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3 Logistics Options for Small and Mid-Sized Canadian Manufacturers

Updated on March 12, 2012

Small Canadian manufacturers have a variety of options when it comes to shipping their products. Many companies outsource their shipping operations to transportation services or 3rd party logistics companies. Effective outsourcing of shipping operations frees up manufacturing companies to focus more on enhancing their existing services and products.Third party logistics companies can be either asset-based or non asset-based. Another more recent option that manufacturing companies are turning to is logistics software. Below is a review of the different logistics options available to small and mid-sized Canadian manufacturers.

Asset-based Logistics

Asset-backed logistics companies operate their own equipment. In Canada, there are two categories of asset-backed logistics companies:

· Transportation Service Companies

Transportation companies focus solely on the transport of goods. Their assets pertain to anything related to transport services including trucks, trailers and vans. This can be a good option for smaller companies seeking to ship their goods by ground. Most transportation companies offer a variety of shipping solutions like Truckload (TL), Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) and Intermodal shipping that can reduce the cost of the shipping while improving delivery time.

· 3rdParty Logistics Management Companies

Asset-based logistics management companies handle all technological and managerial tasks. They can oversee technology and information systems management including computerized shipment and fleet tracking data. These companies can also offer a host of other services including day to day management of administrative functions and provide warehousing and distribution operations.

Non Asset-based Logistics

Non asset-backed 3rd party logistics companies do not necessarily possess or operate their own equipment or storage facilities. Instead, they act as brokers, coordinating the services of multiple subcontractors including warehouses and transport companies. They usually work within a wide network, providing a full range of transportation logistics and freight services including freight moving insurance. They do not have their own assets and, as a result, they are not limited to any particular transport service or warehouse. They can select from a wide choice of options to negotiate the best deal for the customer.

Logistics Management Software

Increasingly small and mid-size companies are taking control of their own shipping needs using logistics management software.Transportation software offers integrated shipping solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of a company. Most freight brokerage software includes a user-friendly interface that allows the non expert to determine the most cost-effective integrated shipping option from a wide variety of recommended service providers.

Choosing the right logistics option will depend on a number of factors relating to the specific needs of your company.Regardless if you choose an asset-based, non asset-based, logistic management software or some combination of the three, getting to know what each option offers will help you make the best decision.


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