What is “Just In Time” (JIT) logistics, and how can this method of air cargo shipping save your business money?
JIT logistics is a method of air freight shipping that sees goods arrive exactly when they’re needed – hence the name. To break down the advantages and challenges that this approach entails, this article will focus on automotive air cargo charter in the U.S. The car industry is a perfect place to set a case study on JIT, as it actually originated within this field – either with Toyota in Japan, as some claim, or with the early American car manufacturer Henry Ford, according to others.
In essence, an air cargo charter that utilizes JIT means automotive freight shipping that arrives exactly when it’s needed. The Gandalf of air charter cargo, JIT shipping is never late, nor is it early. It arrives precisely when it means to. To fully understand this unique method of air freight car shipping, it’s important to view both its strengths and its weaknesses. Without further ado, let’s explore the world of JIT car air cargo.
Benefits for customers
Benefits to businesses usually involve saving something – whether space, time, money, or other less tangible inputs. By breaking it down in terms of what it can save you, it’s clear to see why JIT remains such a popular method of car freight shipping.
It saves space
This one’s fairly straightforward: if the car air freight arrives shortly before leaving your storage area, then you’ll have considerably less stock sat around at any given moment. Freight car shipping isn’t (yet) at the point where it can be delivered the second you need it, so inevitably there will be some small storage requirements, but these are far diminished when stock is retained for days rather than months.
It saves time
The clue’s in the name here: “Just In Time.” You can bet that a car shipping freight process with the word “time” in its name will certainly be able to deliver on a turnaround. Whether this means faster fulfillment, faster deliveries, or simply faster inventory access given its reduced size, it’s clear to see why this is such a key advantage of JIT for time-critical air cargo charter.
It saves money
The efficiencies of the previous two advantages inevitably result in cost savings of their own, doubling-down on the benefits of the JIT method of car-on-plane U.S. air cargo. The smaller your storage area, for example, the smaller the bills to maintain it; the faster you can access deliveries and stock, the cheaper the entire process of fulfillment. Any advantage of JIT air freight vehicle shipping, however minor, is inevitably accompanied by cost savings – little wonder it’s so popular!
It saves admin
JIT cargo air charter services mean that the administrative burden on the organization is greatly diminished. Rather than having to coordinate the fulfillment of orders months in advance, JIT allows providers to react decisively in the short term. This means that the longer structural accommodation of when and how deliveries will be conducted is condensed, freeing up time for other work to go ahead.
The responsiveness provided by a JIT air cargo charter service allows for far more flexibility and adaptability than one might normally expect. Orders that arrive at short notice can be fulfilled with minimal disruption, allowing American freight car shipping companies to both meet immediate demand and retain customer bases because of their reliability – no matter how tight the deadlines might be.
Challenges for providers
Let’s be blunt: there must be some drawbacks, otherwise everyone would be able to do it. If you’re sat thinking: “How can you fly cars on a plane at such short notice,” don’t worry – we’re way ahead of you. While reliable and dependable JIT air cargo charter providers in the U.S. usually have their services in order – that’s why you can always count on them to deliver as needed – there are quite a few less experienced JIT air cargo charter companies that face challenges when it comes to delivering time-sensitive cargo.
Impact of potential disruptions
When time is in short supply, the impact of disruptions on shipping a car via air freight can be severe. Traditional remedies to this problem – such as buffer stock – introduce exactly the kinds of delays that JIT air cargo charter services are designed to avoid, which is where expertise really comes to the fore. An equilibrium must be found between insulating against the potential risk of disruptions to air charter service cargo and maintaining a speedy JIT service – a careful balancing act that only a steady, experienced hand can achieve.
Necessity of accuracy
When precision is required, precision is required. If deliveries are to arrive at extremely specific times, then it’s imperative that every element of the process be specified with as much accuracy and detail as possible in order to allow supply chain air cargo operatives to precisely fulfill orders. This means a reliance on robust data modeling and highly qualified staff – a requirement that can hinder less experienced JIT providers.
The need for forecasts
Responding to demand is one thing but predicting demand can make it far easier to organize a cargo plane carrying cars at a moment’s notice. If you’re already anticipating an order before it arrives, then you’re much better positioned to respond to it, streamlining the JIT process even further. Air cargo in the U.S. in general relies on accurately predicting demand, and the automotive industry is no exception. This makes solid forecasting a key challenge for any air freight car shipping provider to overcome.
Costs of establishment
If car air freight cost is to be kept low and the above challenges are to be overcome, then this method of shipping cars by plane requires outlay upfront. These costs mainly lie in establishing a robust system of JIT delivery – including highly qualified staff, well-developed data systems, and solid infrastructure – that can accommodate a variety of demands, including extremely large orders and extremely quick turnaround.
If the challenges above have been addressed, then a provider is ready to fully implement JIT logistics and can provide a cargo plane for cars with an extremely tight turnaround. This allows them to fulfill orders from clients with requirements beyond those of traditional air cargo transport, promoting access to wider markets and broader customer bases.
From the perspective of the client, though, there are also some key considerations to be made before enlisting a JIT supply chain operative. Implementing these rapid delivery times in your business is not as straightforward as simply selling most of your storage space and then contacting a provider. If you’ve asked yourself whether JIT is right for your business and decided that the answer is “yes,” then consider the following.
Prepare your process
Knowing that you will have access to the advantages of the JIT air cargo charter, you now need to accommodate its delivery. This means knowing precisely how much buffer stock you need, streamlining stages such as packaging, and refining every stage of your model with rapid turnaround times in mind.
Draw up the data
Remember the requirement for precision? Accuracy can only be achieved with reliable data, and it’s up to you to possess the necessary detail when things are as fast-moving as they are with JIT cargo services. Because of the compounding effects of potential delays or optimizations with workflows as time-sensitive as JIT, being able to pinpoint inefficiencies will pay huge dividends in the long term, making a commitment to information and data a must.
It’s a fact of life that things will go wrong. It’s impossible to prevent bottlenecks, disruptions, and issues completely, but putting together a plan to spot them earlier, address them quickly, and resolve them effectively are key to overcoming difficulties. Issues that seem tiny can rattle up the supply chain rapidly, causing huge damage to suppliers in a phenomenon known as the bullwhip effect. Nipping issues in the bud can prevent this, cutting them off at the source and insulating everyone against risk.
To JIT or not to JIT?
Ultimately, this is a question that only each individual firm can answer. If the benefits appeal, the drawbacks don’t seem too severe, and the implementation of JIT can be achieved with minimal invasiveness, then it seems clear: JIT might be the way to go for your firm. If that’s the case, and you’re looking for JIT air cargo charter in the U.S., then you’re only a click away from securing it.