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b2ap3_thumbnail_dreamstime_xl_24936632.jpgOnce you gather the necessary data outlined in the previous blog ( ), it is time to take action. Here is a set of steps to follow to save money on accessorial charges.

Set up a cross-functional team

As you will realize when you review your research notes, it will often take a number of parties (sales, production, and warehouse management) plus the customer in many cases and your carriers to address how to reduce accessorial charges. Once you assemble your cross-functional team, have a meeting to share and discuss your findings and create cost saving targets, action plans, persons accountable and timelines.

Create a report to track success on a monthly basis. Share the report with key stakeholders and follow up with any stakeholder who does not fulfill his/her responsibilities.

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In many firms, freight costs can be in the millions or tens of millions of dollars. This large expense can represent a significant percent of a company’s revenue. As a large expense item, it needs to be managed very skillfully.

The first blog in this series ( looked at the need for detailed, accurate, freight spend data. One of the benefits of having this type of quality data is that it allows the transportation leaders of an organization to create a quality freight budget. The budget should be tied directly to the company’s business plan and supply chain strategy. Every manufacturer or distributor must make certain assumptions about how it plans to transport its inbound raw materials and deliver its finished goods. These assumptions outline the modes and expected costs.

The budget should detail on at least a monthly basis, the projected revenues and freight costs. Since many companies utilize multiple modes (e.g. small parcel, LTL , intermodal, etc.) and multiple service options (e.g. next day by 9:00 AM, regular ground, air freight etc.), it is important to capture this type of granular data since the costs will vary based on the mode and service chosen. Similarly, projections should be made concerning fuel surcharges and any other extra cost that can be a significant component of the freight budget.

The company should also produce a monthly transportation expense variance report. The report should be granular and provide variances on expenses by mode and cost item. It should highlight percentage changes in modal utilization and carrier collaboration.

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