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b2ap3_thumbnail_dreamstime_xl_9421932.jpgManaging Inbound Freight is often overlooked or not optimally managed as an opportunity for cost savings in many companies. This is a conclusion we have come to after working with a range of companies and industries over the past 13 years. When we are invited to meet with a manufacturer or distributor of freight, the priority is usually finding cost savings on outbound freight, not inbound freight. This seems to be the result of several factors.

First, many companies are not able to determine how much they are paying for inbound freight. Freight costs are often embedded in the “landed cost” of the products; the actual freight cost component is not identified. Many companies have poor visibility into their inbound freight activity.

Second, some companies don’t care about their inbound freight costs. They take the landed cost of their inbound shipments and add a markup. They are satisfied with this approach.

Third, some companies are concerned about upsetting their vendors by asking them what they pay for freight. These companies may be very dependent on certain vendors for specific products and have a perception that by engaging in a dialogue on freight costs, an area that the vendor has historically managed on their own, this may encourage the vendor to give priority to other customers. In some situations there is the perception that because the vendor is a large company, they are able to negotiate better rates than the manufacturer receiving the goods.

Fourth, companies often have a Transportation or Logistics Manager who is responsible for outbound freight; inbound freight is managed, unmanaged or mismanaged separately by the purchasing/procurement department. Shippers who take charge of Inbound Freight Transportation can achieve savings in a number of areas.

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