The urgent shipment syndrome

The urgent shipment syndrome

7/12/2014 Umut Türker 1815 Times Read

'Urgent and on fire’ shipments are the worst nightmares for anyone handling logistics.  It means having 15 people across hierarchical levels, chasing the logistics guy every 15 minutes. ‘Are you sure it will get there on time?’, ‘The customer will cancel if it doesn’t get there at abc time on xyz date’. This quickly moves on to, ‘the boss is watching this closely’. Once the goods are in transit the badgering turns to ‘any update’?

 

For these shipments, all your decisions should hinge on three criteria. The first is visibility. You want 24x7 visibility of the shipment. The carriers and handlers (clearing agents) transporting the goods must have strong and robust information systems that are updated in real time.

 

The second criterion is assurance. How confident are you of each link in the chain? What is the confidence level that each link in the logistics chain, will deliver on its commitments?

 

The third and last criterion of course is price. You want the visibility and assurance at a price that won’t break the bank. Based on these criteria, your next step is to start collecting information. You can start collecting the information from various Freight Broker sites.  One such freight broker is FreightArea.

 

Freight brokers like FreightArea provide a great platform for shippers, carriers and handlers to transact business. Upload the details of your shipment like volume, gross and net weight, contents etc and you will start receiving bids for your freight. For a start don’t mention that the shipment is super urgent. This is the ‘act cool phase’. Evaluate the bids based on delivery times, cost and details of the carriers. You want to know who will carry the goods. If it’s an air shipment is it moving on British Airways or Uzbek Airways.  Always keep time in hand. In the real world things will go wrong and if they do, you want the goods stuck at London where you have better connectivity rather than Tashkent.

 

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Freight brokers are a great way to collect information when you are in a rush. This is the base for planning and executing your ‘on fire’ shipment.  Visibility, assurance, cost, always keep these three in mind when handling urgent shipments that are running against a clock.