What is Assembly Service

Assembly service refers to the combining a number of small shipments from multiple parties into a single shipment. Assembly service is offered by freight forwarders and carriers in order to obtain better freight rates and reduce shipping costs. Other terms for assembly service include "cargo consolidation" or "cargo consolidation service."

Breaking Down Assembly Service

Assembly service is used in reference smaller shipping loads, otherwise known as "less-than-truckload" or LTL shipping services. Such shipping is usually handled by parcel carriers, those who handle individual shipments of less than 150 pounds. An assembly service will bundle multiple parcel or LTL loads into a single, full container, which offers cheaper shipping rates and can save time. The fastest and most efficient in terms of cost assembly service is with palletized cargo, meaning items that are consolidated on one or several shipping pallets. Such a format eases movement on docks and offers uniformity regarding the use of space.

Assembly Service in Use

Assembly service is particularly useful for small exporters and businesses, as the shipment costs would otherwise be quite high. it may be ideal for a business that needs to ship just a few pallets of goods. However, assembly service may not be the best solution for certain shipments such as high-value merchandise, fragile items, or time-sensitive material.

Assembly Service Benefits and Challenges

The benefits of assembly service shipping or consolidate shipping are many. They include:

  • Lower Shipping Costs: Even if a company utilized a fraction of a trailer or container they will wind up paying for the whole thing (space, fuel and labor being constants). Assembly service shipping allows several different loads headed to the same vicinity to be combined to fill a truck or container, thereby lowering costs. Each shipper pays for just the space they use.
  • Lower Risk of Damage: Assembly service reduces the on/off handling of goods, thereby reducing the chance of goods being damaged in shipping. The handling of goods has fewer touchpoints, limited to shipper, consolidator and then receiver or consignee.
  • Better Quality Control: Assembly service shipping allows companies to get control of their goods sooner, which allows them to have more control over the timeline of deliveries.

There are some disadvantages to an assembly service, however, such as the difficulty in securing a carrier. Not all carriers will offer assembly service at the right timeframe and cost. Some carriers may not offer the service at all. Assembly service shipping also takes longer to plan and organize, which can add to overall delivery time. Shippers as well as shipping companies must spend extra time factoring package dimensions, timing and pricing to ensure the best service.