Managing your supply chain can be a complex job. Utilizing any available tools or processes to simplify operations, reduce costs and better serve your customers is worth considering. Transloading can, if implemented properly, bring significant benefits to your supply chain management operation. Transloading is the process of transferring inventory shipments from one mode of transportation to another before it reaches its final scheduled destination. Multiple modes of transportation are used in transloading including LTL and FTL trucks, rail, ocean cargo and air cargo. Supply chain managers utilize transloading most often when one form of transportation cannot be used to transport goods from its origin to end user due to infrastructure limitations. For example, shipments from China could be loaded into one single container on a container ship. That ship will cross the ocean and reach a U.S. port. At this port, the container is deconsolidated into three smaller trucks that will carry the inventory to the appropriate distribution center. The logistics mix can vary to accommodate time and pricing limitations. This process improves the flexibility of supply chain operations, allowing businesses to ship varying quantities to an expanded logistical area. These expanded shipping options reduce shipping limitations and provide opportunity for more rapid supply growth. Logistics costs can also be significantly reduced by strategically planning and executing transloading strategies. The popularity of transloading has increased with the emergence of omni-channel retailing. Paired with crossdocking, transloading provides an effective order fulfillment solution for retailers. When deconsolidation, or transfer to shipping type 2 occurs, smaller shipments can separated and sent directly to end consumers, rather than retailers or distribution centers. This has helped to reduce shipping times and reduce costs with limited inventory handling. But before implementing transloading into your daily operations, evaluate your technology to ensure it can support this complex process. Your inventory management software should be agile enough to manage new inventory delivery strategies without disrupting normal operations. Be sure your WMS can transmit shipment data quickly using ASNs or EDI to alleviate pressure on your staff. To learn more about implementing transloading into your operation or evaluating your current technology’s capabilities contact Datex experts today at , or 800.933.2839.

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