Over the years, the concept of freight management and its meaning have changed significantly. Currently, it refers to the process of overseeing operations in the freight business. This involves the whole process, right from preparing the freight, shipping it, receiving it and storing the goods. This essentially combines the operational corners of logistics, human resources, and proper freight knowledge. The underlying motive here is to maintain coordination across the shipper and the carrier groups to ensure smooth processing.
Why do we need freight management? Freight management is necessary for all kinds of companies, be it small scale industries or large enterprises. Here are some reasons why freight management is absolutely imperative for businesses.
Importance of Freight Management
- Cargo management is an extremely difficult process. It requires a lot of work and attention to detail and is often difficult to handle alone.
- You might be aware of the potential obstacles coming your way in the process of cargo shipment. However, it is still difficult to see the hurdles and put the picture together to take the necessary actions.
- Further, freight management also involves a number of small processes working simultaneously. Focusing on each of these processes at the same time might prove to be a bit of a pain.
Outsourcing Freight Management
Owing to the points stated above, it is often a good idea to outsource freight management needs. This means that a third party logistics company will take ownership of the shipment and get it delivered on your behalf.
There are two different aspects of outsourcing freight management. These are freight forwarding and freight brokerage. The latter is the involvement of a broker or middle man to get the shipper to reach a partner and the likes.
Some of the areas that the cargo management engage in are:
- Load matching
- Optimum route determination
- Rate negotiation and fixation
- Freight accounting
- Claims management
How To Conduct Freight Management Tasks?
How do you engage in good freight management? Ideally, there are nine such important traits and requirements of this business.
- Business plan – Having a blueprint of the transportation system and the plan is key to managing freight. This would include noting the short term and long term goals, as well as the requirements of the plan.
- Smart phones – Different freight apps that can give you a better result. These could revolve GPS tracking, route optimizing, gas stations availability, and the likes.
- Transportation management system – Freight management software is a must when it comes to reducing manual tasks, tracking the cargo, and the likes.
- Location – To be an efficient freight manager, you would have to know about the key locations for the business. Some areas are more beneficial for the freight industry.
- Being proactive- in the freight management business, you do not wait for a business opening to come to you. Instead, you make opportunities for yourself!
- Experience – Having more market experience always comes in handy. This could provide you with special inputs about the correct route to choose, the kind of freight system to adopt, the resources required.
- Communication – Communication, right from the shipper to the receiver, is always a game-changer.
- Cargo packing – It is essential to have the right set of tools and resources for the packing phase of the freight management process. This ensures that the goods reach the target location in a good state.
- Quality – No matter how advanced your business is and how well you perform, quality assurance is the mark of good freight management.
Communication – Key For Freight Management And Logistics
The exchange of information across the shippers and carriers forms one of the most important parts of handling logistics in freight management. It is the backbone that enables different groups of people to be functioning properly to ensure the smooth delivery of goods.
The freight transport process starts with the transfer of information from the shipper to the carrier. This includes all relevant details with regard to the goods. As the process continues, information is then transferred from the carrier to the shipper. Further, the client must always be kept apprised of the situation of the goods in transit. This mainly refers to the tracking details.
But communication does not stop only at that. It continues beyond these two parties alone. It then cascades to the teams working within the freight company. Inter-departmental communication becomes key here. For instance, the sales team within the company needs a continuous flow of information or data to analyse the orders in the kitty. In another situation, the procurement team requires details regarding contracts of existing and new clients. Moreover, every team in this supply chain has to be on their toes at all times, in order to facilitate the smooth delivery of the goods from the client to the destination.
Human Resource Management In Freight Management
Freight management is a process that spans across multiple steps and by different groups of resources. Since there are so many tasks to handle, human resource planning becomes an inevitable part of the process. The idea is to harmonize and bring to one platform the interest, skillset, and aptitude of multiple groups of people together. This is done in such a way such that every small team within the freight management group is at a point of advantage. The moment small positive results are generated from each group, they are all integrated to reach the bigger goal.
Whenever a new client job is taken up for freight transport, the allocation and proper resourcing are done right at the beginning. Further, this reduces the chances of hiccups during the goods transportation process. This is what a good freight manager does.