Anyone shipping products in 2023 is always looking for ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency. The truck driver shortage is still causing problems, and numerous other issues such as rising energy costs are also making shipping a challenge. Modern logistical challenges call for new solutions, and retail pool distribution is quickly gaining popularity.
What is retail pool distribution, and how does it improve your shipping? Let’s take a look.
What Is Retail Pool Distribution?
At heart, pool distribution is a form of load consolidation, and very similar to Less-Than-Load strategies – but on a bigger scale. These are the major differences:
Pool distribution typically happens on larger trucks and trailers than LTL, and they will combine virtually any type of shipment. The shipments typically encompass many different types of products and may even come from several different shipping companies.
The other big difference is that pool distribution is regional. The shipping company organizing the pool distribution has access to a large regional warehouse, where all the shipments go for sorting before the last mile delivery.
As one example of how this might work: Previously, four separate competing stores at a mall would typically contract four separate LTL services, but this is inefficient. Retail pool distribution puts all of their products on the same truck and delivers them to the mall simultaneously, so they all enjoy the lowest possible shipping costs.
The Benefits of Pool Distribution
1. Save money
This is a big draw for businesses. Currently, retail pool distribution is the least costly option for a wide variety of products being shipped. Fewer trucks mean less fuel being burned, and there are fewer distribution centers involved as well, cutting down on overhead.
2. Save time
Pool distribution is also excellent at saving time on shipments by reducing time spent in transit and on unloading/loading. Typically, a pool distribution service only needs to stop and reload the shipment once, after it reaches the distribution center and needs to be prepped for last-mile delivery.
3. Reduce damage
Because pool distribution shipments are more direct, and there’s less reloading involved, that reduces the chances of damage being done to shipped products. Also, pool distribution loads are typically packed very tightly, maximizing the use of space, and leaving no room for products to slide around.
4. Help the planet
Because pool distribution is so efficient, that also indirectly aids in ‘green’ initiatives by reducing the fuel use and greenhouse gas waste created by shipping. You can tell your customers that you’re reducing harm done by your shipping operations and be entirely honest.
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