What is a Routing Guide? A Complete Guide to Best Practices

A routing guide is a comprehensive document that outlines the best practices and guidelines for managing the transportation of goods from one location to another. It serves as a roadmap for shippers, carriers, and logistics providers to ensure that shipments are handled efficiently and effectively. A routing guide typically includes a variety of information, such as preferred carriers, rules and requirements, instructions for handling delays or changes, and strategies for managing freight spend. In this article, we will explore each of these aspects in detail to provide a complete guide to best practices for routing guides.

Índice
  1. A list of preferred carriers for tendering freight
  2. A set of rules and requirements from shippers
  3. A series of instructions to handle delays or changes
  4. A living document for faster transportation management
  5. Keeping freight spend under control based on lane volatility
  6. Direction on carriers with the best transportation rates
  7. Short-term and annual freight contracts
  8. Prioritizing carriers based on preference and service levels
  9. Rules and requirements for dock scheduling, resources, certification, and documentation
  10. Accurate routing of every shipment
  11. Rules and requirements based on location
  12. Guidance for delays or changes
  13. Addressing market volatility and tender rejections
  14. Preempting delays with predictive freight rates
  15. Rerouting shipments and changing modes or drivers
  16. Dynamic considerations for disruptions

A list of preferred carriers for tendering freight

One of the key components of a routing guide is a list of preferred carriers for tendering freight. This list is typically compiled based on various factors, such as carrier performance, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. By designating preferred carriers, shippers can streamline their transportation processes and ensure that their shipments are handled by trusted and reliable service providers.

A set of rules and requirements from shippers

In addition to a list of preferred carriers, a routing guide also includes a set of rules and requirements from shippers. These rules and requirements serve as guidelines for carriers and logistics providers to follow when handling shipments. They may include specifications for packaging, labeling, documentation, and other important aspects of the shipping process. By providing clear instructions, shippers can ensure that their shipments are handled in accordance with their specific requirements.

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A series of instructions to handle delays or changes

Shipping operations are not always smooth sailing, and delays or changes can occur at any time. A routing guide includes a series of instructions to handle such situations. These instructions may outline alternative routes, backup carriers, or other strategies to mitigate the impact of delays or changes. By having a plan in place, shippers can minimize disruptions and keep their supply chains running smoothly.

A living document for faster transportation management

A routing guide is not a static document; it is a living document that evolves over time. As the transportation landscape changes, shippers need to adapt their routing strategies accordingly. A routing guide allows for faster transportation management by providing a framework for making informed decisions and adjustments as needed. It enables shippers to stay agile and responsive to changing market conditions.

Keeping freight spend under control based on lane volatility

Freight spend is a significant cost for shippers, and managing it effectively is crucial for maintaining profitability. A routing guide helps keep freight spend under control by considering lane volatility. By analyzing historical data and market trends, shippers can identify lanes that are prone to price fluctuations and adjust their routing strategies accordingly. This allows them to secure the best transportation rates and optimize their freight spend.

Direction on carriers with the best transportation rates

Another important aspect of a routing guide is providing direction on carriers with the best transportation rates. By leveraging data and market insights, shippers can identify carriers that offer competitive rates and negotiate favorable contracts. This ensures that they are getting the best value for their transportation spend and helps them maintain a cost-effective supply chain.

Short-term and annual freight contracts

A routing guide may include both short-term and annual freight contracts. Short-term contracts provide flexibility and allow shippers to adapt to changing market conditions. Annual contracts, on the other hand, provide stability and help shippers secure capacity with preferred carriers. By combining both types of contracts, shippers can strike a balance between flexibility and stability in their transportation operations.

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Prioritizing carriers based on preference and service levels

Within a routing guide, carriers are often prioritized based on preference and service levels. Shippers may have specific carriers that they prefer to work with due to their track record of reliability or other factors. By prioritizing these carriers, shippers can ensure that their shipments are given priority and receive the level of service they require. This helps maintain customer satisfaction and ensures that shipments are delivered on time.

Rules and requirements for dock scheduling, resources, certification, and documentation

A routing guide also includes rules and requirements for various aspects of the shipping process, such as dock scheduling, resources, certification, and documentation. These rules and requirements help streamline operations and ensure that all necessary steps are taken to facilitate the smooth movement of goods. By providing clear guidelines, shippers can minimize errors and delays in the shipping process.

Accurate routing of every shipment

One of the primary objectives of a routing guide is to ensure the accurate routing of every shipment. By following the guidelines outlined in the routing guide, carriers and logistics providers can ensure that shipments are routed efficiently and reach their intended destinations on time. Accurate routing helps minimize transit times, reduce costs, and improve overall supply chain performance.

Rules and requirements based on location

A routing guide may also include rules and requirements based on location. For example, shipments destined for a warehouse may have different requirements compared to those destined for a brick-and-mortar store. By considering location-specific factors, shippers can tailor their routing strategies to meet the unique needs of each destination. This helps ensure that shipments are handled appropriately and in compliance with local regulations.

Guidance for delays or changes

As mentioned earlier, delays or changes can occur in shipping operations. A routing guide provides guidance on how to handle such situations. It may include instructions for rerouting shipments, changing modes of transportation, or adjusting delivery schedules. By having a plan in place, shippers can minimize the impact of delays or changes and keep their supply chains running smoothly.

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Addressing market volatility and tender rejections

Market volatility and tender rejections are common challenges in the transportation industry. A routing guide addresses these challenges by providing strategies to mitigate their impact. For example, shippers may include backup carriers or alternative routes to address capacity constraints or tender rejections. By proactively addressing these issues, shippers can maintain a reliable and efficient transportation network.

Preempting delays with predictive freight rates

Preempting delays is another important aspect of a routing guide. By leveraging predictive freight rates, shippers can anticipate potential delays and take proactive measures to mitigate their impact. For example, if a certain lane is experiencing high demand and congestion, shippers can adjust their routing strategies to avoid potential delays. This helps ensure that shipments are delivered on time and customer expectations are met.

Rerouting shipments and changing modes or drivers

In some cases, it may be necessary to reroute shipments or change modes of transportation or drivers. A routing guide provides guidance on when and how to make such changes. By having a clear plan in place, shippers can quickly adapt to changing circumstances and ensure that shipments are delivered efficiently. This helps minimize disruptions and maintain a reliable supply chain.

Dynamic considerations for disruptions

Disruptions are inevitable in the transportation industry, and a routing guide takes into account dynamic considerations for such disruptions. It includes multiple "what if" scenarios and strategies to mitigate the impact of disruptions. For example, if a major highway is closed due to a natural disaster, shippers can refer to the routing guide for alternative routes or modes of transportation. By being prepared for disruptions, shippers can minimize their impact and maintain business continuity.

A routing guide is a comprehensive document that provides guidelines and best practices for managing the transportation of goods. It includes a list of preferred carriers, rules and requirements, instructions for handling delays or changes, and strategies for managing freight spend. By following the guidelines outlined in a routing guide, shippers can optimize their transportation operations, minimize disruptions, and maintain a reliable and efficient supply chain.

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