How Pool Distribution Can Cut Your Costs

Posted by Averitt Express on 1/1/10 11:12 AM

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You work hard to serve a growing number of customers — and each new customer brings new shipping needs. Are you so busy you’re losing sight of the larger picture?

Step back for just a minute. Could you be using pool distribution to improve efficiency and service?

Say you regularly ship multiple LTL loads from your distribution center in the Northeast to customers throughout the South — most of them 550 miles away or more. So, you go to a lot of effort every day to get a couple dozen LTL trucks docked, loaded and on the road to your customers.

“There are at least two major disadvantages to this approach,” said Rogers Luna, Averitt’s vice president of sales. “First, you’re using multiple carriers with their own pricing, service times and paperwork requirements. Second, your shipments are handled multiple times as they travel long distances through the carriers' LTL networks, slowing transit times and increasing the chances of damaged or misrouted shipments. That leads to plenty of headaches and inefficiency.”

Pool distribution could drastically reduce the number of carriers you use — which means fewer trucks at your dock waiting to be loaded. You could also cut a day or more off your transit times while reducing shipment damages. So how does it work?

First, instead of loading multiple LTL shipments at your facility, you combine, or “pool,” individual orders to build truckloads, reducing the number of trucks you use each day. The full truckloads then travel from your facility to a centralized distribution center in the heart of the destination market region. There, the truckloads are sorted and segmented into short-haul LTL loads. Finally, “last mile” service to your customers is handled via an LTL distribution network.

How pool distribution helps you gain efficiency:

  • Fewer trucks to schedule and load at your facility and fewer carriers to deal with
  • The carrier performs sort and segmentation instead of your staff
  • Better transit times thanks to truckload linehaul into destination market
  • Less handling results in reduced risk of damage claims from your customers
  • Averitt can help you implement a pool distribution solution tailored to your unique needs. Even if you already use pool distribution services from another transportation provider, Averitt can make up for common shortcomings other providers often have.

“Unlike many carriers and 3PLs who offer pool distribution service, we have the strength of owning both an LTL and a truckload fleet,” Luna said. “That means you’re assured of complete end-to-end visibility and a strong level of service. Several of our customers have gained efficiency by allowing us to set up a pool distribution operation for them. We can find a solution that makes sense for you — and saves dollars for your bottom line.”

Oh, so you already use pool distribution? Here’s how Averitt can make it better for you:

Capacity to handle the total package — from linehaul to distribution to final delivery — thanks to our robust, asset-based LTL and truckload fleets and more than 100 state-of-the-art service centers

Complete visibility from origin to destination — no handing off your shipment from one carrier to the next, losing sight of its whereabouts in the middle of transit

One call does it all — any question, any shipment, any time, you can call our industry-leading customer service associates for a quick, friendly response

Flexibility to do whatever it takes to make your pool distribution go more smoothly — we can even create a dedicated “task force” to handle your distribution operations, including highly trained customer service and operations experts who will be dedicated to making sure your needs are met

Do you ship large volumes of LTL shipments into a region that’s far from your production or distribution facilities? Want to learn more about how pool distribution could benefit your operation? Click here for more information.

Topics: Distribution, Shipping Tips

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