Common Challenges in Warehouse Logistics and How to Overcome Them

warehouse logistics

Wondering what to do about your warehouse logistics challenges?

Today, e-commerce and other changes have affected the way warehouses operate. Modern warehouses are bigger than ever before and operate differently than they used to. This can mean a whole new host of logistics issues for many companies.

The challenges that your brand faces in warehouse logistics are probably common ones – you’re not alone. In this guide, we’ll go over some of the most common warehouse challenges, and how to address them. Keep reading to learn how to smooth out those rough bits in your warehouse logistics!

What Are Warehouse Logistics?

If you want to understand warehouse logistics, you first need to know what logistics mean in general.

The simplest way to define logistics is as the details inherent in organizing, managing, planning, and implementing complicated operations. In a number of industries, such as the warehouse industry, logistics also includes the way information and physical goods flow.

Warehouse logistics really refers to the whole scope of complicated factors involved in the warehousing process.

The logistics might include things as varied as pest control, safety policies, handling of damaged goods, HR management, customer service, and more.

Why Warehouse Logistics Pose Challenges

Many of the logistical challenges in a warehouse have to do with organization. How is it possible to control every operation detail in a huge warehouse?

It might seem impossible, but it’s necessary – and it’s not really impossible after all. In a warehouse, staff needs to be able to find exactly where specific inventory items are kept, because those items might be damaged, returned, or recalled, for example. This information is crucial for keeping things running smoothly and getting profits flowing in. But it’s not easy to get.

To make logistics work well, you need the right strategies and tools. Meeting these challenges means being flexible enough to beat the competition, while also meeting customers’ expectations, and much more.

Managing a warehouse is no easy task, especially as e-commerce means orders that seem to grow by the day. Let’s take a look at some of the top challenges faced in today’s warehouses, and the strategies for overcoming them.

1. Inaccurate Inventory

The success of warehouse logistics hinges on its inventory. If you can’t know your full inventory, you might run out of stock at a bad time, or keep too much stock instead.

It’s obvious why running out of an item can pose an issue. However, stocking too much of something can also create problems. This reduces the amount of cash flow that can move through the warehouse and adds to the expenses since an excess stock is getting warehoused.

However, having a shortage of inventory is definitely the worse of the two problems. If you don’t have items in stock when they get ordered, you’ll run into customer complaints due to unfulfilled orders. It can be hard to make up your brand’s reputation once that happens to a few customers.

Modern tools can help inventory stay accurate. If you’re not using software to track your inventory, you’ll run into inaccuracies much more often.

2. Poor Inventory Location

When there’s not enough oversight of the inventory, things become more inefficient. That inefficiency results in slower operations and higher costs.

If you don’t know where your inventory is – even if you know that you have it – it will take longer to ship out items once they’ve been ordered. Time gets wasted finding the right things to send to customers.

The loading process then slows down, scheduling gets thrown off, and more issues arise. Warehouse logistics operate in a delicate balance, and one problem can throw off many other areas.

The above-mentioned software can also be useful for tracking inventory location. Make sure all your employees are on board with updating information as needed if items get moved, and make the information easily accessible for everyone who needs it.

3. Bad Warehouse Layout

Space utilization is one of the most important things in a warehouse. Is your warehouse layout helping or hurting?

Having space isn’t the issue. Many warehouses are plenty large for the task. However, they might feel smaller or less organized because the space hasn’t been used wisely. When you optimize that space, you’ll cut down on the needless labor.

For example, keep the inventory that sells often and moves fast near the front of the warehouse. That way, lift drivers don’t need to go all the way to the back of the warehouse for something they’re often retrieving.

4. Repetitive Processes

It’s important to keep things organized and detailed. However, it’s also possible to take things too far and create redundant, repetitive processes that don’t serve the warehouse.

For example, you might find that documentation like pick tickets is getting passed through far more hands than it needs to. Not only is this repetitive, but it also creates more room for errors. A good way to fix this problem is to use barcode technology, so the information is attached to the item and make available to anyone who’s handling it.

5. Picking That’s Not Optimized

Finally, are your picking processes optimized?

If manual processes are still in place at your warehouse, there’s often no regular route taken when items get picked for shipment. This leads to a confusing method that changes depending on who’s working that day.

Avoid adding extra time with un-optimized picking processes. Streamline and automate as much as you can, and you’ll be amazed by how your warehouse logistics improve.

Ready to Upgrade Your Warehouse Logistics?

The world of buying, selling, and shipping has changed. If your warehouse logistics haven’t changed with it, things can quickly become confused and inefficient.

Implementing these strategies to address your logistics concerns will save time, money, and effort throughout the process of getting goods to customers.

Air Freight Costs: How to Calculate Chargeable Weight

air freight costs

Are you ending products to customers across the oceans? How do businesses know how much to charge for shipping? Chargeable weight is often a point of confusion and question when checking freight documentation and quotation. Due to the point that both the actual weight and the chargeable weight gets listed, it has led to some queries raised with couriers. Whether it is with a simple shipping of luggage to a destination first hand before flying or sending products to a business location, this makes some wonder: How does chargeable weight work and how can to determine it? Here are some details on chargeable weight, how to calculate it, and how it affects air freight costs.

What is Chargeable Weight?

When items are being sent into a freight, different weights come into play. One is the actual weight, in which may come in various forms depending on the item in question. This can come as either the gross weight or the volumetric weight.

Now to understand how to calculate these, here are some formulas that can help with determining the estimated weight of the object intended to ship via air freight.

1. Calculate the Gross Weight

The gross weight is sometimes referred to as the actual weight of the object. This is easily done by using a weighing scale. The weight is going to depend on the type of the shipment.

In airfreight shipments, take note that the package’s actual weight is not the only thing measured. It also includes the pallet on which the item rests on. From here, the results will show up on the scale.

There are times that the weighing scale used will display the weight values in pounds. When this happens, start making a conversion of values from pounds to kilograms.

In some cases, people do have to include the weight of the packaging. This means a company not only weighs the product they’re shipping but also the added weight of the bubble wrap and the box or plastic wrap.

2. Calculate the Volumetric Weight

Tackling volumetric weight requires a different manner. Compared to the gross weight, this one takes note of the package’s volume and area. To determine this, it needs a step by step method to find this specific value. The process is as follows:

  • Determine the volume (L x W x H)
  • Make sure the volume is in cubic meters (CBM)
  • Multiply the volume with the air cubic conversion factor (167)

Volumetric weight covers more on the amount of space it covers in the vehicle the courier will use compared to the actual weight. At times, items that are lighter may end up having a higher volumetric weight compared to its actual weight.

At other instances, the shape of the object will also help determine the volume

3. Take the Higher Value between Gross and Volumetric Weight

Once gross weight and volumetric weight are done, put these two values in comparison and take the higher of the two. From there, the courier makes a quotation for the freight’s cost.

Now there are situations where these steps will vary depending on the shape of the object and the density or weight that it has. The following details will take note of these situations and how the process is then determined.

Examples for Determining Chargeable Weight

Example A.

The package stored in a box has a gross weight of 992.08 lbs. The box happens to have 40.21 inches by 38.09 inches by 40 inches as its package dimensions.

First is to determine the volume (40.21 in. x 38.09 in. x 40 in.). In this case, we would get the amount of 61263.956000000006 cubic inches. Converting these into cubic meters (hint: 61,024 cubic inches = 1 CBM), we would get the amount of 1.00393637 CBM.

Now by multiplying the volume of 1.00393637 CBM with 167 as the conversion factor, the result will be at 167 kgs.

Now, converting 992.08 lbs to kilograms should give us the amount of 449.99 kgs.

For this package, the chargeable weight is 449.99 kgs (the gross weight is higher than the volumetric weight).

Example B.

The package is that of a guitar in a case, weighing about 4.5 kgs in total. The dimensions are 114.30 cm by 50.17 cm by 18.42 cm. Since the conversions were already done first hand, the process has become shorter and different.

The volume they have, when expressed in cubic meters, is at 0.10562822 CBM. Multiplying this with 167 on the conversion factor puts this at 17.64 kgs.

Now, when looking at the chargeable weight for this package, it comes out as 17.64 kgs (in this case, the volumetric weight is higher than the gross weight).

If in case this still seems confusing, try calculating these with an air freight chargeable weight calculator.

The Importance of Determining the Chargeable Weight

For couriers, whether they conduct these by using air freights or delivery trucks, the chargeable weight acts as the basis for air freight costs and shipping costs.

As air freights make use of planes for delivering cargo, details like weight and volume are important. It aids in maintaining the balance of the aircraft and ensuring a safe flight.

For instance, take the thought of shipping cotton and steel. Notably, steel would have a heavier weight compared to cotton when put on the scale. In this case, the steel cargo would have a chargeable weight based on its gross weight.

On the other hand, while the gross weight for the cotton package is low, its chargeable weight is high. The reason behind this is that despite it weighing less on the scale, it takes up a significant amount of volume. This high volumetric or dimensional weight becomes the basis for the chargeable weight.

Set Air Freight Costs With Ease Today!

Being able to determine the chargeable weight for your package allows you to have foresight on the appraisal of air freight costs. This enables you to prepare and gauge the amount required when setting up your freights for your products and items.

Regarding meeting your shipping and transport needs, you can contact Need It Now, and they will help you get started.