How to effectively collaborate with supply chain stakeholders?

Logistics plays a fundamental role in the efficiency of every company. While a strategic logistics plan takes care of the selling and buying of goods, a key component that could throw a potential spanner in the works is an unhealthy relationship with the various stakeholders of your supply chain network. 

Relationships matter. With variables at every stage of the supply chain, carrier, consignor-consignee and freight forwarder relationships form the foundation of a strong and long-term commitment. Good relations are critical to building a resilient supply chain, which, in turn, is crucial to a company’s success and profitability.

A bi-directional relationship will lead to reduced shipping costs, improved transit times and lesser misunderstandings. There are a few pointers to keep in mind that will help you build a brilliant relationship with all the stakeholders involved.

How to cement relations with your freight forwarders?

Envisage and plan for the unexpected

Ups and downs in any business are to be expected and more so in the logistics industry. Planning in collaboration with your freight forwarding company for such an event that could damage your shipments or impact your business, is necessary. While they may not be responsible, you do require their help in mitigating the damage.

Maintain a consistent shipping schedule

Consistency in your shipments allows the freight forwarders to offer better quotes as well as handle your shipments better. Maintaining transparency and providing easy access to all your shipping information makes the job of the freight forwarder easier and more efficient.

Avoid accepting shipments at the eleventh hour

Last minute bookings are a sure-fire way to trouble. Freight forwarders have a hard-enough time arranging transport in advance, let alone at the very end. Delays in transit and higher shipment costs will be incurred unnecessarily.

How can you better your relations with carriers?

Honour commitments

The golden rule to any relationship is integrity. Make sure to honour all your commitments with respect to shipping lanes, tonnages, and related data as conveyed to the carrier. Expecting the carriers to uphold their end of the bargain only works when you as a shipper are ready to deliver on what was promised. Inform the carriers in advance if there is any major change in plans, allowing them enough time to figure out alternative solutions.

Use technology

Adopt technologies that make it easy for the carriers to transfer the data that you may require from the time your shipment leaves the port of loading to  the time it reaches the port of destination. There are a variety of tools to choose from that will greatly enhance your business and help strengthen your ties.

Shippers need to provide accurate data

Accuracy in data sent out to the carriers is a must. Providing lane and tonnage data coupled with freight characteristic percentages and monthly volumes helps carriers plan appropriately.

How to be on excellent terms with your consignees?

Utilize incoterms

Incoterms or International Commercial Terms are the guidelines based on which buying, selling and delivery of goods take place. Agreeing upon the responsibilities to be undertaken with regards to shipping, insurance, and tariffs of the shipments, provides crystal-clear clarity to your consignees. Reducing trade disputes and litigations in the process, incoterms help stabilize relations with all your consignees.

Take out insurance against all your shipments

There is always a possibility of goods being damaged in transit. Maintaining insurance coverage of imported goods under the responsibility of the consignee is a much-needed plan to protect the consignees as well as your shipments.

Decide on timelines for stock rotation

The consignee is expected to sell off the goods within the scheduled timelines. Any delays would result in a loss for both, you and your consignee. In the event that the consignee is unable to sell the goods within the decided duration, an option of returning the goods can also be considered. While it may mean losses at that time but will yield better returns in the long term. 

It is not always numbers that add value to a company. It is the people involved that make a real difference to a great partnership. The multiple people working with you need to adhere to your culture as well as have a good understanding of your business. This goes a long way in terms of healthy relationships and can be really rewarding to your organisation as a whole.