What is Consolidation?


Man with a legal pad next to a freight truckDefining Consolidation

Here is a common problem that countless manufacturers face when it comes to their freight shipment method: You have freight that needs to be shipped but not enough to fill up an entire truckload. In this scenario, the traditional decision is to ship it anyways and deal with wasted space on the truck and wasted labor costs. Consolidation is a strategy that solves this age-old issue.

Consolidation is a logistics technique that consolidates freight from several different manufacturers into one truck. The truck will make stops in the most time efficient manner to deliver freight to each appropriate location. This technique is creating a more efficient supply chain for manufacturers everywhere.

Solving Industry Inefficiencies

Consolidation is an ingenious logistics technique that solves one of the industry’s greatest cost inefficiencies. This is because it transports a manufacturer’s goods in the absolute most efficient method. Here are some inefficiencies solved by consolidating freight:

1. Freight cost is reduced thanks to the opportunity to share truck space with other manufacturers. Think of this like splitting a taxi with a friend.
2. Vehicle inefficiency is completely eliminated, making this a more eco-friendly approach in logistics management. Instead of two half-full trucks driving to the same place, just one truck can handle both loads.
3. Driver inadequacies are also eliminated as fewer shipments will need to go out, ensuring each driver’s time is fully maximized because they have a full shipment.

Learning More About the Consolidation Process

The consolidation process begins with a third-party logistics provider such as National Retail Systems. We organize freight shipments into our truckloads to ensure each truck is full, then plan out the most efficient route to get all of the goods to their intended destinations on time. Third-party logistics companies often work with trusted shippers to get everything where it needs to be without any hiccups in the process, making consolidation the most proficient technique.

Cross-Docking in the Consolidation Process

For those that want to make the consolidation process even more effective, there is a technique known as cross-docking that is also an option. In the consolidation process, there is still the need to get goods to the truck in order for them to be transported. Traditionally, this means transporting the goods somewhere and paying for storage until it is ready to be shipped. With cross-docking, your goods are delivered immediately to the truck, reducing storage costs and warehouse labor costs.

This journey should be completely organized by a third party logistics company from start to finish to ensure the ultimate efficiency of the process.

Learn More About Consolidating Your Freight

National Retail Systems is here to provide you with the world’s leading consolidation services. We have been creating the most efficient consolidations for the world’s leading retailers for over sixty years, allowing us to perfect the process for our customers. With convenient hub locations all over the U.S., we make it easy to effectively consolidate your domestic and international shipments and have proudly consolidated over 2 Billion pounds of freight annually. Contact us today to learn more about consolidating your distribution.

The Ultimate 3PL

National Retail Systems, Inc. (NRS) includes Keystone Freight Corp. & National Retail Transportation, Inc. (NRT). NRS is an asset based 3PL that has been providing logistics services for the World’s leading retail companies for 60+ years. Our hub locations include: New York & New Jersey; Los Angeles, CA; Inland Empire, CA; Savannah, GA; Columbus, OH; Greensboro, NC; and Baltimore, MD.