In any business decision, a cost-benefit analysis is critical. One of those decisions for many companies involves private vs. outsourced fleet operation. Getting your goods from where they are to where they need to be is a time-consuming and often complicated task. Hiring drivers and managing routes, payroll, vehicle maintenance, safety compliance, insurance, taxes – the demands can very quickly start encroaching on your primary business operations. If that’s the situation you’re facing, an Ohio dedicated fleet service might be your best transportation solution.
To be fair, having your own private fleet has some advantages, mainly full control. But that means the cost, liability and responsibility is all on the shoulders of your firm too. For many businesses, that’s too significant a burden. As a long-time third-party logistics firm, we offer Ohio dedicated fleet service to companies of all sizes.
A dedicated service gives customers optimized transportation that can be tailored to their organizational structures. A group of drivers, tractors, trailers and other resources are assigned exclusively to their business operations, facilities or lanes in a transport network. It runs much like a private fleet, but the management and maintenance are outsourced.
Among the potential advantages many On Time Delivery & Warehouse customers glean from dedicated transportation services:
- Improved on-time delivery performance
- Guaranteed capacity (whether you need just-in-time delivery or hot-shot service, dedicated services can assure the fleet is always available)
- Supply chain control
- Reduced freight transportation costs
- Operation visibility and transparency
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.
Each day, billions of boxes are moved swiftly from production plants to warehouses to final destinations across the globe. Here in Ohio, kitting is a key fulfillment service that allows manufacturers, business-to-business operations and consumer-packaged goods firms to efficiently deliver on time-sensitive parts and products. All of these operations are facing increasingly smaller windows to do so. Bundling related items is one way to improve productivity and drive sales. But kitting, assembly, packaging and repackaging – if you want to do it well – requires a great deal of space, time, labor and oversight. An established, third-party logistics firm with Ohio kitting and assembly services AND warehousing and distribution capabilities can help ensure you meet your goals while keeping costs down.
What is Kitting and Assembly?
In simple terms, kitting is when a group of materials or parts form a kit that can then be delivered as-is (for easy assembly at its next destination) or assembled here on site. It could be anything from car parts to promotional gift sets. Kitting is sometimes thought of as a smaller aspect of a distribution operation, but enterprising managers learn quickly it’s not something they can overlook if they want to keep their supply chain moving and their customers happy.
Assembly is the process of taking two or more separate components and combining them to make an end item that’s ready for shipment. Some manufacturers have dedicated assembly lines to some products, but not all of them need such an expansive operation full-time.
When you hire our 3PL to handle it, you get the benefit of quality kitting, assembly, packaging and repackaging services that allow you to combine numerous products into a single kit. We can also and relabel, barcode, package, repackage, store, pickup and ship. And you can have all that at a moment’s notice because we can offer these services with both scale and flexibility. We are also available to consult with you on the most logical, efficient way to package your kits to ensure your supply chain is optimized.
There is no question trucking can be a hazardous occupation. It can also be one fraught with potential liabilities – and not only for the people behind the wheel. A recent analysis by the American Transportation Research Institute revealed that large verdicts against trucking companies and shippers have increased in recent years, both in number and size of awards. Collisions expose shippers and carriers to potential legal headaches. That’s why we place Cleveland trucking safety at the very top of our priority list at On Time Delivery & Warehouse.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports there are more than 450,000 large truck crashes in the U.S. annually, with more than 100,000 of those involving injuries and somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 proving fatal. These incidents have not only a profound impact on the individuals whose lives may be forever changed as a result, but they can also cost both carriers and shippers dearly in court. The ATRI reports the number of verdicts over $10 million doubled between 2006 and 2019.
Cleveland trucking safety is central to our operations because we believe crash avoidance is everything – to protect not only our drivers, fleet and shipping customers, but everyone with whom we share the road. This is why our fleets are properly-equipped and meticulously-maintained and why strict adherence to safety and operational policies is essential to us.
Simply put, a supply chain is a network between a business and its suppliers to produce, process, store and distribute goods. A supply chain involves people, technology, information, activities, resources and organizations. It incorporates every step necessary to get that product to its final destination. To meet consumer expectations, your supply chain needs to be efficient and error-free. Currently, one of the biggest challenges is the increasing complexity of supply chains. Working with a 3PL (third-party logistics provider) like On Time Delivery & Warehouse can help you overcome supply chain complexities to ensure your items are moved quickly, safely and seamlessly.
Complexities in modern supply chains are largely attributed to a continually growing number of products, customers, channels and geographies. Research by Gartner found that supply chain complexity is a top concern of CEOs, with more than 60 percent of supply chain leaders reporting it poses one of the highest risks to business continuity.