The Great British Bake Off is one of the nation’s favourite television programmes. We love to settle down on the sofa with a cup of tea and a biscuit and watch the drama and delights of the kitchen unfold before us. However, what would the programme be like if it were called ‘The Great British Freight Off’? Delivery work is not short of drama, and to me it always appears to be a carefully balanced recipe. You need just enough of all of the right ingredients for a successful result. Join me as I imagine the perfect step-by-step recipe for your haulage delivery work!
Preparing Your Ingredients
Just as any good baker will make sure that all ingredients are ready before baking, a successful freight forwarding operation calls for excellent planning. Tell your head chef – the operations manager, of course! – to forget the butter, flour, sugar and eggs and instead focus on the fleets. Instead of mixing aromatic spices together for a sweet cinnamon bun, the operations manager must ensure that all of the fleets are stocked with the correct goods and assign a driver to each vehicle.
It’s All in the Timing
As any devotee of Mary Berry knows, timing is crucial. Most of the dramatic, cake-based failures that we watch on screen met their downfall through careless timing. Opening an oven too soon, or too late, can have tragic consequences for a beautiful lemon meringue. Experience is necessary to produce a delicious creation that is ‘just right’.
Although Mary Berry’s famous ‘soggy bottoms’ tend not to be a major problem in delivery work – I hope! – good timing is still crucial. So, before you put your batter in the oven, or send your drivers out on their delivery routes, make sure that you have a seamless delivery schedule in place.
Maximise your profits by keeping your freight forwarding costs effective. For example, ensuring that your shipments arrive in good time means that you don’t have drivers being paid to wait around for goods. Sorting out the timings of your shipments will hugely decrease the number of empty runs that your drivers are making. Drivers who have another delivery scheduled would otherwise have to leave port with an empty truck – what a waste!
Equally, try not to get too ahead of schedule. If you rush a bake, you end up with either a dry cake or a soggy mess. If you rush your delivery work, clients end up with early deliveries that they are not prepared for, perhaps damaging your repeat custom.
Add Something Special
Like any true craftsman or -woman, a baker is constantly improving their skills. They are always looking to learn new things, and to innovate and improve old, tired recipes. Similarly, your company should constantly be looking for ways to improve its freight forwarding so that you can offer your clients the most up-to-date transportation options. This way, you ensure mutually beneficial working relationships with all of your clients.
Could you win the Great British Freight Off?!
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching delivery work with available drivers. Over 5,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.