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 CFS freight blocking & bracing

Importance of Blocking & Bracing Cleveland CFS Cargo

Blocking & bracing are essential to ensure maximum protection of your Cleveland CFS cargo.

As our logistics professionals can explain, meticulous planning is critical in container loads to ensure equal weight distribution during transit. It’s especially important for damage prevention when moving larger-sized loads.

Properly securing cargo may take a bit of extra effort, but it ultimately saves you time and money, increases safety, protects business relationships, and is required by state and federal laws.

We work to correctly block & brace every portion of loaded freight containers, ensuring your cargo gets where it needs to be – intact, on time, every time.

What is Blocking & Bracing?

Blocking is the means of preventing loads from moving laterally (side-to-side, front-to-back). Bracing, meanwhile, is the means of preventing vertical movement (up-and-down). Failure to brace properly can result in loads jumping over the blocks. And if the blocks aren’t implemented properly, the braces aren’t going to hold.

Visualize your heavy load resting in a container. Some assume that because it’s heavy, it’s unlikely to budge much. This is a miscalculation – a potentially catastrophic one. As our Cleveland CFS cargo experts can explain, once a container is moving, the internal object’s momentum in any direction is going to be proportionate to its weight.

Whatever the mode – whether it’s rail, truck, or ship – proper blocking, bracing, and loading is critical. It’s also important to understand that these techniques differ from load-to-load.

In the case of CFS shipments prepped for intermodal transport (cross-country or international), expect the potential for all kinds of jostling movements, including:

  • Forward surges
  • Front-to-back pitching
  • Side-to-side rolling
  • Up-and-down heaving
  • Irregular motions
  • Vibrations
  • Sudden impacts

When your shipment is properly blocked and braced, it’s going to be protected on every leg of the journey.

Cleveland CFS freight blocking & bracing

Some of the factors impacting how we block and brace:

  • Container size
  • Loading type (cartons, drums, pallets, etc.)
  • Dimensions
  • Number of pallets or units
  • Weights
  • Whether the cargo will be loaded onto pallets or floor-loaded
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 3PL

Teaming With Cleveland 3PL Offers Mid-sized Businesses Supply Chain Solutions

Businesses of all sizes have struggled with supply chain instability the last few years. It’s considered the No. 2 concern, just after finding and retaining qualified, reliable workers. Girding themselves for more supply chain volatility on the horizon, many mid-sized companies are strategically stockpiling inventory, allocating more funds to ensure timely deliveries, and onboarding software that allows for greater transparency. These are smart tactics for Northeast Ohio businesses – and can all be successfully implemented by teaming with a dedicated Cleveland 3PL (third-party logistics) warehousing and distribution partner.

According to the recently-released 2022 Business Leaders Outlook Survey, conducted by JPMorgan Chase, the majority of mid-size company leaders appear to be shifting from a small-business mindset to a larger one in an effort to stay competitive in the global economy. To maximize their competitive edge, more than half of respondent companies (with annual revenues ranging between $20 million and $500 million) were adding suppliers from new areas as well as dedicating more capital to higher shipping and delivery costs. One-third were changing materials or manufacturing processes, and some had even stopped working with some suppliers altogether.

More than 80 percent of firms said they had to increase wages in order to recruit and retain workers. This is a particular challenge for companies managing their own warehousing and logistics in-house – further highlighting the benefits of working with an established Cleveland 3PL.

Other top concerns for companies looking ahead this year are difficulties with forecasting, customer demands for lower costs, customer demands for reduced response times, and overall rising expectations for customer service. Well over half of companies queried are actively investing in inventory & network optimization.

As an experienced team of third-party logistics professionals, we recognize that while many businesses stress over supply chain operations, the consumer-driven approach does open the door for innovation opportunities. Running an efficient, cost-effective operation has always been a challenge – and it’s one that Ohio 3PL operators are uniquely equipped to help resolve. Among the top concerns we help clients address with Cleveland 3PL services:

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 3PL

Launching a New Small Business? Consider Cleveland 3PL Services.

If you’re among the millions of Americans who have recently launched a new business this year, let us be among the first to congratulate you! U.S. Census data indicates that the surge of new enterprises contains a significant number of manufacturing and retail companies. All startups (but those in these areas in particular) should look closely at the benefits of partnering with a trusted Cleveland 3PL (third-party logistics) company. A 3PL can assist with optimizing inventory management, warehousing, scalability, simplification, shipments, transparency, customer satisfaction reviews, and cost savings.

Outsourcing shipping, warehousing, and order fulfillment with a third-party logistics firm is something burgeoning business owners sometimes overlook in the early phases, primarily because many are cash-strapped and looking for any and all opportunities to save capital. However, smart entrepreneurs recognize that certain expenses are well worth the investment. Many new (and veteran) Northeast Ohio business owners see substantial benefits working with a trusted Cleveland 3PL, often right out of the gate. In fact, some operators find they can’t effectively compete in the market without one.

What Does a Cleveland 3PL Partner Do, Exactly? 

Third-party logistics companies manage your supply chain operations, including warehousing and shipping. In short, our job is ensuring your products make it to your business partners/customers – intact, on time, every time.

We help facilitate the receiving, picking, warehousing, packing, and shipping. On Time Delivery & Warehouse goes above and beyond the typical storage space operation to provide:

  • Heated warehousing.
  • FDA registered warehousing.
  • Container Freight Station (CFS).
  • Centralized Examination Station (CMS).
  • Import/export freight handlers.
  • Product coding & packing.
  • Cross-docking.
  • Daily, weekly, monthly, and annual storage rates.
  • Bill of lading preparation.
  • UPS Standard daily.
  • On-site security.
  • Domestic freight handlers.
  • Hazmat certification.
  • Hot shot services.
  • Kitting.
  • Liftgate deliveries.
  • Same-day & next-day delivery services.

If we don’t offer the exact services you’re seeking, we’ll point you to another trusted local provider who can.

Why Logistics Are an Important Consideration for Brand New Businesses

Very few startups have experience in logistics. This is problematic because it can impact how quickly the right goods get to the correct destination, unblemished and exactly when they’re supposed to.

Our goal as 3PL providers is to ensure your supply chain is working for you and your customers from Day 1.

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 3PL warehousing

A Cleveland 3PL Helps Partner Companies Navigate Ongoing Supply Chain Challenges

The modern supply chain is capable of impressive feats, delivering goods and materials from across the globe to businesses, suppliers, and customers in days or sometimes even hours. Of course, there are always vulnerabilities. If the last 1.5 years has taught us anything, it’s that even the most tightly-managed supply chains aren’t invincible. Industry analysts now opine that global supply chains are poised for ongoing, high volatility on several fronts. Those partnering with a Cleveland 3PL will find they’re far better prepared to successfully steer through these challenges.

You may recall that during the pandemic, supply chain snags meant certain goods and products were unavailable for days, weeks, and even months. High-demand items were suddenly in short supply, creating logistical calamities that have, in some cases, persisted to this day.

These problems haven’t been limited to a single industry or product, which is why we’ve seen overall hikes in logistics costs. Compounding matters are the record numbers of ships delayed at ports, a highly constrained warehousing space market, and soaring fuel costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the cost of fuel was up more than 35 percent this summer year-over-year. In some areas, load-to-truck costs are up more than 70 percent.

As longtime Cleveland 3PL providers in warehousing and shipping, we’re familiar with the many ups and downs (and sideways spins) a supply chain can take. Given that there is a good chance we won’t see a pre-pandemic normal of supply chains anytime soon, businesses need to brace themselves for disruptions and higher costs. Those that are working with a dedicated third-party logistics firm will have a leg-up on the competition.