Cleveland domestic freight forwarding

7 Upsides to Contracting With a Cleveland Domestic Freight Forwarding Company

Cleveland domestic freight forwarding is an invaluable supply chain service for businesses of all sizes that seek to meet customer demand, expand market reach, and still keep the internal focus on core competencies.

A freight forwarder is basically a third-party logistics business that helps other companies arrange the import and/or export of cargo. In so doing, they often provide critical supply chain management services, such as inland transportation, warehouse storage, document preparation, consolidation/deconsolidation, and customs clearance. Freight forwarding can be done internationally or domestically, depending on where your goods are ultimately ending up.

The particulars can get complicated, but the general idea is that when your business needs goods moved from A to B, you can hire a 3PL freight forwarder, which then maps out the most efficient, cost-effective chain of supply for your operation Freight forwarders can use either their own resources (trucks, drivers, warehouse space, labor, etc.) OR by tap into shipping partner connections.

At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, our experienced freight forwarding team of Cleveland domestic freight handlers assists with loading and unloading cargo and overseeing quality control with meticulous review of goods unloaded/loaded from one vehicle or carrier to the next. We also provide clients with trucking and warehousing services.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, more than 55 million tons of freight – some $54 billion worth – is moved daily in the U.S. transportation system. The largest percentage of shipped goods – 75 percent by both weight and dollar value – is moved within relatively short distances, 250 miles or less. Trucks are the transport mode that moves the most domestically, particularly for shipments moved 1,000-miles-or-less. Domestic freight transport can also involve rail, air freight, or a combination intermodal supply chain resources.

Cleveland freight forwarding company

Top Advantages of Having a Cleveland Domestic Freight Forwarding Partner

For companies that routinely ship high volumes of products, the many advantages of hiring a Cleveland freight forwarding:

  1. Competitive pricing based on needed services. Ohio domestic freight forwarding companies can leverage volume to reduce your costs. As intermediaries, freight forwarders have forged reliable working relationships with multiple shippers. This allows them access to more routes, specialty services, and pricing options, and then quickly strike shipment deals on their behalf. Freight forwarders can also sometimes finagle lower shipping prices through cargo consolidation among numerous customers. A single container can carry multiple customers’ cargo, and they all collectively pay less for it.
  2. Greater shipping flexibility. Shipping domestically and globally is time-consuming, costly, labor-intensive – and at constant risk of last-minute, unexpected changes. Ports experience bottlenecks. Crashes happen on major highways. Blizzards blow through the entire Northern half of the country. Supply chains are always going to be at risk of setbacks like this. Freight forwarding companies can’t shield you entirely, but they can forecast problems on the horizon, identify issues as soon as they crop up, and quickly connect you to alternatives that will minimize the financial impact.
  3. Environmentally safer shipping. Environmentally-conscious companies often opt for freight forwarding to manage their shipping needs. Freight forwarders use space-efficient packing methods, prioritize making the most of less-than-truckload orders, ensure fleets are well-maintained, and aim for route optimization with every single trip – all of which can help reduce the overall number of trips to be made and improve fuel efficiency.
  4. Experience and accountability. Anytime goods are being transported, there’s always the risk something could go wrong. In those scenarios, having a freight forwarding partner with extensive experience and industry knowledge can make a huge difference in maximizing your time and resources and minimizing losses. They are going to be able to identify and secure alternative arrangements. Freight forwarding customers also have a clear line of accountability when things do go sideways.
  5. Real time cargo tracking and transparency. Effective use of cargo tracking technology is key in helping companies – and their customers – manage price predictions, delivery expectations, and operational goals. You need to know “how long will it take for my goods to get there.” Chances are, your freight forwarder is already using advanced tracking technology to give their clients this edge.
  6. Accurate documentation. Documentation is a huge issue for companies shipping freight internationally, but it’s still relevant for Ohio domestic freight forwarding companies. Interstate shipments still need to be accompanied with appropriate documentation, such as the bill of lading (the contract between you and the freight carrier), the freight bill, packing list, and proof of delivery (not required, but beneficial). Any domestic HAZMAT shipments will require additional documentation. Making sure all your paperwork is accurate and in order helps to ensure your domestic freight will arrive intact, on time, every time.
  7. Less hassle. You have an entire business to run. Working with a Cleveland domestic freight forwarding company allows you to keep your focus on what you do best, while we focus on what we do best.

If you have questions about domestic freight forwarding services in Cleveland, our dedicated third-party logistics team at On Time Delivery & Warehouse is here with answers.

For information on Northeast Ohio freight forwarding and freight handling services, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.

Additional Resources:

Freight Facts and Figures, Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Moving Goods in the United States, U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics

More Blog Entries:

Why Companies are Increasingly Turning to Cleveland Dedicated Trucking, Nov. 28, 2022, Cleveland Trucking & Warehousing Blog

Cleveland transloading

Cleveland Transloading Service Benefits

When it comes to the shipping & logistics, moving goods from one destination to another, Cleveland transloading is a standout service that delivers value and results.

Transloading is a service that involves the transfer of goods from one mode of transportation to another along a designated shipping route. Most often, transloading involves full cargo containers shipped as ocean freight received at a port of entry. The goods are then processed and transferred to a different mode of delivery – usually trucking, rail, or barge – with products often palletized.

Transloading can also involve truck-to-truck and train-to-train exchanges. This is what often gets transloading confused with cross-docking. Cross-docking involves moving an intact pallet (or pallets) from one truck to another. Transloading, meanwhile, involves sorting and re-palletizing items and then transloading them to rail, air, or truck. Cross-docking can reduce or eliminate storage time and often involves quick turnaround times that are ideal for businesses operating on a deadline. Transloading can also deliver cost-savings, flexibility, and faster shipping.

Determining whether Cleveland transloading services are ideal for your situation involves weighing numerous factors. Our dedicated team of Northeast Ohio logistics professionals can help you identify the optimal solution for your operation.

Companies that avail themselves of strategic Cleveland transloading services keep their freight moving efficiently while keeping costs in check.

What Can Cleveland Transloading Do For You?

Transloading has become increasingly popular as e-commerce and international trade becomes the norm. Long-haul shipments often mean numerous shipping companies and transit modes. Transloading can help simplify complicated logistics and save businesses money.

Among the many advantages of transloading:

  • Lower costs. Transloading is a great way to reduce your costs, particularly when you’re importing ocean container goods. Shippers can save big – usually in one of two ways. The first involves moving the contents of three, 40-foot containers into two, 53-foot trailers or domestic containers. You have the ability to select the transport mode through different legs of the journey that is going to be the most cost- and energy-efficient. Secondly, when you transload at the port, you avoid the need to use ocean containers to ship items inland. Steamships put a premium on maritime freight containers, so this is a major cost savings. (Bonus: A shipping container that is returned to more quickly to circulation means faster turnaround time on the next shipment, reducing bottlenecks and allowing for more efficient supply chains overall.)
  • Faster transit times. It’s true that transloading takes a bit of time, usually about 1-3 days. However, by having the flexibility of several different transport mode options, you have the option of identifying the fastest option.
  • More destination options within reach. Because transloading offers the option to choose any combination of freight transportation to best reach a certain end point, your goods can reach just about any destination.
  • Simplified operations. Any bulk or heavy material shipping is going to pose some challenges. Transloading consolidates your shipments, and makes them easier – and cheaper – to transport.
  • Promotes business growth. By allowing companies to hold down costs while reaching new markets and decentralizing your supply chain, transloading offers more opportunities to keep the customers they have – and attract new ones.

If you are considering transloading for your operation, our Cleveland team is prepared to offer detailed answers to your questions and provide a quote.

For information on our Transloading in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.

Additional Resources:

Transloading, by Will Kenton & Amanda Jackson, Jan. 31, 2021, Investopedia

More Blog Entries:

Cleveland Warehousing Helps Businesses Optimize Resources, Maximize Profits, July 30, 2022, Northeast Ohio Warehousing & Trucking Blog

Ohio trucking services

Seasonal Cycles of Ohio Trucking Are Back, Per Cleveland Trucking Experts

Ohio trucking services have historically adhered to clear seasonal cycles, generally broken down into four quarters.

We all know that trucking – and the transportation industry as a whole – are heavily influenced by supply-and-demand, which set the bar for rates and capacity. Market conditions can vary year-over-year, but there are also consistent seasonal patterns that emerge as well.

But as our Northeast Ohio trucking service providers can explain, the largely predictable ups-and-downs of the trucking and freight industry were thrown completely for a loop during the pandemic. As noted by the International Finance Corporation, land freight was a somewhat less impacted cog in the supply chain wheel (compared to air and ocean freight) if only because roads across the globe largely remained open (except in countries or places under severe lockdown). Trucking capacity ended up being strained, particularly as there was a booming demand for food and medical supplies.

Ohio trucking services

What we’re seeing now is those supply chain imbalances start to ease. The Journal of Commerce reports the market is beginning to realign (though not quite to the level of pre-COVID levels and pricing). What this means is we’re going to start seeing a shift back to seasonal Ohio trucking trends.

Being Prepared for Seasonal Ohio Trucking Trends

An understanding of trucking seasonality is important for stockholders in a broad range of industries because it can be used to forecast capacity, rates, and delivery times.

Those in the trucking and logistics sector typically identify four key seasons in freight:

Quiet Season (January – March). Volume tends to be down during this quarter. Weather across much of the U.S. (including Northeast Ohio) is not ideal for shipping. It may be possible during this quarter to find somewhat reduced shipping rates because demand has slid.

Produce Season (April – July). Ohio trucking volumes start to kick into high gear. The market tightens, demand increases, and finding a truck becomes more challenging. As a result, this season is associated with rate increases.

Peak Season (August-October). The produce season is starting to ease, but shippers are still very busy. They’re prepping for the back-to-school supply demands, as well as ramping up for upcoming holiday demands. Both volumes and rates are going to be at their peak during this period.

Holiday Season (November-December). Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve put a lot of demand on the freight industry – with pressure to get it all wrapped up before the final week of December. Once we get to that final week, demand for trucking freight begins to slow, and continues that lull until the following spring.

Specifically here in the Midwest, we’re going to see the highest trucking volumes between June and September.

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
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).

Ohio LTL freight

Why is Ohio LTL Freight So Pricey – and How Can I Reduce the Costs?

Less-than-truckload (LTL) and full truckload (FTL or just TL) are the most common types of freight shipping in most industry supply chains. Unfortunately, Ohio LTL freight shipping prices have risen substantially in recent years.

At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, we pride ourselves on pricing transparency and strive always to provide the most competitive LTL shipping costs in the region. Understanding why costs are higher these days is important to formulating a workable strategy to keep those expenses manageable while still ensuring your shipments are getting where they need to be – intact, on time, every time.

What is Ohio LTL Freight Shipping? 

Approximately 54 million tons of freight are moved on trucks daily in this country, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. A considerable share of this is hauled on LTL loads.

Anytime your shipment takes up an entire truck (typically somewhere around 42,500 lbs. or 24 pallets), it’s called a full truckload. When the weight or size of your shipment is less than that, you have the option of shipping items via less-than-truckload. LTL is sort of like a rideshare service with multiple passengers, but for freight.

On a per-mile, per-unit basis, Ohio LTL freight is often more costly. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t the most cost-efficient option for the specific needs of your business.

Some benefits of LTL shipping include:

  • Tracking and tracing. Transparency and visibility of shipments is important to our clients as well as their customers. Knowing transit times, the location of shipments, estimated delivery times and more can be invaluable.
  • Service options. These can include pick up and delivery, liftgate service, import/export freight handlers, hotshot deliveries and more.
  • Earth-friendly. Shipping via LTL allows carriers to use all the room on the truck, meaning each shipment is efficient and eco-friendly.

These should be factored when considering whether LTL makes the most financial sense for your firm.

Cleveland container freight station

4 Questions to Ask Your Cleveland Freight Station

Spot ocean container rates have tripled in the last year, an unprecedented spike in the history of container shipping. Rates for bulk commodity shipping may be elastic to a certain extent, but it’s imperative that when working with a Cleveland freight station, you’re getting the most for your money. Asking key questions before contracting with any freight station – domestic freight handlers and import/export freight handlers – ensures you’re receiving the best possible value.

The freight industry is a complex one, and you want to make certain the third-party logistics team working for you is a good fit for your business, particularly if you’re trusting them to transport your cargo. One Cleveland freight station may operate differently from another, so before you sign on to any agreement, it’s best to have a full understanding of the provider’s services, locations, experience and network.

To aid in your search, On Time Delivery & Warehouse has outlined several questions you may consider asking prospective Cleveland freight station providers.

Cleveland container freight station

How a Cleveland Container Freight Station Keeps Your Goods Moving

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.

Ohio hazmat certified shipping

Shipping Hazardous Materials: A Guide to Ohio Hazmat Certified Shipping

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.

Dedicated Northeast Ohio 3PL Can Drive Down Your Trucking Liability Risks

As a longtime Northeast Ohio 3PL provider in Cleveland, On Time Delivery & Warehouse has a battle-tested supply chain network of carriers and routes spanning the U.S. market and beyond – on ground rails, overseas and in the skies. For most domestic deliveries though, we rely on commercial trucks.Northeast Ohio 3PL

We’re certainly not the only Northeast Ohio 3PL to do so, though our longstanding, loyal customer backing affirms our stake as one of the most trusted supply chain management companies in the Midwest. The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports 70 percent of the 50 million tons of U.S. economy freight moved daily is hauled by commercial trucks. Our trucking services clients have the advantage not just of our expansive carrier network, but our own fleet of trailers, box trucks and flatbeds.

Trucking is often the most cost-effective ways to move freight domestically, though as you probably know, it’s not exactly cheap either. Working with a 3PL trucking service can help, getting you better deals on less-than-truckload services and more. In fact, one of the greatest benefits of working with a Northeast Ohio 3PL instead of managing trucking services in-house is: Third-party logistics providers can help reduce your trucking liability risks. 

This is an especially key consideration for many firms, given the risk of commercial truck crashes is on the rise.