Shipping Strategies for Businesses: Boosting Efficiency
In this episode, we discuss how companies can optimize their supply chains with Nick Pombonyo, Director of Logistics at Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare. We cover topics such as the importance of visibility, balancing cost and service, and the benefits of mode conversion. We also touch on the role of technology in logistics and the impact of e-commerce on the industry. And lastly, what incentives are offered by these platforms to encourage more eco-friendly shipping practices and what is the effect of these incentives on the consumer's decision-making process?
Join us as we discuss:
- Common strategies shippers use to optimize their operations
- Why consumers choose different shipping options, such as same-day or standard delivery
- How e-commerce companies are incentivizing customers to choose more eco-friendly shipping options
Common strategies shippers use to optimize their operations
Shipping medical supplies may sound like a straightforward process, but the strategies behind getting these life-saving items to patients should not go unnoticed.
Because medical supplies are extremely varying in weight and density, there’s a lot that goes into making the shipping process as smooth as possible. Logistics teams have to get creative and at the end of the day make decisions based on what’s best for their customers.
“Whether it's a respiratory item or a wheelchair, there's a level of importance and responsibility to ship the products we stock damage-free, on time and cost-effective.” — Nick Pombonyo
If an item is not time-sensitive, it could be held until there is a truck heading in the same direction with more products to reduce the costs of shipping. Switching the mode of shipping can also allow for more items to be shipped at once. Fine-tuning the processes is an ongoing strategy as shipment days are never going to look the same.
Shippers are constantly encouraged to continue their education and work with their service providers and partners to see what they do for other customers, taking note of how to apply it to their own business. Nick says shippers need to be “perpetual students of the industry and learn from each other.”
How e-commerce companies are incentivizing eco-friendly shipping options
In an Amazon-crazed world, the demands of shipping time have gotten faster and faster with some items even being able to be shipped on the same day with Prime.
When selecting an item on Amazon, you are often given a few options for shipping. One option is to get it the same day, another option is to get it the next day. Finally, you can opt to receive all of your items sent in one box instead. This option does require a few extra days. But by waiting a few days to get your package, you’re making an environmentally friendly choice to cut back on both transportation emissions and products used to ship your order.
As someone in the shipping industry, Nick can understand that these options are to ship more efficiently and effectively. Customers who are not in the industry may not realize the implications of selecting a later shipping date but just putting the option out there makes a difference.
“There are important conversations for the industry to have and to come together and make sure each side is held accountable for doing their part to keep goods moving throughout the country.” — Nick Pombonyo
Another incentive consumers will often see is ‘spend x amount of money and receive free shipping’ — this is by design. Because you are hypothetically ordering more items, more will be shipped together, ultimately cutting the shipping costs down and increasing the revenue of the company. The logistics of it balance out in a way that benefits both the business and the customer.
What’s next for the world of logistics and shipping
Environmental impacts are becoming more and more central in the logistics and shipping conversation and have a lot of say in the industry’s future.
Nick predicts in the near future more and more companies will be using electric trucks as there have been increasing regulations surrounding emissions. This will inevitably come with increased costs for businesses as electric vehicles are higher in price. However, it would eliminate the volatility of fluctuating fuel prices affecting shipping costs for consumers.
And the volatility of the industry over the past two years has started to take a toll on the decisions made by logistics teams. De-risking supply chains and shipments will become more common as teams are forced to think about risk in a more critical way.
“Approaching your supply chain and shipments in a more conservative fashion will be a common trend going forward.” — Nick Pombonyo
Want to learn more about shipping strategies, what impact shipping options have on the environment and what the future of logistics looks like? Keep connected with us by subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere you get podcasts. Find all the episodes here.