Category: Time-Sensitive Shipping
Smoothing out the Lags, Delays and Capacity Shortages
Full-service 3PL solutions can steady the business to meet the challenge
Every business deals with countless moving parts that are both within and outside of its control. Anything that can help you predict what’s coming, or even just a piece of the business you can count on from day-to-day, feels like a break from the storm.
If you had to move products through the northeast last winter, you know that nothing was going to arrive on time – record snowfall pounded the area! Add to that a spike in energy costs in the same area, and you were left with manufacturing companies who had to shut down.
This all created some nasty gaps for retailers looking to make a strong product push or simply supply the popular items that customers were looking to buy.
Careful planning and a long-term view
The time to seek the assistance of a third-party logistics provider (3PL) is not after a problem arises. While that provider can probably do something to ease the pain, it’s still just a short-term fix, and it will likely rear its ugly head again.
The time to begin a partnership and solidify your logistics function is right now so you can build a cushion for your business, giving it the ability to withstand the unforeseen. (And the unforeseen always comes.) Most businesses know what pains them or what could potentially cause discomfort. You will not stop the problem from happening, but a business can at least lay the foundation for a great partnership while putting tools in place to respond to a bad situation.
This changes the conversation from one business trying to take advantage of another in a tough situation. Both sides will benefit from this type of preparation.
So what can a 3PL do to close production or other gaps in the supply chain?
With weather, labor shortages, equipment failures, production lags and everything else that can go wrong, the only real question to answer is “Can our logistics function withstand a crisis?”
Whether it’s a shortage of shipping capacity, production lags or rising costs that limit your ability to deliver product where it is needed, a full-service 3PL company has the resources to help whether the storm. Solutions could include a simple addition of capacity; streamlining processes; improved buying power; more efficient transactions or improved software that connects the entire company.
You will notice most of those solutions can be put in place well before anything nasty happens.
When times get tough or you have a serious issue that needs to be addressed, you will more than likely turn to a friend. That’s what you need from a 3PL provider — a good relationship with someone you can count on to help with any situation. You don’t need a business that immediately wants to start cranking up the extra charges.
Learn how STC Logistics springs to action in a tough situation. If you’ve been considering adding a complete logistics and supply chain management service to your operations, take a look at our services.
Expedited Freight and Shipping in the Pharmaceutical Industry: How 3PL Companies Contribute to Success
In the pharmaceutical industry, few factors matter more than a backing of solid, reliable, flexible logistics. Knowing that you can trust expedited freight to arrive in the hands of the manufacturers, medical professionals, and researchers is key to the business, yet many manufacturers settle for sub-par solutions—and suffering for it on their bottom line. Working with a 3PL company familiar with the myriad necessities of the pharmaceutical industry, capable of delivering expedited freight and shipping anywhere you need it to be, with all the appropriate precautions, isn’t just a good idea; it’s a game-changer.
What 3PL Companies Bring to Logistics
To understand the advantages a pharmaceutical company might see in its logistics by working with a 3PL, consider the nature of such a company: Experts specializing in the singular task of getting things where they need to be, undistracted by other concerns except as they interfere with the issue at hand. Most companies simply cannot afford the upkeep of a dedicated staff focused entirely on this single issue, but by utilizing a 3PL, you get that expertise sans the associated capital costs of hiring, training, and maintaining such a team with the latest in tools and software.
Expedited Freight without Error
By working with a 3PL to handle expedited freight, a pharmaceutical business gains the benefits of speed without error—the practiced familiarity of a specialist in logistics cannot be underestimated as a benefit for this reason alone. A familiarity with regulations, regional laws, changes in shipping expectations, and myriad other details which might slip by a non-specialist logistics officer will be caught and compensated for by a company specializing solely in offering top-notch freight and shipping options. It doesn’t matter, after all, how quickly you’re expedited freight should reach its destination, if a mistake makes it arrive much later.
Flexibility and Increased Security
A 3PL inherently offers flexibility in all forms of expedited freight and day-to-day shipping solutions, because such a company needs to be equipped and ready to meet the needs of very different client corporations. This means that unlike an in-house logistics team, a 3PL never runs into unfamiliar situations, needs to rush to arrange something they’ve never worked on before, or finds itself caught up by issues of scalability and general flexibility. When pharmaceutical reps receive goods, clients can have peace of mind with scheduled appointment times and restricted signatures. By working with a 3PL, pharmaceutical businesses can confidently adjust to the market and know they have a reliable logistics solution ready to keep up.
Meeting Special Situations
Ultimately, the biggest trap in pharmaceutical industry logistics lay in unusual situations, unanticipated by anyone. The regulations at hand, the expectations of customers and business partners, the limitations of even the most expedited freight system, these come together to produce scenarios with no clear ‘win’ in sight. By working with a 3PL, however, you gain access to the single trait most valuable in resolving unusual circumstances: experience. The varied logistical experience of a 3PL’s staff, combined with the myriad tools and data such a company keeps at hand, mean you’re far more likely to develop workable solutions to the messiest expedited freight situations when you engage the services of one.
Ultimately, it falls to each individual company to determine the benefits it might see from working with a 3PL—if you’re confident in your in-house solutions and rarely encounter problems, you may consider the expenditure unnecessary. Just keep in mind that even well-established systems can be streamlined and perfected with the assistance of an extra set of eyes and the application of specialized tools—and when you perfect your logistics, streamlining expedited freight and cutting wasteful spending in the process, you’re certain to see an improvement on the bottom line.
STC Logistics specializes in expedited freight logistics solutions, including ground shipping, for the pharmaceutical industry. We are one of the top trusted pharmaceutical logistics companies in NJ. To learn more about our pharmaceutical logistics, click below!
Expedited Logistics: Four Benefits of Working with a 3PL Provider
Expedited logistics are required for many reasons—especially with retail logistics and pharmaceutical logistics—primarily for ensuring that a product launch is made on time, that products are available at a manufacturing site or that a time-sensitive shipment gets to a customer quickly and undamaged. Expedited logistics have played a major role in the economy and throughout the supply chain process to meet time-sensitive deadlines while still upholding the quality that the client requires. These fast freight shipping services are typically carried out through air freight preferences – although, a savvy 3PL provider may be able to provide ground and ocean options, depending on the transit times, weather forecasts and other factors.
Determining the Best Schedule
When a business decides to work with a 3PL for expedited logistics, they’re able to attend to their own schedule without being hindered by an extremely regimented shipping routine. The 3PL can determine the most direct shipping schedule for reliable logistics, leaving the business to only worry about their customers’ needs.
Additionally, customers often appreciate being given several options for freight shipping, such as same day, next day, weekend and 3-5 day services. Small businesses can gain more favor with their clients if they are able to meet last-minute deadlines which expedited logistics allow them to.
Customer Choice & Satisfaction
One of the main reasons 3PL offersexpedited logistics is that it gives the customer a choice. If they are missing critical fixtures from a time-sensitive campaign or have received the wrong equipment, they can have peace of mind that an expedited service will help them resolve the issue. While this service is available for an increased cost, the benefits far outweigh any risks. Using a 3PL for expedited logistics gives a business the ability to make an informed choice for their most demanding needs.
Another equally important reason to have expedited logistics is customer satisfaction. When a customer is in jeopardy of missing a launch or needs help, demonstrating the flexibility of providing on-time delivery allows a 3PL to prove as a dependable freightshipping source in the eyes of the client.
Improved Processing Time
When placing an order, part of the time spent waiting for the shipment is processing time. This is the time it takes to pick the product from the warehouse, load it onto a method of transportation and actually ship it out. Expedited logistics minimize the amount of processing time therefore decreasing delivery time to the consumer. This leads to a satisfied and potentially repeat customer. Client retention and loyal relationships is crucial to having a successful 3PL connection.
By using a 3PL for expedited logistics, a business can rest easy knowing that they trust their freight with a company that providesreliablelogistics in all shapes, sizes, time zones and time frames. 3PL are well equipped to handle any shipping issue that might arise, whereas a hiccup in a small business’ shipping plans could very well cripple sales.
Expedited logistics has considerably improved with technology. From improved shipment visibility to the more accurate tracking of information, to quicker speeds, expedited shipping services are assisting the largest and smallest customers by ensuring deliveries are on-time and with the utmost standards of quality.As technology continues to improve, expedited logistics will become even more critical to the success of an organization, and utilizing a 3PL to accomplish these needs will reduce risk.
STC Logistics is one of the most trusted logistics companies in NJ and offers expedited logistics that are especially important for retail and pharmaceutical industries. To learn more about our shipping options, click below!
White Glove Services for Retail and Pharmaceutical Logistics
Sensitive freight requires top-notch logistics solutions—especially in the retail procurement and pharmaceutical industries. One way to make sure delicate freight makes its journeys end, intact, is by utilizing white glove services. These specialized logistics services ensure utmost precision and include real-time freight tracking, lift-gate services, special handling care, and additional staff/drivers on hand for last-minute, unforeseen events.
For example, planning a national, time-sensitive retail product campaign requires high-quality logistics services to make sure displays and merchandise arrive to all locations undamaged and on time. White glove solutions offer helpful services like inside and floor delivery, as well as product placement. Installation and assembly services are also available with detailed instruction to get a campaign up and running.
In the pharmaceutical industry, white glove services are necessary for many clients because temperature-controlled environments are needed for most medical freight. Specialized handling and satellite shipment tracking are also available to clients to have complete transparency during the shipment process.
STC logistics specializes in white glove services for the retail and pharmaceutical industry, but serves clients in industries across the board. While customer retention remains a top priority, our services are driven by maintaining the highest-quality logistics solutions. Our pride is derived from the ability to safely deliver your freight, whether it’s to one location or hundreds.
White Glove Services at STC Logistics
There are different options for white glove services, depending on the size of your freight. For relatively small freight, or less than truckload (LTL), we provide the following logistics solutions:
- Inside delivery / On the floor / Product placement
- Pin point or window appointment delivery 24/7/365
- Removal of debris off site
- Uncreate and unpack
- Meet point of contact/installer/representative on site
- Driver assist – 2 man
- Blanket wrap and straps
- Palletize and package
- Air ride service
- Reverse logistics
- Liftgate service
- Before and after pictures
- Call prior
- Cross dock and storage
- Small truck delivery for dock restrictions
- Installation and assembly services available (detailed instructions must be provided to determine STC capabilities)
If your business anticipates moving a large amount of freight, you will most benefit from full truckload (FTL) white glove services. This is the best option for when your freight must go direct and dedicated. This includes no handling, complete security and satellite tracking that can pinpoint the location of your freight while in transit. For FTL shipments, we provide the following white glove services:
- Padded logistic vans with blankets straps and vertical e-trak system
- 22-53FT dedicated trucks with lift gate service
- Milk runs (multiple stop deliveries)
- Driver assists
- 2 man team
- Labor ready services (extra men)
- Blanket loaded and secured on site
- Pin point delivery
- Call prior
To learn more about our specialized white glove services, call STC Logistics at 1-800-547-4324 or visit our website today.
Retail Procurement: Preparing for the Holiday Season
As the holiday season approaches, gifts and displays have been pouring into retail distribution centers. To be well organized for each upcoming holiday season, retailers must implement smart planning throughout the entire year, usually beginning in August. This will allow retail procurement to find the correct balance for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping sprees, as well as the remainder of the holiday season.
The simple steps to the procurement lifecycle that most individuals generally agree upon are as follows.
1. Information gathering
2. Supplier contact
3. Background review
The most important aspect of smart planning in retail procurement is to order the correct quantities of products thus ensuring renewal demands are met. This includes contingency planning for natural disasters and consumer spending habits that can cause logistical disruptions. The goal of smart planning is to capture the greatest number of sales without being overburdened with excess stock.
In recent years, retail procurement has learned to balance merchandise by improving the overall supply chain. This accounts for improvements in the amount of products to purchase/manufacture, where to place them and how to get them to the stores. Two major contributors to these improvements are technology and flexible agreements with shipping lines.
For brick-and-mortar stores, the key to a perfect holiday season is for retail procurement to predict the number of each product the company requires at each retailer. Although there is an arbitrary calculation, the correct answer varies greatly per location. The greatest challenges for retail procurement to calculate the correct quantities include:
- Short timeframe
- No selling activity to indicate buyer behavior
Point-of-Purchase (POP) Displays
In addition to smart planning by retail procurement for products, companies must also create a strategy for POP displays which help drive costs from the supply chain. As a mechanism for advertising, POP displays create value in the retail stores with low labor cost. Therefore, these displays must arrive at the stores concurrent with the products to ensure a timely advertising campaign during the holidays. Therefore, it is critical that upstream logistics is involved in POP display design timelines as assembly and shipping is a major aspect of the process; not just design.
Consumer package goods companies want the POP display to differentiate from the competition through vivid colors and sharp graphics. In many instances, design creates the POP displays to be so complicated to assemble that it adds considerable labor costs, as well as time. In an effort to ship on-time, in some cases, logistics must use expensive transportation methods like air shipping.
Nevertheless, by including logistics and retail procurement in the design and production timeline, POP displays could be scheduled more efficiently to accommodate more cost efficient delivery avenues. By allowing 3PL’s to assist in mapping out the most advantageous transit schedules, improvements will allow for the most intricate displays to still have adequate assembly times.
Shipping POP Displays
Like any other product, there are certain precautions that must be taken when shipping POP displays which should be built into a contingency plan. During transit, shock and vibration can jostle and even damage the display, dirt and dust can collect, corrosion can occur (depending on the material) and exposure to a variety of temperatures can affect the overall appearance or functionality. Therefore, correct testing, proper protection and evaluation of the shipping routes will assist in ensuring safe transportation of the POP displays to their required destinations.
STC Logistics specializes in shipping retail procurement items like POP displays. We pride ourselves on the principal that when we ship your product, it is delivered on-time, 99% of the time. We are a trusted logistics provider for the retail industry and have a successful track record for reliable and flexible logistics solutions. Contact us for all of your holiday shipping needs here or click on the button below!