Remedy These 5 Bad Practices For Managing Global Freight

By Phil Marlowe

As supply chain professionals, we live in a world of unprecedented connectivity where partners collaborate seamlessly, in real-time, to make faster, better decisions on production, inventory, and shipping.

And then there is global freight management.

Here, clerks manually enter shipment data, and that data gets shared – as emails, spreadsheets, and shipping documents – among factories, freight forwarders, and carriers. It’s an appallingly inefficient and manual process that can result in millions, even tens of millions, in lost profit for large shippers with sizable global freight spends.

The good news is, the technology exists to automate global freight management processes and allow dynamic decision-making. Here’s a look at the five worst practices contributing to this profit drain, and how technology-based alternatives can accomplish the same result faster, cheaper, and with greater accuracy.

Mistake 1: Not using software to manage expedited freight.

When it comes to deciding whether to expedite a shipment and switch from ocean to air, current manual approval methods waste time and transportation dollars, as it often takes a shipper 3-5 days to make a decision. The less “expedited” the decision process, the fewer cost-efficient options exist. Slow decisions force you to choose faster, more expensive, modes. 

When supply chain managers lack access to up-to-date information on actual delivery requirements and the time and cost of various shipping options, decisions are too often driven by emotion. As a result, companies overspend when they don’t need to.

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