Companies across industry lines rely upon shipments of components and products brought in by ships. Once the cargo arrives in a given port, it must be unloaded from the ship and transported from the shipyard to intermodal stations, warehouses and distribution centers. This function can be performed by any company involved with importing, if they have the equipment, personnel and certifications. However, there are three ways that outsourcing port services and drayage is a safer, more economically sound way to manage shipping.
Driver & Equipment Safety
Entrepreneurs often believe that they can, and should, handle every aspect of their business themselves. This is not the case when it comes to transporting cargo from a busy port. Drayage requires a great deal of planning, skill and experience. Drivers that are employed by a third-party logistics provider that offers drayage and port services have all of these attributes. They make hundreds of runs to and from port every year and they know how to safely maneuver their vehicles to avoid collisions, damage to the equipment, or injury to others.
Insulated From Liability
Everything from proper vehicle registration to ensuring drivers are trained, licensed and certified to truck maintenance, repairs and insurance for both the cargo and equipment is provided by the 3PL. In some cases, the shipper may be required to purchase additional cargo insurance, however, the bulk of the coverage is provided by the logistics company. If an accident or other incident occurs at the port, or in transit, the 3PL is liable, not the shipper, per se. That said, it’s up to the shipper to verify that the 3PL they choose has an impeccable safety record along with extensive experience.
Greater Cost Control
When a company performs their own drayage services, they run into one major cost that is difficult to overcome. Their trucks are only carrying cargo one-way and the return trip is a dead-head run that doesn’t make money, but rather costs money. Third-party logistics providers understand that full trucks make more money, and they strive to keep their fleets, and those they’re associated with, as full, and productive as possible. In turn, shippers see a reduction in the shipping charges, which helps bolster profit margin and improves the company’s stability and financial health.
Retrieving cargo from a busy port is a daunting task, and it’s not something that everyone can handle well. This, however, is a specialty of some logistics providers. They’ve spent years operating fleets that service shippers of all sizes and types and can maneuver a port safely and effectively. What’s more, they take on all the responsibility and potential liability and keep your costs low as well.