In this week's episode, I talk about freight consolidation. I've heard this story from a number of roasters. They're buying some coffee from one importer on Monday, some coffee from another importer on Tuesday, some coffee from a third importer on Wednesday, and it could be years before they realize that all three importers use the same third party warehouse.
It's a good idea to know where your coffee is stored. If you're typically buying less than a full truck load of coffee to be delivered and you have coffees with multiple importers that all use the same warehouse, you have some options for managing your costs. First, you can plan to bring in those coffees at the same time and have the warehouse send those coffees as a single shipment instead of the multiple shipments that you might get by allowing your importers to arrange shipments separately. Another possibility is buying less coffee from each of those importers yet still having those shipments combined so that the cost of freight is divided over enough coffee that the costs are still acceptable. That ties up less cash in inventory and can be useful for roasting plants that are a little bit short on cash or short on space.
Don't underestimate these savings. Even if the coffees are not all stored in the same warehouse, if they are geographically close it can sometimes be more cost effective to have coffee moved a short distance so that it is all in the same warehouse before having all of it sent to your roasting facility.
If you're dealing with an importer that stores coffee in multiple warehouses, it also pays to keep the lines of communication open early. If the coffees you want to buy can be sent to a warehouse that's closer to you before you need to have that coffee delivered, that's another good way to save on freight costs.
You don't need to be a huge company to take advantage of these savings, so make sure you have a conversation with the importers that you work with. Find out where they're warehousing coffees, and plan your coffee purchases to save on freight costs where you can.
It's now been over a month since the first episode of 60 Second Coffee Tips was released. I'm still having fun making this series and the messages that people have been sending me about the series so far tells me that at least the people who bother to say anything about it also like it.
Unfortunately, that feedback doesn't seem to be translating into people sharing the series so the view counts are a little bit disappointing. While I've typed up a couple years worth of episodes, my current plan is to keep going for a couple months and if the series hasn't really found enough of an audience I'll take a break from this until next year and maybe do a few more months then. If you want more episodes sooner, use those share buttons.
For this episode I've made a change in not showing the address of this article in the video itself, preferring to just link here from the video description on YouTube. Looking at the server logs I noticed that people are trying to type those in and not realizing that capital letters need to be capital letters. Maybe I'll just switch to linking to the index where all of these articles are listed instead for future episodes. All of the letters in that address would be lower case and it would be less typing.