by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Why You Should Use a Freight Broker.

Why You Should Use a Freight Broker.

The term ‘freight broker’ has too long been associated with images of a phone and a well-worn Rolodex. A lot has changed. Transportation brokerage services — like Hanson Freight Management — offer shippers technology-based, cost-effective and service-oriented solutions to the increasingly complex world of transportation.

We move millions of pounds of freight across the country for many of the most respected brands. As an LTL or truckload shipper, you can leverage Hanson’s extensive transportation carrier network, transportation management system and multi-modal expertise to assure efficiency and service are delivered on time, at very competitive rates.

Simplify Your Workload

One call does it all. From our TMS portal to your point of contact, Hanson removes the complexity from your transportation and makes it simple. We solve customer problems, deal with carrier performance, and make things happen. It’s that simple.

Leverage Our Purchasing Power

Our negotiated rates are far less than most smaller shippers can hope to achieve and those savings go right to your bottom line. You’ll save in many ways: lower rates, better audits and lower overhead.

Achieve Supply Chain Visibility

Leverage our market-leading TMS technology and gain complete transparency into rates, capacity, carriers and documentation.

Access Capacity in all Modes

Inbound, outbound, multi-temperature, parcel; standard, expedited, guaranteed, white glove and flatbed: Hanson has the expertise, carriers and competitive rates in all transportation requirements.

If you’re looking to drive efficiency in your transportation management — and who’s not — contact a professional freight broker today.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Cultivating the Next Generation of Supply Chain Leaders

Cultivating the Next Generation of Supply Chain Leaders

Three strategies cold chain shippers can use to ensure strong supply chain leadership today and in the future.

With the national unemployment rate hovering around 4%, the supply chain field is in the same quandary that many other industries are in right now—namely, finding skilled and available talent to fill their employee pipelines.

Going a step further, identifying and cultivating individuals who can lead the supply chain of the future is even more difficult, what with the abundance of jobs and opportunities that experienced professionals literally have at their fingertips online.

“Manufacturing, retail, logistics, and a range of other companies are scrambling to find supply chain professionals amid a severe talent shortage that threatens those companies’ very livelihoods,” Margaret Harrist writes in Supply Chain Talent Shortage: What’s an Industry To Do?

“At the same time, the skills needed are changing rapidly,” Harrist continues. “The challenge for employers is to find people with the necessary technical and operational competencies, as well as the ability to lead, apply analytical thinking, and innovate.”

Three Steps to Take Right Now

Here are three strategies that cold chain shippers can use to start shoring up their supply chain leadership pipelines for the future:

  • Define your company’s mission. According to the American Management Association, only 18 percent of managers and executives have a succession plan in place to respond to a sudden loss of key executives—not nearly enough to keep business productivity up as people retire, despite the added number of supply chain undergraduate and graduate programs. This is a major oversight for any cold chain shipper that wants to ensure a smooth transition to the next generation of supply chain leadership. “To get started, define an organization or team mission that identifies the specific objectives of your vertical, then use that mission as the foundation of your succession plan,” Tisha Danehl points out in Supply Chain Quarterly. An example of a mission may be something like: “Our goal is to provide quality service to customers while using technology to be sustainable.”
  • Position supply chain as a hotbed for new technologies. According to a recent industry survey, 70% of companies said that candidates’ perception that the “profession lacks status and opportunities for career growth have a high or very high impact on employers’ ability to find, attract, and retain talented people,” Harrist writes, noting that in many cases, those perceptions sometimes are perpetuated by the employers themselves. To buck this trend, focus on how supply chain professionals use emerging technologies (i.e., the Internet of Things, machine learning, robotics), and on how it “allows professionals to focus on several areas that are attractive to young people: improving environmental sustainability and increasing standards of living.”
  • Look outside of your organization’s four walls. “While it’s ideal to look internally, the truth is that sometimes you must go outside your organization to find the right person to lead your logistics or supply chain organization in the future,” Danehl suggests. “With senior leadership potentially approaching retirement, partnering with outside resources, such as a recruiting firm, can help you fill important roles.” Social media (i.e., LinkedIn and the new “Jobs on Facebook” feature), professional trade organizations, and partnerships with area educational institutions are all good resources for shippers to explore.

“By hiring talent directly out of college,” Danehl writes, “you can get an early sense of the candidates’ capabilities and build your workforce from the ground up to ensure that your future supply chain leaders have the right management skills.”

Are you interested in joining the Hanson Logistics team? We look forward to getting to know you, contact us today to learn about our current openings!

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

5 Reasons to Bundle Transportation and Warehousing with One Provider

5 Reasons to Bundle Transportation and Warehousing with One Provider

Siloed logistics approaches don’t work in today’s cold chain shipping environment. Here’s how to centralize those functions and get back to doing what you do best.

With organizational silos rapidly giving way to more open and collaborative business styles, being able to “flatten out” the logistics function and bundle multiple services with a single provider is becoming more and more important.

“For both small and large transit companies, maintaining multiple locations or expanding into new markets involves lots of variables,” FleetOwner reports. “Exploring costs and service-bundling options could mean greater efficiencies and money saved—and a better chance of success.”

Here’s how cold chain shippers can benefit from bundling:

  1. Focus on your core competencies. No more running around, trying to oversee and micromanage multiple providers and getting them to “talk” to one another. When it’s all under one roof, your central transportation, warehousing, and logistics provider will handle it all for you and allow you to focus on what you do best: supply customers with refrigerated and frozen goods.
  2. Use your provider’s infrastructure to save time and money. Delegating multiple company functions—such as warehousing and distributing—to a single service provider can result in significant time and cost savings. “Bundling these services together with one provider serves to reduce the resources required for oversight as well as provides for economies of scale,” FleetOwner notes, “as a transportation and distribution provider can often utilize their infrastructure and purchasing power to reduce distribution and fleet cost.”
  3. Have a single point of contact. Bundling logistics services with a single provider means you need only make one phone call, send one email, or schedule one meeting to get everything you need. Because this provider will serve as your focal point, you’ll avoid the wasted time, effort, and cost associated with tracking down multiple providers to get your questions answered or problems solved.
  4. Get consistent results. If you’ve historically used multiple providers for your cold chain transportation and warehousing needs, then you probably understand pains like inconsistent service levels, fluctuating rates, and unpredictable outcomes. By bundling these services with a single provider, you can avoid these uncertainties and focus on getting consistent results from one business partner.
  5. Create a win-win partnership. When companies skip around from supplier to supplier, they never really get the chance to create true, lasting partnerships with those providers. By putting the time and effort into working with one logistics provider, companies can create win-win collaborations that can help them shepherd their cold chains through even the toughest logistics environments (i.e., the current driver shortage and capacity crunches).

Demand for next-day delivery, the driver shortage, and rising transportation rates are all pushing cold chain distributors to find ways to work smarter, better, and faster in today’s transportation environment. In their quest to manage more volume and deal with more complex customer demands than they’ve ever faced in the past, more shippers are bundling fulfillment, warehousing, and shipping with single providers that can meet all of their current needs while also helping them prepare for the future.

To improve your cold chain shipping efficiency, contact us today to learn how Hanson can help.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

5 Reasons to Use Continuous Improvement in Logistics

5 Reasons to Use Continuous Improvement in Logistics

Cold chain shippers can gain efficiencies and save money by paying closer attention to the art of continuous improvement.

Whether a shipper wants to save money on transportation, lower employee turnover, develop more competitive products, improve customer service, or operate at a higher level of efficiency—or, all of the above—the path to getting there usually includes at least some type of continuous improvement.

Here are five reasons why:

1. Continuous improvement helps improve employee engagement. Also called operational excellence, lean transformation, Kaizen, or any other number of names, the act of continually honing and perfecting a company’s operations has become an imperative in today’s business environment. For example, it’s a particularly good tool for improving employee engagement. “At its core, continuous improvement is designed to empower employees to solve problems that bug them and gradually improve the efficiency of their work processes. Lean lets employees know that their ideas are important,” Nawras Skhmot points out in 5 Benefits of Continuous Improvement. “When an employee makes a suggestion for improvement, the idea can be carefully tested; and if successfully implemented company-wide. This changes the employee’s role and responsibilities from being a passive actor to being an active participant in the business processes.”

2. It drives waste out of costly processes. Commonly known as Kaizen, continuous improvement is defined as “a method for identifying opportunities for streamlining work and reducing waste.” Formalized by the popularity of lean/agile/Kaizen in manufacturing and business, continuous improvement helps companies identify cost-saving opportunities and work better, smarter, and faster.

3. Your competitors are probably already doing it. Facing steep competition, pricing pressures, a tight labor market, and various other challenges, companies that don’t continually step up their games often find themselves left in the dust and scrambling to catch up to their competitors. “While there are numerous ways in which businesses can compete, logistics ranks high among them. Improving logistics to a point and then taking a passive approach to the system allows competitors to gain advantages in terms of cost savings, improved quality, and production capacity,” Dennis Hartman writes in Why Is Continuous Improvement in Logistics Important? “Even incremental improvements in logistics can translate into significant savings over time and lay the foundation for further improvements in the future.”

4. The benefits of continuous improvement are well documented and immediate. For shippers, improvement opportunities not only within their own operations, but also across their logistics operations, transportation networks, and end-to-end supply chains. In fact, by taking an all-encompassing, supply chain-wide view on continuous improvements, companies can see significant benefits from their efforts, including improved productivity, lower costs, decreased delivery times, and other strategic gains.

5. If you’re not improving, you’re stagnating. Continuous improvement helps cold chain shippers enhance their processes and products in ways that traditional business approaches can’t match. “In the modern workplace, knowledge, and technology quickly becomes obsolete over time. If you are doing business in the same way that you did five or 10 years ago, your company will quickly go out of business,” Skhmot concludes. “Continuous improvement gives organizations a framework for reaching the next level of excellence.”

If you’re looking to gain efficiency and save money, contact us today.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Why You Should Use a Freight Broker.

Why You Should Use a Freight Broker.

The term ‘freight broker’ has too long been associated with images of a phone and a well-worn Rolodex. A lot has changed. Transportation brokerage services — like Hanson Freight Management — offer shippers technology-based, cost-effective and service-oriented solutions to the increasingly complex world of transportation.

We move millions of pounds of freight across the country for many of the most respected brands. As an LTL or truckload shipper, you can leverage Hanson’s extensive transportation carrier network, transportation management system and multi-modal expertise to assure efficiency and service are delivered on time, at very competitive rates.

Simplify Your Workload

One call does it all. From our TMS portal to your point of contact, Hanson removes the complexity from your transportation and makes it simple. We solve customer problems, deal with carrier performance, and make things happen. It’s that simple.

Leverage Our Purchasing Power

Our negotiated rates are far less than most smaller shippers can hope to achieve and those savings go right to your bottom line. You’ll save in many ways: lower rates, better audits and lower overhead.

Achieve Supply Chain Visibility

Leverage our market-leading TMS technology and gain complete transparency into rates, capacity, carriers and documentation.

Access Capacity in all Modes

Inbound, outbound, multi-temperature, parcel; standard, expedited, guaranteed, white glove and flatbed: Hanson has the expertise, carriers and competitive rates in all transportation requirements.

If you’re looking to drive efficiency in your transportation management — and who’s not — contact a professional freight broker today.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Maximizing Quality in the Global Cold Supply Chain

Maximizing Quality in the Global Cold Supply Chain

Moving a shipment across the supply chain without suffering any setbacks or temperature anomalies requires the establishment of a comprehensive logistical process to maintain the shipment integrity.

The cold supply chain, for example, is getting more and more difficult to manage as regulatory issues, carrier capacity crunches, the need for sophisticated technology platforms, and driver shortages all take a toll on a firm’s ability to make the best possible transportation decisions.

In fact, these challenges can make maintaining the in-house expertise needed to stay profitable nearly impossible. Maximizing Quality and Profits in Cold Chain Logistics, author Pat Hughes notes that the most common causes of profit loss in the cold supply chain include temperature abuse, humidification abuse, ethylene/CO2 abuse, microbial growth damage, and damage due to mishandling.

5 Key Considerations

In The Geography of Transport Systems, Hofstra University’s Jean-Paul Rodrigue notes that the process includes several phases that range from the preparation of the shipments to final verification of the integrity of the shipment at the delivery point. Each of these can impact the supplier’s profits:

  • Shipment preparation. When a temperature sensitive product is being moved, the shipment itself should already be at the desired temperature.
  • Modal choice. “Distance between the origin and the final destination (which often includes a set of intermediary locations), the size and weight of the shipment, the required exterior temperature environment and time restrictions (perishability) of the product all affect the available transportation options”, Rodrigue points out.
  • Customs procedures. “If the freight crosses boundaries, custom procedures become critical”, Rodrigue writes, “since cold chain products tend to be time sensitive and more subject to inspection than regular freight (e.g. produce, pharmaceuticals, and biological samples).
  • The last mile. “Key considerations when arranging a final delivery concern not only the destination,” he notes, “but also the timing of the delivery so the critical labor and warehousing space is available.”
  • Integrity and quality assurance. “After the shipment has been delivered, any temperature recording devices or known temperature anomalies must be recorded and made known”, Rodrigue points out.

“The setting and operation of cold chains is dependent on the concerned supply chains since each cargo unit to be carried has different requirements in terms of demand, load integrity, and transport integrity,” Rodrigue concludes. “Because of the additional tasks involved as well as the energy required for the refrigeration unit, transportation costs for cold chain products are much higher than for regular goods.”

As one of the fastest growing 3PLs in the cold chain industry, Hanson Logistics moves millions of pounds of freight across the country for many of the most respected brands. Leverage Hanson’s extensive transportation carrier network, technology, and expertise to assure efficiency and service are delivered on time and at rates that allow your company to exceed its own profit expectations.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

The 3PL as a Technology Partner

The 3PL as a Technology Partner

Buying, implementing, and maintaining supply chain software applications can be an expensive and time-consuming initiative. Whether the projects are managed by your company’s in-house IT team or outsourced to a third party, the costs associated with this function can chip away at a company’s bottom line, put undue stress on a company’s resources, and result in unfavorable levels of system downtime.

To help alleviate these pain points, third-party logistics providers (3PLs) like Hanson Logistics have been investing in supply chain, logistics, and transportation applications that help customers work smarter, better, and faster without the need for big IT investments.

Gaining a Competitive Edge

By leveraging their 3PL’s technology investments, companies are getting systems up and running faster, avoiding lengthy implementation times, and blissfully ignoring ongoing upgrade and maintenance issues.

“To gain an edge in a competitive market, 3PL providers stay up to date with the latest developments in technology so you don’t have to,” writes Global Trade Magazine’s Steve Lowery in “Going it Alone.” “The software that 3PLs create can provide visibility to monitor the entire supply chain through advanced reporting, helping inventory management, logistics planning, and many other business processes.”

In addition, Lowery points out that sophisticated software systems analyze and track processes to eliminate inefficient areas and fast track necessary links in the chain. “By outsourcing logistics needs to a 3PL,” he writes, “a company is able to focus more on its core competencies while being ensured that its logistics needs are being handled by reliable, seasoned professionals who are not only good at what they do but constantly looking for the newest ways to improve clients’ tech options.”

Technology: The Missing Link

Already working directly with shippers to manage transportation of products in the most economically feasible and efficient manner possible, logistics providers rely heavily on technology to determine the best rates, select the best routes, and track shipments as they move around the world.

The same providers are using online platforms, websites, mobile devices, EDI, and password-protected platforms to share information with customers in real-time, thus taking on the technology investment burden and equipping multiple customers in the process.

For example, 3PLs use transportation management systems (TMS) to orchestrate product movement across the supply chain and the related transportation choices. Using reports and data, the software gives the 3PL visibility into the customer’s supply chain performance and supports future decision making.

At Hanson Logistics, we continually invest in upgrades to our supply chain systems. For example, through Infor’s Supply Chain Management System, all customers have secure access to their own inventory information, in addition to real-time order status visibility, inventory availability, and shipment status. The system has built-in parameters that are triggered in the event of back orders, order acknowledgement, shipments, or delays. This enables shippers to manage exceptions via pager, text, fax, email, or other means of communications with their contacts. In addition to dovetailing with our WMS, Hanson’s Transportation Management System (TMS) offers:

  • Track & trace, allowing customers and Hanson staff to track shipments through delivery
  • Customer defined reference numbers for added continuity
  • Secure access that gives shippers and authorized consignees tracking ability for transparent customer service
  • Easy-to-use interface for customizing event management and notification preferences
  • 24/7 access to instant rate information, carrier performance, and costing matrix, and reporting by carrier, location, date, activity, etc.

By leveraging these and other capabilities directly through your 3PL, you gain insights into the TMS-generated data that helps your company supply a high degree of customer service and satisfaction to its own clients. With a bigger emphasis being placed on the customer experience, having these real-time, actionable insights in today’s competitive business environment can mean the difference between a long-term customer and an unsatisfied client.