8 Things to Know if You've Never Worked with a Freight Broker

Posted by PLS Logistics March 16, 2017 at 9:04 AM

A substantial amount of over-the-road freight transportation is handled by freight brokers.  A freight broker is a person or company that brings together a shipper (with freight to move) and a qualified carrier (who has capacity to move the freight).

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5 Common Problems Vendors Have with Routing Guides

Posted by PLS Logistics December 1, 2016 at 11:00 AM

What is a routing guide?

Routing guides contain routing instructions and an established set of guidelines and requirements for manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and distributors to follow when fulfilling orders and shipping products or materials to a specific location, warehouse or DC. A routing guide is the foundation of transportation management.

The purpose of a routing guide is to create a streamlined process for inbound shipment delivery – specific packaging, labeling and transporting – regardless of the vendor. The routing guide includes modes and carriers to use in specific lanes, it can contain rates and service requirements.

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How to Use a TMS to Manage Inbound Transportation (And Gain Visibility)

Posted by PLS Logistics October 6, 2016 at 7:50 AM

Inbound freight management is multifaceted and can eat up more than 40% of the average organization’s annual freight budget, according to Aberdeen Group. Since inbound freight savings have a direct impact on an organization’s bottom line, shippers that make it a supply chain priority reap inventory efficiencies, cost containment and enhanced productivity and service.

Companies expect to receive about 34,000 inbound shipments every month, so even decidedly successful inbound freight shippers are likely to encounter glitches. 35% of shippers claim that lack of visibility is one of the biggest challenges of inbound transportation, while 37% say determining hidden costs, and 25% say data analysis and decision support are the greatest challenges. Shippers experiencing challenges with inbound freight management might not be fully leveraging available optimization logic with a transportation management system (TMS).

Download Inbound Freight Cost Management ebook.

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Trending Transportation News: March 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics March 31, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Here’s an overview of 6 popular transportation and supply chain news stories from March:

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3 Steps to Cut Inbound Transportation Costs

Posted by PLS Logistics March 9, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Inbound freight management is multifaceted. A large manufacturer could have hundreds of suppliers, and a national retailer can expect business partners to deliver shipments to thousands of facilities.

42% of shippers refer to controlling costs as the greatest challenge with inbound freight management.

Transportation rates are rising; shippers report higher base rates, additional accessorial charges and higher premiums on expedited shipping. Businesses are scrambling to control costs and find logistics solutions that effectively manage these expenses.

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New Research: Assessing Inbound Freight Management

Posted by PLS Logistics March 4, 2016 at 3:30 PM

Transportation is coming to the forefront of shippers’ cost reduction, efficiency and operational strategies due to its oversized contribution to supply chain costs. Inbound transportation is particularly inefficient and costly, eating up 3.6% to 5.2% of a company’s total annual sales.

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Market Update: Industrial Distributors Have Serious Service Issues

Posted by PLS Logistics February 17, 2016 at 9:30 AM

It’s a difficult economy for industrial distributors. Industrial demand is down – in Q4 of 2015, manufacturing orders were down 20% YoY. Amazon’s low prices and convenience make it difficult to compete. The drop in oil prices, cheap imports and the strong U.S. dollar all affect manufacturing output, which leads to lower revenues for distributors.

Distributors can stay competitive and gain market share by providing unique and valuable service offerings. The problem is that distributors typically have poor transportation management, which makes any implementation of valuable services difficult.

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4 Challenges in Supplier-Retailer Collaboration on Transportation

Posted by PLS Logistics February 3, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Retailers and their suppliers face difficult challenges in today’s economy. Consumers are more demanding than ever, and mistakes are more damaging than ever. Transportation is a key component in providing superior service levels and satisfying customers, but retailers and suppliers are often unable to effectively collaborate on transportation.

A recent study proves the value of a supplier-retailer collaboration: collaborative companies receive a 3.7% increase in revenue compared to those businesses who don’t work together. And, there’s a 5.4% decrease in costs on all initiatives that involve collaboration.

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The 3 Main Obstacles Manufacturers Face with Inbound Freight Management

Posted by PLS Logistics February 2, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Industrial manufacturers are being hit hard by the current economic conditions. Overall demand for manufacturing is down, profit margins are shrinking and manufacturers are looking for any way to reduce operating costs.

Take steel manufacturers, for example, a wealth of low priced Chinese imports are driving the price of steel down, at a time when steel prices are already low and demand is shrinking rapidly. On top of this, the upstream and midstream portions of the oil supply chain have scaled back greatly with the low price of oil, further damaging the price and demand for steel.

Manufacturers play an integral role in the economy and are particularly susceptible to backlashes, as we’re seeing now. Many companies turn to transportation for cost savings and efficiency, however, they only ever focus on outbound movement of goods. Inbound transportation management is neglected and companies pay the price for not taking control of this function.

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6 Facts about Inbound Freight Management

Posted by PLS Logistics December 15, 2015 at 11:30 AM

  1. Inbound freight accounts for an average of 40% of total freight spend, and 90% of shippers say they are not prepared to manage inbound freight.

  2. Over 80% of companies have inbound freight.


  3. 75% of companies report that inbound freight management is a key focus.
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