It’s safe to say no freight business would ever turn down the opportunity to increase its revenue. In fact, boosting revenue is a year-on-year goal for most companies, with significant time and effort put into finding new revenue streams and winning new business.
But bringing in new business isn’t the only way to increase revenue. Reducing revenue leakage caused by your current processes can add hundreds of thousands (if not more) back into a business without having to find new income avenues. And one of the biggest culprits of revenue leakage for transport and logistics companies? Ugly freight.
The loss of income due to hidden freight costs can be substantial – much more than some companies realise. Yet “fixing” the ugly freight problem is often put in the too hard basket and overlooked as a way to win back revenue, due to the complexities that surround the process, and the lack of affordable solutions.
But these days, managing ugly freight – and the transport and costing issues that comes with it – is a lot easier to combat. Understanding the losses you’re wearing and adjusting your internal processes could be all it takes to meet your end-of-year revenue goals.
Transport companies are feeling the pressure to deliver
Managing ugly, non-standard, palletised or awkward freight is just that – awkward. Unfortunately, as businesses expand and demand for freight services grow, so do the issues and costs surrounding non-standard freight. While the costs are well known, T&L and postal companies currently face some significant roadblocks when it comes to actually reducing cases of mis-measured freight:
Demands on transport companies are higher than ever.
Client and customer expectations are climbing – everyone has seen what’s possible in terms of high speed, low-cost delivery. Companies who can’t deliver within expected time frames need to have good excuses as to why not, and will fall out of favour if it becomes a habit. Movement of freight becomes a high priority, which doesn’t allow for time-consuming cubing practices.
Processes are mostly manual.
Freight measuring processes are still highly manual for many companies. It’s not uncommon for the process to simply be someone walking around manually measuring and recording discrepancies, before handing off their notes to a second party to manually enter into the system. Recognising mistakes can take days or weeks, at which point it’s likely too late to expect payment – or to be able to prove the mistake in the first place.
Customer service is the priority.
When increasing (or at the very least, maintaining) revenue is a must, retaining customers and reducing any friction that might arise is a first priority. This means that even when ongoing discrepancies do arise, there is less of a desire to go back and charge more to the customer. This could put them out, especially when the notification is delayed. Many businesses consider it better to just wear the cost than risk hurting the relationship.
The cost can be higher than you think
Each of these roadblocks becomes hard to overcome when the business focus remains on increasing revenue through more business. Attention is purely on protecting customers, moving freight faster, and at-any-cost customer service.
However, by switching your focus to reducing revenue leakage, there is an equal opportunity to increase revenue in a way that is completely within your control – and doesn’t bare the cost of acquiring a new customer.
However, it can be hard to commit to investment in something that is so different from your normal revenue-seeking activities if you can’t see the number you’ll be winning back. Revenue leakage from ugly freight hits businesses in two ways.
First, from the cost of the transport itself. As “the middleman”, transport companies often wear the cost of mismeasured freight and associated extra transport costs because neither the seller nor end customer wants to pay more than the original quote.
Second, is the extra costs that come from having freight that is a size or weight that you weren’t prepared for. Extra trucks, extra driver wages, road usage costs, non-capacity loads etc.
It’s these extra costs that usually lead to business underestimating the real cost of ugly freight. To truly recognise the benefit of reducing freight-induced revenue leakage, you need to understand the extent of the loss that is happening. And understand that the bigger the business grows, the larger these costs may become.
Changes to help protect your revenue and your client relationships
Reducing revenue leakage caused by ugly freight is in your best interest, not your customer’s. Therefore, the process of managing it needs to be driven by you, with internal changes made to your processes and systems.
To reduce the impact of mis-measured or under-quoted freight, you should prioritise:
- Improving freight measuring and recording techniques to minimise errors and speed up the process
- Reducing the time between when discrepancies are discovered, recorded, and passed on to the customer to allow for quote updates
- Recording ongoing mismeasurements to start proactive conversations with customers
These changes can help reduce revenue leakage without compromising the customer service or speed at which you can deliver for your clients. And they don’t need to include large scale change or expensive equipment.
There are a few unique solutions that now exist to help transport companies better measure and weight their freight. No longer are the options restricted to million-dollar sorting machines or slow manual measuring collection. New technology is filling the gap, with simple software made for cubing freight and providing real-time data.
Leopard Cube is one such innovative tool, which combines the latest rugged mobile scanning computers with a durable measuring tape to better measure and record data for immediate discrepancy alerts, system integration, and reporting straight away – allowing users to properly cube, quote and transport any sized freight.
Discover how transport & logistics and postal companies are already saving hundreds of thousands in annual revenue using Leopard Cube. Or sign up for a 90-day free trial to try the technology for yourself.