As a college-educated computer scientist, Bastian Späth understands how IT solutions are developed from the ground up. For more than 15 years, he has spent every workday collecting requirements, finding ideas, developing designs, setting up projects and getting them safely across the finish line.
Label creation: visibly print important information
If you make and attach transport labels yourself, you will being doing a lot to help your freight forwarder ensure successful delivery. After all, speed is an important success factor in freight transports – at every single step in the process. Cargo handlers and truck drivers in particular need information that quickly and clearly says what to do. This is generally the shipment and routing information on the packages.
When the freight forwarder works with customers to define a procedure for adding this information to the label and attaching the stickers prior to pickup, it benefits both parties:
- All agents know immediately where a shipment is going.
- The routing information contains additional internal instructions.
- Package handling is much faster.
- Correctly labeled packages can be transported directly without any delays caused by relabelling.
Correct, legible labels thus help everyone handle the goods quickly and efficiently. In short, even something as small as creating labels can play a big role in making transports successful.
Make label creation easy
Because labels are so important for smooth processes, every freight forwarder should work out a label creation process with their customers. Even customers who only order occasional transports can easily and conveniently generate labels themselves. The freight forwarder receives all data required for label printing from the online system for entering transport orders. The forwarder can use the system to provide customers with labels that are perfectly tailored to their needs. Customers then only have to print and apply the labels to the packages. On the other hand, it takes more preparation and organisational integration when shipping orders are generated automatically or semi-automatically because the label creation process has to be integrated into the electronic workflows with suitable software.
Label packages in time
This is also a good way to supply transport labels to customers who submit order data to the forwarding agent from an operational IT system – usually the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system) – using electronic data interchange (EDI). The data can be transferred via the traditional file transfer protocol (FTP) or modern application programming interfaces (APIs). The shipper then receives the completed label from the freight forwarder. All it has to do then is print out the label. The freight forwarder and its customers need to work together to develop a process where the label can be printed and affixed in time for shipment pickup. The freight forwarder should consider its customers' printing equipment: can they produce the desired labels quickly and legibly with their equipment?
Provide routing information electronically
One rather special but common case involves large shippers who transfer the order data electronically but also create the transport labels themselves. They can complete their processes without having to wait for the freight forwarder's label. Nevertheless, logistics service providers still want their internal routing information to be printed on the labels. To achieve this, they can share their data with the shippers for further processing. If freight forwarders persuade their customers to accept this kind of assistance, both will benefit from a much-improved transport process.
Manage the cargo handling
Labels are as important to warehouse workers as correct job data is to planning and billing. It therefore makes sense for customers and freight forwarders to place all valuable information on the packages in a legible form. Modern data processing systems have suitable label creation solutions for every conceivable shipping situation. That means the only thing needed for implementation is a functioning agreement between the parties.
Do you apply meaningful labels to your packages?