“I want to buy your products again!” One of the things a seller wants to hear is words like these. But what if the customer only ordered half, or even a quarter, of what they usually do?
Although you are aware that you are not losing them as a customer, the small volume of orders is eating up your budget. Everyone is aware that costs per unit decrease with increasing volume. Therefore, you will ship 50 units for 35 cents each as opposed to 100 units for 25 cents each. Not the most economical choice.
As demand for both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retail has increased, retail stores are experiencing new challenges filling orders. Retailers move at breakneck speed to satisfy customers’ expectations that the exact product will be available when they need it. Shippers are consequently noticing an increase in orders with shorter lead times and lower volumes.
The question that arises then is how shippers can counteract this market trend while keeping costs down and shipping the same volumes to the same clients. Yeah, the solution for this is nothing but Consolidated shipment.
I. What is consolidated shipping?
If you’re unsure about consolidated shipment meaning, it refers to the practice of combining several smaller shipments that are likely all going to the same location into one cohesive shipment in order to lessen the economic and environmental impact of the shipment.
Worldwide, consolidation has become the norm for many retailers, creating a wealth of chances for inter-company cooperation. This enables sellers to deal with responsive buyers who frequently place small orders of merchandise.
Consolidated shipment meaning
Retailers can take advantage of higher product volumes by combining similar intracompany freight or scheduling with others who have freight traveling in the same direction by using LTL (less than truckload) and LCL (less than container) variable rates.
Increasing volume lowers the cost per unit, enabling you and all other shippers involved in the process to transport freight from point A to point B more quickly and affordably.
II. The advantages and disadvantages of consolidating shipments
1. The benefits of consolidating shipments
As the economy and technology develop, there are more and more reasons to pursue consolidated shipping services careers. As we know, the global supply chains becoming more calculated with containerization advancements. So it is more important than ever for retailers to work together to consolidate shipments, which will save both parties time, money, and hassle.
But in terms of how freight consolidation can help both sellers and buyers, saving time and money are just the tips of the iceberg. Here are six advantages of freight consolidated transport to get you going.
It is more effective cost savings
When talking about the benefits of consolidation shipping, we cannot go ignored the cost savings. If your shipment only fills up a sixth of a truck, you must still pay for the entire truck at the current static rate typical for that type of shipment. This means that if your shipment is the only one being shipped, you are responsible for the remaining costs after paying the fuel surcharge, driver wage, and scheduling expenses. On the other hand, you can lower your contribution to the shipment by using collaborative scheduling to plan multiple shipments on a single truck.
It ensures your package’s safety
Which package will be moved around more while traveling to its final destination: one that is packed in with other cargo or one that is left alone in a truck? The answer is obvious. The likelihood of damage is significantly decreased when your palletized freight is packed alongside other palletized freight.
A truckload of LTL freight on a conventional hub and spoke route will be moved a lot because of the frequent loading and unloading stops. A shipment will only move when it is loaded and unloaded if it is combined with other shipments going to the same or nearby destinations. Here, there is no room for compromise.
Nothing is more annoying than having to submit a claim for damaged freight as a result of negligence and a convoluted shipping schedule. You can keep things simple by using consolidated shipping to your advantage.
It helps reduce fuel emissions and expenditure
As you know, consolidated shipping can reduce the number of trucks used. Instead of shipping three small shipments in three trucks, a shipper who uses one truck for all three shipments helps to reduce fuel emissions and expenditure. This in turn reduces the environmental impact of fuel consumption.
It helps in streamlined transit
In today’s economy, the nature of retail necessitates short transit times and even shorter lead times. Fortunately, shippers can reduce transit times by using freight consolidation shipping services.
Because the majority of freight shipped through freight consolidation is headed in the same direction, shipping time is drastically reduced. As a result, consolidated freight increasingly resembles a TL shipment, which travels directly from shipper to receiver with no stops in between.
It reduces overcrowded docks
Naturally, the quantity of trucks required is decreased by combining multiple shipments into a single truck.
Shippers experience a variety of problems due to dock congestion, including unintended delays and late shipments. Additionally, since there will be less waiting time, which will reduce their service hours, the drivers will value this streamlined approach.
Freight Consolidated Shipment = Less Trucks = More Efficiency.
It allows retailers to take advantage of the TMS Technology
Transport for freight consolidation is more important than it has ever been for shippers. Fortunately, carrying out freight consolidation processes has never been simpler than it is right now thanks to amazing developments in Transportation Management System (TMS) technology.
Using automated inventory counting systems, many businesses now use inventory software and have triggers in place that notify a system when it’s time to order more of a product. The best TMS systems will additionally routinely review scheduled loads and, based on the entered parameters, recommend consolidation when it is triggered.
Smart software makes scheduling shipments much easier, freeing up the shipper to concentrate on other aspects of their business. This section talks about TMS software.
>>Read more: Air freight from the USA: Time, cost & Process.
2. Potential consolidated shipping disadvantages.
Everything has its pros and cons, and freight consolidated shipment is no exception. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the difficulties that come with consolidation shipping.
It requires a complicated scheduling plan
Setting up a freight consolidated shipment can be challenging for both sellers and carriers. It takes a lot of coordination to schedule multiple shipments at once, and getting carriers and shippers on the same page can be challenging. On the other hand, once a system is in place, scheduling becomes much simpler.
Your consolidating initiative is more likely to be successful the more parameters you plan and hone for when to use consolidation initially. If you try to wing it initially, you will waste a lot of time making calls, rescheduling shipments, and looking for freight.
It increases the returns
The development of e-commerce fulfillment technology has led to an increase in online product purchases. There are now more returns than ever before as a result. In fact, the rate of returns from online purchases in 2018 was the highest ever.
A reverse logistics program should be in place for businesses that already fulfill e-commerce orders or want to start doing so. Retailers are challenged financially and logistically by how to handle return policies as customers grow accustomed to mailing unwanted goods back.
Although it can be challenging for many retailers to compete with retail giants like Amazon and Walmart in this market, they still try. As long as the trend is present, carriers and shippers must continue to get ready for the flood of returns. For any business looking to stand out in the expanding retail industry, this trend offers both a challenge and an opportunity.
It matters the lead time
One of the most challenging issues for sellers when it comes to freight consolidated shipment may be the shrinking lead time on shipments. High consumer demand means that if a product isn’t available, customers are more likely to move on to the next option, costing businesses valuable customers. Immediate fulfillment is a retailer’s top priority, which presents a significant challenge for shippers.
Implementing systems and procedures for quick freight consolidation should be a shipper’s top priority in a market-driven by consumers. Reduce costs and time for all parties involved, including carriers and shippers, by combining shipments within your business and working with other shippers.
III. Things to check to get the most out of the consolidated shipment
Many courier companies provide package consolidation services. There are also businesses that specialize solely in packaging and shipment consolidation. If you don’t have the resources to consolidate a shipment and plan to hire a specialized company, consider the following:
- Re-packaging options
Some companies that provide such services will unpack the boxes, discard the packaging material, and combine the contents into one larger container. Other companies stack all of the smaller boxes into a larger one without removing the contents.
- Dimensions of the box
If the company only provides packaging services and not shipping, double-check that the sizes of the boxes they use are within the parameters accepted by the courier service provider whose services you will use.
- The time necessary to consolidate a shipment
Make sure you know how long it takes to consolidate a shipment so you can schedule your shipping accordingly.
- Delivery address
Make sure you’re sending everything to the same place. You may need to select the service for multiple package shipments if you have multiple addresses.
- Consolidating photos
Is it possible for the company to take photos during the consolidation process? In the event that the shipment is damaged or lost during transit, this is the best proof you can have. Keep all of the warnings in mind. If you’re concerned about how the company handles consolidated shipments, inquire if they can take photos and provide you with proof.
IV. Commodity consolidation service at Janbox
And for those of you who haven’t yet found a reliable company to provide you with freight consolidated shipment services, Janbox is the place to go.
Janbox, as a cross-border eCommerce platform, can assist you in purchasing, auctioning, and shipping billions of products from Japan, the United States, and other countries.
Furthermore, we provide a package consolidation service that allows you to combine multiple items into a single package and ship it as a single package! Once several items have arrived at the Janbox warehouse, you can easily select them from your Orders List and submit an international shipment request (parcel compile).
And it’s worth knowing that at Janbox, it is free to combine all of the packages received from the sellers into one box. When consolidating, we keep packages in the same condition as when we received them from sellers by default. All seller-packaged orders will be combined into a single cardboard box or special postal packet.
Overall, consolidated shipment by ground is a cost-effective and efficient way to move freight. This type of method is ideal for someone who is transporting palletized freight. And for your next shipment, don’t forget to try Janbox’s consolidated shipping service. We are sure you will get the most enjoyable experience.