On Demand Cargo Control – New Model Speeds Delivery & Selection
No longer tied down to an old purchasing model, cargo control suppliers can provide one-stop shopping with overnight delivery to meet tight construction and delivery schedules. When heavy equipment or cargo must be safely delivered on time, equipment rental and trucking industry managers as well as drivers rely on having the right tie down and cargo control gear on hand to secure the load to the trailer or flatbed.
Regardless of what cargo is being hauled, there can be no compromise as to its securement over rough roads or through traffic. Improperly securing loads could lead to serious legal issues, traffic citations and unplanned project or production delays.
Yet frequently, purchasing tie down and cargo control gear is left to the last minute. Often this is because it is an afterthought, or it goes missing, is damaged, or it is unclear what specifications are required for the job. Nevertheless, with delivery deadlines looming, equipment rental and trucking industry managers cannot waste time querying suppliers that cannot deliver the goods right away.
"Quick turnaround is critical because if we need chains and tie downs, that usually means we’re out," says Richard Wiley, owner of Minuteman Rentals, an equipment rental company in Burnet, TX. "We can’t send equipment out with a customer without safely securing the equipment to our trailer."
Traditionally, the industry has looked to a number of supply channels. This has included local suppliers, big box stores, and online retailers. The problem occurs, however, when essential equipment – such as chains, hooks, binders, d-rings, and ratchet tie downs or straps of the required size and specification – is not available.
Even many online retailers, which do not specialize in tie down and cargo supplies, lack sufficient, specialized inventory. As a consequence, equipment rental and trucking fleet managers often waste valuable time calling around to multiple suppliers trying to fill the order. Even then, they may have to wait days for the required gear to ship from another location, and be subject to extra shipping or rush order fees.
Now to help make equipment rental and trucking professionals more competitive, proactive tie down and cargo control gear suppliers are following a new more responsive purchasing model. To this end, they are offering a host of vital capabilities including "Amazon-style" variety, emergency response, expert engineering support, and custom-made capabilities.
One-Stop, Certified Cargo Control Item Shopping, and Same-Day Shipping
In response to the need to streamline purchasing, a growing number of suppliers are implementing an "Amazon-style" approach to inventory by stocking the vast majority of required tie down and cargo securement items in-house, ready to ship. This enables busy equipment rental and trucking professionals to order all of their tie down and cargo control-related equipment without going to multiple vendors.
"The trend is toward simplifying purchasing by offering the entire spectrum of products used for tie down and cargo securement," says Tim Murphy, owner of Murphy Industrial Products (murphyindustrialproducts.com), a national wholesaler of tie down and cargo control products. "This may include not only chain and binders, ratchet tie down straps, and tie down webbing, but also d-rings and pivot links, tarps and straps, trailer winches, hooks, shackles, snatch blocks, and even specialty items like QuickBinders and Speedbinders. It can also include chain gauges for drivers to determine if their chains are safe to use, without cracked, stretched, or fatigued links, before securing the load."
This one-stop model prioritizes stocking the variety, quantity, and selection of tie down and cargo control supplies most commonly required so they can be shipped immediately, in one transaction.
This requires having all needed part numbers and specifics available at the point of order, whether by phone, website, catalog or SmartEquip. It also requires having all products under one roof, logistically prepared to ship nationally as well as track without delay.
"For most retailers, having a wide variety of tie down and cargo control items is not their focus, so they have spotty selection and have to special order it from distributors, if it can be found at all," says Murphy. With many online retailers, if you need something other than standard, you are out of luck."
Because thousands of in stock tie down and cargo control items are held in inventory by some wholesalers like Murphy Industrial Products that implement the Amazon style approach and deliver nationally, same day shipping can be offered on up to 90% of all typical cargo securement orders.
"Being able to order anything from routine to oddball tie down and cargo control items from one supplier is a competitive advantage," says Wiley. "When I order, they usually have what I need in stock and get it to me by the next day. That helps me to keep my equipment rented out without searching for required items or waiting for delivery."
Rush and Emergency Response
Without required tie down and cargo control equipment, vital shipments may not safely make it to their destinations on-time. Any safety mishap or delay in delivery might not only involve legal or worker’s comp issues for equipment rental and trucking professionals, but could also cost them their reputation.
While any vendor can rush a single order, traditionally few have organized their processes to expedite orders for the majority of their customers, including rush and emergency situations.
Now some tie down and cargo control item suppliers are streamlining their entire process from order to delivery around speed of response. While some websites are set up to enable one-click shopping for routine items, for instance, some suppliers for the equipment rental and trucking industry go well beyond this approach.
"When a rapid response is required, too often it may take a supplier several hours to reply to a request," says Murphy. "If a supplier has their act together, its service reps should be able to respond to a request within minutes to an hour. They should know what their customers will likely need, and have it in stock, ready to ship the same day in most cases. Speed is critical."
Beyond this, a responsive supplier should be reachable by a variety of methods to best accommodate customers’ needs in the field.
Expert Guidance and Engineering Support
Because deliveries will vary and safety is critical, expert guidance and engineering support will be necessary at times to provide the optimal tie down and cargo control equipment for the job. Purchasers may not know what specifications they need in terms of weight capacity, configuration, and options.
"At times, equipment rental and trucking professionals may need help deciding what
grade of chain or load binder to use with a unique or oversized load," says Murphy. "They might be considering the pros and cons of pre-built versus bulk chain for their application. Or they might wonder if an abrasion resistant, diamond weave ratchet tie down, could help them. For a variety of reasons, customers may have questions about their tie down and cargo control gear when they are unsure what they need to get the job done."
According to Murphy, knowledgeable and responsive inside sales staff is a good start in these cases, but engineering expertise may be required as well.
"If you’re dealing with loads or equipment of an unusual size, shape or other complications, it is important to get help from an engineer," says Murphy, whose onsite engineer is a former wire rope designer and has 40 years of experience solving unique rigging, tie down, and cargo securement challenges.
Going Beyond Typical Stock Items
While there is a trend to stock all tie down and cargo control equipment under one roof, this does not mean that it cannot be modified. When equipment customization is required, such as in length, size, or capacity, this can be done quickly to suit unique circumstances.
Wiley relates his experience with customizing required equipment. "We had a customer that was trying to move some large blocks that needed some custom sized nylon webbing slings," says Wiley. "When I called Murphy, they manufactured the modified slings for us and we had them within two days."
Custom tie down and cargo control can sometimes be required when hauling unusual or oversized loads.
"While 4"x30’ strap is fine for routine cargo control, sometimes 4"x50’ or 4"x60’ strap is required for tall oilfield, utility, or industrial equipment," says Murphy. "They may also want to vary chain size or request custom lengths. No matter how routine or custom the application, all products should be certified and meet all state and national standards."
Not only does the new model require tie down and cargo control suppliers to carry thousands of parts on demand, ready to ship, but also it allows the choice of American or international made products, depending on needs.
As the equipment rental and trucking industry continues to adapt to industry surprises and ever-tighter delivery schedules, the new one-stop shop model that prioritizes wide selection, fast delivery, as well as customization will help industry professionals stay one step ahead of the competition.
For more info, phone 866-849-8073; email firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.murphyindustrialproducts.com; or write to Murphy Industrial Products, 600 N. Shepherd Dr. #303, Houston, TX 77007.