Ensuring the urgent transport of goods is an important part of a company's development strategy. According to a study by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, express transport recorded a 2.4% increase in France during the fourth quarter of 2021. Faced with the urgency of the situation, managing a goods transport mission cannot be improvised. It is important to take into account the many organisational constraints, but also to consider the service as a whole: cost, method, packaging, deadlines, etc. The challenge for freight forwarders in charge of urgent transport is to succeed in offering a service that differentiates them from their competitors without skimping on the quality of the service offered.
Discover with Viapost the methods and problems to be faced in managing urgent goods transport.
Urgent parcel transport in the face of new consumer standards
In the digital age, France has completely overhauled its way of consuming: online sales have crossed thresholds never previously reached. E-commerce will account for no less than 13.4% of retail trade in 2021, according to a study conducted by the Fédération E-commerce et Vente À Distance (Fevad). A majority of online shoppers place delivery as one of the main factors in motivating or restraining their purchase and are increasingly demanding about the time it takes to receive their packages. Periods of peak business activity such as Christmas, Black Friday or Cyber Monday represent a huge challenge for every company or logistics platform in charge of the transport, routing and delivery of urgent parcels.
Evolution of urgent freight transport
The intermodal approach to transport has completely reshuffled the deck in terms of parcel logistics management. The modes of transport and delivery diversified to cover more and more customer needs: air, sea, truck, train. The 1970s saw the appearance of the term "express" in the world of transport and added the notion of urgent, rapid and flexible management in the routing and delivery of parcels and goods. The foundations of the "just in time" (JIT) service were laid. A widely popular logistics solution, JIT aims to improve stock management and limit the waste of resources. The production of goods is now based on the principle of demand, rather than supply, in order to limit stocks of unnecessary parcels and significantly reduce costs.
Urgent just-in-time transport promotes:
> Saving of preparation time in the company's logistics warehouse;
> Reducing the obsolescence of goods through on-demand, drip-feed management;
> a significant reduction in the costs associated with the storage of packages;
> the ability to react to fluctuations in orders and periods of peak activity;
> accelerated delivery of parcels.
What are the constraints of urgent parcel transport?
To ensure optimal management of logistics and urgent parcel transport, freight forwarders must be able to respond to the constraints of both customers and goods.
In order to adapt the services mobilised and ensure the proper implementation of the express transport contract, the following should be taken into account:
> the nature of the goods being transported: are they very valuable objects or delicate products that require careful packaging during transport and delivery? Ad valorem insurance can be taken out to cover any damage;
> delivery times. Depending on the urgency of the delivery of the goods required by the customer, various constraints may come into play, such as the immediate and reactive mobilisation of a fleet of vehicles, the anticipation of hazards encountered on the road during road transport or the sometimes difficult accessibility of certain delivery locations such as mountainous areas;
> The size and weight of the parcel are critical to the management of urgent road transport. To avoid costly half-loads for the company, vehicles are often optimised to provide delivery services to several different customers. Depending on the sometimes bulky dimensions of certain goods, the optimisation of vehicles can then be less easy;
> the requested delivery day: a delivery made at the weekend or at unusual times means that express transport management is more restrictive, such as the provision of vehicles and drivers for example.
Urgent goods transport step by step
In order to provide efficient delivery solutions within the deadlines agreed with the customer, freight forwarders must rely on a precise and well-defined logistics organisation. In order to do this, several steps must be followed to make the management activity more fluid and to guarantee efficient express transport missions from pick-up to delivery of the packages:
> Plan urgent transport missions taking into account all time and goods constraints;
> Sort the goods from storage according to the nature, size and urgency of the expected delivery;
> Check the documents required for transport: order form, delivery note, consignment note, etc.;
> Prepare the goods: the packages are packed for transport in cartons or on pallets;
> Loading packages: loading products into vehicles and handing over documents to the driver for signature;
> Delivery of goods.
Using certain management tools to ensure that the work of the team in charge of urgent transport is facilitated is a must in order to gain in speed and efficiency: tracking software to follow the goods or TMS (Transport Management System) to support the management of the drivers, optimise each journey and help with the invoicing of transport missions.
Viapost is the turnkey solution for your exceptional transports! We make it possible to manage your urgent road transport throughout France and on European roads. Our teams aim to provide you with a response in less than two hours to manage the urgency of each situation and provide you with relevant reactive solutions. Finally, we guarantee a high level of respect for the treatment of your parcels and goods as well as for the timetable conditions set beforehand for your delivery. Discover our "just in time" V-freight offer and guarantee a tailor-made express solution to all your customers!