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How to Avoid Emergency Expedited Shipments

Discover how to avoid costly emergency expedited shipments. Learn about the reasons behind expedited shipping, the industries that benefit from it, and effective strategies to optimize your supply chain and reduce the need for rushed deliveries.

Expedited freight shipping is the shipping method or service that allows goods to arrive faster than standard transit times. Expedited packages are prioritized to ensure the customer receives them within the requested time frame. This means carriers rarely stop or encounter delays along the way.

Why Emergency Expedited Shipments?

Emergency expedited shipment services are often necessary for those needing to ship critical supplies and equipment. However, expedited shipping services are not limited to essential materials and are available to most all products. Reasons for emergency expedited shipping always include the need for a sense of urgency. Often cited motives for this service include:

Customer Satisfaction: Shippers looking to meet customer needs and demands for fast delivery can better meet customer expectations using this service. Expedited shipping can be beneficial for e-commerce businesses offering quick shipping options. 

Minimized Downtime: Many industries and businesses rely on expedited shipping to keep their operations afloat. In case of a part breaking or a similar circumstance, being able to emergency expedite a product allows companies to keep running smoothly without having to make changes to their everyday operations. 

Inventory Shortages: All industries can benefit from the ability to replenish inventory quickly and accurately. A complete inventory helps businesses stay at the top of their game and minimizes setbacks and supply chain disruptions.

Preventing Production Delays: Emergency expedited services allow businesses to receive critical materials and components for production processes quickly. This service dramatically decreases the likelihood of production delays.

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Expedited Shipping for Your Industry

Emergency Expedited Services are primarily used to deliver time-sensitive freight requiring urgent delivery. Time-sensitive freight can include but are not limited to, the following products: medical supplies, perishable goods, critical spare parts, time-sensitive documents, and relief supplies

Medical Supplies: This includes life-saving medications, transplant organs, and medical equipment needed for urgent surgeries or treatments. It is easy to understand why medical products are often expedited. 

Perishable Goods: These include temperature-sensitive and time-critical perishables, including fresh produce, seafood, and flowers. Emergency expedited shipping is necessary to maintain quality and prevent spoilage. 

Critical Spare Parts: Critical spare parts are often transported via expedited shipping to repair equipment and machinery. Common industries requiring expedited shipping include the aviation and manufacturing industries to minimize downtime. 

Time-Sensitive Documents: Important legal documents, contracts, and sensitive documents may be expedited to meet legal requirements and deadlines. 

Relief Supplies: Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis, and war prompts an immediate need for survival supplies. These emergency items include food, water, medical aid, and shelter materials; and are shipped via expedited freight to the affected areas. 

Avoiding Emergency Expedited Shipments

While emergency expedited shipment services can be invaluable across various industries, the difference in cost can often deter shippers unless the expediting services are necessary. As you may have guessed, emergency expedited shipment services are more expensive than standard shipment and, for this reason, may want to be avoided, as the difference in cost is often significant. 

More reasons to avoid emergency expedited shipment services include limited availability, increased risk of error, damage potential, and on the emotional end, often creates additional stress and may contribute to feelings of overdependency. Expedited shipping to specific regions and during particular seasons may result in limited availability, contributing to delays and hiccups in transit.

Such fast shipping processes also increase the risk of errors and processing mistakes. Packages may be mislabeled, resulting in increased delays and supply chain disruptions. The risk of errors increases, and so is the risk of damage. With faster transportation methods, mishandling packages due to rushed handling; can easily result in damaged goods. 

Emergency expediting shipments can take a physical toll on the products themselves and emotionally on the shippers, carriers, and customers. Waiting for an emergency shipment to arrive in perfect condition, without defects or delays, can be highly stressful. When the stakes are so high, the result is often rushed decision-making, sometimes a compromised customer experience.

While 3PLs like FreightCenter partner with the nation’s most reliable and reputable carriers, mistakes and accidents can still occur, no matter the precautions taken. Using emergency expedited services frequently can cause shippers to become overdependent on the service. Overdependency can reinforce negative business behaviors, such as under-preparedness, the cycle of urgency, and last-minute planning. 

While emergency expedited shipping services are necessary for various industries, the circumstances do not always justify using these services. Due to the substantially high costs and increased risk of damages and delays, it is wise to utilize this service only if your products require them. Instead, rely on planning, optimizing processes, and avoiding the need for emergency expedited services in general. Doing so will create a more efficient and reliable supply chain. 

How to Avoid Emergency Expedited Shipping 

While emergency expedited shipping is unavoidable in some situations, it can be avoided in others. Much of the issue can be avoided altogether simply through proper planning practices. Start by carefully planning your inventory management and order fulfillment processes. Be sure to anticipate demand, and remember to order products with significant enough lead time. Being aware of the numbers prevents the rush of last-minute orders. Another crucial element of the planning process is maintaining a “safety stock.”

Keeping a safety stock buffer will allow order fulfillment when the new stock orders are delivered. It is essential to monitor inventory levels to complete the previous two steps. Using worthy software or an excellent inventory management system is imperative. The software will allow you to monitor stock levels accurately.

Another added benefit of inventory software is its ability to send automated notifications when inventory levels are low and products need to be reordered. When you know what you have in stock, consolidating your orders into smaller and larger orders is also easier, reducing the need to place emergency expediting orders. Maintaining excellent customer communication is essential for avoiding rushed orders and last-minute shipments.

FreightCenter Optimization

FreightCenter is nationally recognized as a reputable and award-winning third-party logistics provider. Using our logistics services will help you prevent the need for emergency expedited shipments. We partner with only the most reliable and efficient carriers nationwide, so you can rest assured that your shipments will arrive on time and meet your deadlines. We have strong relationships and communicate well with our carriers, so your expectations and needs will be communicated clearly.  

We are here to help you improve your supply chain processes with the help of our expert agents and TMS (transportation management systems). We can help you streamline your operations, reduce lead times, and eliminate bottlenecks that cause emergency shipments. Partnering with us will give your company access to the top technology in the industry, allowing you to forecast accurately using historical sales data. Our cutting-edge tech enables you to predict demand and understand customer buying patterns. This will allow your company to plan and manage inventory levels and reduce shortages precisely.

Your FreightCenter agent will help you explore various shipping carriers and services, ensuring you are matched with the most time and cost-effective options for your company. We compare prices and transit times to ensure your success.   

Partner with a 3PL like FreightCenter

What’s a shipper to do to ensure a successful outcome? Partner with a third-party logistics company (3PL) like FreightCenter and get all the insight into how carriers ship your freight, including how they determine the shipping cost. Find the suitable carrier for the best rates with our extensive network of carriers and use our powerful TMS that streamlines the process for you.

Refrain from letting freight weight confuse you or keep you from shipping your cargo. Let our experts answer your freight shipping questions by calling us at 800.716.7608. You can also use our free online quote tool!


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To create value for our customers by delivering customized shipping solutions that meet their unique needs and to fulfill shipping demands from simple to complex with expertise, guidance and ingenuity.

LTL Shipping

LTL shipping involves combining multiple small shipments from different customers onto one truck, allowing each customer to share the shipment cost. Trust the experts at FreightCenter to give you the best prices and the most comprehensive options for all your LTL freight shipping needs.

Full Truckload

Truckload shipping, also known as full truckload (FTL), is a transportation option for freight that requires the entire trucks trailer space. Unlike LTL shipping, FTL shipping is reserved for larger commodities that exceed LTL weight and size limits, typically weighing more than 20,000 pounds or having dimensions that exceed 12 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8 feet in height. We deliver optimized solutions for full or partial truckloads and competitive dry van, flatbed, and refrigerated freight pricing. We can cover your full truckload shipping needs.

Expedited Services

Nationwide Expedited Trucking services move your freight securely and rapidly. Your freight requires fast delivery; our freight shipping experts can get your shipment fast, whether in one large box or a full truckload. Expedited shipping is a transportation option that prioritizes the speed of delivery for freight that needs to be shipped quickly. This can be especially important for urgent situations, such as engine repairs or replacements for critical machinery.

Specialized Freight Shipping

Specialized is a transportation option for items that require specialized handling, equipment, or shipping conditions. Specialized shipments may include high-value cargo, oversized cargo, or cargo that require temperature-controlled transportation. The most reliable Specialized Freight Services rates from all the top carriers are just a few steps away. From white glove service to international shipping, we've got you covered.

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