Among the different types of logistics, the one known as distribution logistics -or transport logistics- is the one that resembles the idea that the general public tends to have when we talk about logistics. This transport logistics is the one that deals with the physical flows of merchandise, and includes tasks such as storage, order preparation and transport to the customer.
Tips for your transport logistics
Know your shipments
For this mission it will help you to know what are the types of transport services that exist in the market. Knowing your shipments implies understanding their particular needs, if you need specific delivery time slots, specific shipping times, if your dimensions are within the usual standards or without special volumes, etc.
Focus on value instead of price
The most common defect when evaluating a distribution logistics proposal is to look exclusively at the economic part. For this reason, there are many companies that are reluctant to participate in contracting competitions in which the fact that the economic offer will be valued above all is made very explicit.
There are a number of very important variables in transport logistics that must also be a priority. Do you have good traceability at your disposal? Do you have flexible services that can help you in an emergency or need something out of the ordinary? Do you have a customer service that can give you answers and that is easy to contact?
Surely the person responsible for accounting in your company will be very happy if you always choose the cheapest provider. It is a very different question to know if your clients will be too.
Learn from mistakes
Process improvement systems such as Kaizen are dedicated wholeheartedly to reducing the error rate of industrial procedures. No matter how many zeros we can put in the percentage of errors, it will be practically impossible to completely eradicate them. This means that, in addition to reducing them, you must learn from them, because they will continue to occur.
When an incident arises, in addition to solving it, it tries to analyze what was the cause (or causes) of it. In transport logistics the origins can be very diverse: not adequately knowing the logistics operator’s services or delivery conditions, communication failures -whether due to structural deficiencies in the way in which it is transmitted or because the human part involved does not is oiled-, delays because the logistics operator used is not specialized in the type of transport contracted, having rushed the delivery of merchandise too much and having lost links for it, etc.
Plan transport logistics ahead of time
One of the most common situations that logistics operators experience is dealing with new customers who arrive urgently because their usual provider is either working poorly or cannot provide a specific type of service.
For shippers it is important to plan ahead so as not to find themselves in these situations. This prior preparation includes knowing if our logistics provider (like the rest of the providers in the chain) can do what we are going to ask.
For the companies to which these urgent orders arrive, it is an opportunity to show off. But when assessing the performance of a new supplier, the charging companies have to take into account the exceptionality of the situation. It will not be the best idea to rush to a new supplier, with the contract or the rates signed quickly and quickly, without the teams knowing the new work systems, sometimes without knowing how the order is placed for the operations part or what are the conditions…
This type of situation is very frequent, under the mistaken idea that to test a new logistics operator -or provider in general- it is best to start with something difficult. If what you want is to buy suppliers, it is best to do so in similar circumstances, not exceptional ones.