The Absolute Best Logistics Advice

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Supply chain logistics is fraught with challenges at every turn. Factor in infrastructure overload, weather delays, security issues, and unrealistic receiver expectations, to name just a few, and you have the potential for disaster. Take a quick look at AWA Logistics’ best advice to our valued customers. Implement these tips now and most likely spare yourself a multitude of headaches on your next project. Feel free to share this with your network of colleagues who may find this useful.

 

1) Manage expectations
Setting realistic expectations on the front end can reduce frustration, improve customer relations and protect you from unwanted outcomes. Many customers expect domestic overnight shipping simplicity, but international supply chain logistics involves so many more moving parts and variables.  The complexity of a particular shipment— oversized or unusual dimensions for example (an AWA specialty by the way!)— can draw out the process. Educate your customers about timeframes for delivery. Helping them know what to expect starting out is key to getting that repeat business.

 

2) Know required documentation
It is important to know the rules and regulations that you may face importing and exporting goods to and from another country. It pays to do your homework in this area. Be sure your freight forwarder has the necessary level of expertise to guide you. In addition, correct documentation will help the customs broker perform their work most efficiently. This may include correct bills, packing lists, certificates of origin and permits.

 

3) Know your freight forwarder
Not all forwarders are created equal! Finding a forwarder that fits the shipment is key. And freight forwarders, unlike overnight providers, offer customizable options for any scenario (an AWA specialty!). From quoting to selecting the best transportation options to delivery, a reliable, knowledgeable freight forwarding professional can be the key to your success. A quality forwarder with an extensive network can help foresee and correctly deal with bumps in the road. Know your forwarder’s capabilities and be sure they have solid communication skills and the best contacts available. This relationship can be the single most critical support you need in logistics.

 

4) Use real-time ETA information
We know time is one of the most important elements when managing a business. In logistics, it is essential to track and monitor each shipment. And supplying customers with accurate ETAs can help manage expectations (especially during peak seasons like Christmas and Chinese New Year!). By providing tracking in real-time, your logistics agency will be in constant communication via every available technology. Making it a more accessible and proactive approach to your shipment. Go to http://awaship.com/schedule/ and take a look at our flight and ocean online tools. Find a date that works best with your schedule. It is as simple as selecting our available origins and destinations.

 

5) Obtain feedback
Never assume you know what your customers think about their experience. Ask for feedback and ask OFTEN. Chat via email or phone, or send quick surveys or questionnaires. Examples: How can we improve your experience with our company? What is your favorite thing about working with us? Their answers provide meaningful data useful in making informed decisions. Know what customers think and offer solutions to any problems immediately. Constructive criticism shared with the entire shipping team is essential to improving processes. The key here is “constructive”! Service improves by leaps and bounds when team members are given respectful, honest, immediate feedback. Build a feedback step into your shipping rollout.

AWA is here for you! We welcome the opportunity to share our best advice on any shipment.  Feel free to call one of our logistics experts with questions of any kind at 562/249-6957.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it on your social network. Thank you from AWA!

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Freight Class Calculator

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Freight Classes

Class Name Samples Weight Range Per Cubic Foot
Class 50 – Clean Freight Fits on standard shrink-wrapped 4X4 pallet, strapping material, flour Over 50 lbs.
Class 55 Bricks, cement, mortar, hardwood flooring, cloths or rags, magazines, copy paper 35 – 50 lbs
Class 60 Car accessories & car parts, steel cables, used tires, stone blocks, glass, moldings 30 – 35 lbs
Class 65 Car parts & accessories, bottled beverages, books in boxes, conveyors, chocolate in boxes, electric cords, tile 22.5 – 30 lbs
Class 70 Newspapers, wooden pencils, machinery, caskets, unassembled furniture, food items, automobile engines 15 – 22.5 lbs
Class 77.5 Tires, bathroom fixtures, garments, shirts/pants, snowplows, 13.5 – 15 lbs.
Class 85 Crated machinery, transmissions, clutches, doors, CDs/DVDs, motorcycle engine 12 – 13.5 lbs
Class 92.5 Computers, monitors, refrigerators and freezers, gas-powered generators, cabinets, kiosk or ATMs 10.5 – 12 lbs
Class 100 Vacuum, boat & car covers, canvas, wine cases, caskets 9 – 10.5 lbs
Class 110 Cabinets, framed paintings & artwork, table saw, metalworking 8 – 9 lbs
Class 125 Small household appliances, pictures/posters in boxes, exhibit booths, vending machines 7 – 8 lbs
Class 150 ATV, jet skis, motorcycles, assembled wooden furniture, work stations 6 – 7 lbs
Class 175 Clothing, couches, stuffed furniture, metal cabinets, 5 – 6 lbs
Class 200 TVs, aircraft parts, aluminum table, packaged mattresses, snowmobiles 4 – 5 lbs
Class 250 Bamboo furniture, engine hoods, mattresses and box springs, unassembled couch, plasma TV 3 – 4 lbs
Class 300 Wood cabinets, tables, chairs, model boats, kayaks/canoes, chassis 2 – 3 lbs
Class 400 Deer antlers 1 – 2 lbs
Class 500 (Low Density or High Value) Bags of gold dust, ping pong balls Less than 1 lb.