If you have an order that needs to get to its destination in a hurry, expedited freight options could be your best choice for delivery. Whether you need to move production-critical ingredients to keep your operation humming or need to get product to an important customer ahead of an initial launch, a true expedited freight solutions provider can help you get your freight where it needs to go to meet delivery expectations.
While most shippers do not look to expedited freight services as a sustainable shipping option, unforeseen or highly critical moves occur, leaving brands with no choice but to utilize the hasty transportation mode. Though often a result of an unexpected need, there is still a way to control costs and ensure quality performance when arranging expedited freight services.
A good logistics partner can help your organization effectively source capacity and find expedited freight solutions for your high-attention orders. Let’s look at the basics of expedited freight and what you need to keep in mind when considering the mode.
What Is Expedited Freight?
Expedited freight refers to the process of transporting your orders with quicker than typical transit times. Whether through air cargo shipments or sprinter van moves, expedited freight options will get your product to its end destination much faster than other traditional modes.
To cut down on transit times, trucks executing expedited freight moves rarely stop along the way. These vehicles move straight from pickup to delivery and sometimes utilize multiple drivers to circumvent hours of service regulations. This process allows for reduced transportation times and quicker than typical outcomes.
Why Utilize Expedited Freight Options?
In the era of COVID-19 induced supply chain disruption, expedited freight has become a more utilized mode than in the past. As manufacturers struggle to obtain reliable production-critical inventory or find effective capacity, expedited freight has emerged as a dependable solution to many brands’ needs. There are several instances where it may be your only solution to getting what you need to where it needs to go.
For example, if you need to get a pallet of the ingredients required to continue manufacturing but inventory was depleted until the last minute, you will need to select an expedited option to ensure output can remain on schedule. Without that shipment, your co-manufacturer will be forced to shut down the production line, costing you thousands in charges and lost revenue.
Your organization may also need to get the finished product to its end destination quicker than expected. Say you have a launch at a new retail customer or a showcase at an established partner, it is imperative to have the order there on time. The relationship’s success could hinge on getting your orders to your customer before the launch. There are also other circumstances where your organization may need to expedite a shipment. For example, if it is needed for media production or as part of a high-profile event.
What to Consider When Shipping Expedited
Paying up to move an order via an expedited option does not necessarily guarantee success. You must follow best practices to ensure that you secure the intended outcome. Here are some tips for the next time you are thinking about utilizing expedited freight. These will help you book the best fit option for your order.
How Soon Does Your Order Need to Arrive?
Timelines are key in determining the best option for your shipment. Does your order need to arrive tomorrow? Or can it get there next week? The actual due date will dictate if your shipment needs to travel via air cargo or if it can ride on a sprinter van or similar solution.
When Will the Order Be Ready for Pickup?
If your order is not ready to ship immediately, it is critical to relay that information to your logistics provider. It is equally essential to detail when the order will be ready to ship.
Where Will Your Shipment Be Received?
Most standard orders ship to facilities with standard loading docks. That allows the driver or warehouse to unload freight for receiving. However, with expedited moves, this is not always the case. Zipline has shipped goods directly to movie sets, locker rooms, and other non-traditional receiving areas. Will your freight be going anywhere unusual that your logistics provider should know about?
What Are Your Order Dimensions?
Pallet dimensions are an essential piece of information to consider and relay to your freight provider. The height, weight, width, and piece count will determine the most effective expedited mode. Some product is too bulky to send via air freight while other orders are too tall to utilize a sprinter van. Knowing exactly what your provider is working with will help determine the best fitting model.
Are There Any Special Requirements?
When your product arrives at its destination, will the driver or others need special equipment to unload it? Things like a liftgate or pallet jack do not come included with every shipment. The driver will need to make special accommodations to handle your order, which must be made ahead of time. If the carrier arrives at the drop-off location without the right equipment, your order may be late, or you will be forced to pay additional accessorial charges to unload the order.
It is also imperative to relay any temperature requirements so your logistics provider can determine if you will need refrigerated or temp-controlled capacity.
Keys for Expedited Freight Success
Just like with standard shipments, there are actions you can take to ensure your order arrives when, where, and how it is meant. Keep these in mind during your next expedited shipment.
Utilize Good Communication
Good communication is essential for any order, but it is imperative against a quickly approaching deadline. Effectively communicate the above-listed details to your logistics partner so they can book the best expedited option for your shipment.
Make Use of Any Lead Time
While you may not have much time to prepare for an expedited shipment, it is critical that you give your partners as much lead time as possible. Relay expedited orders as soon as you get them to give your provider as much time as possible to shop shipping options. Additional lead time can be the difference between finding reasonably priced expedited capacity and paying extra to secure your orders’ transportation.
Consider Multiple Modes
There are quite a few options that you can use for expedited transport. Whether that is a dedicated truck, guaranteed LTL, air freight, or a sprinter van, you have the ability the shop different modes to find the best fit for your order. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to compare to see what will work best.
Work with Retail Logistics Experts for Your Next Expedited Freight Move
As established experts in the retail and CPG logistics spaces, Zipline understands that orders need to be delivered promptly. We understand that due dates are non-negotiable. A missed appointment or delayed delivery can have a domino effect on your supply chain and damage your customer relationships.
Our retail-qualified carrier network exists to deliver on your time-sensitive shipment needs, ensuring you keep production running, ace your vendor scorecards, and meet buyer requirements.
Whether you need to make a special delivery for a customer or get ingredients to a co-manufacturer, Zipline has your expedited freight move covered.