packed and secured with proper materials, all boxes are sealed correctly, delicate items are wrapped in the proper way, everything is loaded in the neatest order possible, and the correct type of shipping method used for particular types of freight. Packaging assessments should be made and solutions offered to your shippers so they can reinforce products prior to shipping. Without this level of service, there are too many potential disasters that could befall the freight in question which ultimately means lost time, lost money and unhappy customers.
By employing proper white glove service, logistics companies like STC Logistics are ensuring that those they work with will never have to fret in regards to even the most expensive or delicate types of freight. Because the top logistics outfits take their time to develop a unique solution, born in practices of white glove service and then custom tailor it for each and every item, it makes their service standards worth looking into. Because freight must ultimately be shipped in one manner or another, choosing the safest and most secure methods simply makes sense, which of course is precisely the aim of white glove service overall. Any company bold enough to embrace white glove service standards will be rewarded with personalized service, fewer pieces of damaged freight, faster shipping times, and happier customers overall.
To learn more about how you can safety ship the most delicate and high importance items from a trusted logistics provider, please click here.
Logistics Faceoff: Which Delivery Method is Better – Rail or Truck?
If you are planning on shipping your freight via ground shipping, you are probably choosing between rail or truckload shipping. There is no “wrong choice” per say, but there may be a more ideal choice for you depending on your company’s goals. Conserving energy, time and resources is no doubt important for your business and supply chain, so it’s important to weigh your delivery method options. Consider the pros and cons of both rail and truck shipping methods.
- Very secure
- Fuel efficient
- Shipment size
- Intermodal sizes and weight (including Tare)–
- 20’ – 52,900 lbs max
- 40’ – 67,200 lbs max
- 45’ – 67,200 lbs. max
- 40’ – 67,200 lbs max
- 53’ – 67,200 lbs max
- Intermodal sizes and weight (including Tare)–
- Transit time is longer
- Average shipment time from California to New York is 8-10 days
Trains are superior in the realm of energy efficiency for shipments over land. A train’s steel wheels produce very little kinetic friction. On the other hand, a truck’s thick tires create heavy static friction. This means that a truck’s engine consumes more fuel. Trains also move at a slower pace, which greatly improves fuel consumption. The aerodynamic drag caused by moving a heavy freight at fast speeds is diminished via rail. Therefore, if your concerns for supply chain management heavily rely on the energy efficiency of your vehicles, and if your shipment is a medium to long distance route, rail shipments may be more ideal.
- Quick transit time
- Approximately 4-5 Days shipping time from California to New York.
- Quicker availability
- Higher fuel charges
- Limited size,
- 53’ FTL Van
- 26 standard 48×40 pallets
- max 45,000lbs
- 48’ FTL Van
- 24 standard 48×40
- Max 45,000lbs
- 53’ FTL Van
On the other hand, time is money. If your company is fast-paced, a train’s lag in time can make all the difference. Because trains move slower than trucks, those who rely on quicker delivery times may choose the faster truck. Trucks are also more flexible, because they are not reliant on railways. They can operate on any roadway throughout the continent.
In short, the answer to the question posed in the title of this article is: it depends.
Both shipment options have pros and cons. STC Logistics’ Intermodal Service combines Ocean, Rail and Truck to offer door-to-door transport in North America. If you choose Rail shipping, keep in mind that you will most likely implement Intermodal Shipping in order to transport your items to and from the rail yard. Weight plays a major factor in transporting goods. By utilizing more than one mode of transportation, you can experience the benefits of both modes of logistics. The team at STC Logistics can handle the drayage, rail negotiation and transport of your intermodal shipment.
For more information on Select Transportation Logistics’ Intermodal Service or to request a quote, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org
Which Mode of Transport is Right For Your Freight Shipment?
The goal for business owners is to minimize transportation costs and meet customer demands demand for their products. Transportation costs are dependent on the distance between the source and the destination, the selected method of transport and both the quantity and size of the shipped product.
The U.S. boasts four million miles of roads and a railroad network that could circle the globe several times. Our country’s complex transportation systems allows decision makers several options when shipping products. Choosing the best one requires knowing the pros and cons of them all:
The infrastructure of the roads in the US plays a major role in handling cargo across the nation. Shipping products via truck is the most common mode used in logistics in the US today.
- Cost effective
- Fast delivery
- Great for short distances
- Ideal for transporting temperature-controlled products like perishables or pharmaceuticals
- Shipment subject to traffic delays
- Trucks susceptible to bad weather and delays
Large volumes of trade can be imported/exported through ships on ocean vessels. Through waterways, ships transport cargo from one country to another. STC offers LCL (less than container load) and FCL (full container load) via ocean.
- Ideal for transporting heavy and bulky freight
- Great option for products with long lead times
- Volume advantages to pricing
- Seasonal advantages to pricing
- Extended transport schedules
- Difficult to monitor location of goods in transit
- Shipments susceptible to Customs restrictions
- Only 1-3 additional transit days compared to truck service
- Cost effective alternative to ground services
- Safe and reliable
- Suppliers and customers not always located near a freight rail depot
- Intermodal shipment may be needed to accommodate the final delivery
- Extended transit times when compared to truck schedules
- Fast delivery, usually between 24 and 48 hours
- Reduces lead time
- Immediate recovery from airport for swift delivery
- Higher cost
- Flight shipments susceptible to Customs restrictions
No matter which transportation method you choose for your company, STC Logistics’ extensive network ensures that your goods arrive promptly and safely, every time. If you still aren’t sure how you should ship your products, we can help. Our experts at STC Logistics are industry leading Commercial Freight Specialist and can help you decide the best shipping methods for your company. Contact us today for more information or to request a quote.