Third Party Logistics

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Third party logistics in shipping relate to the multitude of details that must be managed in order for shipments to arrive safely and on time. Freight logistics experts are often one in the same person or company as a freight broker. Brokers must be licensed and must have obtained training in several specific areas as well as having a high level of expertise in the freight industry.

Managing Freight Movement

Planning routes to maximize efficiency takes serious skill. Trucks may be going the long haul or traveling a dedicated lane in a major metropolitan area, but, in either case, saving fuel and time is critical. The longer the route, the more important is the opportunity to carry a load on the way back, thus producing savings on the costs of drivers, fuel, and maintenance.

Management of dedicated lanes can be very complicated, especially when the carrier hauls LTL loads to multiple destinations. When LTL loads are destined for sites beyond the carrier's service area, for example, loads are often taken to central hubs and offloaded, only to be loaded onto another carrier's rig. This process is called interlining, and the more times it occurs in any shipment, the more opportunity there is for lost units, time, and money. Freight brokers negotiate all of the steps to insure that the loads are delivered as contracted.

Managing Money

When loads end up in third party warehouses for any reason, it behooves the shipper and carrier to have a freight broker/logistics expert to come in and conduct warehouse and freight bill audits. This insures that the shipper makes accurate payments in a timely manner which makes it easier for a carrier to offer lower rates. Tracking loads online is often an option that is offered by freight brokers, providing peace of mind for shippers and carriers alike. It also saves money by shortening the time a load is stranded on the side of a highway because, in some cases, a rig can be sent out to keep the load moving.

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