For companies that want to increase their shipment flexibility and supply chain velocity, reduce cycles times and meet market demand, transloading goods from one transport mode to another is the best option. But if your transload operations aren’t done properly, costs can quickly add up, shipments can be delayed, and customers can become dissatisfied.
Therefore, follow these 5 tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of transloading operations:
Avoid A “One-Track” Approach
Transloading is multimodal in that it doesn’t just involve rail. Consider combining your transloading operations with other relevant transportation modes such as ocean shipping with intermodal rail. Depending on what mode you choose, always ensure it provides the best cost and speed of shipment.
Offset Supply Chain Volatility
Supply chains are becoming increasingly global and products can now reach consumers all around the world, opening up your business to new markets. While this is good news for companies that ship internationally, supply chains are also becoming more volatile regarding delivery reliability.
The flexibility of transloading offsets this volatility by allowing you to combine many processes into one. For example, transloading operations allow you to ship reloaded goods with an intermodal trailer or truck, that way you can quickly meet market needs at a particular place or time.
You can even expedite shipments by using trucks instead of rail in order to ensure customers receive their product on time. Not only does this reduce volatility, it also cuts 25 to 40 percent off transit time.
To cut costs from the supply chain process, combine transloading with deconsolidation. For instance, deconsolidate your larger shipping container into several domestic trailers bound for many destinations, as opposed to transferring goods from the ocean container into a single truck destined for one location.
Keep Your Eye On The Clock
Keep in mind that a transload turnaround – unloading, handling and reloading shipments – takes anywhere from 48 to 72 hours on average. Therefore, be sure to factor it when you calculate your total transit estimates.
Research and Plan Ahead
The longer you wait to begin your transloading operations, the more likely you’ll be faced with fierce competition for the best space and most reliable carriers. Therefore, if you decide to transload shipments, do your research and plan ahead.
When you decide upon a partner for your transloading needs, give yourself nine months to a year to prepare a proposal request and look through responses before you select your source provider.