There are many ways to run a successful shipping company. As the core, they include detailed planning for your business needs today and in the future. With the right strategies, you can create a business blueprint to help your company overcome any obstacle to achieve systems and process optimization and profitability.
What are the best strategies to achieve this success? Here are five proven business strategies to support your shipping and logistics business success in 2023 and beyond:
1. Start with a bulletproof business plan
Before starting your business, hire a professional business plan writer to write a business plan for success. Your business plan guides all business decisions and maps out projected growth. It will also be requested by investors or banks when seeking loans.
Your business plan should include many details, including, but not limited to, a summary of your business offerings and services, customer or audience profiles, a detailed industry and competitor analysis, and financial forecasts. Robust business plans are usually 30 or more pages.
The goal of your business plan is three-fold:
- Seek funding and investors
- Guide business decisions
- Set goals and objectives for clear growth
If you’ve already started your company without a business plan, you can still write one now. It’s a document you should revisit and update annually or semi-annually, depending on your growth.
Business continuity planning
An important aspect to include in your business plan is a business continuity strategy. The recent pandemic devastated the global supply chain network for various reasons. One of these reasons was that businesses throughout the chain didn’t enact business continuity plans fast enough.
Your business continuity plan should include ways to mitigate business risk and ensure continuous business operations in the event of:
- Staffing shortages
- Natural disasters (like earthquakes, tsunamis, and avalanches)
- Human-caused disasters (like bombings and large-scale protests blocking roads)
- Unexpected loss or decrease of customers due to upstream supply chain struggles (like raw material acquisition, staffing)
Planning for these and other risks to your business now can provide steps and guidance to minimize their impact on your business should these scenarios occur.
2. Site and region selection
Your goal is to get your customers’ packages to their destinations as safely and quickly as possible. To achieve this, one crucial business decision is choosing your region and warehouses to centralize your operations.
For example, if you’re serving customers who primarily ship within the Middle East, you wouldn’t set up a shipping hub in New York City. You’d have more success choosing a warehouse centrally located near rail systems, airports, or seaports in your region. This allows you to move shipments faster.
The location makes a difference if you join freight forwarding or shipping networks. Some networks only allow a limited number (or one) member companies from each region. If you want to join a shipping alliance or network, research a few in advance and look for possible openings in membership.
3. Specialize, not generalize
While this is not a hard and fast rule, companies specializing in a particular commodity or type of shipment often experience faster growth than those who generalize. For example, you may specialize in temperature-controlled shipping for medical supplies or food, or shipping delicate electronics and equipment.
By specializing in a specific type of commodity that multiple companies ship to, you can better target the companies that you want to be your customers. You can do this through targeted cold-calling, networking, and marketing messaging that speaks directly to your specific customer niche.
4. Recruit the right staff
Successful business owners, CEOs, and entrepreneurs understand the value of delegating and hiring the right people. Ensure you’re recruiting highly skilled specialists in their field for every job, from the bottom to the top.
If you’re purchasing cargo ships, trains, or airplanes, this includes the staff that drives or captain these vessels, those who maintain them, and anyone related to loading and unloading at your destinations. Don’t forget about any in-house staff at your headquarters and external business or marketing consultants you work with.
Working with a professional recruitment agency with experience in shipping and logistics can often help you find the most qualified candidates.
5. Joining a freight forwarding network
The top logistics companies worldwide are part of a freight forwarding network. A freight forwarding or logistics network is a group of trusted partners you collaborate with in shipment handling, customer brokerages, and pooling of financial and operational resources. When you join the right freight forwarding network, you work together to establish service standards and work together with more robust, more extensive logistic solutions for your customers.
By pooling resources with other member companies, you can often get more competitive rates than trying to coordinate smaller shipments on your own.
Learn From EXPERIENCED Industry Experts
RW Solutions is bridging the gap in global freight forwarding with over 1000+ independent freight forwarders in 100+ countries. Choose a freight forwarding network for your niche or region and start experiencing the benefits and business growth today.