Even though we can now order any kinds of goods or materials online, we still need them to get to us. The industry that supports our increasing demand and commerce traffic is that of transportation, either by land, air, or by sea. As one of the world’s biggest industries, people know surprisingly little about the range of services it covers. It’s more than just freight trucks or train cars. Freight can move from taxis, trucks, airplanes, trains, ships, courier services (for shorter distances), barges, warehouses, and more. A huge logistics network lies behind all of these transportation efforts, involving transportation management software, calculating fuel prices, and more.
Money On The Mind
Naturally, everyone is looking for ways to reduce freight cost and consumers and businesses alike are always shopping for the best freight rate. With fuel prices in constant flux, these prices are subject to change often. One thing many businesses have to deal with when considering shipping is managing freight claims, refunding any overpaid charges, and keeping a close eye on finances. They always need qualified truck drivers, warehouse managers, and brokers to aid in every step of the process. If you’re a qualified driver, you may be more in demand than you think!
How To Cut Down On Shipping Cost
Whether you’re an average customer looking to purchase something online or a business shipping and receiving good regularly, everyone wants to know how to cut down on shipping costs — perhaps for different reasons, but the end goal remains the same.
On the business end, one good way to reduce costs is to strike a bargain with your customers and have them either pay more (at a premium) for overnight delivery or reduce your cost if they can wait until the delivery truck is full. Either way, you’ll save a bundle. Additionally, instead of doing direct mail campaigns with regular stamps, consider investing in electronic postage. You can save 3% and if you use Priority Mail, you can save up to 3.5%!
On the consumer side, you can look into industry associations or chambers of commerce that may offer special discount programs for members. Also consider what you send your goods in; Styrofoam is 75% more expensive that using bubble wrap, for example, and unlike bubble wrap, isn’t recyclable.
What Challenges Face The Transportation Industry?
On a global scale, the biggest challenge for countries is keeping transportation routes (like airports, harbors, highways, and railroads) maintained for both commerce and passengers. There always seems to be a lack of money to keep up with the maintenance required long-term. Another global challenge is looking at fuel prices and how they’re affecting the economy, and what will be the best way to deal with rising prices going forward. Additionally, on another global level, nations are thinking more about reducing how much carbon they emit and increasing how energy efficient their methods are. The United States is especially looking to work on that; in 2011, its transportation division contributed to almost 30% of all carbon dioxide emissions.