OutSource – Work with a primary freight broker or a “go to guy”, one stop shop, handles everything. The Brewery can negotiate a set “cost plus” arrangement or set budgets on per pallet or per case freight cost targets. This can eliminate a lot of frustration and confusion for you. It may not always get the cheapest freight rate, but the benefit to the brewery’s operation is significant.
Some of the benefits are:
- Every beer order gets shipped on time, every time.
- All raw goods are in the brewery when needed, “just-in-time” inventory.
- No wasted manpower hours chasing trucks, tracking, making sure paperwork is in place, dealing with breakdowns, 3rd party should handle the claims process for you as well.
- A good broker will do all of this behind the scenes, while you concentrate on brewing and producing beer.
In-house person – if you have high enough volume this is an option. Ideally, look for an experienced person who has worked with a carrier or broker. This freight person will have a book or catalog of shippers and qualified legal carriers. A skilled freight person can negotiate your own rates / tariffs with National LTL carriers as well. An In-house Logistics person who works with more than one broker has to be hands on and organized. They need to be constantly on top of what beer orders need to be shipped, when, and where. They’ll place those details “out to bid” to his/her book of brokers. The brokers have to compete for the business by providing their “best price”. The lowest bid is not always the best choice. The important thing is that the truck arrives for loading on time, and can hit delivery windows or appointments. This is typically a lesson that has to be learned the hard way.