USA Truckload Shipping Logo

What to Do When You Have Urgent Freight

Resources > What to Do When You Have Urgent Freight
When you have urgent freight that needs to be delivered, an experienced 3PL provider can provide the best solution. Learn more about moving urgent freight.
Published: November 6, 2019
Last Modified: August 28, 2023
Author: Ask Truckload

When time is of the essence, urgent freight services are a central ingredient in the recipe for sustained success. Whether it’s ensuring that deliveries reach your customers in time or transporting important goods for B2B matters, only a highly professional and reliable service will do. Finding a smart solution is absolutely essential for productivity, financial control, and your peace of mind. 

When you have urgent freight that needs to be delivered, an experienced 3PL provider can provide the best solution. Most 3PL providers will have access to a network of reliable carriers. This network will allow you to quickly find the carrier that can meet your needs, rather than contacting multiple carriers on your own. Additionally, 3PL’s offer additional services that may be needed for urgent freight.

In the article below, we provide information and factors that should be considered when deciding what to when you have urgent freight.

What is Urgent Freight?

Urgent freight is ultimately a loose term that describes freight that needs to be delivered quickly. The freight can be consumer products, equipment, machinery, or any other commercial asset. This may be supplied by transportation services covering truck, rail, ocean, or air. Your need for speed should not be determined by geographical parameters, and emergency freight services can provide a fast and convenient answer to your business prayers – regardless of whether shipments are heading across town, coast to coast, or even to another continent. 

One way to move urgent freight is through an expedited freight service.

There are many situations in business in which you may consider your freight delivery needs to be urgent. It may be a temporary issue, such as offering guaranteed next day delivery to your customers during the build-up to the holiday season. Or perhaps you are hoping to provide this type of service on a continued basis in a bid to stay ahead of the competition. Lets face it, modern consumers have greater expectations than ever before, particularly in relation to the need for instant results. It’s not an overstatement to suggest that your ability to meet those demands could potentially make all the difference between success and failure.

Product deliveries to the consumers aren’t the only reason you may require urgent freight services. There are plenty of B2B situations, as well as internal endeavors, that may require immediate transportation. 

Of course, there are physical limitations to what is possible. After all, it’s impossible to send goods across the globe in some areas with a same day service. Urgent freight should, therefore, be defined simply as the fastest method for getting your goods from your door to the recipient’s – whether it’s another part of your business, a client, or an end consumer. 

What is the Fastest Freight Shipping Method?

If you’re simply looking for the quickest method of transportation, air is hands-down the fastest. This is thanks to the incredible speed at which planes can fly and the limited obstructions that they face. As we’ll note in the cost section though, air freight has a significant disadvantage in this arena. 

With that being said, air freight is not always the answer to your urgent freight needs. The key issues that will help determine which method is the fastest will include the size of the items to be transported, whether they can be boxed or need to be wrapped, and how far they need to travel. Not all freight can be transported via plane. When dealing with multiple smaller items, the distances between the various destinations can have a huge impact on your possibilities and the outcomes offered by each mode of freight transport. As far as urgent freight deliveries are concerned, the last mile delivery procedure is as significant as every aspect before it.

A variety of urgent freight shipping methods may be utilized, including but not limited to;

  • Truckload urgent freight services
  • Air freight services from cargo airlines and/ or air freight carriers. Often a very good solution for compact but weighty domestic transportation too.
  • Blanket wrap and/or van move services for items such as furniture that cannot be conventionally boxed but can be suitably protected.
  • Intermodal rail freight that carries goods to the station before moving them to the destination city, where they are met by the last mile team.
  • International boat shipping in which shipping containers are used for both importation and exportation processes.

Given that your company is likely to field deliveries from a wide range of clients and business partners, It is most likely that the business will use several modes of transport throughout their commercial endeavors.

Urgent Freight vs Guaranteed Freight

Urgent freight is all about satisfying the growing demands for a fast service for internal connections between different parts of your business as well as B2B clients and end users. The emergency deliveries focus solely on getting the package to the destination in the fastest and most logical manner. However, this won’t always be the only point of concern. When the recipient needs a fast(ish) service but also requires the delivery to be made at a specific time, guaranteed freight services may be the better solution.

Guaranteed freight services share many qualities with urgent freight deliveries. However, they provide your business with the opportunity to set the scheduled date and time of the delivery. This will usually be picked to provide the client with added convenience, but may also be used with pre-orders to ensure that deliveries are made on the day of release. While the ability to pick a timeslot for the delivery undoubtedly brings a number of benefits into view, it can compromise the speed. 

Ultimately, you need to be clear about when you need your delivery to be available at the destination. This will allow your transportation company to provide you with the right service for the correct price. 

Urgent Freight Costs

One of the oldest clichés in business revolves around the fact that you can only ever get two out of the three magic ingredients (speed, quality, cost) in the recipe for the perfect service. Therefore, if you want a fast and highly professional urgent freight delivery service, you should expect to pay more than you would for a standard transportation service. However, as every business owner knows, the words ‘cheap’ and ‘value’ do not have a shared definition. Paying a little extra is easily worthwhile if it leads to increased conversions, productivity, and reassurance. 

In terms of cost expectations for urgent freight, the easy answer is to say that it will vary from carrier to carrier, which is true. However, as a general rule, urgent freight will usually cost anywhere from 3 to 5 times the amount of standard freight. Typically, the quicker and more complex the delivery, the more it will cost.

Still, there are several ways to keep costs from spiraling out of control. Here are five tips for success:

  1. Choose a reliable freight delivery transportation provider that offers an extensive range of transportation modes and vehicle sizes.
  2. Select the right type of emergency freight transport for each consignment. This will produce a better result for the shipment as well as your budget.
  3. Where possible try to combine several orders that are going to the same city. It may also be worth promoting bigger order sizes by offering free delivery when clients meet a spending threshold. It won’t lower the cost, but will increase the value.
  4. Invest in cost-effective packaging materials that also enable you to pack the products in  a compact manner, allowing you to fit more on the truck, train, boat, or plane.
  5. Consider the times. While there is a need to fulfill the demand for quick turnarounds, the time of day that you arrange pick-ups can impact the pricing. 

Ultimately, if you’re looking for the cheapest type of delivery, this method will rarely be the most cost-effective – although some packages sent this way can actually save money. However, when you factor in the time savings as well as the boost in revenue (through direct sales or indirectly by keeping the operation running smoothly), it can still be the most valuable solution. 

Is the Freight Really Urgent?

All clients (consumers or otherwise) demand fast deliveries, but that doesn’t necessarily make every delivery an urgent one. Furthermore, your definition of urgency may differ to what the freight transportation companies consider urgent. As such, it’s important to pose the question ahead of any arrangement, especially as the best standard freight services are now pretty quick. 

Several key questions can be asked to determine whether the particular delivery can be considered an urgent delivery. 

These questions include: 

  1. Will it harm the company’s reputation if the delivery is delayed a few days?
  2. Can the fast delivery increase conversions
  3. Will the urgent delivery actively promote the health of the business?

The answers to those issues should point you towards the right decision each time. Perhaps most importantly, you should remember that you don’t always have to use this type of service, even if it is the most suitable solution for a percentage of the order fulfillments. 

When taking the non-urgent standard approach to freight shipments, you must still choose a reliable provider that will deliver items in great health and in an acceptable time. Still, in today’s climate where time is money, any freight delivery that does not fall under the category of urgent matters deserves the appropriate transportation. As a responsible business owner, you owe it to yourself as well as the recipients to analyze your definition of urgency against the various tiers of services offered by the chosen provider. Only then can you make a logical choice for the sake of your finances.

Tracking an Urgent Freight Shipment

Selecting a service that can get your goods to the intended destination within the anticipated time frames is crucial. But how will you know if they have actually delivered on that promise unless you can monitor and track the status of the shipment? When you can successfully check the location and ETAs of your shipments with real-time results, it truly transforms your approach to handling order fulfillment. It gives you an extra sense of confidence, but also enables you to keep a close eye on the operation. In turn, you can make calculated decisions in all affected areas of business while additionally providing clients (or other recipients) the detailed information that they need to feel valued and respected at all times.

Tracking can manifest itself in many ways and will usually include regular updates at every key stage of the journey. From details on loading and when they left your facilities to the confirmed time of completed delivery, every milestone should be recorded. The exact route to deliver may vary depending on which modes of transport are used for the urgent freight shipment. However, it’s likely to include an update at each changeover, so that you can know when the shipment has reached the flight, boat, train, or last mile delivery driver. When considering road-related transportation, the vehicles may be fitted with tracking devices to provide even greater accuracy. The relevant info should be available in real time via internet browsing or an App while notifications, including proof of the recipient’s signature, are another very important factor. This is one of the key benefits that you should look for when booking urgent freight services.

International Urgent Freight

Urgent freight for domestic deliveries is very versatile because you can embrace a whole host of different transportation facilities. When you need to handle international deliveries in a rapid fashion, though, there is only one viable solution at your disposal. Air freight. Is it expensive? Yes. But it is the only way to complete global transportation of goods and equipment in a fast manner rather than a matter of several weeks. Other options are open if you aren’t too focused on the speed.

When you send cargo via urgent air freight, it’s important to remember the following;

  • The speed of the loading processes will have a huge impact on proceedings, as will the last mile delivery processes.
  • Compact packaging can reduce the cost of shipping your cargo as the capacity on board a plane is limited.
  • Flights won’t always be direct, so don’t expect goods to reach their destination at the same speed as you could get there on a direct flight.
  • It’s not the only option. If a delayed service is more suitable for your specific business requirements, don’t be afraid to do it.

Ultimately, air freight services are the only way to complete international deliveries in a rapid time and, even then, it could be days rather than hours. Still, if a service that takes weeks could discourage consumers or business clients from using your service, this faster approach to satisfying orders could take your success to a whole new level.

Using a Freight Broker for Urgent Freight

When you have decided that urgent freight services are a necessity, it’s essential that you find the right provider for your specific needs. You need to find a freight transport service that can offer fast turnaround times, affordable pricing, and consistent results while other features such as the tracking capabilities are likely to have a significant impact on the final decision. However, the time spent conducting this research and the subsequent comparisons can render the whole process a catch 22 . Thankfully, there is a more practical solution available – using a freight broker.

A freight broker serves as a middle man, gathering and comparing multiple quotes on your behalf. While the service itself will cost a little money, it is a move that will pay for itself due to the savings made by locating the most cost-effective freight delivery quote. Besides, it would take you or an employee a long time to conduct this research and negotiation themselves. The money invested in wages alone can outweigh the fee commanded by a broker. This is supported further by the fact that the broker can use their existing contacts and relationships to secure the best deals. From a financial perspective, then, using this outsourced solution is unquestionably the most logical answer.

Furthermore, the freight broker’s experience in the industry will provide the best hope of avoiding poor quality services. There’s nothing worse than having your reputation destroyed because the urgent freight provider fails to deliver the right service. When you need a fast solution and a service that is specialized around your industry and shipment types, a broker can support the cause.

Ship Urgent Freight With R+L Global Logistics

The speed of your order fulfillment and delivery processes are arguably more important than ever. Therefore, you need a freight logistics company that can meet all of your expectations – today, tomorrow, and for many years to come. R+L Global Logistics offers a comprehensive range of freight transportation services for both domestic and international shipments. We bring truckload, intermodal, temperature-controlled, dry van, air freight, air charters, ocean, import/export services, and more to the table. All of which can be tailored to your needs – in fact, we’ll even take care of the decision-making processes so that the most effective options are picked every single time. This additionally ensures you to spend more time on the business itself, secure in the knowledge that the cargo and/or shipment is on the right route to its final destination.

When you need a fast and efficient delivery service that enables full control and tracking to provide clients with the very best service, we’re ready to help. To find out more about how we can support your business with this crucial aspect of the operation, give us a call at (866) 353-7178.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

USA Truckload Shipping Logo
© Copyright 2024 R+L Global Logistics

R+L Global Logistics
315 NE 14th St., Ocala, FL 34470

(866) 353-7178