When you’re looking to have goods picked up and delivered to another location, you’ll want to find a company that goes above and beyond when it comes to warehousing/container drayage services. Drayage, the process of moving shipments from point A to point B, plays a critical role in any sort of intermodal move. That’s why you need to find the right warehousing/container drayage services. A company that offers a range of supply chain solutions is always a good choice so you can rest assured knowing your items will be shipped, stored, and processed as required. Here are a few tips to help you find the right warehousing/container drayage services for your unique needs.
Questions to Ask Any Potential Warehousing/Container Drayage Provider
When it comes to finding the right warehousing/container drayage services, there are a few important questions you should ask any given provider before you choose to commit to them and their services.
1. Do you have storage available?
Do you plan on being there at the time of delivery to pick up your inventory? If not, you’ll need to make sure your provider has storage available after drayage. This means you should look for a provider that offers warehousing solutions wherein your products and/or goods are stored in a safe, secure facility.
2. How do you manage inventory?
Naturally, you’ll want to make sure they’re able to handle drayage and storage adequately. But what comes next? Find out if they’re able to help you manage and organize your products and/or goods properly. Do they have a process in place that makes managing inventory seamless and secure?
3. Do you have extensive experience?
Whenever you’re trusting a provider with your products and/or goods, you want to make sure they have extensive experience in the realm of drayage and warehousing. Make sure you ask about their experience before you move forward. Do they have highly qualified professionals working for them? What type of equipment do they use? This all comes back to experience.
4. Can you help with order fulfillment?
Typically, your products and/or goods will need to be prepared to some degree before they’re shipped to a customer. This might mean re-packing, labeling, and other fulfillment needs must be met. If this is something you’ll need, ask ahead of time if they’re able to help with order fulfillment. If so, what do they provide?
Tips to Ensure You’re Selecting a Reputable, Trustworthy Warehousing/Drayage Provider
Now that you’re aware of what questions to ask, it’s time to look at a few tips to ensure you’re selecting a reputable, trustworthy warehousing/drayage provider that stands out amongst the competition. Here are a few obvious signs you’ve chosen a great provider.
- They value safety above all else: They should possess validated transportation worker identification credential cards, as well as clean driving histories. This shows they value safety above all else.
- They have the capacity to handle your loads: If you have a large number of loads to ship, you should double check that they have the capacity to cover your loads. You don’t want any of your products and/or goods to get lost.
- They have a history of making deliveries on-time: Ask if you’re able to speak with any of their previous customers about their delivery history. You want them to meet your expectations in terms of scheduling deliveries.
- They are responsive when you reach out: Have they been responsive throughout the sales cycle? If so, you can likely count on them to be responsive when you call, whether you’re checking shipment status or confirming receipt of an order.
- They have knowledge of the local market: This is incredibly important yet commonly overlooked. You want them to be able to navigate the gates and traffic at facilities and/or terminals. If they’re not familiar with the local market, this won’t happen.
- They seem well-informed on important topics: They have a huge job to do, and as such, you want them to be well-informed when there’s bad weather coming up, a port is striking, or a driver may have trouble with a specific route.
Lastly, keep any of your specific needs in mind in terms of specialization. Not every warehousing/container drayage provider can meet your requirements when it comes to specialized equipment. If you need something specific, such as reefers or tri-axle chassis, talk to them about it before you book them. If they can’t provide it, you may need to rent what you need. This is especially important if you’re shipping hazardous materials, temperature-sensitive goods or other products that require specific capabilities.
Along the way, make sure you’re using shipping software that can communicate with the warehouse services that you’re considering. The good news is that most solutions do, but it’s also something that you’ll want to discuss with the warehouse prior to contracting them for your shipping needs.
Don’t leave out any details on the goods and/or products you’re looking to ship. Otherwise, you might end up in a situation where the warehousing/container drayage provider isn’t equipped to handle the shipment.