Follow us on a thought exercise for a moment.
Say you’re heading out to do some shopping and your to-buy list is varied. You need black socks, a desk lamp, and a stack of notebooks. Where do you go?
We’re willing to bet you thought of a department store, or even an online all-in-one retailer. Maybe you thought of the mall. The path you likely didn’t consider? Going to multiple individual stores, one by one, to collect your goods. However, general goods stores offer us a convenient stop for everything we need, consistently priced and consistently serviced.
When it comes to shipping, asset based carriers are, essentially, those general goods stores.
Asset Based Carriers vs Non-Asset Based Carriers
An asset based carrier exists in contrast to a non-asset based carrier. The key difference? Asset based carriers own the resources they need to move your goods throughout the supply chain; non-asset based carriers negotiate contracts and partnerships so that your goods are moved throughout the supply chain on multiple different providers’ services.
An asset based carrier typically owns transport equipment for at least one transport method — land, sea, or air — while also owning the required storage and distribution centers. Rather than multiple contracts, you deal with one company.
Non-asset based carriers, instead of offering their own equipment and warehouses, base their value on flexibility. While not having a set fleet of trucks and ships that work with specific warehouses does afford non-asset based carrier clients a relatively adaptable supply chain, the nature of their business means you don’t always have a guarantee that the providers they work with are as consistent in quality, pricing, or speed as an asset-based carrier will be.
Choosing to work with an asset based carrier can benefit your business in a myriad of ways. Some of the optimized solutions shippers can benefit from are:
Providing a competitive advantage
Asset based carriers, by having comprehensive networks of equipment and storage, can have quicker responses to clients than non-asset based carriers. Because you’re communicating directly with the transport and storage provider, you don’t need to wait for middlemen to facilitate partnerships and arrangements — and as such, you can get your goods moving faster, along trusted routes and with equipment the asset based carrier knows works.
Increasing overall efficiency
Springboarding off of increased competitive advantage is the fact that asset based carriers can offer increased efficiency as well. The all-in-one supply chain solutions from an asset based carrier mean no time, money, or energy is wasted connecting multiple providers along the same route — you deal with one carrier, but get access to multiple supply chain solutions.
Asset based carriers aren’t just efficient with time. They’re efficient with cost, as well. As part and parcel with owning and operating their own equipment and storage, asset based carriers can take on hard costs like claims and accounting for you — they already have the necessary resources. In addition, working with an asset based carrier offers predictable and stable costs; working with non-asset based carriers always has the danger of unpredictable changes in pricing — inflating your costs.
Decreasing errors and mitigating risk
Liability stays with the asset based carrier when you work with them. One company — not multiple, outsourced carriers — handles your goods the whole journey, simplifying the tracking process. By working with an asset based carrier, you can be sure the level of care, service, and efficiency is consistent throughout the supply chain; there may be widely varying levels of attentiveness when outsourcing with a non-asset based carrier, putting your goods more at risk.
Specialized Asset Based Carriers
Asset based carriers that specialize in a specific kind of logistics — like the cold chain — offer unparalleled advantages over non-asset based carriers. Trying to move fresh food, for example, throughout the supply chain without a consistent partner can lead to inflated costs and lost time at best and spoilage and loss of product at worst.
Specialized asset based carriers know the complexities of their particular logistics better than anyone, as well. By outsourcing your temperature sensitive goods to an asset based carrier like Oceanstar, you know you’re saving time and money while reducing risk.