by Mike Weiner 

By adding logistics early you can pre-determine cost and transit timelines required to get product imported or exported quickly and according to you or your final buyer’s wishes. Thoughts to be considered are booking delays and seasonal holidays/backlogs when sourcing products from Asia. Also to be considered are specialized equipment shortages for ocean freight such as flat racks and specialized truck availability for certain lanes/areas and project type larger items such as modules/tanks. Plan your projects accordingly to incorporate these possible delays into your process. Ask your logistics provider for best and worst case scenarios; for air freight review gateway connections to ensure frequency of service and carrier reputation; for ocean freight ensure feeder connections at trans-shipment ports and possible vessel offloads due to space/booking restrictions. Ask your provider for a chart of global timelines before your begin. Give your service provider enough time to properly review routings, carrier options, possible back logs and overseas communication feedback for DAP/DDP shipments. Give your logistics provider enough time to properly review options with carriers: for air freight to normal destinations you should have rates back in 1-2 hours time, for ocean freight sometimes the timelines are a bit longer – expect and give a 24-48 hour window for rates. For 3PL trucking allow your logistics provider enough time to source rates based on numerous truckers – typical 24 hours should suffice. For projects, depending upon the complexity the timelines for quotes can run anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Know your own timelines before you begin! Give proper timelines for the original quote but then also give proper timeline for the actual shipping ~ review best and worst case scenarios and plan economically and logically ~ then you won’t be surprised or have project managers on site waiting or customer’s demanding product and planning distribution. Plan properly and give your logistics provider enough time to do their jobs correctly.

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