How Does Transportation Affect Logistics?

Transportation is an integral part of logistics. Although scenes of trucks and trains parked by companies on commercial facilities are common, few people know how much the economy depends on reliable transportation.

1. What is transportation?

Transportation has long become one of the largest industries in the world. It refers to the movement of products and raw materials from one destination to another. This process encompasses both the beginning of the supply chain and the final delivery of finished products to consumers.

Transportation is a key link in the logistics chain, which connects the components scattered in every corner. The transportation system properly manages and controls the various components of the supply chain, so that transportation and logistics can work together smoothly, which is enough to prove the strong communication between the various parts of the supply chain.

Import Goods from China Leading Sourcing Agent - ChinaDivision

2. What is the impact of transportation on logistics?

The way transportation affects logistics is as follows:

  • Transportation costs are affected by the company’s factories: warehouses, suppliers, retail locations, and customers, or consumers.
  • Inventory demand is affected by the mode of transportation: high-speed or high-priced transportation systems may require less inventory, while slower, lower-priced transportation systems may require a large amount of inventory.
  • The choice of low-speed or high-speed mode can change the delivery schedule or the way the goods are packed.
  • Packaging will be affected by the carrier’s classification rules and transportation methods.
  • Contract negotiation may change the mode of transportation.

The role of various transportation methods on logistics:

  • Road transportation: highly flexible and can be applied to door-to-door service. Road transportation helps transport goods to locations far away from ports, stations, or loading points.
  • Railway transportation: an important mode of transportation. Compared with roads, railway transportation can transport a large number of goods with high stability and low cost.
  • Air transport: It is usually recommended to ensure quality and is more friendly to high-value goods. The fast delivery speed minimizes transportation risks, thereby improving the overall quality of logistics services and reducing the cost due to the loss of goods in the supply chain.
  • Water transportation: The most commonly used transportation method in logistics, because it has the advantages of large capacity and low transportation cost, and is mainly used for international trade.
Import Goods from China - ChinaDivision
Import Goods from China – ChinaDivision

3. In conclusion

Transportation is critical to the success of logistics programs. The operation of transportation determines the efficiency of product delivery.

A strong system requires a clear logistics framework and appropriate transportation strategies to enhance production procedures. Logistics managers, researchers, and transportation planners need to understand the various applications of logistics and the integrated relationship between logistics and transportation.

Fulfillment Center vs Distribution Center: What’s the Difference?

Order fulfillment is the core part of e-commerce. Before choosing a fulfillment center and a distribution center as part of your e-commerce supply chain, you should be aware of the difference between the two.

As e-commerce becomes more prosperous, more and more consumers choose to purchase large items online, resulting in an increasing demand for warehouse space. According to data from the CBRE Group, the availability of industrial real estate in the United States is only 7%. Warehouse space in high-demand areas close to the city center is particularly narrow.

At the same time, CBRE data also shows that 1.25 million square feet of warehouse space are required for every $1 billion in e-commerce sales.

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Explanation of the fulfillment center

The fulfillment center is a warehouse for e-commerce fulfillment services. Your company’s products are shipped to the distribution center in the form of containers or pallets. The warehouse will store your products until they are sold. The fulfillment center is the final destination of your products before they shipped to consumers or wholesale customers.

When your sales platform receives an order, the product is directly transmitted from your sales channel to your fulfillment center. Most order fulfillment service providers will have an online dashboard, which can track the progress of the product in the entire warehouse.

The fulfillment center will remove the order items from the shelves and package them for delivery and transmission. The shipping station will label it and notify the carrier to prepare to pick up the package. Carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS will regularly pick up the goods at the distribution center every day.

Many fulfillment centers also provide other services, including inventory management, multi-channel, and matching and customization.

There are other names for fulfillment centers, such as:

  • Fulfillment warehouse
  • Order fulfillment center
  • 3rd-party logistics warehouse(3PL)

Third-party logistics can refer to fulfillment centers or more complex logistics operations. In addition to 3PL, there are other levels of logistics services, such as 4PL, 5PL, and so on.

Explanation of distribution center

The distribution center is also a kind of warehouse, but its position in the supply chain is different. The distribution center redistributes the products in the warehouse, but the distribution center can also store products.

The direct docking object of the distribution center is not the consumer, but the transfer point that converts the product from one mode of transportation to another. Product advantages will be transmitted from the distribution center to the fulfillment center for order fulfillment. Besides, distribution centers can also serve as commodity centers for large retailers.

Fulfillment Center vs Distribution Center: What Kind of Business Do You Need?

If the center of your business is e-commerce fulfillment, your choice may be a fulfillment center rather than a distribution center. The next step in your decision is to find the most appropriate provider of fulfillment services for your business, which also involves the level of service your business needs, the size of your business, and the type of products you sell. Make sure that the service provided by the fulfillment company is what your company needs.

Fifth-Party Logistics (5PL): The Future of Logistics?

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the current global logistics has become more and more complex. However, the importance of logistics in the supply chain has not yet been explained.

Except for those who are extremely proficient in logistics, most people are still unclear on which level of logistics to choose. Company leaders choosing the right logistics service (1PL, 2PL, 3PL, 4PL, 5PL or even 10PL…) can bring great effects to the company’s profitability.

Most people may have heard of 3PL, 4PL, 5PL and other products. However, many people may not know what factors are required for each level of logistics services. At present, 3PL and 4PL are the most common and prominent services. However, the application of 5PL in the supply chain has gradually become more prominent.

What is Fifth-Party Logistics(5PL)?

Fifth Party Logistics, also known as 5PL, is a system in which an organization (client) outsources all its supply chain processes to a logistics service provider. 5PL company is committed to planning, organizing and implementing the client’s logistics solutions.

In these various supply chain processes, 5PL uses both third-party logistics (3PL) and fourth-party logistics (4PL) services and manages all networks in the supply chain. Moreover, 5PL company will set the price, but in some cases, the determined price will be renegotiated.

5PL service providers have implemented their work using the latest technology from implementing logistics solutions to negotiating rates. Like 4PL, 5PL’s business also includes this series of processes and can fully control the operational processes of the supply chain.

Fifth-Party Logistics (5PL): The Future of Logistics?
Fifth-Party Logistics (5PL): The Future of Logistics?

What Is the Key Role of the 5PL Company?

5PL service providers mainly play key roles in the following aspects:

  • Logistics plan planning
  • Organize and implement logistics solutions
  • Meet the needs of 3PL and 4PL

Unlike second-party logistics operators that do not participate in pricing, 5PL companies participate more. Besides, 5PL also includes professional work with other service providers to negotiate fixed prices. For example, 5PL also cooperates with airlines, transporters and carriers. This is the difference between 5PL providers and other logistics companies of different levels.

Why Does 5PL Appear?

Due to the impact of the popularity of e-commerce and globalization, compared with the previous models, 5PL tends to meet the needs of future logistics companies and has an important impact on the development of today’s Internet of Things. Among them, 5PL’s online payment function simplifies the consignee’s transaction, and the convenience of the customer’s direct call centre allows people to directly respond to the quality of the service. 

All in all, the emergence of 5PL has adapted to the progress of the times, and its more scientific and technical processes will make the operation of the supply chain more efficient.

How to Judge the Service Efficiency of an Order Fulfillment Company?

Although most e-commerce sellers have chosen warehousing companies, most people don’t know how to judge the efficiency of the company’s service. Generally speaking, they will pay more attention to cheap prices or equipment with good condition. Today we are going to offer some tips to help you with the efficiency judgement.

1. Observe the efficiency of distribution. This is a factor that many e-commerce sellers are more concerned about. Warehouses with low delivery efficiency will not be trusted by large companies.

2. Figure out the specific storage fees. You need to be wary of some storage companies that may have invisible charges, so your caution is needed about signing a contract for the low quotation.

3. Research whether the equipment and systems equipped in the warehouse are more advanced in the industry.

4. Ask the warehousing company about relevant brand cases for comparative analysis and observe specific data to make more rational judgments.

5. Confirm the total area and the specific layout plan of the warehouse. It does not necessarily mean that the warehouse distribution efficiency of the storage company must be high enough, but the efficiency must not be high for warehouses with warehouse layout problems. So this is also an important aspect that must be conducted on-site investigation. At the same time, you need to pay more attention to whether the traffic conditions around the warehouse are convenient. Good traffic conditions are the guarantee of warehouse distribution efficiency.

6. Check the employee work manual of the warehousing company. In this way, we can see the general operation process of the warehouse, judge whether the warehouse personnel’s operations are sufficiently standardized, and ensure the low error rate.

7. Check whether the warehousing company pays enough attention to the safety of the warehouse. The inventory safety needs to be put first. No one wants all the goods in the warehouse to be stolen or burned.

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Daily warehouse cleaning brings better working environment and fulfillment performance

FBA or Order Fulfillment Company, Which One is Better for the Q4 Holiday Season?

Recently, Amazon has taken many measures for logistics and transportation issues(recruiting more warehouse employees, ordering electric delivery vehicles, and building distribution centers to deal with the upcoming shopping season). It seems that they are trying to get ahead of some of the issues faced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand, supply chains have been greatly impacted, with fulfillment centers prioritizing certain products over others and many overseas inventory orders taking longer than usual to fulfill. On the other hand, consumers are buying online now more than ever.

However, according to data at 8 o’clock on September 21, the cumulative number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States has exceeded 7 million. The continuation of the epidemic and fire has made the logistics and delivery of the United States very unstable.

At present, US imports from China have increased by 89% year-on-year. This is when e-commerce sellers are stocking a lot. Therefore, some warehouses can no longer withstand the pressure, making appointments more difficult, and product information updates are very slow. Therefore, it is necessary to choose an order fulfillment center that processes shipments faster.

FBA2020

According to some feedback, the most serious Amazon warehouses are CLT2, FTW1, AVP1, SMF3, and MEM1 while the more controversial warehouses are ABE8, LAX9, MDW2.

It is worth mentioning that CLT2 is the warehouse with the most serious feedback from Amazon sellers. Some sellers finished the shipment in early July and have not been fully received today. Amazon customer service also said that there are a lot of backlogs in the warehouse, and there is no way to urge the warehouse to receive the goods on the shelves, because the warehouse receives a large number of shipments every day. If it can be urged, the warehouse’s receiving process will be slower and more complicated. Therefore, the warehouse does not accept any kind of urge, which made so many sellers choose the order fulfillment center.

Since Q4 is already one of busiest sales seasons, the ecommerce giant wants to help protect its business from issues like these. 5 professional and experienced teams have been formed in ChinaDivision for better service in the future.

Contact us and you can benefit more in the e-commerce market!

The Role of Barcode Scanner in Order Fulfillment Warehouses

If you are the owner of an e-commerce warehousing company, what is your plan of inventory management? How do you manage thousands of clothes? There are many sku with different colors, sizes and styles, which increases the frequency of sending wrong goods and returning them. So the barcode scanner become a necessary in the work of order fulfillment, but how should the warehouse use the barcode scanner to optimize management

1. Inbound

For those e-commerce companies that operate their own warehouses, because they are not equipped with some professional warehousing equipment, the warehousing of clothing is manually checked and accepted. When there are too many goods, they cannot be accurately checked and problems are prone to occur. The e-commerce warehouse is equipped with a barcode device and an intelligent system. Before the goods are put into the warehouse, the corresponding barcode will be recorded, and the inventory data will be updated in real time, which greatly improves the accuracy and timeliness.

2. Outbound    

If the workload in the warehouse increases during the promotion period, the e-commerce’s own warehouse may meet unexpected accidents due to insufficient manpower and insufficient specialization. As a result, store reviews plummeted, and there were a lot of negative reviews. So how does e-commerce warehouse solve this problem? Therefore, the code scanner plays an important role, and the specific products can be quickly matched by scanning to ensure the accuracy of delivery.

3. Inventory Checking

Due to the large variety of products, inventory counting is also a difficulty for e-commerce sellers. For products of various colors, styles, and sizes in the warehouse, manual inspection takes too much time and is very error-prone. The scanner and system equipped in the e-commerce warehouse can perfectly solve this problem. A product is matched with a barcode, which allows the warehouse staff to scan the barcode only when checking the goods, instead of checking the specific size, color, and style one by one, saving a lot of time.

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How to Ensure the Warehousing Safety While Keeping Order Fulfillment Efficiency ?

The efficiency of e-commerce warehousing operations is a problem that many companies pay attention to, which will directly affect the warehouse capability . So today we will share some safe operation methods for e-commerce warehousing.

  • 1. When someone is carrying inventory, the other employees try to avoid standing on the road.
  • 2. When placing high-height goods, the warehouse staff should pay attention to the stability of the item. They should sort the unstable item out in time.
  • 3. When warehouse employees are climbing the ladder, they need someone to help stabilize the ladder and take protective measures.
  • 4. Use targeted tools and handling requirements for operations according to the features of the goods in the warehouse.
  • 5. The workers are required to concentrate and avoid accidental injuries when using machine.
  • 6. When handling the goods, pay attention to whether the packaging of the goods is broken.
  • 7. When loading the goods, pay attention to placing them in a stable and close fit to ensure that the goods will not be damaged or lost during the subsequent driving process. At the same time, no less than two workers are responsible for loading and unloading.
  • 8. When there are some dangerous goods in the warehouse, employees should be familiar with the characteristics of the goods in advance, how to ensure safety, take necessary protective measures, and standardize safe operation methods.
  • 9. The warehouse needs to be equipped with sufficient fire extinguishing equipment, protective equipment and necessary medical supplies. When problems occur, simple containment can be carried out to ensure sufficient buffer time.

Although the efficiency of e-commerce warehousing operations is important, everything should be people-oriented. From the perspective of human safety, the efficiency of warehousing operations can be improved in a better way, accumulating corporate reputation and bringing more customers and benefits to e-commerce warehousing companies.

Something You Should Know about Eco-friendly Dropshipping

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Let’ s know something about eco-friendly dropshipping and save the earth together!

Improtance of Eco-friendly Dropshipping:

Due to the pressures of overconsumption, population growth and technology, the biophysical environment is being degraded, consumers have been highly educated about buying items which support the preservation of the planet. Since the 1960s, environmental movements have created more awareness of the multiple environmental problems. There is disagreement on the extent of the environmental impact of human activity, so protection measures are occasionally debated.

EU citizens benefit from some of the highest environmental standards in the world. The EU and national governments have set clear objectives to guide environment policy until 2050, which means the european e-commerce sellers need to pay more attention to their environmental responsibilities.

Available Eco-friendly Item:

After communicating with our customers insist on environmental protection, ChinaDivision found it is promising to ship the following eco-friendly products.(If you are an Amazon seller or Shopify website owner, it is time to update your inventory, haha.)

Reusable Bag

It is reported that human have produced 18.2 trillion pounds of plastics, but less than 9% of all of the plastic have been recycled. And the average American family use up to 2000 plastic bags per year. Plastic ends up in landfills where it can take hundreds of years to break down. And if the plastic doesn’t end up in a landfill, it could end up in the ocean, where it can cause pollution and marine animal deaths.

Stopping polution is the best solution, more and more people tend to use reusable bag in their daily life.( degradable express bag, silicone snack bag, washable storage bag, reusable mesh bag, etc.) BPA free design makes our reusable bag safer to store food.

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Eco-friendly Plant Bag

Home garden management plays an important role in people’s daily life. More and more families are into growing their own herbs and vegetables. So the eco-friendly plant bags have become the treasures in the e-commerce market. For example, non-woven plant bag is ideal for planting potatoes, carrots, onions, and many other vegetables. One of our customer said the non-woven planting bag had become a hot-seller in his Amazon store.

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Paper/Stainless Steel Straw

Are you still drinking from a plastic straw? It is the suggestion of world health organization that we should use eco-friendly and straw to drink. The straw made of paper and stainless steel will be a good choice for both kids and adults. Compared to plastic straw, the paper and stainless steel straw will be more popluar in the green environmental protection world.

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Dropshipping eco-friendly items is a lot easier than it would have been ten years ago. And a lot of this had to do with the limited product. There just wasn’t much in the way of eco-friendly items for consumers. For a long time, these kinds of products were considered a niche. But eco-friendly products and brands are mainstream in this century. Eco-friendly products are a great niche. But it’s even better if you can combine these products with items that support eco-friendly households. For example, if you’re already selling organic and natural foods on your website, eco-friendly products would fit perfectly with your inventory.

ABC Classification in Order Fulfillment Warehouses

Most of the e-commerce sellers are familiar with the ABC classification rules of dropshipping company, but they have not totally understood it. When the inventory in the e-commerce warehouse is excess, the ABC classification method is used to optimize the inventory to bring better warehouse management.

First of all, we should know the principles of the ABC classification method: classifying the goods in the e-commerce warehouse according to their importance, value, and delivery frequency.

The first category is C-type, which are basically slow-moving goods with very small sales. Therefore, warehousing companies will put such items in the back of the e-commerce warehouse, and use less time to manage and count them.

Category B products still have a certain sales volume relative to Category C products, but they are not hot-selling products. The storage location of this kind of goods is better than that of the C-type goods, and it is easier to pack out the warehouse than the C-type goods.

Finally, there are Class A goods, which are fast-moving goods, with high sales and fast turnover. Such goods need to be placed in the position closest to the sorting area to ensure that after receiving the relevant order, the third-party warehousing and delivery company can package and ship them in the shortest time to improve work efficiency.

3 Factors Makes it Worthwhile to Choose an Order Fulfillment Warehouse

When e-commerce sellers choose a third-party warehousing agency, they are bound to have a question. Is order fulfillment warehouse really safe and reliable? Can e-commerce sellers feel completely at ease? Is it really trustworthy? Therefore, we have summarized three major elements.

First of all, it is the safety of the goods. After e-commerce sellers put the goods in a third-party warehouse, they are bound to be a little unsure about the safety of the goods, for fear that the dropshipping company may not be able to keep the goods and cause economic losses. In fact, the order fulfillment company will sign a contract with the e-commerce seller. The warehousing company will take on the responsibility if the problem occurs.

The second issue is efficiency. In fact, efficiency is the least worrying issue for e-commerce sellers. Most third-party warehouses are located near the express distribution center, and delivery efficiency and order cut-off time can be guaranteed. After receiving the order, the third-party warehouse can quickly pick and exit the warehouse for processing, and can usually enter the distribution center within an hour to quickly deliver the goods, achieving the effect of the invention.

Finally, what needs to be considered is the price of third-party warehouses. E-commerce sellers will also worry about whether or not to deliver warehousing and delivery to a third-party company, although the efficiency has improved, but the price has also increased too much. In fact, e-commerce sellers do not need to worry about such problems. The first is the price of express delivery. Dropshipping companies and express delivery companies have closer cooperation, and the prices given to e-commerce sellers are bound to be more favorable than those communicated by themselves. In terms of warehouse rental prices, a professional third-party warehouse like ChinaDivision has a competitive warehousing policy, which is also very advantageous in terms of price.

On the whole, the order fulfillment agency deserves the trust of e-commerce sellers.