PLS Logistics Blog

LTL Freight: How to Avoid Surprise Fees

Posted by PLS Admin on May 16, 2013 2:50:00 PM

Today’s ground transportation environment has seen the impact of not only a lackluster economy but also the effects of other factors leading to increased cost of Less-Than-Truckload common carrier transportation services. As a result, carriers are focused on margin retention and improvement and sacrificing market share by culling low margin business. We should expect to see increases in prices within the next few months as trucking companies ensure their prices are compensatory to the services they provide.

Just as we are seeing in the deregulated airline industry, fares differ by carrier and many additional services or conveniences such as checked luggage or food come at an additional expense. As a result, finding a low airfare to board one plane may, overall, end up costing more when you add a checked luggage fee and business class seating, than a higher airfare with lower or waived luggage and business class fees.

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Topics: Logistics, LTL, freight, Savings, LTL Pricing, LTL Cost

7 Factors that Determine LTL Pricing

Posted by PLS Admin on May 9, 2013 9:30:00 AM

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Topics: LTL Pricing, LTL Cost

5 Ways to Drive LTL Freight Savings

Posted by PLS Admin on May 1, 2013 11:39:00 AM

Many companies today are working in an environment of fierce competition and razor sharp profit margins.  What separates the top performing companies from the rest of the pack is how well they are able to adhere to standard operating procedures and continue to improve upon those processes.  One example of this is how companies control the carrier selection decisions that are made by their suppliers and how these suppliers are being utilized.  When there are hundreds or even thousands of vendors to reign in, this can be a daunting task for many companies to manage.  How can companies ensure they optimize savings opportunities without experiencing a reduction in service levels?

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Topics: Logistics, LTL, freight, 3PL, Supply Chain, Savings

What Is The Value of a 3PL?

Posted by PLS Admin on Apr 25, 2013 10:05:00 AM

As we all know the economy has not been the greatest in recent years and everyone has seen the effects of the recession. Therefore, companies that are willing to outsource their shipping needs to a 3PL can save a substantial amount of money on their freight cost.

No matter what the need of a company might be, 3PL’s have the ability to establish set pricing with a multitude of carriers in order to fit the needs of companies they work with. A 3PL has the ability to take your needs, as a company, and find a carrier that will fit those needs at the most cost effective approach. There are a few basic reasons why 3PL’s are valuable for a company no matter what their needs may be.

 

  • Personal Needs and Wants: Every company has certain specifications as to how they deliver their freight to their clients. Whether it is residential delivery, lift gate pick-up or delivery, inside delivery, appointment delivery and so forth. Any special services that the company may need, 3PL’s have the ability to narrow your choices down to the best carriers for your needs without you having to empty out your pockets for the services.
     
  • Quality vs. Quantity: 3PL’s have the ability to know the type of service each of the carriers provides based on previous experiences. If you have a shipment that is time critical, depending on the carrier, you might want to spend the $20 extra and go with the more reliable carrier that will get it to its destination within the transit time. Although some carriers seem to have the best pricing, it does not always mean that their service is the best. 3PL’s have the experience to help our customers make the best decision based on their needs.
     
  • “In Case of An Emergency”: Working with a 3PL that has access to a multitude of carriers can take a bad situation and turn it around. If a company schedules a critical shipment with a carrier and it comes to find out they will not be able to make the pick-up. 3PL’s have access to a plethora of other carriers so one quick phone call could turn the situation around and get your shipment out in a timely manner.
     
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Topics: Logistics, LTL, freight, 3PL, Third Party Logistics Providers, Supply Chain Network

4 Characteristics that Determine Your LTL Freight Class

Posted by PLS Admin on Apr 18, 2013 10:00:00 AM

When it comes to moving Less-than-Truckload shipments from point A to point B, one of the first things to consider is how the product is defined by the trucking industry. In the world of shipping, different types of products are defined according to their makeup. Each product definition is called a classification. The class of freight plays a prominent role in calculating how much the carrier will charge you for transporting it.

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Topics: Logistics, Transportation, LTL, freight

4 New Efficiency-Boosting Services from LTL Freight Carriers

Posted by PLS Admin on Apr 12, 2013 9:54:00 AM

Over the years since federal deregulation in the late 1970’s, LTL transportation has morphed from a heavily unionized group of carriers operating in a largely non- competitive environment into today’s high tech, cost-effective and service-oriented transportation industry. Today’s national, regional, and inter-modal providers must vie for their share of a 30 billion dollar market. Leaders of this pack rely heavily on anticipating the needs of customers who are savvier than ever before.

LTL carriers have made tremendous strides in technology and service through state-of-the-art website functionality, instant electronic dispatch, paperless tender and billing, and real-time verification of status through to delivery. Many carriers are now also offering smart phone apps so customers can stay in touch anytime, anywhere.

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Topics: Logistics, LTL, freight, Carrier Network

LTL Freight Shippers: 6 Ways to Improve Attractiveness to Carriers

Posted by PLS Admin on Apr 5, 2013 11:36:00 AM

We are in a market where LTL carriers continue to aggressively seek methods to improve their yield, reduce their operating ratios, and filter out poor performing business in their portfolios. As a result, shippers need to consistently differentiate themselves from the pack and improve their attractiveness to carriers.

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Topics: Logistics, LTL, freight

Logistics at the 2012 Summer Olympics

Posted by PLS Admin on Aug 1, 2012 12:50:00 PM

The two weeks of summer that everyone has been waiting for are finally here – The Olympic Games. Taking place in London, England this year, the Olympics is one of the most watched sporting events on the planet. With this much national attention, a copious amount of detail and planning must go into the preparation of the Games. This entails a huge logistical challenge in how to overcome the mass transportation of products, athletes, workers and attendees to the London Olympics. We have provided you with some Summer Olympics logistical statistics:

  • UPS had to prepare and ship 4,283 whistles, 600 basketballs, 26,400 tennis balls, 15,000 computers and a couple hundred thousand chairs for the Olympic Games.
  • 766 miles of fabric are needed for the Games Maker uniforms.
  • 800,000 ticketed spectators will use public transport on the busiest day
  • One million square feet of warehouse space is needed for logistics.
  • There are 15,000 deliveries by a fleet of 300 trucks.
  • The Games provides 14 million meals consisting of 25,000 loaves of bread, 232 tons of potatoes, 82 tons of seafood, 31 tons of poultry items, 100 tons of meat, 75,000 liters of milk, 19 tons of eggs, 21 tons of cheese, and 330 tons of fruit/vegetables.
  • There are usually 3.5m journeys a day on the Underground. Another 20m trips are made by spectators alone within London during the 2012 Games – including 3m spectators on the busiest day.
  • 2,500 tent units are used which equates to 2.5m square feet - enough to cover all of Hong Kong.
  • There is 10,000 tons of steel in the Olympic Stadium, which took three years to construct. This makes it 75 percent lighter in terms of steel use than other stadiums.

These only touch on some of the statistics of the Olympics that are needed to make this distinguishable event happen. But this just goes to show how much logistics factors into your everyday life.

 

To learn how a Third Party Logistics Company can aid your company, request a transportation cost analysis.

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Topics: Logistics, Transportation, Supply Chain, Third Party Logistics Providers

How to Optimize Your Supply Chain Network

Posted by PLS Admin on Jul 25, 2012 9:02:00 AM

Suppliers, manufacturing plants, distribution centers and customers all make up a supply chain network.  When optimizing your supply chain network, customer demand must be satisfied while keeping logistics costs steady and under control. According to Optimum Profit Consulting, “Strategic Network Optimization calculates the most optimal (highest profit or lowest cost) way to source supplies, production and distribution across the supply chain network.”

 

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Topics: 3PL, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Network, Optimization

Five Key Facts about Logistics and Transportation

Posted by PLS Admin on Jul 18, 2012 11:53:00 AM

According to the TDTSA, logistics is defined as “the cost-effective process of planning, implementing and controlling the efficient movement and storage of goods from the point of origin to the end-user.” They define transport as “the movement of products and people from one point to another via air, sea, road, and rail.” Transportation and logistics have become an integral part of how businesses operate today. Here are five key facts that will help you become more knowledgeable about the logistics and transportation industry:

 

  1. The transport and logistics industry is made up of six industry sectors: road transport, rail, aviation, maritime, warehousing, and storage services. This is one of the world’s largest industries.
  2.  The United States economy depends on trucks to deliver nearly 70 percent of all freight transported annually in the U.S., accounting for $671 billion worth of manufactured and retail goods transported by truck in the U.S.
  3. There are close to 3.5 million truck drivers moving America’s freight. In other words, one in every 15 people working in the United States is employed in the trucking industry.
  4. According to the 2012 3PL Study, shippers who partner with outsourced logistics service providers report an average cost reduction of 13% ,and 64% of survey respondents reported an increase in their use of third party logistics providers.
  5. The 2012 3PL Study also found that 94% of 3PLs and 88% of shippers believe that communication, flexibility, and openness are some of the main factors that help make them successful. However, the percentage of shippers that stated that their 3PL firm is flexible has dropped four percent from last year.
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Topics: Logistics, Transportation, Third Party Logistics Providers

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