Why Collaborate? There’s Power in Partnerships!

Posted - March 24, 2014

Why Collaborate? There’s Power in Partnerships!

Collaboration in shipping is certainly a powerful idea, but how can shippers begin to turn that idea into a beneficial reality?  It helps to start by finding the right partner. But that’s not all. We’ve identified some key steps to transforming the challenge of collaboration into a working relationship that reaps substantial benefits for all parties involved.

What are some tips for creating value through co-loading? Read on to find out.

  1. Start with a map.  Where are your products going?  Where are you distribution centers located? These are important questions to ask when considering collaboration and choosing partners.
  2. Consider your customers. Many customers are asking for lower product inventory to optimize the in-stock inventory mix and take advantage of preferred pricing, and this ultimately means smaller, more frequent deliveries. Becoming demand-driven is a huge priority for many shipper’s strategies, and a co-loading partnership can allow for this type of flexibility.
  3. Think beyond transportation cost savings.  Beyond the reduced freight costs that naturally occur when you eliminate underutilized truckloads, what are your other supply chain goals?  Collaboration programs have other benefits that include greater sustainability and velocity, as well as the opportunity to leverage a partner’s supply chain capabilities for a boost in efficiency and market reach.
  4. Define the process, then measure the results. Optimizing shipments requires measured processes that include freight modeling, cost scenarios, and ultimately result reporting.
  5. Leverage technology.  Today’s technology helps to enable end-to-end collaboration between shippers and systems.

In a recent example of a shipper’s capacity for collaboration, Welch’s began using a transportation management system to efficiently plan and execute all inbound and outbound shipments across North America. Additionally, Welch’s is able to identify and take advantage of key areas of improvement and savings opportunities based on analysis of rate compression, accessorial savings, routing guide compliance and truckload and intermodal conversion.

The last key step when considering collaboration is to look to the future.  Do you have a clear vision for where collaboration can take you?