Business to Customer (B2C) Freight Challenges

A common complaint we hear from many small businesses in Australia, is that there are many logistics providers however not many service the Business to Customer segment well. This is particularly the case for items over 40kg or odd shapes & lengths (known as ‘Ugly Freight’).

This is a short overview to explore the challenges in effectively providing business to customer freight solutions. To simplify things, we will split the business to consumer freight into two broader buckets. Consignments that are small and under 40kg in weight and consignments that are greater than 1.8m in length and/or heavier than 40kg.

For smaller consignments (ie under 40kg), there are a number of solutions available on the market. Many logistics companies however insist on a minimum spend level from new customers. This is often difficult to predict or even meet if you are a new online start up. To add to this, there are also a number of hidden charges associated with delivering to personal addresses (eg redelivery fees, residential surcharges etc). Without knowing what these are, you can be in for a nasty surprise on your first invoice. For this reason, it is valuable to involve the expertise of a Sydney Freight Broker or a Melbourne Freight Broker. They will be able to guide you to the right solution, leveraging their market power (freight spend) and understanding all costs up front.

For heavier or ‘ugly freight’ consignments (ie greater than 40kg) or longer than 1.8m in length, the challenge is always one of profitability. Transport companies make money by maintaining a high utilisation on their vehicles. When they carry varying lengths going to a number of destinations, the challenge is filling the truck properly. These items also don’t fit nicely onto a conveyor belt resulting in more manual work from carriers.

Another challenge in the Business to Consumer freight for heavier items is unloading. Unlike delivering to a business, often residential addresses don’t have a folk lift available therefore items need to be unloaded by hand. This can pose an OH&S risk depending on the items and who is available for the unloading process. Ensuring somebody is at home to accept the delivery is also another unique challenge in the B2C market.

For these reasons, there are many carriers reluctant to accept heavy or ‘ugly freight’ going from Business to Consumer. Through consulting with a Sydney freight broker or Melbourne freight broker, they will be able to guide you to the appropriate solution for your business given their broad view of the logistics market.