Have you ever wondered what a shipping company does? A shipping company, in its most basic form, is one that facilitates the transfer of an item(s) from its manufacturing location to its final destination. However, much happens in between and there is much more than meets the eye.
Full-service shipping companies that are professional and experienced wear many hats. These bridge the gaps and serve as the glue that holds the supply chain together. Third-party logistics (3PL) systems typically connect raw material suppliers to manufacturers or manufacturers to their retailer customers. You can also find out more about the best shipping company in Malaysia here.
Here are the services provided by a shipping company:
- Shipping services
- Shipping is classified into four modes, with intermodal shipments being the most common (intermodal means using multiple methods of transportation). Each of these methods should be familiar to full-service shipping companies.
These are some examples:
- Road transport is common within national borders and can carry full or mixed loads.
- Rail: Rail is a common domestic shipping option, especially for large quantities, and the shipping company can arrange for both rail transport and local delivery to the destination.
- Ocean Freight: Typically used for international shipments, ocean freight is typically delivered in full containers. Depending on the destination and customs clearance delays, transit time can range from a week to several weeks. Customs clearance, duties, and local delivery are all handled by global shipping companies or freight forwarders.
- Air Shipments: For shipments that require a short transit time, the shipping company will arrange for airfreight from the arrival location to the destination.
- Digital warehousing
- Today’s warehouses rely on computerised management systems to track incoming inventory, select slotting locations, maintain FIFO control, identify picking locations, and stage products for loading. For real-time recording, each phase relies on e-management systems, electronic logging devices, and scanners. Knowing where each item is ensures that nothing is lost or damaged, and that products are rotated as needed.
- An effective Warehouse Management System is internet-enabled for easy access, provides real-time information, enables in-house packaging or kitting based on specific customer requirements, and delivers compliance labelling on time.
- Inbound processes
- Inbound inventories must be handled efficiently and precisely. Errors in recording newly arrived products cause issues throughout the warehouse. Companies like BR Williams use cutting-edge Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) to reduce the possibility of receiving errors.
- Lot numbers, manufacturing dates, expiration dates, serial numbers, purchase order tracking, instructions for “cross-dock” reloading, and back orders should all be included on accurate inbound receipts. To make the receiving process easier, a pre-delivery notification can be sent ahead of time, reducing the amount of manual entry required upon arrival.
- Outbound processes
- Whether the customer places orders or a “push” system is in place where products are automatically shipped based on forecasts or prearranged agreements, inventory must be picked and moved to a staging area for loading. Picking strategies differ depending on the company and the type of product. Many businesses have implemented retrieval systems that automatically transport pallets from their assigned slots to the staging area via a network of conveyors.