The Importance of Integrating Freight and Logistics Management
Posted by World Trade Distribution
Filed Under: Container Freight
Management is a general word that can be used in any number of industries. It refers to the general oversight of a project or operation, but the word is so generic that professionals don’t stop to think about what it really entails.
In the trucking industry, it’s likely that you’ll hear some people use the phrases freight management and logistics management as though they were the same set of responsibilities. These two definitions are technically different, but they are related. We’ll look at why it’s so important for companies to integrate the two successfully for the best possible results.
Freight and Logistics
When it comes down to it, the supply chain is a constant problem in motion. Decision-makers have to use a combination of experience and instinct to ensure that everything keeps chugging along.
Logistics management references the entire scope of planning, including reverse flow, points of origin, and acquisition. Fleet management, warehousing, materials handling, inventory control, demand analysis, vendor planning — these would all fall under the category of logistics management.
You can think of freight management as a more specific kind of logistics management. A freight manager is overseeing freight in a way that promotes efficiency and the prompt delivery of items. Carriers and shippers alike look to managers to keep everything on track. There is plenty of overlap when it comes to the industry, but the highlight is that freight management is a component of logistics management, usually more concentrated on solving one subset of problems rather than the larger equation.
Combining the Two
You can see why a logistics manager would be critical to a freight manager. If materials aren’t properly packaged by the time they make it on the truck, it will have a ripple effect on the entire supply chain. If there aren’t enough vehicles in the fleet, managers won’t have the resources to coordinate shipments.
Freight management can only be carried out when logistics management is overseeing the entire operation. This is not to say that freight managers don’t have an inordinate amount of responsibility. They have to negotiate rates, prepare paperwork, track delivery times, dispatch carriers, and select the best vehicle routes, and handle the invoices.
If there’s a weather emergency or a new tax imposed, the freight manager is often the first name on an emergency list. In some cases, they’re even expected to carry out certain activities, such as fleet management that would normally be left to that of the logistics manager. The two operations are so reliant on each other that they will only function when they’re integrated.
Most operations believe that they’ve successfully combined the two already. However, if there are any separations or communication issues, it won’t necessarily take much for the breaks in the chain to become clear. The best advice from experts is to look carefully at the relationship between the two and identifying any individual gaps that need to be addressed.