Cleveland warehouse kitting services offer many competitive advantages to manufacturers and retailers hoping to streamline their processes and lower costs.
Warehouse kitting, a service typically handled by a 3PL, involves taking multiple stock keeping units (or SKUs) and combining them into a single package to create a separate SKU. In other words, we’re taking several individual products or parts of individual products and compiling them into “kits.” Those kits are then passed on for production and “just-in-time” deliveries.
Many companies take advantage of 3PL warehouse kitting because it allows for:
- Reduction in the number of purchase orders;
- Lowered administration costs;
- Faster assembly (for manufacturers and/or consumers);
- Optimized use of space;
- Better packaging quality;
- Fewer shipping mistakes;
- Happier customers.
Communication is a core component of any successful supply chain in terms of efficiency, security and transparency. Yet a stunning amount of Cleveland trucking logistics firms lack efficient communication solutions.
Trucking and logistics teams are responsible for moving freight across significant distances, sometimes with multiple stops, while collaborating closely with various shippers, warehouse managers and other stakeholders. Team communication is essential to ensuring deliveries arrive when, how and where customers want them. This is increasingly important because orders and shipping windows are growing smaller. Cleveland trucking logistics companies that aren’t adequately communicating – internally and externally – are risking their bottom line and that of their customers.
Poor communication can result in:
- Wasted time;
- Loss of money;
- Ineffective use of resources;
- Reduced worker morale;
- Missed innovation opportunities;
- Unsatisfied customers;
- Public relations headaches.
It’s easy enough for trucking companies to presume that whatever communication systems they’ve been using for years will continue to work just fine indefinitely. However, as the Cleveland trucking logistics experts at On Time Delivery & Warehouse know, communication inefficiencies can take months or even years to become apparent. That’s why we proactively evaluate our communication systems on a routine basis. We’re committed to making sure that the supply chains for which we are responsible are as transparent and uninterrupted as possible.
In facilitating efficient management of your supply chain, choosing a transportation and logistics partner with right combination of services that fit your company needs is essential. Unfortunately, industry jargon breeds confusion. For example, 3PL (third-party logistics) and freight brokering are often spoken of as if interchangeable. They aren’t.
As our Cleveland 3PL experts can explain, there are some similarities, but also a few key differences. When you’re in the market for a logistics partner, those differences matter.
At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, we want clients to have the information and tools necessary to determine the best solutions for their operations.
What primarily sets 3PL services and freight brokers apart (as well as freight forwarders and motor carriers) is the range of services they provide (including whether they are asset or non-asset services) and the type of primary insurance coverage they carry. Much of this is spelled out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the regulator responsible for ensuring safety and legal compliance of over the road transportation.
Cleveland intermodal transportation is a combination of two or more shipping modes, such as truck, ship, rail or aircraft, used to move goods to their final destination. It’s often most beneficial for shippers who need to move materials a distance of 750 miles or more. Third-party logistics teams are often contracted to help oversee supply chains involving intermodal transport as it involves multiple carriers each responsible for a specific mode.
Intermodal transport has been altered drastically just in the last several decades, with advances including automated terminals and double-stack cars. This led to soaring growth associated with cost reductions and productivity gains. The benefits of Cleveland intermodal transportation are still apparent, but the momentum does appear to be slowing a bit, according to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).
Domestic intermodal volume has fallen 6 percent year-over-year in the first half of 2019 and there was a nearly 8 percent drop in the second quarter of 2019. Intermodal traffic moving in trailers and containers has grown just 0.1 percent in the last five years, but it did hit a peak just last year.
Cleveland truckload shipping rates are constantly in flux, thanks to numerous cost variables such as distance, type of product and mode.
The ever-changing cost of truckload shipping can make determining an exact rate for a single freight somewhat challenging, especially if the plan is to use more than one carrier or mode.
To keep Cleveland truckload shipping rates as transparent, manageable and consistent as possible, work with a third-party logistics (3PL) firm. Establish open communication upfront. This will ensure your truck pricing quotes are more accurate and that you’re fully leveraging all the services and technology benefits your 3PL and carrier partners offer.
Efficiency in Cleveland warehousing is essential for a company to thrive. This is especially true when inventory is one of a business’s largest assets – and biggest expenses. But warehousing is a huge undertaking, which is why so many firms outsource this crucial function to third-party logistics teams that specialize in it.
Third-party logistics companies, or 3PLs, work in varying capacities to manage your supply chain. Warehousing is a critical cog in the supply chain wheelhouse, key to the protection, packaging and delivery of your goods from the front end of production to the final consumer destination.
There can be benefit in managing in-house warehousing, but it should be understood it’s a challenging specialty enterprise all its own.
The term “driver detention” in trucking refers to occasions when a trucker’s fastest route is delayed at the location of either pickup origin or delivery destination – costing the driver and other stakeholders time and money and posing possible safety risks on the road. Our Cleveland trucking service providers are familiar with the old adage, “If the wheels aren’t turning, truckers aren’t earning,” and work to address these issues to improve efficiency and capacity and keep costs in check.
Loading dock times longer than a two hours is considered a substantial delay, and it’s become a common issue weighing heavily on the trucking industry the last several years.
reported that, on average, only 6.5 of the total 11 hours of drive time available under federal Hours of Service rules are spent actually driving. Much of the rest spent waiting to load and unload.
Working with a Cleveland trucking service with warehousing and logistics capabilities can help to identify which issues and individual suppliers/receivers pose the most driver detention risk and work to reduce those risks.
The concept of supply chain visibility wasn’t an issue many Northeast Ohio warehousing and logistics firms considered much until just the last couple decades. Supply chain visibility is the tracking of products or components from manufacturer to final destination and making this information readily available to all stakeholders, customer included, with the goal of strengthening and improving the supply chain.
Today, supply chain transparency is a top priority for logistics powerhouses, with top-level managers across a range of industries paying close attention.
Businesses are under increasingly intense pressure from consumers, governments, non-profits and other stakeholders to delivery goods in tact and on time – and to do so in a way that is considered responsible and sustainable from ecological and humanitarian standpoints.
Cleveland trucking companies expressed alarm about the plight of several truck drivers in recent months arrested on serious felony drug trafficking charges – for hauling federally-approved industrial hemp across state lines. Along with its oil extract, cannabidiol (CBD), hemp was declared legal by Congress with the passage of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill.
To be clear, hemp and CBD are not the same substance as marijuana, which contains the psychoactive ingredient THC. Both hemp and marijuana are parts of the same cannabis plant, but neither hemp nor its CBD derivative contains more than trace amounts of THC (0.3 percent maximum by law).
Hemp is a versatile plant used for thousands of years as a food and fiber source. It was widely grown in the U.S. prior to WWII, until the government chose to strictly regulate it alongside marijuana. Hemp-derived CBD is purported to have a number of health benefits for a range of conditions, ranging from depression to rheumatoid arthritis to epilepsy.
The problem for trucking companies in Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio is that this change in federal statute did not automatically alter any state laws. States have been tackling it one-by-one, and some still have the old laws in place. That means truck drivers hauling hemp and CBD material through these states will remain at risk.
Here in Ohio, lawmakers passed a CBD/hemp bill, SB 57, about a week ago – more than six months after the 2018 Farm Bill went into effect. The measure aligns state and federal law.
Bottlenecks – on urban roads and interstate thoroughfares – have been on the radar of our Cleveland trucking firm for some time.
Transportation bottlenecks in the supply chain could include:
- Congestion on a freeway in an intercity trucking freeway;
- A traffic light that’s poorly-timed on an urban trucking corridor;
- Routine crashes at an intersection that’s improperly-designed or outdated.
Everyone knows the pain of a traffic jam, but for the U.S. trucking industry, per a report last year from the American Transportation Research Institute, trucking industry time losses due to clogged highways collectively added up to 1.2 billion hours annually. According to the agency’s release, this is equivalent to more than 425,000 truck drivers sitting in idle mode – for a full 12 months. Total cost of this traffic congestion to the trucking industry (which ultimately affects shippers and consumers too) is nearly $75 billion.
Worst Trucking Bottlenecks in U.S. Supply Chain
Our Cleveland trucking company stays constantly apprised of traffic flow and congestion on major and minor routes, maintaining contingencies for alternative routes to help save time – and ultimately money. For example, if every UPS vehicle every day experienced a 5-minute delay, this would total $115 million in additional costs a year.