Why Should You Have a Route Plan?
Route planning is an essential part of the shipping process. It prepares you, as the client, to avoid unforeseen complications as much as possible. It can decrease petrol usage, improve the usage of assets and increase customer service by promoting time- and cost-efficiency.
Planning a route for your shipment can become a challenging endeavour when considering all the necessary factors that would be influenced by the decision. Time frames, driving hour restrictions and trucker availability are just a handful of these factors. Others include infrastructure and equipment availability, customs regulations and technological availability.
With all the various factors taken into consideration, the resulting route will prove to reduce overall fuel consumption. The optimisation process can also help with the monitoring of driver behaviour and truck activity to ensure driver safety. The level of cost-efficiency can be remarkable when taking all of this into account.
7 Factors That Will Influence Route Optimisation
1. Shipping Route
Most shippers are primarily concerned with the cost when considering the shipping route. However, the cheapest route is not necessarily the best route for your shipment.
The cost of the shipping route is mostly based on how far the port location is from the factory or warehouse. To ensure the safety of your cargo, consider a slightly costlier option if it includes direct travel – this will prevent any unnecessary damage from incurring on your product.
2. Vehicle Capacity
The size of the cargo is one of the factors that determine which vehicle will be used to transport your goods, based on the vehicle’s capacity. For example, a huge bulk of goods is more likely to be transported via ship because of the larger capacity it can hold.
Land transport – such as trucks and freight trains – is most suitable for fewer goods being transported over shorter distances.
For the movement of goods that are easily spoiled, or valuable, air travel would be the best suited, since it’s fast and efficient.
The most cost effective transportation option is by sea. Ships are great at transporting heavy and bulky cargo that needs to be moved over long distances. They do, however, take longer to arrive at the destination than the other modes of transport.
Although an overlooked point in most cases, the climate would influence the route the shipment is best suited to. Areas that are likely to be more susceptible to natural disasters are often more costly, because it entails larger risk to the shipment.
It is therefore important to weigh how quickly and inexpensively you need to transport the shipment against the risk of damage to the product, or even the loss of it.
4. Port Size
The size of the port is also important. Larger ports are known to offer direct services since there are more resources available for them to utilise. There are also better prices that you can take advantage of, which would extend to equipment pools, more truckers, customs brokers and other services that are able to assist with the handling of your cargo.
5. Port Infrastructure
The port’s infrastructure will determine how efficiently the cargo will move through it. Accessible waterways and more harbour depth will ensure that your goods move through the port smoothly without any unnecessary delays.
Every country conducts its customs regulations differently. Some ports have specific rules for specific products, which means that, depending on the product you are shipping, some ports would be better suited to you than others.
7. Available Technology
New and innovative tools allow you to plan your shipment’s route electronically by utilising features such as GPS, weather forecasts and news feeds about traffic.
Ports that are more technologically advanced than others offer access to features such as increased visibility of your cargo and the tracking of your cargo. This can reduce labour costs, optimise operations and minimise human error.
For more information don’t hesitate to contact the friendly staff at Dedicated Freight. We are an experienced freight forwarding company and customs clearing agent offering top quality freight solutions.