What is a Freight Forwarder and How to Choose the Best One

If it’s a commodity that’s being shipped, your company needs to know the means, the exact destination and volume of items that will be shipped. Whether it’s air freight or ocean freight that is being used, your company will be paying a different price. Also, depending how often you will be using the freight forwarder you will choose is an important criteria for the selection of an excellent forwarder.

What is a Freight Forwarder

A forwarder is a company that works with the shipping company you already have to organize, store and ship your valuable merchandise. Inventory and transportation of your products must be maintained with great attention, detailed communication and with an experienced freight forwarder. This will allow your company to be able to be productive and competent.

Reputation

An experienced company will handle your shipments with great coverage and on a regular basis to all of your worldwide destinations. The reputation of your freight broker is extremely important, so that mistakes can be avoided and problems solved if and when they arise. The overall positive evaluation of the freight forwarding company you select will enable your business to expand in a positive manner.

What does a company really need from a freight forwarder?

The affiliations and expertise of the agents is crucial, and their familiarity with the customs rules and regulations will prevent obstacles from getting in the way of your shipments. Many logistics customers have been very happy, since they have been able to lower their long term overall shipping and handling costs by using a seasoned freight agency that is reliable and dependable.

Some companies can periodically offer free freight services to save time. They can even develop specific shipping plans that will assist in keeping low costs, while optimizing resources and lowering freight risks regarding management and delivery. It is a good idea to outsource your company logistics and getting automated services.

Avoiding Delays

Another important part your freight company can assist with is setting up specific routes that meet your product delivery situations and shipment coverage. In that way, you can be assured to be able to ship your merchandise without any delays. Some forwarders have a large carrier network that is flexible and precise with shipment deliveries.

An efficient freight company will prepare the Bill of Lading and schedule the shipment with the proper carrier; many times at a very beneficial rate to you. They will prepare and confirm an activity report, which can be done on a regular monthly and even daily basis. They can also assist you with auditing and freight savings prior to sending you an invoice.

A fully established and reliable freight broker is one that promptly handles all freight operations for their customers 24/7, while providing complete information and access to a variety of online data and information. Convenient shipping quotes and a freight tracking system that is part of an experienced brokers portfolio is pertinent when looking for new clients. Customers should be grateful for the superior effort and work their freight broker put into all their shipment needs, both small and large.

Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics

6 Benefits Shippers Get When Hiring A Transportation Management Services Company

6 Benefits Shippers Get When Hiring A Transportation Management Services Company

There are several benefits that shippers are going to get when they hire a transportation management services company. The first benefit is that they are going to be able to make better decisions based on data. This means that you don’t have to play the guessing game about what you have done because it is a lot easier to plan where you are going. This is because the shippers are going to better understand all of their activities. Therefore, the shipper can make strategic decisions.

Benefits Hiring Transportation Management

The second benefit of the freight broker is the process enforcement. This means that the company is going to have a lot of technology that is going to help them to run their business. Therefore, you can build the customized business logic to make sure that the users of the transportation management services will be able to select the best carriers. They can also enforce the routing guide by working with all of the vendors through the direct freight routing on the behalf of the vendor.

The third benefit of the freight broker is the warehouse efficiency. When you have your transportation managed properly so that you will be able to have a successful procure transportation with less of a delay. This means that your warehouse and overall operations are going to be a lot more efficient. When you have a product coming for inbound reliably and the product will be getting to the customers more reliable. Therefore, you will be able to make other aspects of the benefit of the business.

The fourth benefit of the transportation management services is the customer satisfaction. This means that the customer service levels will increase once you have hired the company because you are going to be able to stay competitive in a very competitive market. We all know that it is a lot easier to gain a customer but it is harder to keep the customer. You are going to need to be able to get the product to the customers on time so if you are having problems with a lot of claims on the freight team, then this could lead to a lot of customers complaining.

The fifth benefit is that there is going to be an improvement in the cash flow of the company. This is because you are going to know exactly what you should be charging all of your customers. This is especially true once you have the ability to understand how the transportation accounting is going to work for your company.

The sixth benefit is a reduction in your inventory. The programs like the just in time and know each of the locations where the inventory is going to be transported. This is one of the best ways for your company to have an inbound transportation program that is successful. Therefore, you will be able to make better strategic business decisions that will impact all of the jobs of the managers of the company especially the supply chain director of the company.

Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics a Transportation Management Services Company

Learning Key Ingredients for a Successful Life

Nicholas Clarke has at least three key ingredients for a successful life: a good attitude, a good work ethic, and good connections. Those life skills were developed or nurtured during Winning Futures’ 22-week program in which students work with mentors to consider their futures and determine the steps necessary to reach their goals.

Freight Broker In Michigan

The third-year finance major at Albion College credits his mentor, Jason Gordon, with teaching and modeling those life skills.

“Jason came in each and every week with a big smile on his face that was contagious to the rest of our group,” Nick said. “He was always quick to crack a joke, but equally as fast to bring us back to reality and comment on how something may apply to the real world one day.”

What also impressed Nick was that while Jason was passionate about teaching and modeling a strong work ethic, “he was so passionate about just being a father and husband at the end of the day.”

Jason’s impact on Nick went beyond the classroom: Jason was one of the connections from Winning Futures who helped him land his internship this past summer with Clinton Township logistics company Brighter Logistics.

Justin Bright, owner of the company, is part of a networking group with Kristina Marshall, president and CEO of Winning Futures. After they talked, Justin interviewed Nick and then brought him on as a summer intern. Justin was impressed with Nick’s confidence. “Confidence goes a long way,” he said.

Justin also was impressed by his work ethic. “I’m a big, big believer in hard work,” he said, and Nick delivered. It wasn’t just the fact that Nick made more than 120 cold sales calls a day, but it was how he did it.

“He wasn’t dialing because he had to, he was dialing because he wanted to, and there’s a big difference. And for a kid of only 20, he was very mature and would do everything that he needed to do to be successful.” Justin said he felt that Nick’s exceptional work attitude was a result of the mentoring program he attended and the people he’s worked with.

Nick’s performance convinced Justin that he “absolutely” would be interested in hiring more Winning Futures alumni.

“Teaming up with somebody like Winning Futures and helping that young person that doesn’t have the experience on their resume that’s going to help them get another, maybe even better, job, that’s what we want to do. We want to continue to work with the younger generation to help them be successful.”

Source: Winning Futures Alumni Success Stories

Shipping Tips to BRIGHTEN your day

Shipping Tips to BRIGHTEN your day!

We all know the feeling, when carriers add extra services and you did not ask for them.  This is a frustrating situation and we are here to help and offer some guidance to hopefully avoid this.   Although, sometimes we just can’t avoid these but these shipping tips may help!

Shipping Tips

Some carriers will add extra services, such as lift gate and inside delivery, even if these are not on the BOL.    If someone requests extra services at time of pick up or delivery the driver will proceed to ensure the delivery is not refused.  Most carriers will not contact us or you for approval and these services will be performed and billed for.

We want to help you avoid these extra fees.  Educating your customers is the best way so they know what to expect at time of delivery.

We recommend advising your customers of the following to help avoid these extra fees, such as lift gate and inside delivery.

Residential delivery:

Most residential deliveries need a lift gate so please include this in your quote request.

Notify your customer that the delivery will be CURBSIDE and they have to then move it from there.

If you need inside delivery, if they can’t move it from the curb inside, let us know and we can include this in your quote too.

INSIDE DELIVERY:  This means, FIRST FLOOR/FIRST DOOR.    The item needs to be manageable by one driver and the need to be able to use a pallet jack to bring freight to the front door or garage door with no stairs so please keep this in mind.

Residential deliveries require an appointment so a valid phone number is very important.    Once the freight arrives at the destination terminal, they will then call the consignee to schedule a delivery appointment.   This process usually adds an extra day or two to the transit time.

Commercial delivery with no loading dock:

If a location does not have a loading dock, they will most likely need a lift gate.   Please let us know when requesting a quote and we can include this in your quote.

If they have a fork lift, please let them know to meet the driver at delivery and let the driver know right away that they have a fork lift and will be unloading the freight by themselves.  If the driver arrives and does not see a loading dock and no one comes out to meet them they may go ahead and use the lift gate and unload the freight so this is important to know.

Spread the word!

Please explain in detail to your customer what is included in the delivery and what is not so they know when the driver arrives to not ask them to bring the fright in the office, house or garage.  The driver will do this, even if not on the BOL, but they will also charge more so that is why the person receiving the freight needs to know this.   Even if the driver just brings it one foot inside, this is considered inside delivery.  Once freight is delivered and they sign the delivery receipt with extra services marked, we are not able to dispute these and we will have to invoice for these services.

How can we help?    Have a BRIGHTER day!

Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics

A modern 3PL requires transparency

Logistics — a complex and data driving industry, plays an essential part of our modern 3PL providers. Reliant on how organized suppliers are to deliver on their promises in a timely manner is the difference in getting the customers’ business. In addition, analysts mostly discuss the database management of company products and transport ahead of the business decision. Nowadays, the client leaders approach a deal according to the supply-chain visibility.

A modern 3PL requires transparency

The transparency issue

Further, the transparency issue is to avoid any supply problems. This often occurs because clients do not have access or cannot view the inventory data of the supply-chain. Therefore, third-party partner software can remove this worry. It will enable the clientele to have real time access to a company’s information – such as ending-balance, shipping, and receiving.

However, there are several benefits to be had if you integrate your inventory software with your back-office and accounting arrangements. By improving your inventory controlling system will give you a competitive edge. And, this will enable you to carry out your schedule with customers with small labor costs, plus have no associated errors.

Simply put, if you can see your company’s varying inventory levels, suppliers can ensure their product is at your warehouse or 3PL for your customer’s question. This means you could get maximum satisfaction in knowing where your stock is found and what’s available in your warehouse. Even so, the efforts of modern third-party partners need to show scalability, transparency, flexibility, and reconcilability all in real time.

Find a fully controlled third-party partner

Companies need to find for a controlled third-party partner who provides a flexible-modular software system. By taking this step, you will get the best transparency. What’s more, an integrated partnership will provide you help in cleaning up your supply chain as needed. While you lessen company spending, you’ll have leverage in spreading funds or increase your competitive status and limits.

Now, any company could achieve full optimization by having data, which should provide an accurate insight of corrective action plans. This includes having a discrete partner with tested supply chain expertise. Nevertheless, let’s talk about a total solution to finding the right logistics provider. In addition, think of these expected benefits if you integrate your inventory management software with your back-office system:

  • Presenting inventory accurately in financial accounts
  • Allowing supply-chain partners inventory visibility
  • Meeting product availability and return-on-investment plans by enlarging inventory

The benefits don’t end here, but these three will give your company a big impact. After all, customers wish on-demand products while investors might prefer having no capital tied down in inventory. Meanwhile, many companies are not organized for having a high-level of supply-chain honesty. And, executive preconditions are not followed in terms of needed information — for tracking shipments and handling transport plans.

Your total solution routine must be up-to-date with today’s logistics functioning.

Modern third-party logistics

Clients have intelligent in-house teams looking for something different from what modern third-party logistics offer. However, a successful modern 3PL should attend to customer demands by communication and good standing relations. This is the right change and path for your business managements to keep moving forward.

Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics

Hurricane Harvey: Transportation Update

As Hurricane Harvey continues to impact Houston, South East Texas and parts of Louisiana, our thoughts go out to all those affected by this historic and devastating storm. During this difficult time, we want to assure you that we are prepared and equipped to help you navigate these weather-related supply chain challenges. Our team is working hard to keep you informed about the storm’s impact on freight and the entire logistics industry.

Hurricane Harvey: Transportation Update

As your trusted logistics partner, Brighter Logistics has experience supporting shippers during emergency situations. Our service teams are available to you around-the-clock to help your team move critical shipments as quickly and safely as possible.

With every ground and air shipment, we will provide:

  • Single point-of-contact and around the clock customer service availability
  • Proactive notification and visibility throughout the shipment
  • The attention to detail and service you expect

We are here for you.
The storm’s impact on supply chains is being felt across the country. All modes of transportation are experiencing limitations in the hardest hit areas due to flooding, blocked roadways, railways, and terminal closures.  Your Brighter Logistics support teams will go the extra mile to provide solutions that help keep your business operating.

Contact your Brighter Logistics support team with any questions. Call 586-630-5999 or email me directly at jbr@brighterlogistics.com

Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics

Your 3PL Must Offer These 2 Things For A Successful Partnership

Your 3PL Partnership: The Must-Haves For Your Business

No successful partnership can exist without trust and respect. A little bit of each will go a long way for the section below. Both sides must have these two things to move forward. There are a few things you can do to keep the trust and respect flowing within your 3Pl partnership.

3PL

1) You must have a culture fit that feels right. It does not make sense to continue with a partner that looks at things differently. The numbers can look right and line up on paper, but everything else must work right too.

It is like being in a marriage. There are plenty of marriages that look good on paper. When you go beneath the surface, the love is not there at all. The couple is just doing it for the sake of the children or money. There is no way you can have this with your 3Pl partnership. The love must be there too, otherwise, it is not going to work out.

2) You must have everything clearly defined and written down in a contract. A good old-fashioned handshake just does not work anymore. People in business can say anything. You must have outlined what you want to be done, the way you want it done, etc. Anything that is not written down will be left up to circumstance.

You will then have a lot of “he said, she said” dialogue going on. No one is happy. This affects the business and the long-term goals of everyone involved. You need to have everything written. This way no one can dispute what is or is not happening.

3) You need to speak to everyone involved, including your main source of the business. Communication is and always will be the key here. You will have order instead of chaos when you do not employ communication. Everyone must be on the same page. This includes the smallest of details. When no one is on the same page, then anything can happen.

Are you adding to the chaos of the world or the order?

4) Do you have a strategy? Share it. Some tend to assume that a plan they have will never take effect. You never know unless you try. Give it a shot. Let them know what you have in mind. This is also included under the umbrella of “communication”. You never move forward with a plan without talking it through first.

It is all about having trust and respect, along with the other 4 elements. You cannot have one without the other. When one person fails to use trust, communication, loyalty, and respect for one side, then the whole business plan will fall like a deck of cards.

It is the only way your business partnership with these services will move forward and grow.

Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics

6 Benefits a 3PL Can Offer Smaller Businesses

Advantages of Outsourcing 3PL Providers

There are numerous benefits businesses can get by outsourcing supply chain activities and logistics to a 3PL provider. A 3PL provider offers a wide range of supply, purchasing, and logistics solution. Whether in packaging, assembling, warehousing and distribution all these and much more can be easily granted by a third party logistic company. A business that uses third party logistics have a reliable logistics advantage thus maximizes their profits. Here are some of the advantages a business can gain by using a 3PL provider.

Freight Broker

Resource Network

Third party logistics providers have access to a wide network of shippers, carriers; warehouses thus have an advantage over in-house supply chains. Resource network allows for ease of operations thus supply chain can be executed in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Using a third-party logistics provider allows a business to benefit from resources which cannot be found in-house.

Expertise

Expertise is the other important advantage of choosing a third-party logistics provider. This is so because the providers are more knowledgeable of the industry practice and are also up to date with new developments whether in technology, manufacturing or logistics. Supply chain management and logistics are what they have specialized in as is what they do every day, unlike businesses who only access logistics services when the need arises. Outsourcing the services of a supply and logistics company allows a company to focus on its core competencies while allowing the expert to do what they know best. Logistics company use software’s that are capable of inventory management advanced reporting and can monitor the entire process. Supply chain experts can also employ the use of just in time practices to ensure orders are delivered on the right time and under the right conditions.

Using a third-party logistics provider allows a business to benefit from resources which cannot be found in-house

Saves time and money

Logistics and supply chain companies are well versed with the current market transportation and storage costs thus can help a business get affair deal. In addition, these companies are well networked thus know the routes and best transportation method which ensures on time deliveries and saves costs. Contracting a logistics company also allows you time to concentrate on the development of your business.

Leverage

By being linked to a wide network, a logistics company can help leverage relationships and volume discounts. If you are shipping small quantities of goods the shipping companies because they employ the use of economies of scale will give you better rates as they ship large volumes of freight on a daily basis.

Flexible solutions for growing companies

One thing that is quite essential for any growing business is scalability. Market trends are not always stable and are subject to changes thus a business needs to adapt to sudden and unpredictable market forces. For this reason, growing businesses need flexible solutions which can only be met by third party logistics companies who are always flexible and have specialized in the business.

Continuous Optimization

Logistics and supplies companies do have resources at hand thus capable of making any adjustment any time to improve the supply chain. Third party providers have the tools required to restructure a supply chain process whether in technology or distribution. Outsourcing the services of the providers will ensure continuous improvements are made in the logistics process.

Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics

An Eye Opener on Freight Brokers Today

In today’s world, most of the activities are geared towards the transport industry. This is evident in the United States where according to research conducted, the business is expanding. According to the renowned American Trucking Associations, in the year 2014, about 7.3 million people acquired employment in the same industry. Interesting to note, in the year 2015, about 3.5 million people were serving as truck drivers. However, the number of freight brokers in the market remains unmatched to the number of truck drivers.

Freight Broker

Brokers come in quite handy when it comes to connecting the perfect drivers to shippers. They also ensure that the truck drivers are also linked to the appropriate equipment’s that will work for them. The freight brokers have the responsibility for ensuring that their shipping clients get the right motor carriers for their goods. Some of these clients include distributors, factories, and farm producers, among others. Keep in mind that the transport professionals are highly skilled when it comes to planning the time and location of the picking and delivering the various cargo.

Some of the renowned freight brokerages run and operate their fleets. By doing so, they can network in the market. At the same time, they can provide both short term and long-term solutions to their clients. The services provided to their clients are always satisfying and beyond their expectations.

The invoice factoring strategy is quite common and is preferred by the freight brokers. This is because by using it, they can curb the challenges experienced in balancing their cash flow. At the same time, they can timely pay their drivers for the services provided to them as they anticipate their payments from their clients.

According to research conducted, the freight industry is built on strong and firm relationships. For people willing to join the industry, it is advisable for them to have built strong firm relationships to ensure that they survive and thrive in the industry. At the same time, one ought to have a passion and zeal for the job at hand.

When it comes to serving or operating as a freight brokerage, it is wise for one to establish and have a strong relationship with motor carriers. Remember that these are the people that will be responsible for ensuring that the goods get to their expected destinations right on time. The relationship should be genuine and founded on honesty to ensure that success is achieved at the end of the transactions. Keep in mind that if you have a great working relationship with the carriers, you can be sure of consistent great services.

Also, a superb relationship with the customers is no option! Remember that these are the backbone of your business and determinant of the success of your business. Being in good terms will ensure that the customers make timely payments for the services rendered. On the other hand, failure to make payments on time will lead to obstacles in the operation of your business. It is also advisable for you to consider freight bill factoring before engaging in any business deal. This will enable you to put into consideration the duration of time you give to your customers for them to meet their payments. It is also wise to contract the payment collection to third parties to ensure that you maintain the great relationship with both your clients and carriers. This is because you will keep at bay any awkward moments when engaging in the collection of payments.

Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics

It’s Important To Use A Pallet When LTL Shipping Freight

Commercial goods are transported by land, sea, and air regularly throughout the day. The term freight is used to describe these products and extends back to the 1400s. In today’s economy, cargo is used to ship items around the world for use or resell. It is a multi-millionaire dollar industry and imperative to protect the items shipped.


There are several options when it comes to shipping commercial goods. Each carrier will have their restrictions based on the type of trucks used and various other factors. Some things to pay attention to are weight limitations, size and dimension capacity, and what kind of goods the carrier is willing to carry. For example, there are specific guidelines put in place when it comes to shipping items that are deemed toxic or corrosive.

Less Than Truckload (LTL) means that the freight being shipped does not take up an entire truck trailer. Typically, the weight of these shipments is between 200 and 10,000 pounds and is built to fit the dimensions of the container used. Since shipping companies can place several LTL shipments on a trailer, it is required for the freight to be on a pallet and shrink wrapped to form one piece.

There are several reasons why it is important, and required, to use a pallet when using the LTL Shipping Freight option.

With commercial goods moving around the country and possibly the world, there is always the risk of damage to the items before reaching the final destination. Damage equals money lost on perhaps both ends – the shipping and the receiving. Putting items on a pallet with plastic wrap has less chance of being harmed.

When items are on a pallet, there is less of a chance that the freight being shipped ruins other freight. This could happen during transit or when items get transferred between trucks. It is also possible that damage may occur while in a storage facility. The result would be more money lost due to having to replace what the destroyed merchandise. It is best to have everything secured together and on a pallet.

Having the freight on a pallet will keep the items together and substantially increase the chances that all pieces arrive together to the delivery point. Loose items become lost when shipments are jostled around in transit or when being transferred from one truck to another.

The items are secured onto the pallet by the plastic wrap and have a better chance of not being tampered with or stolen. Theft is prevented when the goods are not visible and packaged in regular brown shipping boxes.

When shipping commercial products, there are several benefits to using LTL Shipping Freight. The biggest reason is that it is cost effective. Shipping with a carrier that does LTL is also environmentally friendly. It is important to remember that items need to be on a pallet and to check with each company individually when it comes to other restrictions. Each one may be different.

Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics