The logistics industry is a non-stop operation that does not always have the flexibility to adapt quickly to changes. Forecasting can cover the basis for materials that will be needed but last-minute delays or weather disasters can put a strain on inventory levels. When disruptions arise and shipments are in jeopardy of late arrival, expediting shipments becomes necessary to avoid shutdowns. Before making the call to expedite a shipment, you should take into account the following four factors.
Distance & Weight – Moving freight on short notice increases the complexity of the shipment. Generally speaking, freight that needs to be moved in a short amount of time will incur higher costs to ensure on-time delivery. When given longer shipping times, logistics providers can evaluate routes and provide several options. With expedite service, providers are focused on moving freight to its final destination on the quickest available route. Ensuring the quickest route typically means booking the fastest mode or first available option. In some critical expedite instances, the cost of team divers or air charters is incurred. The shipments weight has a large effect on the costs and means of moving an expedite. Sourcing a provider to move material at a heavier weight puts a restriction on using consolidation networks and smaller trucks. Weight also affects the price of shipping when freight is sent via air charter. There are high limits set for weight restrictions on air charters, but sourcing a last minute option for freight that is extremely heavily may further reduce the available options.
Importance – Before deciding that your freight needs to be expedited, it’s important to determine how soon freight is actually needed. It is easy to think that once a shipment is missed or moving slower than originally planned it becomes a critical load. This may not always be the case. When a shipment is delayed it is necessary to evaluate the material on hand and what the immediate needs of production are. There may be other options for quick pick up and shipping without having to expedite the shipment.
Costs – Taking into account the above factors, costs can increase significantly when load complexity rises. Working on short notice, planners don’t always have the necessary time to procure competitive rates and can be forced to pay higher prices. Operating in a market with already tight capacity lowers the availability even further for affordable options.