Are you trying to figure out how to keep your shipping lines running in an efficient manner?
The secret to having a smooth-running business is avoiding freight shipping mistakes. If you don’t exercise careful control over your freight shipping process, you might run into unexpected delays. This can cause you to lose customers and damage your reputation as a business.
Below, we’ll get into the top 7 most common freight shipping mistakes and tell you how to avoid them. If you want to start running your business in a smarter way, keep reading to learn more!
1. Not Packaging Your Items Well
When you start packaging for freights with a full truckload, you need to make sure the casings are strong enough to withstand the journey. The most common cause of product damage is the constant shift of items when they’re en route. Items bump into each other or fall, even in the most organized of shipping trucks.
An improper packaging job can worsen the damage. You want something that will absorb some of the shocks of potential damages and not wear out. If you have fragile items, wrap them up or cushion them with styrofoam to reduce the risk.
Shipments that will break easier than others should have a “fragile” label on them. That way, the workers who load boxes onto the trucks will handle them with greater care. This becomes more important if your items are going overseas and need to change vehicles several times.
2. Not Using All the Space
Before you send out your truckload, make sure you’re using all the space available to you.
Often, companies make the mistake of sending out a truck that still has open space on it. This will cause you to have to spend more money sending other items out on a different truck.
So, it’s best to put as many items onto one truck as possible to avoid freight shipping mistakes.
3. Not Researching Customs Procedures
If you ship items across national borders, you need to familiarize yourself with customs requirements.
Each country has different regulations for the items it lets in. If someone places an order from another country, you need to check the laws to make sure you can get your product to them. Then, go through all the necessary legal steps to get the items into the country. This could include declaring what’s in the packaging, in some cases.
You might also run into this problem in your supply chain. If you source your manufacturing labor in other countries, you’ll want to see what you need to do to get your products into the United States. Research exportation laws in the country of origin as well so that you never end up having your shipments held up.
4. Having Inaccurate Weight Measurements
You need to weigh every part of your shipment before it goes out. Trucks rely on weight to remain stable.
In general, the weight of a full-load truck shipment is 15,000 pounds or more. Buy a reliable scale and measure in a consistent manner to make sure your shipments qualify.
5. Not Having a Supply Chain Contact Person
When you determine which factories and warehouses will serve your supply chain, you need to get contact information.
Ask if the factory or warehouse can give you the name, phone number, and email address of a specific employee. This person should have enough oversight over the proceedings to answer any questions you may have. You should also have the ability to contact this person if a disaster occurs.
Often, supply chains do their best to work around disasters and other emergencies, but it can alter how soon you get your supplies. An open line of communication will help you regain as much control of the situation as possible. It will also give you the ability to give customers accurate updates about their orders.
You should also ask the factory or warehouse about its protocols in case of emergency. That way, you’ll know how you can expect your supply chain to change under these conditions.
6. Not Buying Freight Insurance
Too many companies decide to cut costs by foregoing freight insurance. Yet, this often costs them more money down the road.
If you ship long enough, running into damaged packaging is inevitable. Your drivers might get into accidents. Trucks can overturn or break down. Unforeseen events can trap your shipments in dangerous conditions.
Without freight insurance, you’ll have to absorb all these costs yourself. When you ensure your shipments, you’ll have the opportunity to file claims. This will save you money and maybe even keep your company afloat if conditions get bad.
7. Not Regularly Servicing Vehicles
Your shipments aren’t safe unless the vehicles carrying them are prepared to drive. If you own the trucks, make sure you take them in to get their regular service checks done. You should perform oil changes on a frequent basis and check the brakes, steering, and engine.
Make sure all your drivers know how to interpret the dashboard lights. That way, they can take the proper actions if a truck ever starts breaking down in the middle of a trip.
Getting your vehicles checked on a regular basis also saves the lives of your drivers and people on the road. Trucks without maintenance are one of the leading causes of accidents. So, if you want to prevent being caught up in a workers’ compensation or personal injury lawsuit, you need to keep your vehicles working well.
Ready to Prevent Freight Shipping Mistakes?
Preventing freight shipping mistakes boils down to the relationships you build with the people in your supply chain.
If you’re in the produce industry, we can help you perfect your shipping process. Our digital freight platform connects shippers with “reliable” truckers, cutting out middlemen.
Ready to perfect your freight shipping process? Contact us today to learn how we can help you!