FIVE TIPS TO TACKLE BIG AND BULKY During the pandemic, consumers got used to having all types of items delivered, including large and bulky products, such as furniture and appliances. But big and bulky inventory may be weighing down today’s supply chain. How should shippers respond? circumstances have a habit of popping up during delivery. Some shippers counteract this by asking customers to measure their spaces in their pre-delivery notes—giving delivery drivers a heads-up on any potential issues. 2. Final-mile or white-glove delivery? Final-mile delivery is faster and more cost-e ective, but white glove improves the customer experience. Companies should examine what will propel their brand forward while keeping image and customer experience goals in mind. 3. Ensure you have a robust system. Customers expect the same tracking visibility for appliances and furniture as they do for smaller packages. This requires investments in technologies that optimize delivery routes, narrow down delivery windows, and communicate with customers. Skipping this step leads to tracking and customer experience challenges. Third-party logistics provider Kenco o ers five tips: 1. Involve the customer where you can. Unexpected 4. Have a reverse logistics strategy in place before you start. Without a plan to deal with a return rate that could reach 40%, companies risk filling available warehouse space with single- stack, unboxed returns. Avoid this by having a plan to receive and grade returns, then quickly re-box undamaged inventory for resale, process it for second-channel sales, or scrap it. 5. Lean on trusted partners. Shipping big and bulky items comes with a variety of issues. The right partner should provide expertise and guidance.
Shipping large, heavy, and irregular sized cargo isn’t simply a matter of getting it from point A to point B. It also requires flexibility to tackle unique challenges. Take the case of a 60-ton autoclave moving from Germany to India. A German machinery and plant manufacturer commissioned DACHSER to ship the gas-tight sealable pressure vessel to India. The logistics company tapped its Air & Sea logistics team to precisely plan the shipment’s journey from Germany to Bangalore, India, tackling challenges along the way that smaller shipments do not face. The autoclave left the plant in Coesfeld on a flatbed headed to Lüdinghausen. A 450-ton mobile crane then loaded the cargo onto an inland vessel that docked in Antwerp. Next, the autoclave embarked on a 21-day voyage to Chennai, India as break bulk. After it arrived in Chennai, it still had 217 miles to travel to reach its final destination. This last leg was completed on the road, which required some special considerations. For example, all 28 tires on the trailer needed to be replaced to allow it to navigate a railway underpass. Concrete separation blocks needed to be removed in one area so that the vehicle could turn around there, and excavation pits in the plant had to be filled in to allow delivery. In all, the last leg took two weeks to complete. TRACKING 60 TONS ACROSS TWO CONTINENTS
12 Inbound Logistics • April 2023
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