CAI Transportation Blog

19 May, 2017

How important is it to use an asset-based 3PL?


If you’ve been managing your supply chain entirely in-house, and are ready to start working with a third-party logistics provider, it can be tough to know where to start your search. There are so many factors to consider, and so many providers to choose between.

When looking at potential logistics partners, in addition to considering their reputation, cost, and areas of expertise, one factor may come up: do they have their own equipment or not? An asset-based 3PL owns some or all of the equipment needed to manage your supply chain, whereas a non-asset based logistics provider (or broker) gets your goods moved entirely through a network of trusted partners.

Is it preferable to use an asset-based player or a non-asset-based one? Let’s take a look at how they each stack up on convenience, cost, and stability:

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03 May, 2017

How to secure transportation capacity for your freight

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It’s a supply chain manager’s nightmare. You need to get your goods from point A to point B but capacity is tight and demand is high. Instead of having carriers compete for your business, you’ve got to compete for a carrier to choose your freight. And that’s not something you planned for.

When capacity is tight and demand is high, rates increase and carriers become more selective about the freight they accept. Don’t get stuck with your goods or pay over-the-top amounts to get your goods where they need to be. With a little planning and communication, you can work toward securing capacity, so you’re not paying the price of high demand. Follow these steps to get the transportation capacity you need, when you need it.


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26 Apr, 2017

6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Logistics Partner

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Moving goods from point A to B? Sounds easy enough, but we all know that managing supply chain and logistics can get complicated. There’s warehousing, transportation, and distribution to consider. On top of the actual plans for shipping, there are also things like regulations, licenses, truckers, and taxes to worry about. Did we mention unexpected shipping costs?

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21 Apr, 2017

What is a 3PL Company and Why Should You Use One?

what is a 3pl and why should you use one

For supply chain managers with large operations, having a working knowledge of where all goods are at all times is crucial. But unless everything runs on a predictable and precise schedule— and it occasionally doesn't— this can be difficult to maintain. Managing a supply chain from end-to-end involves more expertise and visibility than most people are capable of handling on their own.

That’s why instead of handling the entire process in-house, many supply chain managers choose to work with third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to help them ensure the successful transportation of their goods.

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13 Apr, 2017

Why Cheap International Shipping Isn’t Worth It

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If your company ships items internationally, you know how expensive and complicated it can be to get your goods to their destination safely and on time. There are many reasons for this, including variations in customs and regulations, fluctuating fuel and labor costs, and the challenges of maintaining visibility during the shipping process.

When choosing a carrier to ship your items, it may be tempting to cut through the clutter by singling out the shipper with the lowest price point. With pressure to focus on your bottom line and to maximize profits, it’s understandable that you’d look for low cost international shipping to save money. However, focusing exclusively on a low price without taking other crucial factors into consideration can be a costly mistake.

The bottom line is that international shipping can be expensive if you want to get it right. When shopping around for a good price, you’ll likely find that most established carriers charge about the same amount, with small variations. So, when you see a carrier offering a much lower price than their competitors, it should raise a red flag.

Here are a few reasons why cheap international shipping isn't always worth it:

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31 Mar, 2017

How to Minimize Unexpected Transportation Costs

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Any business that depends on having goods moved from one place to another has experienced the frustration of unexpectedly high and fluctuating shipping costs. When these expenses increase without warning, managing a budget can become difficult; as does setting expectations when you don’t know what to expect.

There are various factors that can cause shipping costs to rise. While some are complex and beyond your control, there are strategies you can adopt to keep your actual shipping costs in line with your projections and within budget. Here are a few things that might help you minimize unexpected costs and get a more accurate idea of prices from the beginning:

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29 Mar, 2017

Important Regulation Updates You Should Know for Logistics in 2017

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In the first days of his presidency, Trump ordered a regulation freeze. In an executive order, President Trump told federal agencies to remove two existing regulations for each new one proposed. The delays that followed these actions have caused confusion across many industries. This has left a lot in question about rules affecting the logistics industry.

Here is a quick report on some important industry regulations for logistics in 2017 and their status.

 Learn more about the regulations and trends changing the industry in our latest  ebook.

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15 Mar, 2017

What Causes Price Fluctuations in Transportation?

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Price fluctuation to the cost of shipping is commonplace and often confusing, even for companies that regularly work with logistics partners. Why is it that the same size shipment costs more or less than it did the last time? There are a number of complex reasons that go into the price you’re quoted. Here are a few of them to keep in mind:

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08 Mar, 2017

How to Prepare for Holiday Season Shipping

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Our apologies to Charlie Brown, but it doesn’t look like the holiday season will be getting any less commercial anytime soon. And of course, the frenetic pace is not just limited to the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas any more. According to a 2016 survey, 56.69% of Americans say they start their holiday shopping before Black Friday. In fact, 35% of shoppers get started before November.

It should come as no surprise that the busy season for shipping is occurring earlier and earlier. Many companies begin ramping up their production and inventory as early as July and August in preparation for the onslaught of holiday shoppers. As a result, pricing for logistics services can rise significantly in the last half of the year.

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01 Mar, 2017

This Year's 5 Big Logistics Trends that will Make an Impact on your Business

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Heading into 2017, business owners had a lot of questions. Today, they still await the new administration’s actions on regulations and initiatives like the ACA, H-1B Visa program and a trillion-dollar investment in infrastructure. While much remains in question, we can always count on industry trends to impact and inform the decisions we make for our businesses in the year ahead.

From production and transportation to warehousing and supply chain management, there are many components that make up the world of logistics. And changes to any of these component parts can affect what’s happening in the logistics marketplace. Technology, for example, heavily influences the industry, and revenue could be negatively impacted if companies are caught off guard or are slow to adjust.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the industry trends to look out for in 2017. From changing technology to evolving standards and regulations, getting a jump on what may be coming your way can help you make the right decisions for your business.

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