The pandemic and uncertainty surrounding the supply chain in early 2020 has spilled over into 2021, creating a lasting effect on many industries. While we have seen some slight increases in lead times due to material shortages or decreased labor in some cases, we have been operating very close to normal capacity, without major disruptions or delays—and we are fortunate to be in this position.
However, the same cannot be said of the freight industry. The Covid pandemic put a strain on many freight companies and carriers that they simply have not recovered from. The last 18 months have been a volatile time for freight, as we have witnessed many LTL (less than truckload), partial and full truck load shipments undergo a number of issues ranging from delivery and/or pickup delays, to missed pickups, to truck driver shortages, equipment shortages, and perhaps most noticeable and important, exponentially increased rates.
As a service to you, our customer, we always try to find the best shipping rates available at the shortest transit times, and our reliable relationships with trusted freight brokers help ease the concern during these times. We have seen it all at this point, and there’s nothing worse than having a customer miss their launch date or deadline because a carrier could not make a delivery on time. Yet, the BEST approach is to not leave matters in the hands of a trucking company. Below are some suggestions to help offset the increased freight costs, as well as best practices to keep in mind for the remainder of this holiday season and beyond.
- Order in bulk quantity. We understand that while some of our customers have capacity or storage cost concerns and limited space, the best practice is always to order in bulk so that you never have to rely on hitting a specific date for a packaging reorder, and you never find yourself completely out of boxes. When you ship in bulk, you also benefit from freight savings. It costs less to ship 15,000 boxes all at once, instead of three separate shipments of 5,000 each.
- Plan ahead! Again, we hate to see missed deadlines, so by padding your dates and building in extra time to allow for possible freight delays, you can avoid having to cut it close.
- Tell us in advance where we will be shipping. This is key because we have several manufacturing plants across the country from coast to coast. If we know where we are shipping to, we may run a job at a plant closer to your location to ultimately reduce freight costs and transit times.
- Communicate all receiving requirements. We find that the best way to avoid issues or delays is to have all of the receiving information up front. This includes whether a liftgate truck will be needed, delivery appointments, inside delivery, limited access delivery and so forth.
Please Contact Us Today
As always, if you have any questions on any of our products or services, one of our branded packaging advisors is standing by to assist, with decades of experience behind them. Want to know more about custom packaging options? Please call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at www.SalazarPackaging.com.