CAI Transportation Blog

14 Jun, 2017

Let your 3PL handle bumps in the road


When it comes to managing a supply chain for your organization, the stakes are often high. Not only is your freight valuable, but so are the relationships between you and your suppliers, distributors, and any other involved parties. Your ability to ensure that your goods make it to their destination on time and in good condition can make or break your reputation in your industry. It’s important to get it right as much as possible.

Unfortunately, there are so many aspects of the transportation process that are outside your control. Weather patterns, delays due to traffic congestion, problems with infrastructure, and other factors can put a dent in even a well-developed logistics plan. While these obstacles typically aren’t the fault of any one party, and often aren’t preventable, the fact remains: your goods still need to get where they’re going, safely and as close to the original schedule as possible.

So how can you ensure that unexpected logistics hiccups don’t destroy your schedule, budget, or reputation?

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07 Jun, 2017

3PL vs. Freight Brokers: What's the difference?


When you are looking for a logistics partner to help your supply chain run efficiently, finding the right partner can be a tall order. There are many factors to consider, and common industry jargon often creates more confusion than clarity.

For instance, the terms “freight broker” and “third-party logistics” (or 3PL) are sometimes used interchangeably. However, there are a few key differences between these two services, and when you’re looking for a new logistics partner, it’s helpful to know what they each do.

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31 May, 2017

How to determine if rail or over-the-road trucking is better for your business

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Moving your freight requires more than loading a shipment on a truck and hoping everything arrives on time and in shape. As a supply chain manager, you want to be sure you’ve got the best method of transportation for your freight, whatever it may be. There’s been a lot of back and forth over the years about whether it’s better to transport freight using railroads or trucks. Ultimately, the method of transportation you use depends on the specific needs of your freight and your business. We've broken down the main domestic shipping options to help you understand and make the right choice for your cargo.

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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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