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The importance of pickups and delivery times in goods transportation

At work and at home we see ourselves having to accept habits or customs that we don’t particularly like, yet we end up accepting them as the norm. We could say that pickups and delivery times in goods transportation fall within these customs. It seems that we are obliged to accept a lack of punctuality. However, we have stopped to think about the following: how is it affecting our company? What are the solutions for these drawbacks?

What implications do pickups and delivery times have in goods transportation?

The high workload of shipping companies has delayed the application of improvements in the field of shipping management planning. As a consequence of an increase in the number of incidences, companies are forced to substitute planning for management where the exception is the rule, adding to the high level of stress management suffers. These incidences are usually last minute changes in the number of loads transported, goods which fail to arrive, goods which are not prepared, etc… This translates into delays, schedule changes, increase in the cost of shipments, cancellations, problems in fleet optimisation or in the availability of vehicles, etc.

Unfortunately, there is an incidence which seriously affects the hauliers’s ability of providing an excellent service: the lack of punctuality of collection and delivery times.

How does the lack of punctuality affect transportation times?

  • The person responsible for traffic: in the event of any delay, the person in charge of managing different shipments should reorganise the daily planning of the vehicles. Their goal is to optimise their fleet’s route. They will have to adapt the route to the new timetable, making a new distribution of collections or deliveries. This management is done through continuous emails and calls, which only results in a lot of information getting lost, an increase in stress levels, and the possibility of making mistakes increases exponentially.
  • Driver: it may happen that the origin of an incidence can be affected by a delay in the pickup and delivery by companies due to the goods not being ready, external factors such as traffic, weather, problems with a vehicle or driving and rest times… A delay for the driver will lead to them drive under more stress, which in turn would make them drive faster and perhaps as a consequence more recklessly. This is just because of their good intentions to always arrive on time and do their job with the utmost professionalism.
  • Goods: Every loading or unloading operation or handling carried out under stressful circumstances, increases the probability of an accident occurring. The risk is directly proportional to the level of stress.
  • Company: Finally the most affected by these circumstances caused by a lack of punctuality the freight forwarder or the goods recipient who wishes it to be transported in the time promised. Their business could be seriously damaged for such a delay, it is likely that their operation will suffer from productivity and/or charges for reorganisation. Including production downtime due to a lack of goods. Therefore, as you can see in the previous points, a delay in the collection or delivery times of goods affects all levels and all those involved in the transport sector.

On a day-to-day basis, it seems very complicated to ensure that every shipment arrives on time due to a diverse factors which can affect the normal development of the shipment.

Is it possible to be punctual as a habit and not as an exception?

We believe that the best way to answer to that question is to propose our solution: A great network of very professional drivers and a great operations team.

Incidences arising from a loader’s own business

During the production and handling of goods generate changes in volume, number of goods to be transported, delays, etc. These incidences or changes generate haste and improvisation in a shipment’s management in the freight forwarder’s facilities which increase the probability of imbalances between the vehicle assigned for said load (before the change) and the vehicle suitable for the load (after the change.)

Incidences arising due to unforeseen circumstances

Obviously, when faced with unforeseen factors or force majeure, such as a roadblock or adverse weather conditions, the likelihood of a delay increases, and above all lowers the traffic manager’s ability to solve it. Furthermore, we have causes or typical unforeseen circumstances which arise from day to day problems: breakdowns, drivers having health problems, etc.

Emergency shipping

Sometimes an urgent shipment arises, and there is no planning for it. A client simply asks you for something and you must tend to them. This emergency usually results in a higher cost of transportation.

Conclusions

We know that it is practically impossible to solve all of the problems and incidences which could put at risk the accomplishment of the collection and delivery times of your goods. However, we also know that we provide a solution where the standard (delay) becomes an exception. This same solution also serves for the stress that companies suffer from due to emergency shipments, they believe it impossible or difficult to fulfil “either because of time or price”, which is not the case and in this way they succeed in meeting the needs of their clients without losing their competitiveness.

All this is in part possible due to the digital age and innovation making headway in the logistics and transport industry, in the same way, that not so long ago taking a taxi at midnight meant having to walk for 20 minutes until you come across one.

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