Which trans-loading, warehousing, and distribution services are perfect for you?
Transloading and warehousing are integral components to freight forwarding, and capitalizing on profits and return on investments for company development and expansion. Logistics management can be a large feat to accomplish if you’re also juggling other large projects for a business, so finding a logistics solution company might be the right choice for you.
We’re going to talk about what exactly translating and temporary warehouse solutions are, how they are important in today’s rapidly growing e-commerce industry and how to get the most out of utilizing them.
History of Distribution in America
The distribution of goods could be said to have begun as early as the 1700s when frontiersmen traveled into the West, carrying with them food, clothing, blankets, building materials, and other necessary supplies to live and thrive. They were transported by horses and wagons, which was a much smaller and much slower process than what we know today. Most of the merchandise originated in Great Britain, shipped from ports there to sail across the Atlantic, then unloaded along the eastern shore and packed into wagons. From the source to the endpoint, merchandise could be in transit for months.
At this point in time, the weather had an immense impact on travel, which in turn affected the transportation lines. When a large winter storm hit, it sometimes meant the end of the road until spring. The merchandise would be held for months in whatever town they ended up in, usually in a large stock room at a post office. This might not have carried the term ‘warehouse’, but the idea is the same as what it means today.
The railroads were underway at the end of that century, in the 1790s. This expedited the shipping and transportation in both volume and speed. Trains could carry an exponential amount more of merchandise than even an entire band of wagons, but could only deliver to places along the railroads. From the stations along the way, the goods would be unloaded and transferred to wagons once again to reach rural destinations.
Mercantiles popped up along the railways, marketing and selling more goods to the people already settled. This caused a larger amount of freight to be in demand to be transported via the train systems.
It wasn’t until over a century later that the next transportation mode was utilized commercially. In the 1930s during World War I, the military began using trucks to transport artillery, medical supplies, clothing, and gas and oil for machinery and war trucks. Trucking use continued to grow after the war, including the final kind of transportation to be developed in moving freight across the country.
After World War I, the military had a surplus of planes that they sold to civilians. Largely-known wealthy men began investing in commercial aerial transport. The idea of speedy delivery and weighing freight was born.
Merchandise was commonly lost, or sometimes even taken by train robbers. Although the process has only progressed inefficiently and is much simpler now with technology like electronic tracking, translating between different modes of transportation has always been a factor in America and has always required brain power and problem-solving.
The term transloading is sometimes used for different processes. It can mean the entire route freight travels when it requires more than one mode of transportation. For example, coffee beans harvested in Nicaragua would have to travel via truck to a shipping dock, travel via ship to a dock in the U.S., then onto another truck or possibly train to get to the final destination.
Transloading is more commonly known to mean the physical process of unloading from one kind of transportation and onto another. For example, a plane with clothing from Italy lands in New York, and the merchandise has to be unloaded from the plane and onto a truck to reach the final destination before it is sold to a customer.
The service of transloading can also mean moving freight and materials for job sites, warehouse to warehouse, and warehouse to end-customer locations. It can even refer to the transfer of goods at a railroad break-of-gauge point from one train car to another using railway bogies.
Many retailers and businesses market their products worldwide. That, along with the growth of e-commerce in the last decade and the projected data for exponential growth in the next five years, transloading (and the shipping processes that go hand-in-hand) are having to advance their own way of doing business, and transloading has become much more standardized and streamlined.
Another advancement in freight in recent years has been the use of intermodal rectangular steel containers that can ship nearly anything and everything. Cargo ships, planes, trucks, and trains now are all capable of carrying these standardized boxes, making the process faster and efficient.
Shipping options often depend on the items and the desired delivery time. Nonperishable items are often carried long distances via ship because they can, while food items require faster methods like a cargo plane so the items don’t spoil before they reach their destination.
There are transloading facilities dedicated to this process, with the correct equipment for the job. The employees at transloading facilities are professionals in handling freight with care and safety.
Because of the various factors that go into organizing a successful freight plan for a business, many hire a third-party logistics solutions company with professionals that can manage the complexity. These companies often have software that can plan even the most complicated combination of transportation, for whatever your requirements are.
Temporary warehousing is an important and probably overlooked factor in the shipping industry. At most transloading facilities, warehouses are needed to temporarily store items in between transportation.
Warehouses, often also known as distribution centers, can also be used as a central location for distribution and includes shipping elements like unloading, receiving, order picking, and handling returns. The logistics factor in warehousing covers transportation, internal movement, and inventory.
There are three major benefits for companies utilizing temporary warehousing.
Any business that has a stock of inventory can ride out supply and demand fluctuations with ease. Retailers will be able to deliver to their customers much faster, which means happy customers, which means repeat business.
For commodity businesses, it can be beneficial to use warehousing to buy when prices are lower, store the goods, and sell at higher prices.
3. Capital and Labor
Warehouse management and employees are professionally trained to handle goods. They organize and track better than anyone. Taking advantage of this will keep overtime charges down.
Warehouses vary between fulfillment and storage warehouses. Storage is only for stocking inventory, while fulfillment warehouses deal more with packing and sending out orders.
Choosing a Logistics Solutions Company
If you haven’t extrapolated yet, the task of ensuring freight forwarding without hiccups can be a challenge. Outsourcing to a company that is well-versed in operations is often the most simple and painless answer. It’s a huge component of any business with distribution requirements, so working with a trustworthy business to handle your shipments is important.
Some general tips for finding a logistics provider is to research their background. Know how long they’ve been in business, what their specialties are, and how they handle challenges. The tips below are in addition to your budget and location.
Researching the internet for online reviews and asking for word-of-mouth recommendations from colleagues, friends, and even competitors can be excellent resources for finding the information below. Here’s what to specifically look for when searching for a logistics solutions company to work with.
Depending on what your business provides, finding a freight forwarding company that is able to do everything you require is the first step. Shipping food will require refrigerated planes and trucks, while bulk items will maybe require a train that can carry larger volumes of product.
2. Customer Service
The transfer of goods is happening around the clock, and having the option to speak to someone and answer your questions should also be available at all times. Verifying the quality of customer service is also an important factor. Of course, each company will boast about their great quality of customer service, but going to the customers directly is a good idea.
3. Stability and Growth
As the shipping industry has grown, so have the companies in the industry. Make sure the company has been able to advance stably with the increase in business over the last few years because there will be more increases in the future.
Hiring a company that ensures their employees are safe when transloading and at their warehouses is an indicator they will give you only the highest quality of service. Having morals and caring about the well-being of their own employees means they have morals and care about the well-being of their clients, too.
Onsite Global Logistics is a freight forwarding company based in Houston, Texas that offers transloading, temporary warehousing, and other USA transport and distribution services that meet all the requirements above. A few of their capabilities include ocean freight, truckloads, project cargo, air freight, contract logistics, and value-added consulting services. Contact them for a quote at Contact Us — Onsite Global Logistics (oglww.com)