What’s the Difference Between Asset-Based Logistics and Non-Asset Based Logistics?

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OptiVia.  What’s in a name?  In our case, it’s about Optimizing logistics Via transportation & warehousing, or helping you achieve optimal logistics solutions via our services.  The best solution for you can come from an asset based logistics partner or a non-asset based partner, but what is the difference between the two?  Let’s start by exploring the definitions of each, and we will discuss advantages and disadvantages in an upcoming post.

Asset Based Logistics

Simply put, asset based suppliers own the assets used throughout the shipping process, from trucks to warehouses, and from pallets to distribution centers.  This means that you will be working directly with the company responsible from getting your goods from point A to point B and utilizing their owned assets to fulfill your requirements.  This type of solution – working directly with the carrier – may provide you with quick and seamless communication when you want an update on where your freight is at any given time.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that the carrier remains constrained by their assets available to them at any given time.  Be sure to ask the appropriate questions that are important to your needs – regarding availability, regional/national presence, filing a freight claim, or more.

Non-Asset Based Logistics

A non-asset based logistics partner does not own the actual assets used to transport or warehouse freight, but works to broker these services on your behalf.  They leverage relationships with a variety of carriers, warehouses and distribution/fulfillment centers to negotiate the best solutions for your needs.  This gives non-asset based logistics service providers the opportunity to meet a variety of needs and offer custom solutions for each client.  They are not constrained by a certain number of trucks or routes, and they can hold their suppliers accountable for delivering on time and within budget.

Asset Based Logistics Provider Non-Asset Based Logistics Provider
   Owns their own equipment    Does not own equipment
   Works directly with customers     Negotiates between asset-based carriers & customers

How to choose?

When considering which type of partner is right for you, it’s important to keep in mind your need for flexibility and level of involvement you wish to invest in the day-to-day operations of logistics.  Choose a partner you can trust; one that allows you to focus on what you do best – running your business.

Expect the Unexpected: How to Prepare for Unanticipated Delays

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Snow in July?  Really?  About this time last year, Boston started accumulating what would become over 64 inches of snow, and the last of it was around until July.

What exactly is a monsoon?  Ask the folks of Phoenix, Arizona, who recently saw 2 to 3 inches of rain per hour, causing downed trees, flash floods, and power outages.

Unfortunately, major weather-related events or natural disasters can happen anywhere at any time – in your neighborhood or across the country.  And if you’re shipping freight from Charlotte to Albuquerque, an unexpected ice storm in Texas may wreak havoc on your timeline for deliverables.

Whether you’re shipping small orders locally, or large orders nationally or globally, it’s important to choose a logistics partner who will keep you in-the-know of any possible weather or other unforeseen service interruptions.

Luckily, there are some steps you can take to be prepared and armed with valuable information.

  • Expect communication from your logistics partner. You should receive a phone call, email, or text notifying you of the potential of delay or change of route due to an uncontrollable circumstance.  Likely, updates will also be posted on your carrier’s website. This information should include, if available, expected length of delay and what actions are being taken to continue with transit as quickly and safely as possible.  If you would like to receive these alerts and other important updates from OptiVia, click here to provide your email address.
  • Consider adding a buffer or date range to your quoted shipping time, especially during the winter months. Perhaps you’re shipping products to a retailer for distribution, or pallets of laptops to a college campus.  If your receiver is flexible, they may be willing to accept a delivery window of 48-hours, for example, which may be a best practice if there is potential for inclement weather.
  • Plan around high-travel dates, such as holidays or weekends. You may be surprised to know that, according to USA Today, some Fridays during the summer are the most high-traffic days on the road. Throw in a hurricane and that could equal some serious traffic delays.  Consider the possible length of your freight journey, and try to avoid it being en route during the day everyone is headed home for that Thanksgiving turkey at mom and dad’s.
  • Have a backup plan. Perhaps your usual go-to partner has a fleet of trucks stuck in a regional blizzard, or a major highway is shut down due to wildfires.  It’s important to have a handful of trusted carriers that you can rely on with short notice, and that can offer you the reliability and flexibility you may need at the last minute.  Don’t leave yourself without options.

Our goal remains to serve our clients with excellence while maintaining high safety and quality standards – to make sure your fright gets where it needs to be, when it needs to be there, in the same condition that it was in when it left the warehouse.  And you should be in-the-know when there are unanticipated delays.  This is what you should expect from your logistics partner.