Articles by: Anthony
Cleveland is a dynamic transportation hub and a vital location for many supply chains. Choosing the right Cleveland container freight station (CFS) for your import and export shipments is crucial to your bottom line and customer satisfaction. Container freight stations are a critical element of any supply chain moving interior point intermodal freight.
The largest users of CFS service companies are typically freight forwarders, though some shippers and other third-party logistics firms rely on us to ensure their customers’ freight gets where it needs to go – intact, on time, every time.
Paint. Dry ice. Lithium batteries. Perfume. There are just a few of the seemingly innocuous items that are considered potentially hazardous when they’re in transit. If you sell these or other regulated hazmat goods, there are tight regulations for transporting them. As our Ohio hazmat certified shipping providers can explain, the U.S. Department of Transportation mandates that anyone shipping hazardous materials be both trained and certified. Proper shipping of hazmat materials means correctly packaging, labeling and documenting all items as well. Non-compliance can result in costly legal action – both from government fines and civil liability for injuries. The skillful handling of your hazardous materials is essential for the safety of everyone in the supply chain.
At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, our Ohio hazmat certified shipping teams are experienced in packing, crating and securing these materials to minimize potential risks – from pickup to delivery and every point in between.
Winter weather can make even the most trivial tasks exponentially more difficult. As recent events have proven, this is especially true when power lines (or entire power grids) are down, rail services have ground to a halt, natural gas is in short supply, hundreds of flights are canceled and icy roads are exceedingly perilous. All of this will have a snowball effect on your supply chain. While there’s no way to control the weather, working with a Cleveland 3PL can help you better insulate your supply chain for the inevitable moments when you won’t have control.
As in sports, the best defense is a good offense when it comes to supply chains. Ideally, you will have planned and prepared for supply chain setbacks. As a longtime Cleveland 3PL, we have trucking, warehousing and shipping partners all over the country, allowing you to navigate more nimbly through some of the most serious seasonal swings and challenges.
In third-party logistics, our success depends on your success. We’ll only recommend actions that are in your best interest. Some of the top ways you may benefit from a 3PL partnership in advance of a weather crisis:
As a long-time 3PL firm and provider of Cleveland last-mile delivery services, we understand the important role logistics plays in getting products where they need to go – intact and on time. When logistics aren’t effectively coordinated, communication and visibility suffer and bottlenecks and delays become inevitable. This was illustrated recently in early efforts to distribute newly-available COVID-19 vaccines.
We should start by saying this was never going to be a perfect process because of the scale, limited supply, outsized demand and sheer number of stakeholders. But it was largely presumed the rollout wouldn’t be overly-taxing on U.S. transportation capacity. So why the many roadblocks? And what can businesses learn from it?
It’s possible supply chain inefficiencies in some states could be partially addressed with expanded trucking capacity. But complex storage, handling and administration requirements were an undeniable part of the equation. Beyond that though, it does seem the trouble broadly has been less in getting available vaccines from manufacturers to the states and more with logistical struggles in facilitating last-mile deliveries.
This is unsurprising because, as any 3PL service provider knows, last-mile deliveries are often the trickiest. This is true whether we’re talking about airplane parts or toilet paper or medicine. It didn’t help that this was essentially a massive, brand new supply chain with untested routes and logistics coordination.
The takeaway for businesses is that no matter what your industry, it’s imperative that your Cleveland last-mile delivery 3PL service be one with extensive experience, established routes, top-tier technology and trusted supply chain partners.
If you’re shipping freight in or through Ohio, you have several shipping options from which to choose. Each has its own benefits, but much depends on your unique business objectives, dimensions, type of freight and other factors. Our Cleveland trucking services professionals can help you determine the best choice for your company. You may opt for different modes depending on the season or for different products or destinations.
The two primary modes we’re spotlighting here are those most frequently confused: full truckload (FTL) and less-than-truckload (LTL). Learning the difference between the two will help you choose the one that is right for your needs.
Storage demand fluctuations are nothing new to the Ohio warehousing industry, though this year has certainly tested the limits. Demand for nonessential goods and same-day deliveries swung wildly throughout 2020, in part reflecting a sharp rise in e-commerce, something Northeast Ohio warehousing operations felt acutely.
Our hats are off to our various supply chain partners and warehouse workers who quickly adapted to the strict requirements and regulations of numerous new industry priorities driven by consumer needs. With distribution bottlenecked at several points during various times, our warehouse employees adroitly rose to the challenge, – particularly when it came to compressed sales cycles of goods that had to be swiftly and carefully offloaded from ports and trucks and properly consolidated, sorted, packaged, stored and transloaded.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports e-commerce activity spiked dramatically in the second quarter of this year as many consumers shifted their shopping practices away from physical stores and over to digital platforms. Demand for dipped, while the home improvement and technology sectors boomed. U.S. retail e-commerce increased 44.5 percent year-over-year, ultimately resulting in 2.4 million additional square feet of warehousing space, many of those dedicated to business-to-business (B2B) operations.
Recently, officials announced that U.S. land borders with Mexico and Canada will remain closed for non-essential travel through at least the last week of December amid COVID-19 surges in all three countries. Although the borders have been closed since March, trucks will continue to be allowed to freely crossing borders as essential goods movement is exempt from these restrictions, and Freight Waves reports these haven’t directly impacted cross-border freight volumes, which have recovered since the pandemic-related lows. Still, at a time when customs and border agents are being extra cautious, businesses that depend on transportation of goods across international borders benefit markedly from working with a customs bonded carrier and warehouse provider.
In-bond loads or “bonded shipments” are those that are transported through or stored in the U.S., but aren’t intended to be commercialized here. For that reason, they don’t need to clear customs at the border or pay duties, taxes or customs costs they normally would during the import process. However, you need a bonded carrier to help you move these goods. If they need to be stored en route, you must also work with a customs bonded warehouse.
An example of a bonded shipment would be an LTL shipment that leaves Canada and is transported by land to be received in Mexico – or visa versa. Customs bonded transportation and warehousing services are specially licensed to receive, hold, repackage and transport these goods.
Inbound and outbound logistics are among the most complicated functions of running any business. Effective warehouse management is essential to these processes. Get it wrong, and you’ll be stuck with low staff morale, poor customer satisfaction and dwindling profit margins. Get it right, and you set your business up for success with reduced losses and delays and improved product flow.
At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, we understand that the best warehouse management and distribution practices include more than just moving and tracking goods. Communication, transparency, honesty, responsiveness and the willingness to always go the extra mile are also imperative. As a third-party logistics (3PL) provider, we wear many hats in order to offer our customers an all-in-one solution.
Cleveland cross docking services can save time and warehouse space, improve customer satisfaction and decrease the risk of damage to products. However, it can also require significant capital and a lot of patience – unless you work with a third-party logistics company that already has these streamlined systems firmly in place.
What is Cross Docking?
Cross docking is a type of logistics strategy that involves a carrier unloading cargo from an incoming container and then immediately loading it onto an outbound carrier. It requires some complicated mathematics and organization of people, goods and trucks, but the end result is it cuts down on the need for warehousing, which in turn lowers your expenses and helps keep your supply chain moving.
Warehouse facilities like those at On Time Delivery & Warehouse offer Cleveland cross docking because we recognize the great value our customers retain from it.
Same-day delivery and next-day delivery are part of our Cleveland 3PL wheelhouse. These services keep customers happy, but they have become especially important in the midst of a dramatic shift toward e-commerce this year.
As TechCrunch recently reported, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift away from physical stores and pushed the e-commerce ahead by a full five years. This change has been on the horizon for years, but e-commerce is projected to grow by a stunning 20 percent in 2020.
This latest report, IBM’s U.S. Retail Index, reveals what our Cleveland 3PL has been preaching for years: Retailers, manufacturers and business-to-business operators are going to need to pivot more quickly multiple outlet fulfillment capabilities if they want to stay competitive. This means prioritizing same-day delivery and next-day delivery services.