“It’s costs too much.”
That’s what many transportation buyers say when asked about their interest in expedited shipping. And while the price can appear inflated compared with other modes, if you dig a little deeper, expedite can save you a tremendous amount of money over the long haul.
With that in mind, here are four ways to save money by using expedited shipping services.
Improved Production Uptime
Unplanned downtime at a manufacturing plant can come with an astronomical cost. The range is typically $25,000 to $100,000 per hour. It’s even higher for larger facilities. With that established, the incremental cost to move product more quickly is minimal if it means reaching the facility before production halts.
For instance, if you’re facing a multi-hour plant delay with an estimated $300,000 impact, spending an extra $2,000 on an expedited shipping provider to prevent the production shutdown seems reasonable, right?
Improved Product Availability
Companies invest enormous amounts of money to develop, launch and advertise the availability of new products. All that investment can be quickly wiped out if the product doesn’t arrive on time. The costs extend far beyond lost revenue. When product isn’t available, it impacts loyalty and damages a brand’s reputation. A clear end-to-end strategy from procurement to distribution is key in the consumer world. A lost sale can send customers to competitors, and they may never come back.
An experienced expedite provider can help. The expediter schedules inbound product to distribution centers, establishes time-sensitive delivery timelines to the point-of-purchase and can even roll out a product launch. When the delivery window is tight, expedite providers excel.
Avoid “Market Price” from Non-Expedite Providers
Most transportation buyers have their go-to carrier for non-critical services. In fact, most have multiple carriers that offer solutions for truckload, LTL, freight-forwarding, intermodal and other modes. So, what happens when there’s a critical shipment that must meet a specific deadline?
Some buyers call a service provider on their list and ask for help in speeding up the transit. Others may ask for a recommended expediter. While Hurtler can provide multiple services at a fair rate, many cannot.
If expedite service is the best way to meet your stringent timelines, trust a professional. Have a vetted expedite carrier on your list. Don’t get caught paying “market price” from a provider that may not be able to stand behind its service. The market price, which is supposed to be a fair price for the day, could be more than the on-call expediter would charge you.
Reduce OS&D with Exclusive-Use Vehicles
OS&D is the abbreviation for overage, shortage and damaged—all of which relate to the condition of the shipment when it reaches its destination.
“Overage” indicates that the quantities received are greater than noted on the shipping documents. “Shortage” is when quantities received are less than noted on the shipping documents. “Damaged” means the product received has some sort of damage, either visible or concealed, that is eventually noted on the shipping documents. The important connection between these three words? They all cost you money.
When evaluating potential shipping methods, consider several questions:
- How sensitive to harm (jolting, temperature, etc.) is my product during the shipping process?
- Does loading and unloading multiple times increase the potential for damage?
- Is timely delivery and exact piece counts with no damage critical?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, consider using an expedite service provider.
An experienced expediter will schedule the expected piece count to be shipped during the booking process. At pick-up, they will confirm that the shipped piece count matches the scheduled piece count. The shipment will be loaded on an exclusive-use vehicle, meaning it’s not consolidated with other shipments along the way. It is instead transported directly to the delivery location. Finally, the expedite carrier will confirm receipt with the recipient.
This doesn’t mean there will never be damage or claims with expedited freight. However, it’s a great way to minimize the chances of OS&D. That means fewer costs for replacement product, inventory management, restocking, secondary shipping, customer service and other related functions. And, most importantly, lower OS&D means more happy customers. The up-front cost now feels insignificant, given the benefit and reduced risk for your business.
All told, the use of a quality expedite service provider can provide tremendous value, with benefits to:
- Production uptime;
- Timely product availability;
- Significant monetary savings; and
- Customer satisfaction.