Logistics Hacks For Small Businesses

Logistics is a headache for many small business owners. Logistics becomes more affordable according to economies of scale – which can seem impossible to take advantage of for smaller enterprises. Here are a few tips for making the most out of logistics when running a small business. 

Less Than Load Shipping 

Only need half a vehicle? LTL freight shipping might be the solution for your company. Less Than Load shipping arrangements are simple: you only pay for the space that you are taking up in a truck trailer. It is then up to the logistics company to fill the rest of the vehicle and make a profit. LTL shipping usually takes a little longer than full truckload shipping, but it can save you a huge amount of money. 

Make Use Of Visible Logistics 

If you are building a fleet for your business, you have a great opportunity to increase brand visibility. Trucks and shipping containers are perfect canvases for advertising material. Unfortunately, third-party shipping companies won’t offer you this benefit. They will, however, offer smaller set up costs and take on a great deal of the responsibilities associated with logistics for you. 

Shop Around

Don’t just settle for the first reasonable quote that you get from a logistics company or shipping broker. Make it clear that you are shopping around, and you might just find that you can negotiate a better deal. Get your legal team to look over any freight contract that is offered to your business, and learn the ins and outs of freight contract negotiation. If a shipping company wants to have an ongoing relationship with your business, then it will often be open to negotiation. Make sure that you have collected an adequate amount of data on shipping costs so that when you eventually sit down with a shipping company representative, you can argue your case for a great deal. 

Collaborate 

Two logistical budgets can go further than one. Collaborating with other companies on truckloads, warehouse space, and warehousing upgrades is a great idea. Many companies already work with collaborators on filling truckloads and containers when they have small consignments they need to ship. 

Minimize Inventory

There is no real way to eradicate logistics costs drastically without limiting inventory. Luckily, limiting inventory can be one of the best decisions a company can make. Reducing the variety of the products or materials that need shipping can be a logistical – and therefore financial – godsend. Good market research will enable a small business to identify the products that are likely to perform well. Eradicating the products that are likely to perform badly will lead to a less complex and less expensive logistical chain. 

Automate 

Many small businesses have felt the benefits of software-based logistics automation. Warehouse automation software, when paired with sensors and robotics, can take the stress (and time constraining workload) out of ordering and restocking. Although small businesses may struggle to set up their own warehouse automation systems, they can lease space in fully automated facilities for surprisingly reasonable prices. 

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