4 min read

The First Shipping Mile - How to Optimize Inbound Shipping

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Inbound shipping costs are often overlooked when businesses investigate supply chain savings, however, industry estimates put inbound shipping at around 40% of a company's overall freight spend.

There is clearly significant opportunity for savings.  

What is Inbound Shipping?

Inbound shipping, or inbound logistics, refers to a business' procurement of goods or raw materials. Shipments are sent to the company’s warehouse or other departments from manufacturers and/or other businesses. Outbound shipping, on the other hand, typically applies to goods shipped from the business to customers. 

Several costly issues can occur during the inbound shipping process. 

Primarily, issues boil down to:

  • A lack of visibility into this supply chain
  • No set standards of compliance
  • No accountability on ensuring set criteria is met

warehouse_dockingLack of visibility leads to a lack of control. A business cannot adequately stay on top of inventory when it is not aware of what inbound goods are in transit, where they are at, and when they'll arrive. Warehouses cannot prepare properly to accept goods without visibility, which can lead to potential bottlenecks and under-staffing.

No set standards of compliance mean that businesses have no say in what shipping routes, carriers, and other expectations are required. That leaves them vulnerable to any costs and time-frames a manufacturer (or whatever business the goods are arriving from) selects.

No accountability on set standards means that businesses have no mechanism of monitoring and reporting. They are missing out on data which can inform future procurement decisions. 

Carrier Rate Shopping Guide

How Can You Improve Inbound Shipping?

The best thing you can do to improve inbound shipping is to use a Transportation Management System (TMS) that integrates all of your warehouse and ordering systems. The TMS should also feature procurement tools.  

A TMS solution that integrates with your inbound shipping can give you:

  • Real-time visibility into all inbound shipments - stay on top of inventory quantities, troubleshoot delays, and prepare for any influx 
  • Insight into where you can improve procurement practices
  • Business intelligence into how well your standards are being adhered to
  • Ready access to shipping costs - cost increases are not always communicated until after the shipment is sent  
  • Greater control over routing changes once shipments are en route

Download the Carrier Rate Shopping Guide

The right technology ensures you stay on top of your inventory, which is critical in this day and age of same-day and overnight deliveries

warehouse_workers_tmsWith FreightPOP's TMS tools, you can integrate your PO management system to manage your inbound shipping for full supply chain visibility.     

FreightPOP’s TMS tools for inbound shipping include:

  • PO Management:
    • Easy access portals for processing 
    • Import purchase order data from ERP into our TMS Vendor and Supplier Portal
  • Multi-leg Shipping:
    • Schedule real-time pickup for each leg
    • Transact all shipping legs and routes
  • Ocean Tracking:
    • Real-time visibility on ocean shipments: see vessel details, coordinates, and delivery timeframes 
  • In-transit Reports for Inbound Shipments
    • Stay on top of inventory

To learn more about how FreightPOP can help you with inbound shipping, request a demo below or call us on (949) 454-4602. 

Request a Demo

Posts in this series

Why You Should Be Shopping Your Freight Rates
Four Tips on Negotiating Shipping Rates
Spot Quotes and Your Freight 
Dynamic, Pop-Up & On-Demand Warehouses