The concept of lead time when booking loads is a commonly overlooked factor when delivering freight efficiently and economically. You may have heard your logistics partner say that providing more notice days or lead time for a shipment could help lower costs...
But how is this possible?
To put it simply, the more in advance a third-party logistics provider (3PL) books a load, the more time and control they have over the following:
- Negotiating pricing
- Finding savings or efficiency improvements
- Securing top providers
- Scheduling ideal delivery times
Whereas on the other hand, when working to book a truck for next-day delivery, capacity is tighter, prices are usually higher and fewer delivery options are available.
In addition to these basic principles, more time between when an order is scheduled and when its picked up allows your logistics provider to play more of a consultative role. Instead of immediately responding to a request, they can analyze the potential for more cost savings and efficiencies. This could include suggestions to switch from truck to rail, try new order consolidation techniques and/or switch up network configuration.
Benefits of Providing More Shipment Lead Time
- Lower rates
- More capacity
- Preferred carrier availability
- Access to ideal delivery appointment times
- Higher service levels
- Better on-time performance
- Fewer surprises
- More control over expenditures
- Possible identification of new savings and efficiencies
To sum it up…
Advanced scheduling is a step in the right direction towards greater visibility, as well as logistics managers having the ability to regulate time in their operations more precisely, which in turn can generate more capacity. That type of visibility goes well beyond the technology used to track and trace pallets and trucks today.