Maximizing efficiencies for time and cost in moving freight around the world is mission critical, as global supply chains are becoming longer and more fragmented.
A recent survey of 104 global supply chain executives reported that visibility (21.1%), fluctuating consumer demand (19.1%), and inventory management (13.2%) were their biggest challenges.
Many factors add complexity to global supply chains, including longer lead times and lead-time variability and an increasing number of suppliers, partners, carriers, customers, countries, and logistics channels.
In a new report released by C.H. Robinson, the company looked at three opportunities for optimization: cargo consolidation, cargo risk management, and customs management.
“Contrary to what you might think, global freight forwarding can offer relief for these concerns and when people, processes, and technology are leveraged, can even offer competitive advantages,” the report said.
The report recommends ten approaches to savings:
1. Align shipping activities to leverage the benefits of consolidation services.
2. Minimize the financial impact of cargo loss and damage by purchasing marine cargo insurance.
3. Take advantage of transportation providers’ TMS to create visibility and take control of the supply chain.
4. Develop strategies to match service modes with inventory planning and sales forecasting.
5. Create a risk management strategy—identify and understand risk types, probabilities, and potential costs.
6. Integrate with a single transportation provider’s TMS and connect with suppliers and carriers globally.
7. Effectively use Incoterms when negotiating with suppliers to impact unit price, cash flow, inventory levels, and logistics costs.
8. Actively engage with a customs professional to deploy best practices in customs management.
9. Leverage transportation provider’s business intelligence reporting and analytics to improve supply chain performance.
10. Utilize PO management to control the purchase order lifecycle; go upstream to supplier order fulfillment logistics activities.
Read the full report here.