The leading shippers capture this knowledge by preparing and maintaining written shipping manuals that detail all aspects of a company’s freight operations (e.g. locations of manufacturing facilities and distribution centres, hours of operation, loading and unloading processes, appointment and delivery times, drop trailer or live load and other key shipping information). The shipping manual outlines the company’s major types of freight shipments, how they are classified and measured (e.g. height, length and width), typical shipment weights and photographs. Any other distinguishing features such as types of material (e.g. hazardous), the state in which the freight must be maintained (e.g. dry, frozen, chilled etc.), their freight handling requirements (e.g. forklifts, pallet jacks) and loading requirements (e.g. do not load with chemicals) must also be documented.
Very few people are experts in all of these areas. To be successful, transportation professionals must have an understanding of what they know and what they don’t know. They need to know where to go if they require expertise in an area they don’t have. Specifically they should have completed at least a certificate-based program from a college (e.g. CITT, P. Log) or university (e.g. Penn State, Tennessee). They should attend the leading industry conferences (e.g. SMC3, CSCMP, Surface Transportation Summit) so they can remain current with the latest industry developments. Top performing shippers should subscribe to the leading industry publications (e.g. American Shipper, Canadian Shipper, Journal of Commerce, Logistics Management, Inbound Logistics) and network with other professionals in the industry.
Becoming a Best in Class Shipper is clearly a lifelong pursuit; it can be a very fulfilling career choice.
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Dan Goodwill, President, Dan Goodwill & Associates Inc. has over 30 years of experience in the logistics and transportation industries in both Canada and the United States. Dan has held executive level positions in the industry including President of Yellow Transportation’s Canada division, President of Clarke Logistics (Canada’s largest Intermodal Marketing Company), General Manager of the Railfast division of TNT and Vice President, Sales & Marketing, TNT Overland Express.
Goodwill is currently a consultant to manufacturers and distributors, helping them improve their transportation processes and save millions of dollars in freight spend. Mr. Goodwill also provides consulting services to investors, vendors to the trucking industry, transportation and logistics organizations. All posts by Dan Goodwill