As the fever builds for return of the GBBO, it got us thinking as to just how similar freight forwarding is to baking.
Yes! That’s right… baking. You see, with freight forwarding, like baking, you need the right mix of ingredients. Imagine trying to bake a cake without the eggs, or bread without the flour (or gluten free alternative!).
To ensure an effective supply chain, you need to ensure that all of your ‘ingredients’ – your transportation needs, and any associated processes, such as Customs clearance – are in place to guarantee a streamlined delivery. There is no point in arranging a sea freight shipment but then not arranging a haulier to pick up your goods from the port on arrival. Storage charges can quickly mount up. An experienced freight forwarder will be able to arrange for your goods to be moved from A to B in a cost effective and timely manner, with little or no disruption, and through tracking the shipments, will be able to make adjustments to the transportation services should the need arise.
After all, it’s all about the timing….
You’ve meticulously prepared the mixture for your cake, and now it’s time to bake. Too long and the cake will be burnt, too little time and the cake will be undercooked – either way, no use to anyone.
Similarly, the timing for your supply chain needs to be well thought out.
It’s important to plan your supply chain wisely to maximise the cost effectiveness and efficiency. Goods arriving too early ahead of you needing them means that you hold a lot of stock in which your capital is tied up. You will obviously also need to find a storage solution for the products, which could add additional costs to your supply chain. Of course, you also don’t want to be in the opposite situation of not having ordered your goods far enough in advance. This will result in stock shortages and possible lost sales.
A freight forwarder will be able to suggest appropriate shipment dates and solutions to ensure your goods are where you need them when you need them. Utilising their experience, a freight forwarder will be able to advise of the likelihood of your shipment being affected by international events such as Golden Week and Chinese New Year, and inform you if you need to pre-plan shipments around these, or, if your goods are required urgently, whether an alternative transportation method such as airfreight is a viable option.
Freight forwarders like Velta, which offer 3PL solutions are able to fulfil your orders with incredible efficiency. Through their state of the art tracking and order management systems they can arrange the proficient, rapid dispatch of goods, and, through the provision of up to date stock lists, can help you to ensure that you avoid product shortages.
But being ‘good’ just isn’t enough….
The best bakers in the world never create a delicious cake and think ‘that’s it.’ They are always looking at ways they can develop new ideas and how they can adapt their offerings, by, for example, trying new flavour combinations.
Like the baker, a good freight forwarder will have a willingness to be flexible and to adapt. Through partnerships with a variety of carriers, freight forwarders are able to assess and provide the most suitable and cost effective transportation solutions for you. This also helps them to be flexible in providing alternative trade lanes or transportation methods in instances of unexpected disruptions such as strikes.
Even if the service provision on offer is perfectly adequate, leading freight forwarders are always looking to see if there are ways to further develop or improve. By keeping up to date on industry developments and investigating new technologies and processes, the best freight forwarders will seek possibilities to further increase the efficiency of the provisions they are able to offer their clients.
So, as you can see, freight forwarding really is like baking! And speaking of baking, don’t forget to tune in from tonight to see who champions the best bakers from this year, and we will speak with you soon to arrange your champion freight and logistics services.