In addition to customer requirements, which are very important for the choice of transport and which we discussed in detail in our last article, there are a number of other factors which are decisive for the transport system.

Above all, requirements of the goods such as temperature control, handling of the transported goods, delivery times, handling of empties and returns, size of shipments, etc. represent challenges for transport planning. An optimal solution must also cover the cost aspect well and needs to be developed carefully.

There are many ways to deliver products to customers

Simple quantity structures such as full truck loads (FTL), which are easy to handle with a general forwarding agency or CEP services, rarely cause problems in planning. Although, the presence of the recipients is essential. With such requirements, the transport system is quickly defined. Competitive costs can be well evaluated by means of a professional and market-wide tender. If a company needs mainly FTL transports, transport exchanges can be a good option for parts of the transports.

Special requirements of the goods, such as delivery by crane, limited vehicle height or the obligation to provide additional services after the curb make deliveries interesting.

Vehicles with cranes, for example, are rather scantly sown on the market, bulky products and especially products that do not conform to EUR pallets are a problem at transhipment points. Bundled goods are not known for their manageability either. These special requirements for transport lead to varying additional costs.

It is essential to make the structure of the orders transparent. How high is the share of “problematic” orders, what fits into “every” truck and how dense is the volume in the delivery areas? In order to identify the exact requirements for transports, a differentiation of the delivery flows must take place. For example, EUR pallet goods on vehicles with overlong materials such as wooden boards or steel beams are just as disturbing as overhanging pallets in the general cargo area.

Efficient transports always cover the essential critical factors

Different subsystems cover different requirements – here are a few examples without claiming to be complete:

Closed tours are mostly used for tours with a high regional volume and products that do not conform to EUR pallets. There is a high demand on customer service, and among other things, that the same driver always comes to the same customer. The cost-efficient use of return transports or empties is hereby important.

Each order to be transported by a parcel service should be diverted into an additional transport stream. Stop costs are always higher than parcel costs. Exception: The customer already has another order to exactly the same delivery address and the package can be delivered with the truck and not occupying too much space.

Package freight forwarders are particularly suitable for orders with small volumes and EUR-pallet compliant packages.

For full truck loads (FTL), but also for larger partial loads, it is advisable to use carriers and forwarding agents who are strong in the respective target regions. As already mentioned, freight exchanges can often be helpful at this point and contribute to a cost-effective transport system.

A rationally structured distribution of transport flows is essential

In any case, it is important in this context that the goods are made available in a clean and clear way for each transport stream and also for each tour in order to eliminate search efforts and minimize loading times.

In order to choose a transport system correctly or to change it meaningfully, it is necessary to achieve as much transparency as possible. Transparency is also essential for monitoring. Here it is particularly important to know whether a change in the transport system brings the desired results, whether readjustments are necessary or whether further transport flows should be considered. Our next article in the series “Transport cost optimization” is therefore devoted to transport management reporting.