Pool Distribution: Reduce Cost, Raise Service Level

Pool Distribution: Reduce Cost, Raise Service Level

Michigan Pool Distribution Solution

Pure Michigan! Splashed across billboards, print, television and radio spots, the ‘Pure Michigan’ tourism campaign has promoted the phrase to describe the lovely qualities of the Mitten State. With 11,000 inland lakes, vast acres of forest and parks and diverse groups of people and quirky cultures (ya, Yoopers, we’re looking at you), Michigan is unique. The very geography that gives Michigan so much of its character can also be very challenging for companies that distribute goods in the state. “Michigan isn’t on the way to anywhere else.” Notes Erick Haskell, General Manager of Transportation at Columbian Logistics. For companies with geographic challenges or time sensitive products, developing a pool distribution strategy can help control costs, regulate delivery schedules and improve service levels.

Is Pool Distribution Right For Your Company?

Utilizing a pooling strategy will require asking the right questions to determine the benefits for your transportation needs, and finding the right partner to help. The right sidebar provides questions to help identify gaps that Pool Distribution & Consolidation can help bridge.

Meeting Customer Needs & Controlling Costs

The fundamentals of pooling are pretty familiar. Everyday, workers ride share to the office and neighbor kids wait at the end of the street to ride the bus to school. The same principle of gathering things headed in the same direction and efficiently utilizing transportation applies to companies distributing their commodities. First, product is shipped to a central location where products are sorted into full truckloads for delivery, helping shippers avoid both the cost and risk associated with utilizing the LTL market. “Utilizing LTL routinely can be brutal on a shipper’s bottom line, and it’s also a high touch mode of transport, so the risk for product loss and damage increases,” notes Haskell. The cost of damaged client-shipper relationships is also a factor that pool distribution helps to alleviate. “Pooling gives shippers established delivery schedules, and when customers can plan for deliveries, it helps build a positive relationship.”

If you would like to learn more about pooling strategy and it’s benefits, click here.

  • What kind of volume do you have for your shipments (whether by SKU, product line or some other categorization)?
  • Are your customer delivery end points in a specific geographic area? Is it a high-traffic region?
  • Do your products have special handling requirements or the need for temperature or humidity control? Do they require you to meet certain regulatory requirements?
  • What kind of delivery requirements or schedules do you have? How frequent are they? How flexible are they?
  • What shipping methods are you currently using and what is your spend for each?
  • What are the transit times associated with each shipping method?
  • What are the damage or claims costs associated with each shipping method?
  • How satisfied are your customers with how you fulfill their orders?
  • What is your overall shipping spend and what is it for each shipping method? It’s worth the time and effort to request estimates from various shipping companies for the costs for using their methods

We're Here to Help!

Want to learn more about how Columbian Logistics Network can help with your logistics challenges? Contact us, or call us at 1-888-609-8542.

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