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Monthly Archives: June 2016

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Three common errors to avoid in logistics

However much companies are prepared to commit to their logistics operations – in terms of finance or man power – we commonly see the same mistakes crop up. Through years working in the industry, we have often encountered recurring themes when it comes to the obstacles that can scupper companies’ efficiency when it comes to delivering goods from A to B efficiently, safely and on budget. Here are three common mistakes which we would advise avoiding as much as possible:

1. Too many cooks spoil the broth

If you have multiple departments involved in your shipping operation, or more complex still, have a number of shipping partners as part of the chain, you are risking your logistics becoming an organisational nightmare. For this reason, we strongly recommend a ‘governing department’ whose responsibility it is to oversee shipping at every part of the process, working in tandem with one sole shipping provider who can manage the product journey end to end. For example, if you are arranging freight to Germany, and are relying on departments at the source and destination end, as well as several shipping providers to arrange your Germany freight services operation, you are risking losing efficiency in terms of both accurate accounting and time.

2. Losing cost control

While it might appear to save money employing a logistical team in house, the truth is that, in many cases, outsourcing can make sense, allowing you to utilise the operational man power of the experts, while only paying for what you need to. It certainly makes sense to have an employee that is dedicated – part time or full time – to shipping operations, and can act as a first point of contact with your logistics provider. But, if you are funding a full-time team to look after your logistics, there is sizeable chance that there could be some money to be saved somewhere down the chain.

3. Visible data

Data, and the improper recording and updating of it, can often be the tripwire which brings shipping operations to a halt. It is important that your data is kept both safe and secure, and also that you know exactly who is viewing, and changing it. As with the first point in this list, too many parties interfering and editing your logistical data can result in a confused situation when the most up to date figures can give reason for debate. Even with a content management and sharing platform, spreadsheets can quickly become inaccurate and outdated. It can pay dividends to appoint a logistics provider, such as Plexus Freight, that can take full responsibility for the recording and updating of data, ensuring only accredited parties are permitted to make changes.

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Four responsibilities to take seriously in logistics

While deciding on the right logistics provider to outsource your shipping operation to – whether for freight to Europe or further afield – is an important part of the decision making process, there are also a number of responsibilities that companies should be mindful of even when they have an external specialist handling their shipping. That’s because logistics is very much a partnership, and in this list we look at four important responsibilities that companies need to consider when it comes to getting logistics right:

1. Be on weight, every time

New regulations brought in by the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organisation require an accurate estimation of gross container weight before an item is shipped, guarding against misdeclaration. This is no surprise, considering it is estimated that 20% of all shipments are misdeclared. That makes it even more vital that you know exactly how heavy your shipment is before it reaches your logistics provider, and also that you have the right equipment to carry out the weighing.

2. Package carefully

The onus is on you to make sure that you package your goods correctly for delivery. Some logistics providers will decline goods which aren’t packaged to their satisfaction, but with Plexus Freight’ express delivery to Europe you can rely on friendly advice on the best way to package goods. Just speak to our friendly team for more details, and ensure your items are properly protected for their journey.

3. Verify your address

It might sound obvious, but even a simple error such as an inaccurate post code can prove disastrous when it comes to logistics. Particularly in the case of new clients, it is absolutely essential that a consignee’s address is checked on multiple occasions and verified for its accuracy before being provided to your logistics specialist.

4. Understand consignee requirements

What happens at the other end – for example, when your recipient or consignee receives a shipment – is important to understand for companies that are shipping items. It is down to you to inform your shipping providers of any conditions which may impact on the receipt of the freight. For example, does the consignee have a lift gate if needs be? To avoid the nightmare scenario of your freight to Germany or elsewhere being returned, and the potentially high costs associated with it, you should have a full knowledge of consignee requirements and how these must be met.

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