WHAT IS SHIPPING LOGISTICS?
Shipping Logistics and its best practices are becoming a hot topic, as companies are under pressure to provide fast and efficient delivery.
Shipping logistics is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the movement of products from the point of origin to the end of consumption and back. This involves selecting a suitable mode of transportation, planning the route, negotiating rates with shipping companies, and tracking shipments.
It is getting essential for importers, exporters, and distributors. Different businesses rely on other transportation options to ship their products across the globe. Many factors affect this strategy in which procurement, freight shipping, and carrier partnerships are included.
This blog discusses the various methods of shipping logistics, their challenges, and the best practices to follow.
WHAT IS SHIPPING AND LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT?
People usually ask: What is shipping and logistics all about? Are they the same or different?
Usually, they are considered the same thing, but the borderline difference is the scope of operations.
Shipping is a limited and closed term that involves the science of physically shifting goods from point A to point B, while logistics is a complex term under which the planning of the entire shipping process and supply chain comes.
On a broader view, logistics is the system used to manage the movement and flow of goods from the point of origin to the end of consumption. It deals with the issues that arise in moving goods. Furthermore, it involves a complete supply chain management system that uses technology to increase the speed of delivering products.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF SHIPPING LOGISTICS?
To carry out the overall logistics operations, shipping logistics is split into three categories:
- Inbound logistics
- Outbound logistics
- Reverse logistics
Let’s study them in detail!
- INBOUND LOGISTICS
Inbound logistics are the processes that move products from a business to a 3PL warehouse or fulfillment center.
A great way to connect with the new customer is by making sure you have a solid inbound logistics network. To ensure your business can transport, store, and deliver goods, a company’s inbound logistics network should include everything from sourcing products to production lead times.
- OUTBOUND LOGISTICS
Outbound logistics carry out order processing, picking, and packing, shipping, carrier partnership, etc. It includes all the operations required to move products from the fulfillment center or 3PL warehouse to the customers.
- REVERSE LOGISTICS
Reverse logistics is one of the most vital pieces of a business’ infrastructure. Return policy in any company gives confidence to customers to buy from your shop. Good reverse logistics can even reduce costs and resources.
If customers are not happy with their purchase, they often return or exchange it. Reverse logistics refers to the processes that care for customer returns and exchanges.
This includes inbound and outbound processes like return labels, inspecting the returned merchandise, processing refunds, and shipping out a new item if it’s an exchange.
It can be challenging, time-consuming, and expensive for online retailers to handle these processes independently. So here comes the third-party logistics companies.
CHALLENGES OF SHIPPING LOGISTICS
As digital technology improves, we see a shift towards eCommerce and the decline of traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Retailers and sellers might underestimate the importance of 3PL in the smooth running of their business, but partnering with the best 3PL would skyrocket the companies.
A 3PL or logistics service provider specializes in the management and distribution of goods, products, and services. They are usually involved in transporting products, materials, resources, and services to avoid challenges related to technology and automation.
The common challenges sellers face in logistics are:
- How to keep inventory safe and checked at the warehouse?
- How would you label the entire stock of inventory?
- How would you fulfill a large number of orders on time?
- How would reverse logistics work?
- How to keep checks and balances on deliveries, returns, and exchanges?
SHIPPING LOGISTICS BEST PRACTICES
3PL or third-party logistics companies work smartly to let you relax with your business. In short, all the hassle of inventory, shipping, the logistics operation can be well taken care of by a 3PL service provider like CSG3PL.
- Inventory Distribution
When it comes to inventory, there are two models: centralized or distributed inventory. When it’s centralized, your products are all located in one place, which means you can’t ship them as far. But when they’re distributed, you can ship them farther and less expensively because your products are closer to your consumers.
When you build a distributed inventory model, you’re able to reduce shipping costs and delivery times. This means that 2-day shipping is now possible via ground without expedited air shipping!
Third-party logistics companies are finally catching up with the infrastructure and resources needed to make affordable 2-day shipping an easy reality.
- Inventory Automation and Real-Time Tracking
So, your business just started scaling. Your inventory is climbing, and so are your orders. First, you need a reliable order management system to stay on top of it all. This begins when an order is placed and ends when the customer receives their delivery.
Inventory management software is an essential tool for growing businesses, which automates real-time tracking and streamlines the order management process. With its help, among other things, you can track inventory more accurately, manage orders more efficiently.
- Efficient Warehouse Management System (WMS)
A warehouse is a complicated business and a significant one, too. It takes a lot of time and effort to manage it properly. Any company that uses a third-party logistics company (3PL) can use a digital warehouse management system (WMS).
These systems connect with the e-commerce dashboard and allow retailers to remotely monitor and control daily operations.
CSG3PL uses the most modern technology to ensure your warehouse runs efficiently and you’re constantly aware of what’s happening.
WRAP UP – SHIPPING LOGISTICS WITH CSG3PL
It is vital to have good shipping logistics when selling online. Keeping the customers happy with your product is the most important thing. If any problem happens during the shipping process, it will directly affect customer service and customer satisfaction.
For example, if any customer receives a damaged item or is missing in their package, they will indeed file a claim, which will bring down your customer satisfaction rate.
Therefore, CSG3PL is a sage choice to be made when it comes to handling logistics in various situations. It not only has digital WMS, real-time data, and order tracking but partners with regional and major carriers (national and international) to ensure the quickest and affordable shipping right at your customer’s door.
- Is shipping and logistics the same?
Answer: They are different in terms of scope. Shipping is the transportation of goods between two points, while logistics manages all the supply chain operations.
- What is the shipping logistics process?
Answer: It is the overall process of managing and outlooking inventory, shipping, freight forwarding, intermodal freight planning, and fulfilling orders.
- How to improve shipping logistics?
Answer: Following five ways are crucial to improve shipping logistics:
- Warehouse management optimization
- Evaluation and examining operating procedures
- Examining and re-scheduling transportation
- Focusing delivery time
- Automation and maximum use of technology