02 Oct Load Optimization: Say What?
If you’re a shipper (or carrier) chances are you’ve been hearing or reading about “load optimization,” a lot these days. It’s a buzz phrase in transportation circles.
In fact, 3PL people and techie folks like to throw the term around, promising to help you “optimize your freight.” And if you’re a smart shipper, this is something you should want, right?
The answer is a resounding YES, but if you don’t know what it means, you can’t possibly know why you want it!
So what does “load optimization” mean?
Go ahead and type it in Google, and you’ll find out “load optimization is a cost-cutting process that allows you to operate trucks efficiently and cheaply.”
And you’ll find out “it’s crucial if you want to protect your products.”
And you’ll see that it involves algorithms and processes and new and innovative software.
But do you have a clear idea of what it really means? Probably not.
What does it mean to “optimize” anything? According to good old Merriam-Webster, “optimize” means “to make as perfect, effective, or functional as possible.”
Essentially load optimization is a studied attempt to save you time, money, and resources.
How does it work?
Here at AM Transport, we like to keep things simple. The truth is load optimization is a catch-all for a variety of actions we can take to save you time, money, and resources.
We’ll study your supply chain to better understand your network and your constraints. Then we’ll use our experience and technology in accordance with your needs.
Here are a few things we look at.
Carrier Network Alignment: We know a lot of carriers, as well as, their strengths, their lanes, their regions and capabilities. We’ll find the right carriers for your freight based on lane and equipment preferences.
Reporting and Visibility: You’ve heard about Big Data, right? Technology allows us to analyze your supply chain, looking for trends and patterns. We use this information to find opportunities for continuous moves by matching inbound, outbound, and potential multiple drop shipments that could be milk-runs. By the same token, we work to get your shipments recurring regularly, as much as possible, so your carriers can plan from week to week.
Automation: Automated tendering of simple loads reduces unnecessary processing and gives carriers extra lead time.
Consolidation: Consolidation strategies–creating truckload shipments from a number of LTL shipments–can provide you with faster transit times, less congestion at loading docks, less handling, and cost savings. We’re going to max out trailer space and/or weight, so you’re not wasting trailer space you’re already paying for!
Load Optimization isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition.
A 3PL can employ some or all of all of these methods.
But a good 3PL takes a close look at what you, the customer, needs and tailors a plan that caters to those needs. It takes time, know-how, and a passion for customer service.
That’s what makes it fun.
Yep, we said fun.
You see, we like getting to know our customers. We enjoy finding the best way or ways to help you deliver your freight consistently, reliably, and on-time. If this sounds good to you too, give us a call. We’d love to talk about load optimization and how we can help you!