Huffman Trucking Transportaion Paper

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Huffman Trucking Transportation Analysis

May 23, 2011

In the freight transportation industry, to compete successfully is not as simple as picking up a shipment from a customer and transporting it from point A to point B. In the modern world, one must take upon a strategic approach on developing a relationship with the supplier, establishing contracts in becoming a preferred freight carrier, learning the supplier's freight distribution requirements, and establishing logistic systems that can collaborate information in ways that can anticipate shipments as well as provide real-time information on shipments already made. In the paragraphs to follow, Huffman Trucking will be reviewed to see its current transportation strategies, and then recommended any improvements.
 Huffman Trucking
 Huffman Trucking was founded in 1936. It began as a very small company with one tractor-trailer and no more than two employees. Today, Huffman consists of well over 800 tractors, 2100 forty-five foot trailers, and approximately 1400 employees. "The company's 1,400 employee's work in its logistical hubs located in Los Angeles, California, St. Louis, Missouri, and Bayonne, New Jersey; its central maintenance facility is in Cleveland, Ohio; and as drivers of its 800 road tractors. The company expects to earn revenues during fiscal year 2004 in excess of $600,000,000." (Huffman Trucking, 2007) During the childhood days of Huffman Trucking, the company mainly focused on its growth.
 Just-in-Time Strategy
 To manufacture any product, the timely delivery of goods is important. Delay in a single part can stop the entire manufacturing process. Due to the importance of delivery of goods, companies must place purchase orders in a timely manner. Once the order is placed, it should also follow up and expedite to ensure timely delivery of goods. One of the concepts that help with process is Just in Time. Just in time (JIT) is one of many concepts used by organizations to order material so the goods arrive just in time, so that companies do not have to invest money or pay taxes on inventory. This is where Huffman Trucking comes into play. It provides the delivery of goods to companies in a timely manner to ensure parts are delivered just in time. JIT is appropriate to be used in manufactured type environments. JIT is also appropriate to use where a bill of material is identified in advance so that the company can establish relationships with suppliers to process the order and release the shipment on the date it is requested. I think the key here is to know the lead time for a given part and also establishing a supplier to ship on the requested date. The risks associated with JIT strategy is delays in delivery which could impact the over all production. To reduce this risk, organizations must collaborate with suppliers, collaborate with the Freight Company, and forecast frequently as well as submit the forecast to suppliers so that lead time delays are avoided.
 In reviewing Huffman Trucking, it certainly can use JIT philosophy to improve its scheduling problem. Huffman Trucking has two main customers categorized by Type S and Type L. Type S are small volume customers and Type L are large volume customers such as business and government. Since the majority of businesses are through large customers, it would make sense for Huffman to focus on Type L to make improvements on schedule. Currently, upon receipt of the order, Huffman holds the shipment at the consolidation point for a complete truck to ensure that trucks are being used at maximum capacity, reduce cost, and increase profitability. However, this scheduling method is creating delays in shipment causing trucks to wait overnight in order to make deliveries to customers. This is causing additional costs for Huffman

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