container freight station

Best Practices to Maximizing Container Freight Station (CFS) Efficiency

Since the onset of COVID, the state of the supply chain has fluctuated like never before, causing unforeseen delays and shortages. These delays and shortages have created a demand for automation and technology to provide an up-to-date, real-time, efficient way to manage cargo at CFS Stations. 

The use of CFS Stations is highly dependent on the flow of imports and exports. According to The United Status Census Bureau, International Trade Data report, in 2022, “February exports of goods and services ($228.6 billion) were the highest on record. February exports of industrial supplies and materials ($59.9 billion) were the highest on record. February imports of consumer goods ($73.1 billion) were the highest on record.”

Freight forwarders need to understand the ins and outs of container freight stations and how technology can empower better operations in their business. There has never been a better time to implement this integrated technology.

What Are Container Freight Stations (CFS)?

A container freight station (CFS) is a warehouse facility where cargo is consolidated and unconsolidated before importing and exporting. Consolidation is combining shipments, such as consolidating an LCL (less than container load) into one FCL (full container load). Deconsolidation is the opposite process. You can typically find A CFS station near significant ports, distribution cities, and major railway hub cities.  

CFS stations help maintain a smooth process for freight forwarders and shippers. The CFS stations keep track of names, origin locations, destination locations, and details for each cargo load. 

Why Problems With the CFS Station Lessen Throughput

There are many moving parts involved in consolidating cargo. When any of these challenges of freight handling arise at the CFS Station, it creates a trickle-down effect. It delays response to customers and can diminish sales, which is naturally a top priority for freight forwarding companies. CFS Stations provide congestion relief at docks. Therefore, when problems occur within the station, it can cause congestion at loading and unloading docks. These delays lead to a less efficient transfer of cargo.

Best Practices to Improving CFS Station Use as a Forwarder

Improving the use of a CFS Station and maintaining an efficient back office will change the flow and speed of your freight forwarding business. Several internal and external factors play into the efficiency of your operation, but using these best practices can help overcome the issues. 

  • Know the weather conditions for each station – Safety and operational conditions will be affected when there is inclement weather at the container freight station. The tide at port landings should remain under continuous monitoring  to ensure ships can dock.
  • Consider the overall volume of imports/exports per port – Each port can handle an assigned overall volume. Knowing the volume of imports and exports at each port allows for more predictability and stability in deliverability and departure.
  • Gain clear visibility into container ETAs – Knowing the arrival and departure times of containers prevents overcrowding and congestion at docking stations. 
  • Remember the role of labor resources in consolidating or deconsolidating containers – Be knowledgeable of what resources it takes to consolidate and deconsolidate. A reliable consolidator with experience will ensure shipments arrive  in a cost-effective and timely fashion.
  • Enable automated notifications to ensure drivers arrive on time Automated management keeps you informed of cargo arrivals and departures in real-time.
  • Share real-time status updates with your customers – An efficient back office ensures that you can share real-time updates with your customers. This technology collects data and allows for the automation of real-time information.
  • Avoid unplanned delays with pre-customs clearance – Pre-customs clearance reduces time and money. Avoid unnecessary delays by remaining proactive. Missing paperwork and documentation can cause your cargo to get caught up in customs which will inevitably delay the shipment of goods. 
  • Digitize all documents to reduce risk – Using digital freight platform technology creates less room for human error. Digitalizing documents allows you to use an app instead of carrying receipts, orders, and other business documents. It builds complete visibility for you and your customers, allowing for an efficient, smooth-flowing process. 

Improve Efficiency While Your Freight Is at the CFS Station WIth Cargologik in Your Corner

Know how to improve the use of a CFS Station, and use it to your fullest advantage. The best practices are integral to maximizing the ROI of your tech stack. Improve the efficiency of your freight forwarding goods by implementing integrated technology to provide real-time updates and data management for you and your customers. Get your business smooth-sailing today and sign up with Cargologik.