There are significant variables to consider when shipping. Most routine shipments have standard procedures in place to ensure appropriate action; however, all it takes is one variable difference to change the entire dynamic of an outbound shipment. Does your shipping department know how to adapt? Do they know what to do for a non-standard shipment? A routing guide will tell them and provide instruction for how to execute a shipment under the given pretense. The question is, do you have a routing guide?
What is a routing guide?
A routing guide establishes a set of rules and requirements for suppliers and shippers to follow when performing shipments, either inbound or outbound. They ensure the proper transportation provider, mode of shipment, service level, negotiated rates, and cargo type are utilized when products are shipped.
Here’s why a routing guide is essential
Because a routing guide creates a systematic approach to determining vital shipment information, it becomes a tool for error-proofing outbound shipments. In reducing the number of mistakes and the potential for costly errors, shippers benefit from several critical advantages.
- It reduces costs. Fewer mistakes means lower costs. Utilizing the right provider, with the right terms, with accurate shipping information means avoiding excess and overages that can eat into margin and compound operating costs.
- It ensures compliance standards. The step-by-step instructions built into a routing guide ensure compliance standards are met by default which keeps shippers and carriers on the same page. The result is fewer mistakes and miscommunications.
- It simplifies the shipping process. Shippers don’t need to spend time reasoning or fact-finding to choose the best carrier — a routing guide does it for them. Knowing which provider to use takes the complexity out of logistics.
- It ensures correct service is utilized. Why pay a premium for a service level that’s unnecessary? A routing guide makes selecting the right service level simple, which means improved cost control and enhanced decision-making.
- It creates rate negotiation leverage. When you combine shipments, you can negotiate better rates. Pairing consolidated shipments with the right provider creates negotiation leverage that puts shippers in control.
Turning to a routing guide in the face of unknowns provides a quick and easy solution to selecting the right freight option. Without a guide to standardize the process, it’s unlikely shippers would be able to capitalize on the right solution, thus spending more time and money.
Ship smarter, every time
A routing guide is a powerful tool for standardizing one of the most diverse aspects of a company’s outbound logistics: freight carrier selection. Taking the time to create an extensive, well-planned routing guide acts as a control, assisting shipping departments and logistics professionals in doing their job better, no matter the circumstances. In the coming year, take time to create or revise your routing guide to gain the advantages that come with having one.