In the past, some companies only used expedited services in times of emergency or when the threat of missing a promised delivery schedule was imminent. Now, companies are integrating time-critical services as part of their international transportation strategy, as it enables the shipper to improve its level of service in meeting their customer’s shipping requirements while offering  increased cargo security. Some companies are using expedited shipping services when the shipments are time-sensitive and require high tracking ability due to the nature of the goods being shipped.

The  practice of only using expedited shipping services in times of emergency is changing to a practice of integrating expedited shipping to offer faster transit times and increased security options, with the overall goal of improved customer service. Expedited shipping is effective when the value of the goods being shipped is higher relative to the cost of transportation. Expedited options also make sense for companies looking to maintain lean inventory levels and fast inventory turns common in assembly lines.

Shippers use expedited shipping services to guarantee a ship date and take advantage of the speed at which goods move through the supply chain, reducing the risk of theft and damage. A benefit of expedited shipping is that the goods are handled much less than what is typical of traditional ground and ocean shipments, meaning less exposure to damage and faster transit times.

It is understandable that price can be a primary factor in choosing modes and routes of transportation, but many find supply chain reliability to be more important. Many find that the higher level of customer service inherent in expedited shipping services outshine the additional transportation costs. Finally, these services enable shippers to drive inventory and handling costs out of their supply chain.