Freight and Couriers
There are in excess of 50,000 freight providers in Australia – how do you choose the right one?
Why so many?
Just about every business in Australia has used a freight or courier provider at some stage.
The reality is that there is no one organisation that can provide complete geographical coverage for all freight needs (not even Australia Post). So when we send a parcel or goods for freight it often ends up with a sub-contractor to our original supplier (have you ever tried to locate a ‘lost’ freight item?).
Competition has driven freight pricing down and the result is that service levels have also diminished. It can be frustrating when you ring up customer service (if you get through) to find you are speaking with an overseas call centre.
Time for a re-think.
The margins in the freight industry are thin so finding savings in price may not be the smart place to start.
Service levels have become the new battle-ground for suppliers.
Similar to the insurance industry it may make sense to utilise a broker.
The broker will source a pool of providers who provide services such as end-to-end track and trace, a responsive call centre and so on. Best of all of this can be provided on a single invoice for the right price.
Transparency creates accountability
Supply Clusters provides transparent reporting on Freight and Courier through our member portal. Simply sign up to our Standing Offer arrangement with InXpress and your data will be available 24/7. Members have access to all of their data including detail on every single transaction. Join today, start saving on Freight and Courier spend and see all the detail you need to manage your needs:
- Quantity and Spend by period
- Purchases by cost centre
- Transactional level detail on each item
Things to look out for when choosing a Freight and Courier supplier
Track and Trace
While some providers say they offer track and trace make sure that it operates end-to-end – particularly if sub-contract operators are involved in the delivery.
Is the call centre based in Australia. Contact the call centre using a trial account number provided by the supplier and gauge for responsiveness.
On-line Ordering Platform
The ordering platform should be simple to operate and provide choice between service providers.
Monthly Account Fees
Some of the larger providers set monthly minimum fees which can come back to bite you. If you do not meet the predetermined value of deliveries you are still charged for what you do not use.
Most freight companies offer basic insurance as part of a standard fee. Coverage varies from supplier to supplier so it is best to get the right advice.
Some of the larger providers charge up to twice the cost of delivery to re-deliver.
Better buying outcome
The right approach for your business delivers a balance between price and service quality. It also provides the ability to access more than one service provider yet pay only one invoice. Supply Clusters recommend using a transport broker to get the best of both worlds. Not all freight management companies are the same. Here are some key criteria to consider:
- One booking platform that allows you to choose from a number of courier and freight companies. This means you can select the best rate and receive an instant quote.
- Consolidated invoicing to streamline the accounts payable process. This consolidation also allows you to manage compliance and have transparency of your spend.
- Local customer service. While offshore customer service is improving all the time, nothing beats local knowledge.
Supply Clusters Offer
Supply Clusters partner with InXpress for all of your freight and courier requirements
Members receive the following benefits from InXpress:
- A discounted rate per carrier over standard InXpress sell rates
- A freight health check for all members regardless of size
- One platform that can offer bookings with DHL, Toll, TNT and Startrack
- No minimum spend and free online membership for even the smallest freight requirements
- The ability to book, quote and track international and domestic deliveries on one platform
- Ordering and buying behaviour compliance tools
- On-line portal to access your spend data