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Movers and shakers – understanding transport management in layman’s terms

If you’re new to business and wondering what your options might be for transportation management, it can be daunting when trying to navigate the jargon and technicalities involved.

Here, we take a look at what the process actually entails and the definitions of some of the processes which will be crucial factors to consider when thinking about your transportation needs.

Transportation management services encompass a wide range of functions aimed at optimising the movement of goods and people. These services can be categorised into several types:

Freight Transportation Management

Businesses first identify and then negotiate with carriers (trucking companies, railroads, air freight, and maritime shippers) as per their specific transportation requirements.

Considerations here include combining smaller shipments into larger ones to reduce costs, planning the most efficient route to save on time and fuel, with auditing to verify freight bills for accuracy and handling payments.

Fleet Management

Looking at maintenance of the vehicles that will transport goods (factors such as maintenance and extending their lifespan wherever possible) is essential to reduce downtime and therefore, overall cost saving.

The management and optimising of fuel usage and managing driver schedules, training and regulation compliance is crucial here to further reduce costs wherever possible.

The final piece is using telematics (GPS and other technologies) to monitor vehicle locations, speed and any other relevant performance metrics.

Warehouse and Inventory Management

The design and layout of warehousing helps optimise and streamline the storage and retrieval of goods.

From there, the management of stock levels ensures the right products are available at the right time to then co-ordinate the picking, packing, and shipping of orders.

Finally, Handling returned goods efficiently is an important (and sometimes overlooked) factor in planning.

Logistics Network Design

Planning your distribution network means that warehouses and distribution centres are correctly placed to optimise on swift delivery times and overall cost – this is crucial to streamlining the entire supply chain from suppliers to customers.

Transportation Planning and Scheduling

Demand forecasting entails predicting future transportation needs based on historical data and market trends. This sits alongside planning for capacity and enough transportation to meet demand. The timing of shipments can then be schedules and arranged to meet customer requirements.

Technology and Data Management

Transportation Management Systems (TMS) software solutions help with the planning, execution, and optimisation of the movement of goods. Data can then be used to identify trends and make informed decisions, with blockchain then ensuring transparency and security within the supply chain.

Compliance and Risk Management

Ensuring that transportation activities comply with local, national, and international regulations is essential. Identifying and mitigating risks such as delays, accidents, and natural disasters is an important part of ensuring all regulatory and legal requirements are met.

Sustainability and Green Logistics

Implementing practices that reduce the environmental impact of transportation are a large concern for businesses of all sizes. Devising strategies to reduce their carbon footprint  and minimise emissions is a priority in fulfilling these all important responsibilities.

Customer Service and Communication

Providing customers with real-time information about the status of their shipments is part of the transparency needed for any business. Supporting customers by efficiently handling inquiries, complaints and all other customer interactions is the final linchpin in cementing customer trust.

By leveraging these transportation management services, organisations of all types and sizes can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction in their logistics and supply chain operations.

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Contact our International Team at our Global HQ.