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Category Archives: Global Logistics Solutions

Successfully outsourcing your Fulfillment Operation to a 3PL

Everything You Need to Know to Transition Your Business Successfully

Making changes to your business’s fulfillment operations is an important step. Whether you are upgrading from an in-house logistics team or switching to a different fulfillment company such as Promptus, making a smooth transition is important to ensure that your business operations don’t suffer in the process.

At Promptus LLC, we see clients that have made the decision to move their fulfillment operation for various reasons: to accommodate higher demand, for better customer service, to save money, or simply to trust the experts to handle shipping requests. Regardless of the reason, we understand that making the change to your fulfillment operation is no easy task – which is why we have written down these steps to help your business transition to our facility as smoothly as possible.

Assessing Your Fulfillment Needs

Whether you are a small mom-and-pop or a large business, a disruption in logistic services can negatively affect operations and profits. When making the switch to a new logistic fulfillment company, the most important thing is to communicate what you need and ensure your new company can meet those requirements. As a global logistics provider that has been operating for over 15 years, we have a number of resources at our disposal to help initiate a smooth transition.

The first thing you’ll need to do is develop a full assessment of your fulfillment operations including inventory requirements, storage needs, delivery options, package and assembly processes, special product handling requirements, replenishment lead times, and more. At Promptus, we understand that some business owners or operators may not fully understand their fulfillment needs, which may be why they are turning to a 3PL (third-party logistics) provider like us in the first place! We can help you develop a full understanding of your company’s fulfillment operation and what is necessary to support it.

Communicate Before You Integrate

Discussing your needs with your prospective new fulfillment company is extremely important before you agree to make the transition. In addition to discussing what fulfillment services you will need and what fulfillment services they offer, you should inquire about their provider systems and reporting capabilities. If you wish to keep your programs or fulfillment systems, you will need to verify that your new company’s systems will communicate successfully with your own.

For example, you can schedule a consultation with one of our experts to learn more about our team and what we offer. You can give us an idea of what your business needs and we can provide a number of options that may be suitable for you. From there, you can take your time to assess if Promptus is a good match for your business before getting back to us!

Remember, the goal is to avoid any unnecessary hiccups or delays in business transactions during this transition. After all, finding out at the last minute that your new fulfillment company’s inventory reporting program does not work with your current distribution software can seriously impede your workflow.

Discussing Shipping Options

One of the most important aspects of any company’s operations is their customer. When talking to a possible new fulfillment company, discuss their shipping and delivery options. Do they offer freight forwarding or will they be partnering with another provider? Regular and new customers alike expect their goods and products to arrive in a timely and reliable fashion. But don’t stop there – take the extra mile to ensure distribution and carrier services offer flexible and affordable options.

Clients will appreciate shipping options like expedited or insured. Take the time to talk to your client base or go through records to determine what your customers like best and what you may benefit from offering. Just as it’s our job to keep our clients happy (AKA you!), we understand that it’s your job to do the same for yours.

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Trust the Team with Years of Experience

As you can see, the trick to ensuring a smooth transition process when changing to a new fulfillment provider is thorough planning. If you are completely aware of what you need and exactly how it will be executed or implemented, you can reduce the possibility of slip-ups or expected troubles. If you are considering expanding your fulfillment operations, including inventory management and storage, international shipping services, and more, contact us today.

Promptus LLC has been dedicated to the logistics industry since 2001, and we are experts in warehouse and distribution, and offer our services from our headquarters in Miramar, FL to business around the world.

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3 Powerful Tools That Evolved the Trade and Logistics World

Discover What Innovations Changed How Companies Do Business

evovled trade and logistics

Like any industry, the world of global logistics and trade has changed and evolved over decades thanks to ever-developing technology and discoveries. Many times, there are notable items that are introduced that can change the way an industry operates. Oftentimes, they are considered noteworthy because they can boost business efficiency, security, or simply make a job easier for the client, customer, or both! In the list below, Promptus highlights a few that have been regarded as some of the more notable tools to be introduced to global trade and logistics.

Containerization

This is arguably the most revolutionary of changes to happen in terms of shipping and transporting goods. Containerization introduced a system of intermodal freight transport that allowed shippers to quickly and effectively load and unload shipments at ports. The concept was introduced in the 50s, and was such a simple yet powerful suggestion, that it completely changed the way intermodal shipping is handled. Prior to its introduction, transporting goods from one shipping vessel to another, unloading and loading barrels, bags, crates, and any number of varied boxes or containers from a truck or ship at a port could take up to two weeks. In these days, a ship can dock at a port, load all their containers, complete all the necessary steps, and continue on its journey in 10 hours.

The notion of consolidating goods within containers that could be shuffled around, moved, and easily stacked and situated amongst each other cut loading times dramatically. Additionally, this meant that moving cargo that first started its shipping journey on a truck but will need to continue using a different form of transport, such as ocean shipping, could be handled much more efficiently. Naturally, this changed the tone for trade as the decrease in travel time increased the possibility of shipping perishable items that may have otherwise been questionable or difficult to transport. For example, the fresh food industry would not be able to function the same without the innovative tool that is containerization.

Fiber Optic Cables

This is another huge innovative discovery that opened the doors to new possibilities in trade and logistics. Born-global firms, or companies that are birthed with the intention of global sale and output, rely heavily on the ability to communicate with the other countries they are trying to operate with. The fiber optic cable is made with the intention of network communications over long distances. Their primary function is to provide quick and easily accessible communication options, which makes global trade much more functional. Before this was introduced, shippers, ports, clients, and other parties were left to communicate in ways that took much longer than was practical for making time-sensitive decisions. Working with a fiber optic cable provides companies with the ability to send information almost instantly from the United States all the way to China – and much more!

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Just-in-Time (JIT)

The just-in-time inventory strategy was designed to help avoid the waste of product, time, and essentially money that was associated with overproduction and excess inventory. JIT is a manufacturing process that, when implemented in warehouses, completely reconfigures the way inventory. The goal was to minimize wastefulness while maximizing efficiency by allowing the user to track where materials are within the production circuit. This lowers the possibility of companies losing items within the supply chain as well as creating too many products because of an inability to accurately account for all the goods in-house. This process, originally created by Toyota, and was used as a method to help producers forecast demand and therefore respond accordingly based on accurate and reliable data gathered via the JIT strategy.

Trust the Experts

The world of shipping and logistics is constantly evolving thanks to innovative new discovery and inventions being made by engineers and shipping experts everywhere. A great way to ensure that your business stays on top is to utilize tools that can help boost your efficiency without increasing spending or costs.

Even if you don’t understand the shipping world, you should be able to reap the benefits when you partner with a reliable freight forwarding company like Promptus LLC. We are based in Miramar, FL, but we offer our services to clients worldwide. We work with all sorts of clients and our involvement can range from customs brokerage to simple warehousing & distribution. Contact us today to get your personalized quote!

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19 Shipping Terms Every Business Should Know

Learn to Communicate More Effectively With Shipping Companies

19 shipping terms

Ever find yourself in a situation where you are dealing with a business practice you are unfamiliar with and you can’t understand any of the jargon being used? You are not alone! Many fields have a unique lingo that is used to describe industry specific items and occurrences. While it is not expected for you to be well-versed in the turns being used by your dentist, lawyer, or shipping company, it could be beneficial for you to brush up on some commonly used terms so you’re not left in the dark.

Promptus wants all our clients to be in-the-know and comfortable when communicating with one of our team members. While we are more than happy to explain any jargon that may be unrecognized, we also wanted to provide a little cheat-sheet for potential clients and any interested parties may use to acquaint themselves with some unfamiliar terminology.

Shipping Terms

  1. Accessorial Charge: Additional fees that are charged to add-on services or equipment required for the delivery of your cargo.
  2. Backhaul: When a driver transports cargo during the return trip of a commercial vehicle, it is known as a backhaul. This helps the cargo vehicle get the most out of their trips.
  3. Bill of Lading: A document issued by a carrier to a shipper, signed by the captain, agent, or owner of a vessel, furnishing written evidence of receipt of the goods (cargo), the conditions on which transportation is made (contract of carriage), and the engagement to deliver goods at the prescribed port of destination to the lawful holder of the bill of lading.
  4. Customs Broker: (U.S. Customs) An individual or firm licensed by U.S. Customs & Border Protection to act for importers in handling the sequence of custom formalities and other details critical to the legal and speedy exporting and importing of goods.
  5. Carrier: An individual or legal entity that is in the business of transporting passengers or goods for hire. Shipping lines, airlines, trucking companies, and railroad companies are all carriers.
  6. Container: A single rigid, sealed, reusable metal box in which merchandise is shipped by vessel, truck or rail. Ocean shipping containers are generally 20, 40, 45 feet long. Ocean freight container types include: standard, high cube, hardtop, open top, flat, platform, insulated, refrigerated, etc.
  7. Detention:
    • Holding a carrier’s driver and/or truck trailer beyond a certain stated period of “free time”, often resulting in the assessment of detention charges.
    • The delay in clearing goods through customs resulting in storage and other charges.
    • The prevention, by government authority, of a vessel and/or cargo leaving port.
  8. Cartage and Drayage: Cartage is the movement of goods for short distances, usually by truck. It is also referred to the charge to pick up, move and deliver good short distances. Drayage is the charge made for hauling freight or carts, drays or trucks.
  9. Freight Forwarder: A person engaged in the business of assembling, collection, consolidating, shipping and distributing less-than-carload or less-than-truckload freight. Also, a person acting as agent in the transshipping of freight to or from foreign countries and the clearing of freight through customs, including full preparation of documents, arranging for shipping, warehousing, delivery and export clearance.
  10. Hazmat: Shorthand for “hazardous materials”, which essentially is any material that could cause potential harm to anything or anyone it comes into contact with. Special endorsements are needed from all parties involved to legally transport hazardous materials.
  11. Incoterms: Shorthand for International Commercial Terms, which are a series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Incoterm define basic shipping terms.
  12. Intermodal: Cargo that is shipped using multiple forms of transportation, such as rail transport and cargo trucks.
  13. Lane: A route of transportation that is regularly taken, most often by commercial transporters.
  14. Less Than Truckload (LTL): A shipment weighing less than the weight required for the application of the truckload rate.
  15. Lift gate: A mechanism on the back of cargo trucks that allows the driver to load and unload goods more easily. A lift gate is usually required for shipments that are being picked up or delivered to a destination with no shipping dock.
  16. Reefer: A temperature controlled container that keeps cargo such as food at the proper temperature throughout the transportation process.
  17. Tender: A fixed price offered to move cargo.
  18. Third-Party Logistics: A term used when distribution services are outsourced through a third-party. Promptus LLC may be considered a third-party global logistics company.
  19. Transportation Management System: Often abbreviated to simply TMS, this is a sophisticated software that allows freight forwarders to easily analyze and automate transportation operations. This is especially beneficial for companies handling large amounts of commercial cargo.

Take The Guesswork Out of Freight Forwarding

Remember, just because you don’t understand all the ins and outs of the shipping world does not mean you can’t have affordable and efficient shipping services. At Promptus LLC, we serve clients of all sizes including small business owners to huge corporations of all business types and models. We offer reliable freight forwarding services all over the world, with our main headquarters located in Miramar, FL – just shy of the Port of Miami and Port Everglades. For your personalized quote, contact our toll-free number at 1-877-777-6799

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