How to Control Costs in Your Supply Chain

Posted by PLS Logistics May 2, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Supply chain costs are controlled by management and strategy. You can keep costs down by managing every step in the supply chain process. To find reductions in supply chain costs, supply chain strategies have to align with customer expectations and business goals.

Supply chain strategy gauges the cost-benefit trade-offs of operative components. Knowledge of your particular processes, requirements and needs is essential to find cost savings.

Common places to look for cost savings include warehouse space, inventory stock, supplier relationships, transportation modes and lanes, and order processing. Supply chains are active, so strategies should encourage a hands-on approach to innovation, data analysis, demands and operations.

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Trending Transportation News: April 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics April 29, 2016 at 9:00 AM


  • 2014 Traffic Costs Industry $49.6 Billion. US highway traffic congestion added billions of dollars in operational costs for the trucking industry. More than a dozen states experienced congestion costs of more than $1 billion. 89% of the congestion happened on 12% of roads. The ATRI’s analysis showed that trucks were delayed more than 728 million hours.

  • 7 in 10 to Accelerate Warehouse Technology. More than 40% of IT and operations decision makers cite shorter delivery time as a key measure to wanting warehouse technology. By 2020, respondents plan to make investments in increasing the volume of items shipped (76%), equipping staff with technology (73%), and Internet of Things (62%). (Read why warehouse technology is the first step to fast shipping here.)
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3 Ways Supply Chain Cost Analyses Help Your Business

Posted by PLS Logistics April 27, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Are you overpaying for inbound shipments? Should you switch from LTL to truckload shipments? Are your supply chain and dock loading processes proficient?

Understanding costs in the supply chain is just as important as reducing them. In order to enact profitable change, TMS reports provide insight into trends, inefficiencies, support and monetary KPIs. With actionable data, businesses are enabled to make better, faster decisions for transportation and supply chain optimization.

A transportation cost analysis will help you analyze efficiency and reduce transportation spend.

Here are 3 reports that are customized for shippers from a transportation management system (TMS). These reports can be compared over time and filtered to show exact locations or facilities, so that you can see the ROI of decisions and impact of pain points and/or opportunities.

Light Load Detail and Cost: Light load details vary across customers. Once the weight is defined, then a report is generated showing how much of the designated weight the customer uses and how much unused space is being paid for.

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Climate Change Disruptions, Disasters and Preparedness in Transportation

Posted by PLS Logistics April 26, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Disruptions are Difficult to Manage

Businesses are woefully unprepared for disasters and disruptions in their supply chain. In fact, two-thirds of employees say their businesses have not reassessed safety and crisis plans since the last time they faced a natural disaster.Truck_in_flood_water.jpg

In the first half of 2014, the U.S. lost $50 billion in productivity due to natural disasters. Much of the disruption is from delayed or stopped transportation, which is particularly susceptible to poor weather conditions and natural disasters.

Some companies are reactive and agile during a disruption or disaster – using a transportation management system (TMS) to reroute freight in transit and schedule alternative modes for inventory on hand. But, most companies aren’t able to be proactive when disruptions occur, and many find it difficult to be reactive in these situations.

It is likely your company will be hurt by the next potential disruption in your supply chain. Often times, natural disasters and disruptions are unavoidable, and all you can do is limit the damage done to your supply chain.

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How to Improve Loading Dock Processes

Posted by PLS Logistics April 21, 2016 at 10:00 AM

The loading dock is the access point for shipping and receiving. Well-designed loading dock procedures minimize delays, reduce damage to cargo and optimize productivity.

Here are 3 quick ways to improve loading dock processes:

  1. Enhance Dock Safety

Loading and unloading trailers presents safety risks for operators, attendants, drivers and employees. Injuries on loading docks account for 25% of all reported injuries within supply chain facilities, according to Material Handling and Logistics.

In order to increase productivity and reduce injury at the loading dock, follow these tips:

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How this Company Grew Visibility with a 3PL Partnership

Posted by PLS Logistics April 19, 2016 at 9:00 AM

A common transportation challenge of B2B and B2C businesses is lack of supply chain visibility. Without visibility, deliveries are slower, inventory management suffers and it’s more difficult to manage risk. These challenges are linked to additional costs and unhappy customers.

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Shipping to Canada: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by PLS Logistics April 18, 2016 at 3:30 PM

Sending LTL or truckload shipments to Canada from the U.S. doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, when you work with the right partner, it can be relatively easy. Here’s everything you need to know about shipping to Canada:

Paperwork

Shipping freight to Canada requires a lot of paperwork. Three pieces of paperwork you will always need are a bill of lading (BOL), a Canada Customs Invoice and a NAFTA certificate of origin. It is important to ensure all of your documentation is done correctly to avoid delays in transit. Working with a customs broker or logistics provider on this paperwork is common – some carriers even require it before they will accept your freight.

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The Building Blocks of Transportation Visibility

Posted by PLS Logistics April 14, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Many businesses want to leverage big data in supply chain initiatives to drive efficiency, cost savings and unparalleled operational visibility. In order to do this, however, a business must have enterprise-wide infrastructure for information gathering. Only 35% of organizations use a transportation management system (TMS), meaning most companies do not have much visibility into shipping processes, but more importantly, don’t have access to data that’s part of the end to end supply chain insight that’s necessary for big data initiatives.

Use a TMS for Data Collection First

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6 Quick Questions to Ask Before Buying a TMS

Posted by PLS Logistics April 13, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Choosing a transportation management system (TMS) for your company is a huge decision because there are a variety of providers and features.
 A TMS helps companies move freight efficiently, reliably and at lower rates. Implementing a TMS drives value by monitoring and evaluating processes, analytics and optimization. The technology routes drivers, schedules deliveries and reports business KPIs.   

If only 35% of shippers are using transportation management systems, so choosing the right system positions you to be a market leader in logistics. These 6 questions will help you discover what kind of TMS you need.

  1. What’s My Plan of Attack?
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5 Ways to Increase Shipping Speed Without Using Expedited Services

Posted by PLS Logistics April 12, 2016 at 9:00 AM

You need to send your freight quickly but don’t want to pay for expedited freight – it’s a dilemma all shippers face. Many companies rely on expedited shipping, but, with some simple operational changes, you can contain transportation costs and meet service expectations at the same time.

Expedited shipping services are a sure way to consistently provide high service levels, and in some scenarios it makes sense to pay extra for fast delivery, but expedited shipping will quickly blow a hole in your transportation budget.

So, how can you improve shipping speed without paying extra for expedited services? Follow these 5 tips:

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