Warehouse Cost Operations: Maximizing Efficiency While Keeping Overhead Down

Warehouse Cost OperationsChoosing between LTL and dedicated truck transport shipping is only one of many daily decisions that influences company overhead. As a business owner, you have to be strategic with your outgoing inventory in order to keep costs down.  Warehouse cost operations also include handling in-house inventory, staff management, and the use of equipment and technology.


Labor accounts for about 50% of overhead costs. It only makes sense, therefore, to maximize investment in this area. Here are a few ways to improve employee productivity.

  • Consider flextime schedules to give employees more flexibility
  • Cross-train employees
  • Invest in formal training and certification/re-certification
  • Closely monitor individual employee productivity
  • Enforce safety/OSHA protocols
  • Reward employees who perform well (e.g. volunteer for overtime work, seldom call in sick)

Equipment Use

Are you optimizing equipment use? Does equipment regularly breakdown and bring operations to a halt altogether? Be sure you maximize your use and handling of all equipment.

  • Minimize malfunction with regular inspections by a service vendor
  • Consider short-term rental or leasing instead of buying
  • Make equipment perform double-duty

Daily Operations

Evaluate your daily operations to determine what needs improving.

  • Employ warehouse management software to cut down on logistical error
  • Regularly slot and re-slot depending on sales trend and frequency of use; restructure rack configurations if necessary
  • Keep supervisors on the floor at all times to minimize employee misconduct
  • Enforce best package-handling practices to reduce inventory damage
  • Implement bar coding or RFID scanning to improve stock keeping unit (SKU) tracking

We’ll Help You Save on Warehouse Cost Operations

Have outgoing inventory? Contact Machine Transport to find the best carrier for the job. Shipping also factors into your warehouse cost operations, so get in touch with the right common carrier or line haul shipper. Arranging for the shipping of machine tools is what our crew does with high professionalism. Wherever your company is located in North America, our machine transport service will move your heavy equipment across the street or across North America 365 days of the year. Contact us today for a quote or to discuss your specific project.

Warehouse Cost Operations Experts

Professional Machine Tool Transportation Serving the U.S., Canada & Mexico

Posted on July 16, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Tech Upgrades Benefit Machine Tool Transport

Machine TransportLTL truckers really have their work cut out. Aside from the long hours, there is also quite a bit of risk involved. According to a report by US News, truckers are involved in 250,000 crashes in the United States every year. The good news is that very few of these accidents result in a fatality. Many of the accidents, though, result in delays or damage to freight. Luckily, the number of fender benders is expected to drop as tech upgrades for the freight industry become more commonplace.

Blind Spot Detection

Most truckload line haul services are now adding blind spot detection systems to their trucks. This includes other advanced features like lane departure warnings.  This system alerts drivers if they’re slowly veering off road.

Extra Set of Eyes

The auto company Volvo is also in the midst of developing new safety systems that utilize real-time data gathered through cameras and radar systems. This serves as an extra set of eyes that scan and warn drivers of road hazards or the presence of pedestrians. According to Volvo’s research team, roughly 90% of large truck accidents are caused by human error. The wide-scale use of new safety systems will hopefully bring that percentage down.

The tech giant Samsung has developed a screen display which is placed in the rear of tractor trailers, allowing cars behind to see the road ahead that’s blocked by the trailer.

Cutting-Edge Machine Freight Tech Upgrades

As a freight broker, Machine Transport is completely up-to-date with the latest news in the industry. Contact us to arrange for your next machine tool transportation. As common carriers and line haul shippers invest in the latest tech upgrades, they’ll improve day-to-day function and prompt delivery of your machine tools across North America.

Providing the Latest Machine Freight Tech Upgrades

Serving Manufacturing Industries Throughout North America

Posted on June 18, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Common Shipping and Transportation Terms in Canada

Common Shipping and Transportation Terms CanadaIf you plan on using any type of carrier for transporting cargo in Canada, there are some basic terminologies you will come across in a contract or in spoken conversation with a broker. Learn what these common shipping and transportation terms are to avoid confusion and miscommunication with your carrier.

Glossary of Common Shipping Terms

Accessorial Charge – These charges are added fees for additional equipment or services used, such as the use of ramps, tarps, or dunnage.

Backhaul – Transport vehicle returning to its point of origin after cargo delivery.

Bill of Lading – The paper or digital document issued by the carrier that outlines the details and provisions of the shipment, including but not limited to: weight of cargo, type of cargo and estimated destination arrival

Consignee –The person or company the freight is being delivered to

Dead-heading – A transportation vehicle traveling without freight

Dedicated Truck – A dedicated truck carries cargo for one specific client with no other freight in tow.

Demurrage – Additional fee from prolonged use of carrier time and equipment. This is usually caused by untimely loading or unloading due to inaccurately measured or weighed cargo on the part of the client.

Freight Class – The classification of freight based on the type of cargo, weight, and measurement. This is usually what determines the shipping charges for LTL shipping.

Freight Forwarder – Similar to a broker but also handles logistics as it pertains to international cargo, lost freight, etc.

Line Haul – The rate charged per mile

Over-dimensional – Freight which is above the legal dimensions and/or weight and cannot be broken into smaller cargo

Truck Order not Used (TORD) – A shipment which has been canceled by the client after the transport vehicle is already dispatched. The client will usually be required to pay a fee for this.

Know These Common Shipping and Transportation Terms

Knowing these common shipping and transportation terms helps ensure you won’t be left scratching your head when you review the contract or speak with a broker/carrier. If you’re arranging for the transport of machine tools, contact the professionals at Machine Transport. We’re experts in the area of arranging national or international transportation of delicate machine tools for manufacturing industries.

Help With Common Shipping and Transportation Terms in Canada

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Posted on May 18, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business



Machine Tool Shipping–Quote vs Rate

machine tool shipping

In machine tool shipping there’s a difference between freight quote and freight rate, even though the two terms are often used interchangeably. Understanding the difference is key to avoid being overcharged.

What’s the Difference between a Quote and a Rate?

A shipping quote is what the total transportation cost SHOULD be, based on the information you submitted to the shipper. This includes fees associated with the total cargo weight, distance traveled, and services used. The shipping rate, on the other hand, is what the shipment ACTUALLY costs and is printed on the final invoice.

Watch for Common Errors

In a perfect world, the freight quote would match, or almost match, the freight rate. When the figures match, there’s no problem; both the client and shipper are happy. When there’s a difference in the two figures, however, this causes problems, problems that could have been avoided.  Common causes for inconsistencies between quote and rate include the cargo not being accurately weighed, measured or prepped. Another cause stems from services used and signed for by the consignee but not included in the freight quote. To avoid this trouble, always be sure your consignee is up to date with the exact services used and paid for upon delivery. Clear communication is the key to preventing the carrier or line haul shipper from tacking on hidden and additional fees.

Hire Machine Transport to Coordinate Machine Tool Shipping

When shipping intricate and expensive machine tools, it’s important to use line haul carriers who know what they’re doing. Machine Transport works with the best carriers in the industry to ensure your machine tool gets shipped safely and smoothly, allowing your operations to stay on schedule.  Contact us today to learn more about us!

Expert Machine Tool Shipping for the Industrial Sector

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada & Mexico

Posted on April 17, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

How to Avoid Additional LTL Freight Fees

Don’t Get Blindsided by Surplus LTL Freight Fees

To avoid additional LTL freight fees, be certain your machine tool awaiting transport is measured down to a T and prepared for shipment. This is especially relevant when arranging for LTL shipping.

Measure, Double Measure, and Triple Measure

Be Certain your freight is measured exactly and packaged according to LTL carrier specifications. All freight must be securely wrapped so that it can be safely transported on the open road. Once your freight is wrapped and protected from the elements, be sure to get a precise measurement of the height, length and weight. Accurate measurements are vital; carriers will often re-measure and weigh your freight using a laser instrument. If the measurements are significantly different than what you listed, then expect to get hit with a penalty fee.

Finally, have all freight ready to go by the loading dock. This will make the job easier for the riggers, movers, and the line haul driver. It also prevents delays and expedites the process, especially for the riggers. This helps you save money if you are paying the rigging crew by the hour. Continue Reading →

How to Prevent Trailer Creep

trailer creepSafety is of utmost importance. Warehouse injuries account for over 95 million lost work days every year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. One common form of accident, especially among forklift operators, is a situation known as trailer creep. Here’s how to avoid a serious accident from this phenomenon.

What Is Trailer Creep?

In a loading dock, the transport truck or trailer is attached to a dock leveler. This enables efficient loading when operating a forklift, dolly, or pallet jack. When a forklift makes multiple trips back and forth, the repeated motion causes separation between the truck and dock leveler. The gap widens but may not be immediately noticeable by staff members. If the gap widens enough, it can cause an entering or exiting forklift to collapse suddenly to the floor. This can severely injure the operator and damage the forklift.

How to Prevent Trailer Creep

Adhere to strict safety protocol. OSHA has established guidelines in place for trucks, which must be secured using a wheel chock. However, wheel chocks are not 100% fail-proof. The truck can still lurch, or the gear can collapse. Furthermore, wheel chocks can also slip on wet surfaces.

In addition to wheel chocks, we also suggest using wheel-based restraints. These are compatible with most trailers and dedicated transport trucks. Mount the restraint to the dock approach from the rear tire; this prevents the vehicle from gradually lurching forward.

Whatever safety equipment you use, establish a built-in safety check. Perform a visual of every implemented tool. Chocks and other restraint devices can and do wear out over time.

Make Safety Practices a Priority

Arrange your next shipment with Machine Transport. Contact us for a free quote. Injuries are bound to occur in a blue-collar industry such as this. However, you can minimize the incidences by enforcing safety protocols. Trailer creep is completely preventable.

Machine Tool Transport Across North America

Serving the North American territories

Through-Trailer Vs Transloading: What’s the Difference?

through-trailer, transloading, cross-border shippingMany companies that have arranged for across-the-border transport know the immense logistic hurdles. Lack of preparation can result in huge delays once the freight reaches the border. This is where through-trailer and transloading come in. Here’s how to understand their key differences so you’ll be better able to choose the right shipping method.

Understanding the Border-Crossing Process

Any transport to Mexico typically requires what is known as a drayage carrier. Drayage is the process of transporting the freight the short distance from the U.S. border to Mexico’s side of border. “Through-trailer” and “transloading” are two forms of drayage.

Through-Trailer and Transloading at a Glance

With a through-trailer, the freight remains in the same trailer or dedicated truck transport throughout the entire journey.

In transloading, the freight is transferred to another trailer, truck, or van once it reaches U.S./Mexico border.

Which Is Faster?

There is an assumption that a through-trailer is quicker. The idea is that since the freight remains in the same vehicle, delivery time is faster. After all, it does take time to transfer a heavy machine tool to another vehicle or flatbed trailer. In most cases, the additional time is only a matter of a few hours and not days.

Breaking the Seal

Another concern is that with transloading, the seal on the trailer will be broken during the transfer between vehicles. Here’s the reality: due to the complex government regulation regarding cross-border shipment, the seal may be broken anyway.


Transloading carriers are typically more available. This is probably due to the preconceived notions about the speed of through-trailers being and the seal issue. In any case, availability shouldn’t be a major problem for either the through-trailer or transloading method, provided that you leave the arrangements to a broker like Machine Transport.

We Handle the Border Crossing Logistics

We can connect you with the best carrier for a shipment that requires cross-border movement. Due to the heavier logistics involved, leave it to us to determine whether through-trailer or transloading is best.

Cross-Border Machine Tool Transport

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Machine Tool Relocation: Why You May Need to Move Your Equipment

machine tool relocation, machinery relocationAt some point, you may need to move a heavy piece of machinery or an appliance, such as a commercial HVAC unit. After years in the industry, we are familiar with the most common reasons for machine tool relocation. Here are some reasons that may warrant transporting machinery.

Changing Facilities

As a company expands, it may relocate to a new facility. That means all of the equipment comes along. Most materials, such as furniture, can be transported in a typical moving truck. However, machine tools, forklifts, or other prohibitively heavy items, will require transport via trailer, even if it’s just moving a few blocks.

Equipment Upgrading

Like cars, new models for machine tools emerge every now and then. If your existing equipment is nearing the double digits in age, then an upgrade may be in order. You may need to rely on a dedicated truck transport to bring the new machine tool in and haul the old one out. Continue Reading →

What Are the Advantages of Cross-Docking?

cross-dockingSpeed and productivity are the two most important factors when it comes to preparation for an outbound shipment. Cross-docking is one warehouse processing structure that cuts down on time and minimizes errors, thereby reducing labor and saving on costs.

What Is Cross-Docking?

Not all buildings are optimized for cross-docking. Cross-docking warehouses require that inbound docks be on one end of the building and outbound docks be on the opposite end. The freight is unloaded from the inbound dock where it is screened, processed, and sorted in the warehouse. When the freight is ready, it is moved into the outbound dock for loading.

The Advantages

As mentioned, cross-docking results in less handling, which cuts down on labor time and handling. This reduces the chances of damage; the time saved also cuts down on the outbound truck’s waiting time. Most carriers and linehaul shippers charge a surplus fee if the waiting time exceeds a pre-established limit. This is especially true for LTL transports, which contain time-sensitive freight from other customers. Continue Reading →

Acknowledge the Hard Work of Drivers for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

national truck driver appreciation, truck driver appreciation, driver appreciationNational Truck Driver Appreciation Week is actually in September. However, we don’t mind mentioning this in October because we believe driver appreciation should be year-round. Drivers—whether they be common carriers or linehaul shippers—sacrifice far more than we give them credit for.

Trucking Industry Statistics

The trucking industry is a big contributor of the economy and supplies jobs to able-bodied individuals all over the country. Here are some interesting food-for-thought figures:

  • Trucking comprises 5.8% of full-time jobs in the U.S.
  • Freight trucks moved more than 10.8 billion tons of cargo in 2017
  • The average trucker drives more than 100,000 miles per year
  • In the past decade, emissions from freight trucks have been reduced by half
  • The industry generated over $700 billion in 2017
  • As of 2019, there are approximately 3.5 million full-time truck drivers

The above figures are made possible due to the dedication of drivers that make up the backbone of the industry. Continue Reading →