An effective inbound supply chain strategy is a frequently forgotten source of shipping cost savings. Transportation management system (TMS) shipping software and freight auditing help shippers capitalize on these potential savings. Shippers who don’t use these supply chain management strategies could lose thousands of dollars from their bottom line. A basic logistics plan can start to build up significant savings quickly.
You have control over your inbound shipments. This is obviously an important thing to understand to take control of your supply chain. A significant aspect of this control involves carrier selection, and you can benefit from lowest-rate carrier selection to reduce these costs. Any negotiated rates you have with those freight carriers can be used for your inbound freight shipping.
Your suppliers shouldn’t benefit from the carrier you work with for inbound more than you do. It won’t be a bad deal for them, however, because they’ll have less work to do when you select your own inbound freight carriers. It’s understandable that shippers don’t want to upset their suppliers, but it’s possible to look out for your company first without hurting your supplier’s operations.
Visibility is an essential part of outbound freight shipping, so why don’t shippers look for the same supply chain visibility on inbound? Freight auditing on inbound prevents over-payment on shipping costs. Your company pays the costs of shipping, but you don’t necessarily have control over the shipment. Your freight may show up randomly, and not at your desired time. You need freight auditing to make sure you don’t pay more than you owe for less than ideal freight shipping.
Given the capabilities of freight shipping technology today, inbound supply chains can gain real-time tracking and shipping data analytics to prevent over-payment. Freight auditing doesn’t only notice when a shipment was over-billed, if it was overpaid, it can file a refund or charge-back with the carrier. The right inbound strategies can cut shipping costs and get money back when needed.
Managing inbound freight is easier when you go beyond basic freight auditing and accumulate further shipping data and analytics. Combining freight auditing and TMS shipping software provides analysis of shipping data on carrier performance to proactively cut shipping costs, while auditing will get back freight shipping costs incorrectly billed to you. A TMS will allow you to compare shipping costs on inbound shipments to increase supply chain visibility and ensure compliance with inbound freight shipping rules.
Damaged freight, lost shipments, delayed shipments and more lead to freight claims, all of which take time. Your company may have hundreds of carriers and suppliers to contact. There are likely different processing rules for freight claims with different carriers, as well as different reimbursement or payment rules. An inbound logistics strategy makes supply chain management more efficient, leading to less work in terms of claim processing, and faster payment.
When a shipping company receives a lot of parcel shipments, and they aren’t needed immediately, there are more efficient inbound solutions. Small parcels can be held and accumulated for consolidation into LTL or full truckload freight shipments. Consolidating into freight shipping leads to fewer shipments as well as reduced shipping costs.
There may be times when having your inbound freight managed by vendors could be beneficial for you. It depends on your needs, but utilizing freight auditing services, and a transportation management system helps to cut shipping costs and streamline inbound shipping processes. Inbound can be a major source of savings, just like outbound freight. Visibility of inbound shipping as well as outbound freight provides the full picture and enables more efficient supply chain management and supply chain savings.