Every business aspires for a shipping strategy that focusses on building customer experiences while keeping costs low. This brings us to shipping management in logistics that comprises a wide range of functions from resource planning, organisation, execution, and transportation of shipment. So, what is shipment in logistics?
In the shipping and logistics industry, the word ‘shipment’ basically refers to any item transported from one point to the other. It can also refer to the action of shipping goods by any mode of transport. For example, the shipment arrived at its destination in Bhiwandi.
In this article we will discuss the basics of shipping logistics, types of shipping logistics, shipping logistics process, the importance of shipping logistics, and different strategies to optimise your shipping logistics.
What is shipping logistics?
Shipping logistics is used to describe the inbound and outbound logistics involved in the transportation of finished goods through your supply chain to the end customer shipments. The three factors that impact shipping logistics include procurement logistics, freight shipping, and carrier partnerships. Storage of inventory in comparison to your customers’ location has a decisive role to play in your shipping operations especially in the last-mile delivery segment.
Shipping logistics involve:
- Storing and warehousing
- Shipping scheduling
- Tariff calculation
- Freight planning
- Ocean freight management
- Air freight monitoring
- Shipping services
- Transportation management
What are the types of shipping logistics?
A reliable shipping logistics network is essential to ensure that products are moving in a streamlined manner through your supply chain and the inventory is delivered accurately and on time. Partnering with the right 3PL provider allows you different shipping options to offer your customer at viable prices. Reverse logistics is also taken care of by third party logistics partners.
To simplify the shipping logistics process, let us break it down into three major categories and describe it.
- Inbound logistics refers to the processes that move products from a manufacturer to a warehouse. It should cover transport, storage, and delivery of goods including sourcing products, and production lead times.
- Outbound logistics involves all the operations necessary to move your products from the warehouse to your customers and entails tasks like order processing, picking and packing, shipping and carrier partnerships.
- Reverse logistics refers to the processing of customers returns and exchanges – it involves both inbound and outbound processes like inspection of returned products, processing refunds, shipping out exchanged products, etc. A good reverse logistics process helps reduce costs and resources.
What is the difference between shipping and logistics?
In this section, let us understand the key difference between shipping and logistics. The main difference between shipping and logistics lies in its scope.
Shipping refers to the physical movement of your goods from the warehouse or the fulfillment centre to your customers. It involves the processes that takes place as goods move throughout the supply chain including documentation, tracking, to delivery times, and transportation. On the other hand, logistics refers to the series of steps in operations that manage how your products are sourced, stored and transported to final destination – and shipping is one part of it.
When we combine the term, ‘shipping logistics’, it involves all the stages of supply chain required to get the product from one point to another – be it from shipping products to a warehouse, or shipping orders to customers.
What is the importance of shipping logistics?
Shipping logistics play a major role in business especially in the current context when supply chains are complex, markets more dynamic, and there is cutthroat competition. A recent study shows that 87% customers decide on buying a product based on their delivery experience with that brand. Hence, logistics companies are sprucing up their operations with automation and technology adoption to create a stronger supply chain.
How to optimize your shipping logistics?
With most businesses focussing on increasing operational efficiency, shipping logistics optimisation is a much-needed approach to up your business logistics. There are many ways how you have enhance shipping logistics. Some of the best practices are mentioned below:
- Distribute your inventory: This step will help you to reduce shipping costs and improve delivery timelines as it involves storing your products nearer to customers’ location in multiple fulfillment centres. Distributed inventory enables quick and cost-effective transportation of shipment to their end destinations at minimal cost.
- Automation of order management system: Streamlining the order management system by automating the system with take care of delivery delays and glitches. Invest in an inventory management software to track orders, sales, and shipments apart from real-time shipping inventory
- Implement a Warehouse Management System (WMS): A digital warehouse management system helps businesses to monitor daily operations in their warehouses and keep customers informed with real-time insights.
- Select the right carrier: To handle the last mile delivery, it is essential to choose the right shipping carrier. There are different carriers that offer distinct specialisation. You need to consider factors like location, reputation of the courier, transit timelines and warehouse location to choose what fits you the best.
To sum up: How to find the right shipping logistics partner for your business?
Managing shipping logistics is a tedious and expensive process. If you are finding it difficult to manage your logistics requirements, from be it managing inventory to shipping orders to customers, you can outsource the same to 3PL logistic providers who will help you with warehouse housing, delivery and reverse logistics.
When you decide to go for a third-party logistics partner to work with, it is essential to find the right fit. Identify one that has the capacity to fulfil all your requirements. You can easily check out nexLogistics that enables emerging businesses to find reliable logistics partners at affordable prices. Some of the benefits that nexLogistics offer include lowest prices, comparative rates from partners, wide pin code coverage and the availability of the complete logistics cycle on one dashboard.