Cleveland inventory management

Benefits of Outsourcing Cleveland Inventory Management

Inventory management is a systematic approach to sourcing, storing, and selling inventory. That includes both raw components and finished products. Your Cleveland inventory management strategy must involve swift and accurate identification of the right stock, at the correct levels, in the right time and place – and at the ideal price point.

Inventory management involves numerous duties, including:

  • Controlling and overseeing purchases
  • Maintaining the storage of stock
  • Controlling the amount of product for sale
  • Order fulfillment

This is a huge responsibility – and tough to consistently nail down without the proper systems and professionals in place. That’s why many companies opt to outsource this component of their supply chain.

Cleveland inventory management

Any company in a goods-based business recognizes the impact of inventory management on operational efficiency. Lack of adequate inventory will mean lost sales and unsatisfied customers. Too much inventory will mean higher costs for storage and management, less cash on hand, and reduced value of your products. The U.S. government recognizes the value of proper inventory management to the extent that publicly-traded companies are actually required to track inventory and document management systems if they want to be compliant with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Exact inventory management systems can vary from business-to-business, depending on their size, the types of products sold, and the channels through which they’re sold. That said, partnering with a third-party logistics company means you have the benefit of a system that’s flexible, processes that have been proven, and professionals who are experienced.

Here, we’re going to run through the benefits of outsourcing Cleveland inventory management one-by-one.

Cleveland trucking spot rates

How to Get the Best Cleveland Trucking Spot Rates

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that last-minute spot loads in the truckload market are once again falling as the shipping demand is becoming more aligned with available truck capacity. This is great news for B2Bs and retailers alike. Still, how can you be assured you’re getting the best Cleveland trucking spot rates? Here, our Cleveland trucking team offers some insight.

Contract Rates vs. Spot Rates

For those who may be unfamiliar, most truckload freight is moved via contract rate. This is when shippers and trucking companies strike a longer-term agreement to regularly move a given volume of goods between Origin A to Destination B at a predetermined, per-mile rate that may/may not be adjustable.

Spot rates are more of a one-off deal, but they still comprise about 20 percent of the truckload freight market. They can include (but are not always) same-day and next-day deliveries. These rates are based on existing supply-and-demand for trucks available to make one-time or inconsistent load volumes slated for specific origins/destinations. Some regions/markets can be much more volatile than others, but the spot trucking market in general tends to be much more capricious, with rates negotiated closer to deadline by the load, the lane, or the time. High load volumes + tight trucking capacity = Higher spot rates.

Companies that tend to rely on Cleveland spot rate trucking usually have lower volumes, inconsistent timing, varied destinations, and special/non-standard load requirements.

It’s worth noting that while news of dropping spot rates is definitely welcome by many shippers, it comes on the heels of rates that have been historically high. Ultimately, you still want to make sure you’re getting the most for your money.

Tips for Scoring Great Cleveland Trucking Spot Rates

Rate negotiation factors are fairly standard, but being prepared and knowledgeable can help ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.

Side note: Best doesn’t always mean cheapest. If you get the lowest price, but it results in a missed pickup, damaged products, or hidden charges, it’s going to cost you much more in the long run. When on-time, intact delivery matters, your trucking partner becomes an extension of your brand. Make sure they have a reputation worthy of the trust you’re placing in them. 

Beyond that:

box truck deliveries

Business Advantages to 3PL Box Truck Deliveries

If you’re managing a products company, you know that more often than not, clients need their orders as soon as possible. No matter what your industry, speedy delivery is a universally high-value service. Box truck deliveries – particularly those with same-day and next-day capabilities – can help you achieve that.

Box trucks are ideal for companies that make frequent deliveries and drop-offs and have fast turnaround times. It’s a means of reliable transportation without the trailer, allowing for easier deliveries – particularly in tighter urban and suburban terrain. Working with a 3PL for box truck delivery services can help you enhance customer service, reduce liability risk, and even save money. 

What Exactly is a Box Truck?

According to the American Trucking Associations, trucks move roughly 73 percent of the nation’s freight by weight. A good number of those local deliveries involve some type of box truck.

Box trucks fairly obviously get their name from their shape: They look like giant boxes. Sometimes referred to as a “cube truck,” “box van,” “cube van” or even “rolling toaster,” a box truck is typically much smaller than a full-size cargo truck, though with many of the same positive features. It doesn’t have a trailer, which can reduce the amount of time spent loading, hauling, and unloading. They tend to be smaller than dry vans, and they’re often more affordable than larger rigs. They’re also pretty secure – and fairly safe, when driven by an experienced, careful driver.

Some businesses invest in their own box truck purchases for local deliveries. Anyone considering buying a box truck right now should know the current market is quite volatile. According to truckpaper.com, a popular site for large truck sales, a used, tandem axle, 24′ box truck is probably going to cost somewhere north of $50,000, depending on the condition and mileage. A brand new 24′ tandem-axle box truck is probably going to be around $75,000, at least – and that’s if you can find it. Most medium-sized chassis trucks are backordered until at least 2023. On top of that, you need someone trained, reliable, and insured to load and drive it. Then there are maintenance outlays, gas expenses, and more. The costs can quickly add up.

Arranging 3PL box truck deliveries is often a smarter, more cost-effective option for many companies. At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, we have the box truck fleet AND the disciplined workforce to get goods where they need to go.

Cleveland warehouse devanning

Cleveland Warehouse Devanning Explained

Cleveland warehouse devanning is a critical component of the logistics process that involves removing cargo from sealed containers. This sounds fairly straightforward, but our warehousing and logistics management experts know it’s one of the more demanding aspects of the job. Devanning incorrectly can lead to serious safety risks as well as damaged goods. Proper devanning keeps workers safe, minimizes unnecessary product loss, and keeps supply chains rolling smoothly.

Container devanning is sometimes called unpacking, stripping, deconsolidation, or unstuffing. It typically (but not always) involves goods from international shipping. Containers are received and then carefully unloaded by highly-skilled handlers, often with cranes and forklifts.

It requires not only having an adequate workforce with the right training and equipment needed to physically move the goods, but also professionals with the technical skill required to effectively manage the digital technology to ensure each item in the container is prepped and ready for the next phase. Well-practiced devanning teams spend years developing the most effective approaches to unloading different types, shapes, and sizes of containers, while ensuring maximum efficiency. If you’re looking for Cleveland warehouse devanning, make sure your third-party logistics partner has the ability to receive containers, de-van them, palletize your goods, properly store each item, and then carefully pick, load, and deliver them on demand.

The type of shipment can impact where goods are going to be devanned. In most cases, full container load (FCL) shipments are going to be devanned at the destination warehouse. On the other hand, less-than-container load (LCL) are usually devanned at the Container Freight Station (CFS). On Time Delivery & Warehouse can serve as both.

The Cleveland Warehouse Devanning Process

When containers arrive at our Cleveland warehousing facility, it’s our top priority to ensure full care and attention is paid to getting the goods safely unloaded and stored and then prepped for the next leg of the journey.

Cleveland container freight station (CFS)

Understanding Cleveland Container Freight Station (CFS) Services

With supply chain logjams on U.S. coasts expected to stretch well into 2022, shippers looking to ease the strain on intermodal supply chains are increasingly turning to underutilized sea ports and air terminals – including those in Cleveland, Toledo and Cincinnati. As a longtime provider of Cleveland container freight station (CFS) services, On Time Delivery & Warehouse is prepared to onboard new business-to-business clients for consolidation/de-consolidation of import/export freight, full container loads (FCL’s), less-than-container loads (LCL’s), block & brace services, product segregation, heavy/oversized loading and unloading, stack & wrap services, CFS warehousing and customs bonded warehousing.

What is CFS – And Why Does it Matter?

CFS is short for container freight station. These are facilities located near ports, terminals, inland container depots or major railway hubs that help facilitate import/export shipments from origin and destination. They’re particularly popular with those utilizing LCL (less-than-container) shipments because they can serve as a central hub for importers/exporters looking to ensure their goods are going to be securely stored, carefully handled, and expeditiously sent on the next leg of the journey.

Among the core functions of CFS providers:

  • Preparation of container load plan.
  • Stuffing and de-stuffing containers (both FCL and LCL).
  • Marking and sealing containers for identification.
  • Serving as a temporary storage space for cargo, empty, and laden containers.
  • Moving empty containers from container yards and laden containers to nearby ports and terminals.
  • Stacking, sorting, tracking, and tallying containers pre- and post-shipment.
  • Organization of customs clearance procedures (examination, classification, goods assessment, etc.).
  • Ensuring safety and security of all goods in the facility.
  • Managing break bulk cargo (cargo that’s not in a container).

Cleveland container freight station services are essential because they help decongest air terminals and sea ports – freeing them from numerous customs clearance procedures.

As reported by WKYC Channel 3 in October, the Port of Cleveland can easily handle 100,000 containers annually. Yet in recent years, it’s been topping out well below that – somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000. Pandemic-related congestion on the coasts is spurring a shift to higher local volumes, as cargo owners and third-party logistics (3PL) firms increasingly eye smaller ports to move their goods. Cleveland is the third-largest port on the Great Lakes. Although it can’t handle U.S. Navy or cruise ships, it can accommodate vessels bound for transatlantic shipments. Plus, smaller ports like Cleveland are often more efficient – and cost effective – than the larger hubs in Southern California (Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland) New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas (Houston).

Cleveland customs bonded warehouse

Who Needs a Customs Bonded Warehouse?

A customs bonded warehouse is one that allows for storage of duty-payable, imported goods prior to them being processed and sent on to their final destination. Some are government-operated, while others, like On Time Delivery & Warehouse, are privately-owned.

But the primary differentiating feature of customs bonded warehousing versus any other warehousing proprietor is that payment for inspections and duty taxes can be deferred – in some cases up to five full years past when the date of import. Until the duties are paid, the goods must stay at the warehouse. But this allows companies to get their products “in the door,” which can mean major savings, especially when you’re up against constant supply chain instability, as many have been the last two years.

Having a Cleveland warehousing partner that is customs bonded can prove essential. As reported last month by Freight Waves, congestion at ports has meant importers who aren’t proactive in determining what will be needed – or could be needed – in terms of customs documents in preparation for inspections, etc. are running into excessive, painful delays. Utilizing customs bonded warehousing is one strategy that may help some companies better cope with supply chain snags in the future.

“Given that some of these disruptions are likely to continue into next year and beyond, companies may want to consider customs bonded warehousing as a means to just get their goods and materials in the country,” explained On Time Delivery & Warehouse CEO Anthony Figliano. “Once they’re here, we offer safe, secure storage until such time our clients are ready to retrieve them. We also provide kitting and assembly – which can even be done prior to the duties being paid. And then of course once duties are paid, we offer delivery to the next destination.”

The customs bonded warehouse proprietor agrees to be liable for goods that are under a customs bond until they’re exported, withdrawn, or removed for consumption – after the duties are paid.

Cleveland flatbed trucking

Cleveland Flatbed Trucking Demand & Insights

The demand for Cleveland flatbed trucking and freight has risen substantially in recent years. Typically a service that sees seasonal surges, flatbeds have been a hot ticket item over the last two years, a trend our Ohio trucking experts opine will continue into 2022.

“Flatbed trucks have the capacity to haul a broad range of loads, from raw materials to manufactured goods,” explains On Time Delivery & Warehouse CEO Anthony Figliano. “They’re often relied upon to transport material loads that are bulky and too tricky to lift without heavy machines.” 

As for why requests for Cleveland flatbed trucking services are up so sharply, part of it is the uptick in industries like construction and agriculture that often use flatbed trailers.

Who Uses Cleveland Flatbed Trucking Services?

Flatbed trucks are large trucks (between 48-53 feet long with a 48,000-pound weight capacity) that feature a flattened bed with no roof or walls. Some models have drop decks, and are typically made with a wooden platform supported by a sturdy frame of aluminum.

As an open vehicle, flatbeds are versatile and offer a host of logistics options, particularly when heavier, taller cargo is involved.

You’ll most commonly spot flatbeds in use on highways hauling things like:

  • Machines
  • Steel coils
  • Lumber
  • Long, oversized pipes
  • Bailed tires
  • Highway barriers
  • Tow trucks and other vehicles
  • Bricks
  • Industrial fabric sacks (used for sand, fertilizer, seeds, etc.).
  • Scrap metal

Flatbed trucks are very useful also for cargo that is being shipped or received from overseas. They can be used to move shipping containers, carrying them from inland factors or ports to sea ports, warehouses, etc.

Cleveland repacking & coding

Cleveland Repacking & Coding Services Benefit Warehousing Customers

Each day, billions of packages are prepared and shipped from production plants, over seas and skies, through warehousing, distribution and processing centers and on to their final destinations. For those that cycle through our Northeast Ohio warehouse and distribution center, businesses and their clientele benefit from our expert Cleveland repacking & coding services.

Repacking is a value-added service that allows the contents of packages to be changed or reconfigured so that the end result meets customer expectations. Some examples of repacking goals:

  • To repack a product into your company’s personally-branded packaging, as opposed to sending it in the manufacturer’s packaging.
  • To make adjustments based on unique customer requests.
  • To make a change to any pre-assembled kits.

According to Packaging Digest, the cost of repacking services globally is expected to reach $50 billion by next year. Wrapped up in these expenses are labor, returns, materials, transport and shipping.

Many 3PL warehousing and distribution centers offer some type of repacking, but not all promise the same quality assurance guarantee as the repacking professionals at On Time Delivery & Warehouse. In addition to repacking, we use specialized electronic coding equipment to place product information directly onto the product/packages. Such labeling can include clear sell-by and expiration dates, which must be both clear and readable.

How Cleveland Repacking & Coding Can Reduce Warehouse Costs & Inventory Losses

Supply chain managers have the ultimate goal of developing, implementing, and monitoring the timely receiving, storage, transport, and distribution of products for shipping. This means we must have effective planning strategies for packing and repacking goods, reducing damage risks and avoiding additional costs.

Specialized internal and external packaging can protect the integrity of a product as it continues to move through the distribution chain.

Cleveland LTL shipping

Benefits of Small Business Cleveland LTL Shipping With Our Ohio Delivery Team

Tough circumstances can often compel creative action. This was evidenced by the fact that last year, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 4.4 million new small businesses were launched, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Half a million new companies were started in January 2021 alone. Some small business owners in Northeast Ohio may have started out with parcel shipping, but are now smartly considering Cleveland LTL shipping.

Ensuring that goods are delivered in a manner that’s timely but also cost-efficient can be a constant balancing act. If you’re at the point of considering whether to switch from parcel shipping to Cleveland LTL shipping, you’ve hit a marker of success. It’s important to carefully weigh your options.

Let’s be honest: Shipping is expensive. Big parcel shipping firms can have their place, particularly when you’re first starting out. But once you’ve grown to a certain size, they may no longer be as practical, cost-efficient, or responsive as you need. At the same time, you may not be big enough to justify booking entire truckloads to get your goods from Point A to Point B. This is where Cleveland LTL shipping (or less-than-truckload) comes into play.

FDA registered warehousing Cleveland

Demand for FDA Registered Warehousing to Grow Rapidly Next 5 Years

What’s the difference between a tire and a tin of tomatoes? Ok, a lot – especially when it comes to inventory storage and shipping requirements. Tomatoes, like all foods, skin products, medicines, vaccines, veterinary supplies and medical devices made or sold in the U.S., are regulated under stringent safety rules and guidelines set by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for storage and shipping. The FDA is responsible for assuring the safety, efficacy and security of many human and animal products. For companies that sell these goods, FDA registered warehousing is essential to ensuring both regulatory compliance and customer confidence.

Recently, a new report indicates the global refrigerated warehousing and storage market (which includes blast freezing, tempering and modified atmosphere storage services) is expected to grow from $112 billion in 2020 to more than $164 billion in 2025. This growth is driven by several factors, including consumer demand for quality manufacturing and transparent sourcing, as well as companies restructuring their operations in response to the pandemic.

As longtime providers of FDA registered warehousing in Cleveland, we’re familiar with industry-wide efforts over the last decade to improve protections of temperature-controlled consumer products for packaging, processing and storage. Some measures have included onboarding better sensors, data logging and RFID devices. Not only does this help improve supply chain efficiency, it also helps reduce unnecessary losses and the potential for contamination.

Companies that make products requiring strict temperature controls and/or monitoring often outsource these responsibilities to 3PL warehousing companies for the benefit of operational costs, greater flexibility, improved efficiency and logistics expertise.