Virtually any company that relies on e-commerce can benefit from 3PL fulfillment services. Some of the most popular Cleveland fulfillment center services that we offer at On Time Delivery & Warehouse are bundling, warehousing, picking and packing, kitting, labeling, product coding & repacking, shipping (including same day shipping), inventory management, customs & import guidance, and logistics solutions.
Outsourced fulfillment services make the most sense for companies that:
- Lack internal resources to ensure consistently robust warehousing capabilities.
- Have minimal inventory management potential.
- Don’t have enough time or staff to dedicate to shipping and distribution.
According to analysis by Grand View Research, the market value of global e-commerce fulfillment services is estimated to have a compound annual growth rate of nearly 10 percent between now and 2030. That means it’s likely no matter what your field, a growing number of competitors will begin more fully appreciating the benefits of partnering with a third-party Cleveland fulfillment center to provide key services.
How Do Cleveland Fulfillment Center Partnerships Work?
When it comes to logistics and managing supply chains, even smaller operations may have complexities that can impact how fast orders are delivered to the end customer – and in what condition. There are often many puzzle pieces that need to fit together just right to ensure the desired outcome and timeline.
At the center of that puzzle is often the fulfillment center.
Fulfillment center operators can wear many hats, but they’re typically third parties responsible for processing and shipping products that have been ordered/purchased. These facilities are often large and centrally-located to ensure faster shipping times at lower costs. They can serve both business-to-consumer or business-to-business operations.
While the terms “fulfillment center” and “warehouse” are sometimes used interchangeably, there are some differences. Most fulfillment centers are also warehouses or linked with warehousing services. However, not all warehouses are fulfillment centers. Whereas warehouses are places to store goods, materials, and products, the fulfillment center is responsible for meeting customer demands through efficient processing and shipping.
Half a Dozen Benefits of Quality Fulfillment Services
Outsourcing your distribution and fulfillment services can potentially reduce shipping costs by anywhere between 15 and 35 percent. That’s usually the most compelling draw for most companies. But there are other upsides too – some of which also contribute to the bottom line boost.
At the top of our list:
- Avoiding a brick-and-mortar investment. Although this trend started pre-2020, the pandemic threw into stark relief the fact that many operations are using more physical space than they need. Warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution services often require a lot of space – which can cost a lot of money, particularly if you are renting/paying taxes on/insuring/managing/equipping/staffing your own facility. It usually only makes sense for very large companies or those that consistently move huge volumes to manage their own fulfillment and distribution operations. For others, third-party logistics fulfillment centers are the ideal solution.
- Faster order processing. When you work with a dedicated fulfillment center, orders can typically ship faster than you’d be able to manage on your own. This is not only thanks to the central location and value-added services, but also the superior logistics team, which ensures a more efficient supply chain.
- Better shipping experiences. Of course, your customers want to receive their orders intact and on time – every time. But increasingly, they also want to be able to track their order in real time. They want to know right away if there’s a delay – or if it will be there sooner than expected. Proper packaging is important too, as is a fast turnaround time. A third-party fulfillment operation can provide these things easier than a firm that isn’t dedicated to full time warehousing and distribution.
- Greater scalability options. If you’re going to put the time, energy, and resources into establishing your own fulfillment center, it can be difficult to scale down – or up – as needed without losing money. If you get a sudden lull or surge in orders, a 3PL fulfillment center can accommodate those fluctuations without significant losses.
- Improved logistics. The complexities of inbound and outbound logistics can be overwhelming if that’s not your core operation. When you contract with a 3PL for fulfillment services, you get the benefit of experts with decades of experience in services like order processing, inventory management, picking and packing, warehousing, distribution, and more. When you entrust the logistics leg of your operation to logistics experts, you not only provide your customers with better service, you’re also better able to respond to supply chain volatility.
- Value-added services tailored to your needs. There is no one-size-fits-all business or organization, and there’s no one-size-fits-all package of warehousing and distribution services that are going to work for everyone. A well-managed fulfillment center can often provide customized value-added services so you get exactly what you need – and aren’t paying for things you don’t.
Choosing an Ohio Distribution & Fulfillment Service Provider
When you’re looking to contract with a Cleveland fulfillment center, some important considerations include:
- Which services are provided? Most fulfillment service providers have some basic warehousing and shipping packages. But can the facility and their staff actually handle all the receiving, storing, picking, packing, labeling, kitting and other needs your operations and customers require?
- What are their price points? The financial incentives are what typically draw customers to seek fulfillment center partners. But the key to get the most of your partnership is to carefully assess what you’re getting for what you’re paying. If certain services cost more than their competitors, is there a good reason for that? Ask too about whether they have shipping specialties for certain service areas, volumes, types of goods, etc.
- How central is their location? Ideally, the fulfillment center you choose will be fairly close to your customers. The less distance they need to cover to complete your deliveries, the faster your orders can be fulfilled and the less it will cost you.
- How is their responsiveness? Customer service is key in fulfillment. If something goes sideways or there is any type of disruption in your distribution process, you need to be able to reach someone who can help you remediate the issue right away. Transparency is also an element of this that’s worth inquiring about.
If you have questions about our Northeast Ohio fulfillment and distribution center, contact us for more information and a quote.
For information on Warehousing, Inventory Management, Fulfillment, Distribution, and Trucking Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
Warehousing Giants Are Consolidating in a Shifting Real-Estate Market, June 13, 2022, By Liz Young, The Wall Street Journal
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Perks of Cleveland Public Warehousing, Nov. 23, 2022, Ohio Warehousing Blog
Surging e-commerce demands are the new normal in trade – both domestically and globally. Staying afloat means keeping costs reasonable, prioritizing customer satisfaction, and implementing greener supply chain practices for sustainability. One way to check all three boxes is with Cleveland freight consolidation.
Freight consolidation is a practice whereby shippers combine multiple less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments all destined for the same geographical end point. If a single shipper only uses two-thirds of a trailer, they’re still going to pay for the entire space – unless the freight can be efficiently consolidated with orders from other customers headed in the same direction. In that case, they can split the cost of a single trailer, paying only for the percentage of space they’re actually using.
When freight is consolidated, shippers can make the most of every trip. Fewer large truck trips is not only cheaper, it also means less gas and roadway wear-and-tear, which is a net positive for the environment.
For end customers, freight consolidation has two major benefits: Shorter lead time and lower shipping costs. Faster order fulfillment is possible when companies can afford to ship smaller orders right away, as opposed to spacing them out to allow for buildup of a volume that will justify the expense of an entire truckload.
More than simply an added bonus, these savings can be a make-or-break factor when weighed against the economic strain so many firms are currently facing, such as ongoing labor shortages, port congestion, tight transportation capacity, record-high warehouse pricing, and the overall rising cost of raw materials and packaging.
Third-Party Logistics’ Role in Cleveland Freight Consolidation Strategies
The many benefits of Cleveland freight consolidation for import and export freight are well-established. The biggest implementation challenge for most companies is effective coordination of all the moving parts needed. This is where a third-party logistics (3PL) company can prove indispensable.
A 3PL has not only the insight on the most efficient routes and fleets, they can connect clients from all over with similar goals – in the region, on the route, at a central consolidation/distribution center, or at similar retail destinations.
Clients benefit from the long-standing working relationships third-party logistics operators have forged with strategically-situated warehouses, distribution centers, shippers, and retailers. This allows for improved communication and flexibility, which ultimately translates to:
- Quicker delivery times
- Improved order visibility
- Simple pricing
- Better level of service
- Reduced loading dock congestion (fewer trucks means less processing time and faster in-and-out)
- Minimized handling (fewer touches mean less product damage risk, particularly when working with an experienced 3PL)
- Boosted sustainability
- More control over production schedules and due dates
Don’t solely take our word for it: In a recent analysis published by the U.S. Department of Transportation on the impact of freight consolidation and truck sharing. Study authors looked at several algorithms designed to aid online freight marketplaces in identifying efficient consolidation strategies, as well as route optimization and consolidation in a handful of mid-sized cities.
Ultimately, the cost savings potential of freight consolidation just in these few markets showed:
- Same delivery volumes achieved with only 67 percent of current truck usage.
- Operational costs reduced by 23 percent.
- Mileage expenditures slashed by 17 percent.
While the study didn’t specifically zoom in on how this process minimized environmental impact, that benefit is inherent anytime the number of trips and truckloads goes down.
For information on our Cleveland freight consolidation services, contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
Study the Impacts of Freight Consolidation and Truck Sharing on Freight Mobility, April 1, 2019, U.S. Department of Transportation
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Cleveland Transloading Service Benefits, Oct. 15, 2022, Northeast Ohio CFS Freight Blog
Cleveland public warehousing and distribution demand is at an all-time high.
The Journal of Commerce attributes overall warehousing demand in part to the second-quarter surge in imports that led to higher inventories. From this emerged a greater need for logistics and distribution space – particularly in the Midwest and other inland hubs. Beyond that, shifting distribution patterns that emerged during the pandemic have opened new corridors, driving higher demand in markets that used to be considered secondary. Plus, warehouses in major supply chain hubs start brimming to peak capacity, it’s the adjacent smaller markets that absorb the overflow.
Growth in this sector may mean organizations have fewer Ohio warehousing options to choose from, but it’s still important to carefully consider whether the facilities you’re eyeing can check all those “must have” boxes. For many small-to-midsized businesses, that has increasingly meant opting for Cleveland public warehousing vs. private warehousing.
What is the Difference Between Public & Private Warehousing?
As an industry sector, warehousing has evolved far beyond the times of a simple storage space. Today, warehousing is widely recognized as a central service relied upon by industries of all kinds – from consumer goods to manufacturing to retail. As an industry sector, it’s evolved far beyond
Large corporations with high volume product turnover often opt for private warehousing, in which they own or rent warehousing space that is internally operated and overseen. But for any organizations lacking the infrastructure, expertise, and capacity to take on these responsibilities, private warehousing is an attractive alternative that offers affordability, flexibility, efficiency, and convenience.
Put simply, a public warehouse is usually a large facility owned/operated by a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that offers storage space, inventory management, product fulfillment, kitting and packaging, and distribution services to many different businesses.
Cleveland public warehousing costs are typically based per-square-foot, with add-on services available depending on the customer’s needs. Some warehouses require minimum average order volume and/or higher storage rates for slower-moving shipments.
Outsourcing Northeast Ohio warehouse functions is smart when companies:
- Are just starting out and/or are relatively small.
- Have unpredictable inventory cycles.
- Need specialized storage and distribution.
- Lack the investment capital, bandwidth, time, or desire to invest in opening, staffing, and maintaining a warehouse in-house.
It’s important if you’re in the market for public warehouse space to make sure your top picks are not only cost-effective but centrally-located with scalability potential and a great reputation.
Key Benefits of Cleveland Public Warehousing
Among the primary advantages of public warehousing:
- Low investment. Private warehouses are very expensive. There’s procuring and/or building the structure itself. Then there’s maintaining the building, covering all operational expenses, recruiting/training/supervising workers, investing in technology to boost transparency and efficiency, and paying all tax-related expenses. With public warehouses, it’s essentially turnkey.
- Experience and expertise. Labor is usually the biggest expense for most businesses – especially if you want good people. Public warehousing allows companies to avoid direct management of that labor, while still trusting that the workers are knowledgeable and skilled.
- Specialty storage. If you require Ohio warehousing facilities with certain specialty requirements such as FDA registration or hazardous material capacity, it’s often easier to onboard with a public warehouse rather than start from scratch on your own. Not every public warehouse will be capable of fulfilling every specialty requirement, but they can usually refer you to one nearby that does.
- Location. Warehousing real estate goes for a premium these days. It’s increasingly tougher to find/build warehouse property in key markets for reasonable costs. Warehouse location is a key consideration when you’re looking to optimize distribution and find reliable workers. 3PL public warehouse providers are often already established – and right where you need them.
- Flexibility. Markets fluctuate all the time. Public warehousing allows for flexibility during ebb-and-flow cycles. Easy scalability means greater cost efficiency when companies aren’t paying for space they don’t use.
- Add-on services. Things like kitting, packing, assembling, labeling – these are services that many public warehouses offer.
If you have questions about whether our Cleveland public warehousing facilities can meet your needs, contact us for a consultation.
For information on Northeast Ohio Warehousing, Inventory Management, and Trucking Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
US warehousing demand shifting inland: JLL, Aug. 16, 2022, By William B. Cassidy, Journal of Commerce Online
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Tips for Choosing an Ohio Warehouse, Oct. 27, 2022, Northeast Ohio Public Warehousing Blog
Warehousing is a crucial link in your supply chain network – in both global and domestic markets. Choosing the right Ohio warehouse for your operational needs can make a sizable difference in your firm’s ability to be efficient, effective, and profitable.
With Ohio warehouse space and labor at a premium, outsourcing often makes sense – especially if you can find a place that also provides services like packaging, repackaging, kitting, labeling, and distribution. Bonus if it’s near an airport.
When warehousing is done correctly, it provides numerous benefits beyond basic storage. Some of those include:
- Facilitates increased turnover.
- Improves production.
- Decreases shrinkage.
- Maximizes customer satisfaction with fewer products damaged in transit.
- Optimizes safety for workers and your goods.
Still, there is no denying warehousing costs have risen markedly in recent years. That’s thanks in large part to soaring e-commerce demand, which has expanded nearly 30 percent in the last three years. Even despite some predicted slowdowns on the horizon, the pandemic revealed that consumer consumption can be fairly resilient to economic cycles. Warehousing rent has climbed 3 percent a quarter nationally since 2020, reaching nearly $9.56/square foot earlier this year, according to The New York Times. (In some markets, it’s more than $15/square foot.)
If you’re looking for an Ohio warehouse that delivers great value for the cost, here are some priorities you’ll want to bear in mind to ensure you find the right fit.
- Location and accessibility to major linkages. Identify what mode – or modes – of transport is best-suited for your company’s operations. The warehouse that’s right for you will have easy access to that transport mode. For example, if air transport is one of the most efficient means of getting your goods from Point A to Point B, you will ideally find an Ohio warehouse that is within 20 miles or less of a major airport. (On Time Delivery & Warehouse, for instance, is just 4 miles from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.) You also want to identify where your customers are primarily located. Warehousing that is close to your customer base can give you the advantage of more timely, cost-effective deliveries. Finally, an accessible warehouse that offers easy highway connectivity and few traffic backups so that trucks don’t waste time idling and goods get where they need to go as efficiently as possible.
- Diversity of capabilities. An Ohio warehouse with a broad range of capabilities is going to offer a better deal than those that offer storage and nothing else. If you can get integrated solutions for things like logistics planning, kitting, packaging and repackaging, labeling and sorting, CFS Freight, and distribution, it helps your firm come out ahead. Asset-based warehouse solutions – those that invest not only in the facility but in a transportation fleet and skilled workers – can offer a higher level of warehousing service.
- Experience. With new warehouses in Northeast Ohio cropping up daily, it’s a good idea to consider the experience of the provider. Newer facilities may offer some advantages, but take a look also at the operational dates. Supply chain logistics has always been a dynamic, evolving industry. Warehouse providers that have been around a while have the advantage of invaluable insights that have allowed them to stand the test of time.
- Material handling capacities. The warehouse you choose needs to have the availability of staging capacities and handling equipment that matches your demands. What kind of docks are you going to need? Will you need a facility with cross-docking capabilities? CFS? Last-mile delivery services? All this will help you determine which of your warehousing options will best suit your needs.
- Technology. Advancing technology has fundamentally altered the way warehouses operate – from electronic data exchanges to pick-by-vision systems to real-time product tracking. Keeping customers happy means providing them not only with faster results, but transparency through the process. Technology has been vital to that. Make sure the warehousing company you choose has the systems in place that will allow you to best serve your client base.
- Minimized risks. Handling, storing, and shipping products is not without risk. You want a warehousing management team that is fully aware of those risks, takes them seriously, values their team members’ safety, has appropriate safety measures in place, and invests in adequate insurance in case something does go wrong.
- Taxes and rates. Of course, cost needs to be considered. Compare each facility’s rental rate per-square-foot against the value they’re providing. Depending on your operation type, there may also be certain state or regional tax implications or incentives to weigh.
At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, we recognize that warehousing is an integral part of your operations – and we take our role in that seriously. Our goal is to help our clients maximize efficiency, excel, and ensure their own customers are fully satisfied with services that deliver their goods intact, on time, every time.
For information on Northeast Ohio Warehousing, Inventory Management, and Trucking Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
Industrial Facilities Near Airports Command Rent Premiums, Oct. 5, 2022, CBRE
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6 Supply Chain Insights From Northeast Ohio Third-Party Logistics Warehouse Pros, Aug. 28, 2022, Cleveland, Ohio Warehousing Blog
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.
Transloading, by Will Kenton & Amanda Jackson, Jan. 31, 2021, Investopedia
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Cleveland Warehousing Helps Businesses Optimize Resources, Maximize Profits, July 30, 2022, Northeast Ohio Warehousing & Trucking Blog
As Northeast Ohio third-party logistics warehouse professionals, we understand the complexities of supply chain management better than anyone. Increasingly, it’s important that our clients have a grasp of them as well.
In recent years, the volatility of local and global supply chains has been on full display not only to manufacturers and distributors but consumers as well. There is a growing expectation that savvy businesses will take measures not just to respond to supply chain hiccups when they arise, but to become better at predicting and preparing for their inevitability.
Working with an Ohio third-party logistics team helps your company to do that. It also provides consumers with broader transparency and more responsive communication when problems occur.
With this in mind, the Ohio 3PL team at On Time Delivery & Warehouse offers the following list of basic supply chain insights.
Modern supply chains are increasingly complex.
Most supply chains can be broken down into two basic segments: Production and distribution. But that’s really where the simplicity ends.
Consider, for instance, a basic laptop computer. It can easily have 3,000 different parts. Your typical Ford truck? It’s likely to have at least 30,000 components. An effective supply chain is going to have numerous layers of varying sophistication, typically involving specialists who can supply certain components. Often, businesses end up with many layers of supply chains – and it can get even murkier when your suppliers don’t want you to know who their suppliers are, for fear you’ll just go around them if possible. This can be especially problematic if a lower-tier supply shuts down – and you aren’t even made aware of it until a certain time period. That can eventually lead to major supply chain snarls – which is precisely what we saw during the pandemic.
On the distribution end of things, issues with congested ports and labor shortages have resulted in bottlenecks. Working with an Ohio third-party logistics company helps ensure you if something falls through, you have alternative routes and means (by road, air, and sea).
Unexpected Demand May Not Mean What You Think.
Customers signal their demand by making purchases. This prompts businesses to ramp up supply. But this sort of demand forecasting can cause problems if spikes are interpreted as fundamental shifts in demand.
We saw this during COVID-19 when it came to things like exercise bikes. There were huge customer demands, retailers flooded their suppliers with orders, suppliers started cranking up production and returned the flow back to retailers – who by then realized they had too much and cut back substantially on future orders. This lead to major supply chain headaches – manufacturers cut production, suppliers were left with an overstock of raw materials and customers were left cooling their heels for extended periods waiting for deliveries.
When it comes to sudden demand spikes, it’s best to proceed with a degree of caution.
Just-In-Time Production Can Be a Practical Solution.
To avoid the whiplash of sudden demand spikes that just as suddenly fall, some companies have found just-in-time production a practical solution. As our Ohio third-party logistics pros can explain, just-in-time production involves making precisely what you need – and only when you need it. The idea is you’re only carrying as much inventory as you need, raw materials get delivered only just in time. If there is an issue with any of those parts/raw materials, the impact is typically minimal because the orders are smaller.
However, this solution really only makes sense when suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors are relatively close and/or when the supply chains are fairly lean. If your network is more global, trying to work out exactly when you’re going to need a delivery – and how much it will be – can be tricky. It can lead to problems when you factor in demand spikes and supply chain bottlenecks (particularly those involving international shipments, which can get held up for weeks on end).
Just-in-time production can work for some companies, but it’s wise to consult with your 3PL to see whether your supply chain has any weak links that can be tightened first.
The Bigger Your Supply Chain, the More Opportunities for Disruption.
Many companies rely on lengthy distribution chains. For example, if you’re shipping furniture from a factory in Sweden to a store in Northeast Ohio, you might need an air leg, an ocean leg, a rail leg, and truck transfers. The more links your supply chain has, the riskier it may be, particularly when each link directly depends on the smooth function of all the others. Keep in mind too – some of those links depend on cogs and sprockets that are on different tracks entirely.
Longer logistics threads are more vulnerable to delays than shorter ones. When you work with a third-party logistics partner, you have the benefit not only of transparency and seeing potential issues just before or immediately after they arise, but also alternatives when that happens.
Ordering More Than Necessary May Exacerbate Shortages.
Ideally, companies are only going to order as much of an item as they think they are going to consume or sell until the following cycle. However, if you forecast that a certain product may become particularly in-demand, it may seem smart to order extra.
However, where this is a problem is that some companies might start ordering double or triple what they actually need. This not only leads to shortages in the immediate, but can result in companies having far too much inventory – which inevitably leads to the need for more warehouse space, etc. You may end up with further losses if you’re forced to slash prices to just to offload it.
It can be tough to determine the exact right amount of just-in-case product to keep on hand. It’s a balancing act. Working with a dedicated Ohio third-party logistics team can help ensure both communication and supply chain visibility so that you can accurately forecast just how much you’re going to need.
Ohio Third-Party Logistics Partner Can Help Reduce Bottlenecks By Providing Big Picture Snapshots.
Bottlenecks in the supply chain are commonly the result of a lack of visibility – both for what’s in the pipeline on its way to you and then what comes after.
For example, it’s easy to see hundreds of ships stalled at a port and conclude, “Clearly, lack of efficiency at the port is the problem.” In reality, the actual issue might be that there was poor communication among downstream distribution centers. You could increase the port’s capacity 200 percent by keeping it open 24-7, but it’s not going to make much difference in the backlog if there is no one to pick up those goods or nowhere for it to immediately go.
Working with a team of skilled, experienced 3PL professionals can help provide a big picture lens, allowing you to identify potential issues before they become a major problem – easing the flow of goods downstream all the way to your customers.
If you have questions about how our Northeast Ohio third-party logistics warehousing & trucking team can help improve your supply chain visibility and flow, we’re here to provide further insight.
For information on 3PL Warehousing, Inventory Management, and Trucking Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
Supply Chain Pressures Ebbed in July, Aug. 15, 2022, Central Banks Research, The Wall Street Journal
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As the Cleveland Centralized Examination Station (CES), we understand the goals of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in examining cargo imported by land, air, and sea. The foremost purpose is keeping our country secure and citizens safe. However, we also fully understand the anxiety that can accompany word that your cargo has been flagged for a U.S. Customs exam – particularly as such action can result in major delays and expense for stakeholders.
Bear in mind that in addition to its own regulations, the CBP is tasked with enforcing hundreds of laws on behalf of 40+ other federal agencies, including the USDA, the FDA, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Understanding what triggers an examination may help you avoid one. At the very least, you’ll know better how to aid authorities in a manner that helps expedite the process and get your goods moving as soon as possible.
That said, not all circumstances that result in a U.S. Customs exam or manifest hold are within shippers’ control. In fact, shippers might do everything “right” and still find their goods among the 3-5% selected for closer inspection.
Some of the holds that authorities can place on international shipments include:
- Manifest hold. This occurs when there is a problem with documentation. Usually, it’s the result of missing paperwork, such as a bill of lading. Typically, the U.S. Customs agent is going to request additional or corrected paperwork and then your goods will be on their way.
- CET Hold (A-TECT). This is a hold imposed by the Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team. This is a special branch of the CBP, which imposes holds on shipments suspected of containing potentially unlawful items (drugs, currency, weapons, or other illicit materials).
- Commercial enforcement hold. This is sort of a blanket hold that is going to cover a range of potential issues – not only from the CBP but other federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The overarching goal is to ensure that any goods entering the country are compliant with federal laws and regulations.
- PGA Hold. Similar to a commercial enforcement hold, a Participating Government Agencies Hold means the shipment in question was flagged for compliance issues, rather than customs issues.
- Statistical Valuation Hold. This occurs when there is a discrepancy between your shipment and the manifest. For instance, if the weight of your shipments is much higher than might be anticipated given the commodity, the shipment might be flagged for a statistical valuation hold.
If your shipment is flagged, there can be one of three types of customs exams: Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System (non-intrusive inspection), a Tail Gate Exam (examiner breaks the seal of your container and reviews some of the contents), or an Intensive Customs Exam.
That last type is where a CES comes in. For this kind of exam, your goods must be transported to a CES, unloaded, held, inspected, and then reloaded before heading to its next destination. The shipper must pay for drayage and detention costs, as well as the labor to load and unload and reload. An Intensive Customs Exam may cause up to 30 days in delays and cost up to a few thousand dollars.
Having an efficient Cleveland Centralized Examination Station can help to speed up the Customs inspection process and reduce the amount of time your goods are tied up.
What, Exactly, is a Cleveland Centralized Examination Station?
A CES is a place where Customs officials can come to physically inspect and examine import and export freight and cargo. These are privately-owned and operated facilities (like On Time Delivery & Warehouse) that allow for physical examination of internationally imported or exported goods.
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.
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 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.
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).