Last Mile Logistics

How to overcome Last Mile Logistic Challenges

The easiest way one can explain logistics is to describe it as a management of the flow of things between a point of origin and the point of destination, to make it clearer the point of consumption. There are a number of resources that are transported today such as food, materials, animals and even liquid form products. Hence logistics is one such industry that has to integrate many aspects and various industries such as transportation, production, inventory, warehouse management services, packaging and the most important being the flow of data.

Last-mile delivery is often being heard and is also considered an important phase of the transportation which also ensures the completion of a logistics operation. Last-mile delivery can be defined as the movement of goods from a transportation center or hub to the final destination of the delivery. In most of the cases, the final delivery can be a residence of the person who is expecting the goods. Hence the entire focus revolves around how well and quickly one can deliver the goods to the customer in the best possible packing ensuring no damage.

While we very well are aware of both perspectives, that of the logistics company as well as the customer the importance of this phase it becomes important to understand the various challenges involved in the same.

Unforeseeable expenses : 

One of the most inherent problems the last mile delivery poses is the unpredictable expenses that can occur as the goods have to be reached to the doorstep of the consumer. Imagine you need to deliver the goods to an end-user who is living in a busy urban area where there are a lot of retail stores, restaurants and many business houses in a very congested locality. This means the budgeted fuel costs won’t be sufficient enough to complete the delivery as it will take a good amount of time to drive around and make the delivery. Moreover, one has to imagine that the delivery is not in large volumes as this presumably will be a business to consumer delivery which can involve just a small package. 

Inadequate facilities :

It is not necessary that all traditional delivery facilities will be equipped with a number of facilities. An insufficient number of transport facilities can adversely contribute to an increase in travel time, thereby also increasing the cost of delivery.

Last Mile Distribution Distance : 

There should be proper research done on where most consumers reside as this will become a vital element in deciding the location of a distribution center. Closer the distribution center to the consumer the better will be the efficiency of delivery and reduction in costs. A company that does not choose its distribution center based on the consumer location research will end up incurring huge expenses.

Delivery Time :

Distribution centers cannot be created in residential areas and most will be in an industrial zone. Hence the stem time needs to be the least possible as if the deliveries take more than 45 minutes then it means there is a serious issue and apt measures need to be taken to open up more distribution centers.

Traffic conditions :

All last-mile deliveries will occur via land transportation and hence one has to take note the area where your consumers have to be reached at. Having consumers in rural areas is not at all a problem but if it’s in an urban sector then delivery in congested areas will take more time than one can anticipate. One will need to have additional distribution centers and opt for more efficient transportation means.

Hence as we have learned last-mile delivery is the biggest challenge to meet particularly in a scenario where the E-Commerce industry is booming with more and more consumers opting for online purchases.

Customer communication:

Customer communication forms the key in a perfect delivery cycle as it is of utmost importance that the customer is well informed about the visibility and time of delivery. Also when a customer has opted for a revision to the delivery schedule it becomes easier with the right technology for logistics companies to revise the data and inform the driver about the change. This will ensure that the delivery is done only when the consumer is available at home.

Auto Pickups and Drop off points and consolidated deliveries:

It is always better to plan a network of pickup and drop off points and also to consolidate the deliveries as this will save time as well as minimize the number of failed deliveries.

3PL Software :

It would be best to contract a 3PL software that will help in providing better visibility solution thereby increase in much-improved access to delivery details and processes. This also in effect provides a single point of data management that will provide accurate information of the movement of the transportation.

Better vehicles:

Urban areas are always congested with a large number of closed in localities as well as floods of vehicles that will only increase traffic. In such cases, it goes without saying that the use of huge sized transportation vehicles will only make things difficult for the driver who has to deliver the goods to the consumers on time. Better and smaller transportation vehicles have to be opted such as bicycles, or smaller cars. This will make last-mile delivery efficient and faster.

Consider using Drones:

The future of drones is in the hands of the government system, security, and legalities and though there a number of critical concerns drones are surely going to be the best possible option in the near future. Drones can avoid traffic and spend less making deliveries much easier and faster.

Parcel Locker Stations:

Another possible feature that can help in facing some of these challenges posed would be to have locker facilities or locker stations near main central localities as a shopping centre where courier houses can place the packages that need to be delivered in such lockers and they can provide a unique key to their consumers to open it and get their goods.

Summary:

Last-mile delivery is one such phase that can not be afforded to be ignored in any way.  More and more resources and strategies have to be implemented to ensure efficient and satisfying delivery of goods to consumers as this is the most important aspect of a logistics delivery operation. If a company messes up with this part of the operation then it will have a direct impact on the operational credibility of the company.

Air Cargo Import Services

Biggest challenges faced by air cargo companies in 2019!

The logistics scenario has changed to a very great extent and a market that had seen the lowest of times is now running consistently on a profitable high. Today Air freight is having a competitive edge over other modes of transportation supported with reduced oil prices. Yet there are various bottlenecks and challenges that need to be overcome to keep the successful run going.

We have been understanding the various challenges that are faced by Air Cargo and a few of the most interesting and important ones to be tackled mentioned here.

E-Commerce :
E-commerce is growing exponentially all over the world and hence air cargo is also gaining popularity as it becomes the most viable and time-saving option. The sheer volume of air cargo handling has increased manifold with the advent and growth of E-commerce as ordering a product is just a click away. According to the latest reports, the global E-commerce forecast for the year 2019 is an all-time high of $3.5 trillion. Hence with such a huge number it certainly requires a much more integrated operational approach from everyone involved in the supply chain in order to succeed.

Electronic air waybill mandatory:
As electronic Air Way Bills are still relevant for specific situations in 2019 Electronic AWB’s will be the only and default method particularly in a scenario when almost every industry is aiming to become eco-friendly and paperless. With every introduction of change comes the biggest challenge of adopting and adapting. Same goes with the E-AWB becoming mandatory as it will be of great challenge for the humans to move away from manually creating Air Waybills.

With any big change comes human defiance and errors. Satisfying the need for hasty communication among workers and consumers with the new technology will be the first challenge to present itself, in along with the need for critical information being uploaded correctly and in a timely fashion.

Stringent compliances:
Safety and security have already become the topmost priority for any country in this growing times of terrorism.
In the coming year’s many transportation organizations, in particular, the postal services will have to follow more stringent regulations when it comes to international delivery. All incoming goods will have to be duly reported to the customs agents and including the air carriers will have to follow the same.

Need for proper integration:
Technology has a major role to play today when it comes to increasing efficiencies and operational smoothness. But technology fails when many times it becomes to difficult for all parties to be equally enhanced. It is going to be a great task when logistics operations have to be carried out between nations with diverse economic and financial capabilities. Based on this it needs to be mentioned that technologically and financially sound countries implement a different system to carry out trade and commerce as in contrast with lesser capable nations. A uniform system is the only way to have a good and better supply chain management.

Summary: Any industry will have to keep evolving and need to embrace change at any levels of operations if it needs to be at the forefront of growth and competition. Technology and using it to keep with the timelines also providing better visibility will surely have a giant impact on the way air cargo industry progresses in the coming years.

3PL-Third-Party-Logistics-Services

Choosing a Third-Party Logistics Provider

What is a logistics provider?
A logistic service provider basically deals with storing and distributing products on behalf of the local firms. They basically act as an intermediate between the producers and the customers. They offer storage facilities so that the products get stored without any harm and then they deliver the product to the point of consumption with the help of express delivery services like aircraft, ocean freight etc. Some of the other traditional functions of a distributor as also offered by them like management of inventory, warehousing, tracking of order etc.

How logistics is important for your business?
Logistic is one of the most integral aspects of any business. When you have a good logistics system, it would help you in the growth of your business and would also help you to achieve your goals. Starting from raw material delivery to your production house to delivery of the fished products to your customers, the logistics service provider helps in all of them. They help you to get your product to deliver in the most cost-effective way through the cargo services.

How to choose the correct logistics service provider?
Choosing the top logistics and supply chain company can be a bit tricky. You would need to notice certain facts in order to choose the best one for yourself. Moving products with care is a complicated task and not everyone can do it properly with full accuracy.

Hence when you choose a Third Party Logistics Provider, do consider the following factors:

● Connections
The top logistics and supply chain company would have some great connections and contacts that they have established throughout the years and this indeed would help them to carry out their services efficiently.

● Scalability
You would need to see how scalable the logistics company is. You can see the companies with whom they are associated and how logistics have helped those company to grow. Reviewing the services is quite important.

● Customer Service
Do check out their customer servicing skills. How much responsive they are when someone tries to contact them. They should also have different ways to address their customers, like through social media and calls, emails and different types of communications. Being active on all the channel and responding to all the queries is a must-have feature for any logistics company.

● Safety
The primary focus for any logistics company should be the safety of the products. They would need to take special care of all the products while storing and delivering them from one place to the other.

Choosing a third-party logistics and supply chain company is a very tricky task. If you do not choose the right one, you might have to suffer losses which in turn would also affect the reputation of your company to your customers. Take time and do your research, read the reviews and go for an experienced company. It is worth to invest a bit more in order to get the services you desire.

Freight Container Services

Important tips for loading export items into a freight container

Almost anything can be stored and exported in a container. If someone visits any large port today, then at a glance nobody can describe what kind of products are being shipped. Because all types of products are being exported in large rectangular containers. These containers are particularly useful for transporting manufactured goods.

Nowadays containerization is a very common practice for exporting goods. Containerization has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of containerization are it reduces the logistic cost and also fewer workers are needed for loading and unloading the containers. Also, less time is required for loading and unloading. But this practice of containerization also includes technical challenges as only the responsible person knows the type of goods and the condition of the products for shipment.

The decision for choosing the process of loading a container can be divided into two steps.

  1. Choosing the required type of container.
  2. How to load the container with merchandise/products.

The required type of container:-
The decision while choosing the required type of container totally depends on the type of products to be exported.

There are six types of containers that are available.

  • General purpose containers: These types of containers are most commonly available. Each container is fully closed and also features full-width doors at one end for access. These types of containers are used for transporting both liquid and solid substances.
  • Refrigerated containers: These types of containers are used for carrying those products which require refrigeration during transit.
  • Dry bulk containers: These types of containers are used for carrying dry powder and granular substances.
    Open top/open sided containers: These types of containers are used for carrying heavy and unusual sized products.
  • Liquid cargo containers: These types of containers are used for carrying liquid substances.
  • Hanger containers: These types of containers are used for carrying the garments on hangers.

How to load the container with merchandise/products:-

Just after deciding the type of container to be used the next step is to complete the task of loading the products. This process also can be divided into three steps.

At first, it is required to check and examine the freight container’s physical condition before starting the task of loading the merchandise. One must have to check that no placard should be left behind from earlier cargo to avoid confusion. Also, they have to make sure that there must not be any type of holes and if the container is repaired then it is also required to check the repair quality.

Secondly, pre-planning must be done before exporting products by using freight containers. The total weight of the product must be spread across the entire length and width of the container. Also, they should take care while packing goods. Wet and dry goods must be packed separately and heavy packages must not be placed over light packages. Also, they must have to fill the free space in the container so that the goods must not move during shipment.

The last step is to check the container after loading the cargo or goods. The total weight and labeling must be checked before exporting. Also, they need to check the packaging of the products.

LCL Logistic Services

E-Commerce the definite road ahead for Logistics

Before going further with the topic and relating e-commerce with logistics, let us have a quick review of what e-commerce and logistics actually means. E-commerce is the new marketplace for the current generation. It is an electronic platform or best to say an Electronic marketplace from where you would be able to sell and buy everything that you want, starting from daily grocery to exclusive electronic appliances all under one single roof.

On the other hand, logistics refer to everything that a business operates and manages from the starting point wherein products are collected and consolidated till the point the product reaches the end consumers which can vary from residential consumers to even corporate houses.

E-Commerce today is largely depended on the operations of the logistics company as a perfect partner not only to deliver the goods to the end party but also to act as a provider of perfect LCL logistics services which also includes warehousing capabilities to stock product a large number of products. A quick understanding of how e-commerce can prove to be the definite road ahead for logistics.

Relating the two E-commerce business depends on serving customers and catering to their consumable requirements. The things that you choose from an e-commerce website needs to get delivered to you at the correct time and in the best possible shape. This is where logistics comes into the picture even much before that. The product that you choose to buy from an e-commerce website has to go through several processes before it finally reaches you.

E-Commerce being just a platform or a window to the products available for purchase it is the ability and planning of the logistics company to fulfill the order thereby catering to all the needs of the customers and satisfying them to a full extent most importantly with a prompt and reliable delivery. This can be achieved only via a proper and credible logistic provider.

Hence its imperative to say that with the kind of business growth seen in the retail business coupled with the flourishing use of E-commerce as the best technological platform it would mean that more growth is progressing towards the logistics business as well.

The Cycle of e-commerce and logistics is well integrated with the logistics industry and it surely hugely depends on the logistics operations for its success. From a consumers perspective, all he/she does is to place an order for an item from an e-commerce website and all that is expected is a timely delivery and cost benefits.

When the delivery person comes to a customer’s doorstep in order to deliver their product then that delivery person becomes the face of the e-commerce company, so it is very important for any e-commerce company to have an efficient logistics system in place. Hence for their own good, the e-commerce companies sometimes themselves develop their own logistics division so as to monitor everything from their end and do everything necessary like improving the software, training more people and introducing many efficient techniques which would, in turn, help their operations. But it is not necessary and vialble for every E-commerce company to have their own logistics system and in such scenarios, they tie up with one, so that they can make the process of delivery more smooth and efficient for the customer.

Many Investments are done in this partnership so that the logistic company can improve their technical and human resource aspect so that the company would be able to improve their business and incomes and in return, they would invest more in the logistics.

It is the best time in business today as we are witnessing many new players bring up their E-commerce sites to sell a variety of products to the consumers thereby giving more leverage and opportunities to many logistics companies. Without a doubt, E-commerce is here to stay and transportation companies have to get well equipped to meet the growing challenges in such a big opportunity.

Important Export Documents

Important Export documents you should know

Its been business time and you are excited about cracking the deal having found the precise buyers for your products offshore. What’s next in your mind is sure to find out the best ways and means to deliver your products to your customers. For those who have been in business for quite a while now are quite familiar about the procedures and various intricacies involved in delivering goods but it won’t be the same for many who have just started doing business in particular to buyers outside one’s country.

A lot of time and effort is involved in planning the delivery of your goods especially when you have to move your goods which will have to cross foreign waters.  You have to prepare for the shipment of goods to a foreign buyer which will be based on certain specific terms and agreements.  As your goods need to cross borders on foreign waters there are certain key documents which are essentials to support the export of goods from one country to another. Hence it is very important to understand these documents to carry out any export of goods. A few key documents are as follows:

    • Bill of Lading: This is one of the most important and common documents one comes across and is used in every international shipping, also a must know. The document normally will contain what goods are to be shipped, the origin and the destinations of the goods and once the shipment is picked this document will serve as a receipt which will be issued by the carrier.
    • Certificate of Origin: Basically this document is used to identify the country where the goods have been manufactured or made. It is prepared by the manufacturer and is certified by the respective government entity responsible or the chamber of commerce.
    • Commercial Invoice: This is a document which will have the entire export transaction which will also include the shipping terms once your international sale is complete and the goods are ready to ship out. This can be considered as one of the most important document as it provides all critical information and instructions to all the parties involved in the transaction.
    • Consular Invoice: This document is generally not required in all the countries and is a form which is available through the consular representative of the country you are shipping to. The document certifies the shipment of goods.
    • Dock Receipts: This is a document which is a receipt which is used to provide exporter with a proof that the delivery of goods to the international carrier was successful and was in good condition.
    • Inspection Certificate: A very credible certificate that is done with perishable, industrial equipment or meat products and it certifies that the items received are in good condition and the shipment contained the exact quantity.
    • Insurance Certificate: As liability and losses are always a major concern to the exporters its imperative that the goods or shipment are well covered under insurances. This document certifies that you have bought an insurance policy for the cargo.
    • Packing List: Though this seems to be similar to the shipping list a packing list will have the goods being shipping, all information on how the goods are packed, numbered and the weight and height dimensions. It is also an important document which is used by freight forwarders in order to prepare the bill of lading.

If you have any consultations required for Export Shipping and Logistics transportation then we have a very committed team of professionals to help you out. You can get in touch with us at Nautical Cargo any time of the day or drop it an Email to info@nauticalcargo.in

Logistics Trends in 2018

Logistics Trends in 2018

It’s going to be one of the best times for the logistics industry with the growing increase in E-commerce and with the kind of technological advancements in the form of various platforms as well as the availability of high speeds Internet connectivity. It’s technology which is playing a major role in transforming the shape of the industry today.

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