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The Future Of Freight Forwarding

When do you think about freight forwarding? I hardly believe you think of it when you pick up a toy or a toaster oven from your local store. There is a 90% chance that a freight forwarder was involved somewhere to bring the product to your fingertips.

A freight forwarder is an important part of the supply chain. Now let’s describe the role of the freight forwarder; It’s basically an organization that uses the services of a shipping company or air cargo company to move cargo from point A to point B. Anywhere in the world a freight forwarder does not own the vessel or aircraft although some shipping companies are freight forwarders.

A freight forwarder is involved in multi-modal transportation, for example: a shipment of microwaves from the factory in China to London will involve inland transport from a factory to the airport or shipping port and once the cargo arrives in London, it will be transported by truck (Inland Transportation) to the final destination.
Freight forwarders are subject to regulations that vary by country. This makes freight forwarding a tricky business.

Years ago, freight forwarders offered limited services, they only focused on shipping, with time they started offering services such as custom clearance, warehousing, consolidation and other services. Some of these services were outsourced. This has given rise to third party logistics companies (3PL companies).

Freight forwarders that have not adopted innovation in the past few years are experiencing a slowdown business.
The industry has changed a lot over the past 20 years. A forwarder has become a one stop shop for all our logistics needs. This came with opportunities and challenges.
As a Freight forwarder adds on services, they need to add new talent. People who have experience in packaging, order fulfillment and customer service.

Many freight forwarders try to shed their skin and put on the Logistics Provider skin with little services because basically they focus on freight forwarding, their core competency.

In this challenging market so many freight forwarders are fading because they have not adopted change and innovation. We will continue to witness the change and evolution in this industry.
The next time you pick up your blender or coffee maker, remember how much work was involved.

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Pick and Pack

What is pick and Pack . In this post we will explain briefly the scope of pick and pack.
Pick and pack fulfillment is the process that ensues after an order is placed with a fulfillment company such as a 3PL Company . The process could be manual or automated depending on the fulfillment company and the requirements of the customer. In the manual process, a pick ticket or list is given to the warehouse employee in order to find located the the items on the list and bring to a staging area where the items are placed inside a box sealed and is prepared for shipping.

Pick and pack fulfillment is usually optimized in order to save time and money. Different products will dictate having a different approach to fulfill

Pick pack Process

As the name indicates, the process involves picking the items and then packing them as part of the order fulfillment process.

A lot more goes into successful order fulfillment than organized products on shelves. Pick and pack is both an art and a science. that a few companies can master. Off Course you will need Good inventory control and the right software but the design of the work flow remains just as essential.

 Order receiving:  This is the first step that get the ball rolling. As an order is received through any of the sales channels and transmitted to the 3PL Warehouse, whether via EDI, software integration or even via e-mail, the fulfillment center starts the process by having a pick ticket generated and work started to pick the items

Order picking:  A warehouse worker takes the pick ticket and picks the items for the order from the specified locations . This is where the workflow comes into play. Inventory storage strategy and your pick and pack procedures define how smoothly the process goes. Keep in mind that different products have different procedures for pick and pack. Company have different processes.

 Order packing: The order goes to a packing station where it is packed securely, sealed, and labeled for shipping depending on the requirements. It is important to pack the products properly in order to avoid damage and to make sure that the right size box is used. You also need to pay attention to the weight capacity of the box. Some items require special boxes.

 Order shipping: Some Orders might make up a pallet or more, others just a box or a few boxes. The shipping method is decided on before even the process starts.

We should not confuse pick and pack with order fulfillment. Order fulfillment entails Demand Planning, inventory Management, Supply chain execution and logistics planning.