Logistics is a term that is used to describe shipping and delivery services. This can include shipping and delivery of a wide range of physical items such as equipment, food, liquids, materials and abstract items such as energy, information and particles. However, logistics has its main application in private sectors describing the process that takes place along the shipping route. The entire process involves integration of information flow, handling of materials, production, packaging, inventory, warehousing, security and transportation. Companies that offer logistics services are responsible for handling the transportation of goods along a supply chain for private companies, government agencies and even non-profit organizations.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Logistics Service Provider
A logistics service provider co-ordinates the flow of goods and information through a distribution channel or within the organization. Logistic companies basically play four major roles in the entire shipping process and these are; transportation management, information flow, inventory tracking and supply chain relationships. In a large company, there could be several individuals in a team carrying out various responsibilities under each role. Specific tasks might vary, transport services and logistics but the common responsibilities of a logistics services manager involves performing an inventory, prioritizing needs and organizing supply chain, schedule shipping, co-ordinate all the paperwork, prepare budgets and provide estimations, develop backup plans to handle delays efficiently and track goods till it reaches its destination.
Tips on How to Select Your Logistics Companies
Choosing the right logistics companies is critical for every business. Therefore, you need to ensure that you evaluate your shipping plans before hiring the first logistics company that you come across. Cost and speed are two important factors you must first consider. Using a single logistics services provider will help you achieve speed in your shipping operation as well as give you better control over shipping costs. Select a company that has a good operational edge with capabilities to handle rush periods. Select a company that offers automated online services. Analyze their geographical coverage and customization options.
Tips for Keeping Logistics Costs in Check
If you want to keep the logistics services costs under control, then use these tips. Analyze your existing carrier base. Make sure to compare costs with other companies time and again. Use your negotiating power by discussing your shipping needs with the company. Use one central location to consolidate your carrier data. Refuse to accept increased rates right away from your service provider, if you have to, ask for something in return. Request your service provider for multiple-carrier support. Monitor service levels so that you can claim refunds when services are poor.