The average business spends $4,000 per year on shipping costs. Your shipping costs increase exponentially when the things you produce need to be shipped via freight rather than traditional shipping methods. After all, the logistics industry is not nearly as user-friendly or price-conscious as services like USPS, UPS, or FedEx, after all.
If you’re new to the world of LTL freight shipments, then it probably feels pretty intimidating trying to sort out how to properly ship your products. Thankfully, we’ve created this list of handy tips that’ll make you feel like a freight shipping pro in no time.
Understand How LTL Freight Shipments Work
The term “LTL freight shipments” refers to freight shipments that are less than a truckload. It essentially means that you are shipping freight, but it’s not enough to fill up a truck or cargo container entirely. Typically, LTL freight shipments weigh anywhere between 150 and 15,000 pounds.
Want to make sure that you have a competitive edge on LTL freight shipping? Consider investing in something like Copilot Freight Broker Software, which helps you find the best available shipping rates between 150,000 potential carriers. It also helps make the shipping process run smoother, overall.
Accuracy is Key
Every single pallet that you ship requires proper identification both before and after it gets shipped out. This means that you must properly label those pallets to prevent hiccups.
Prepare a label for each pallet that is easy to read. The label must include an itemized list of contents in the pallet, as well as the name of your company and any important contact information (phone numbers, emails, etc.). Post this label on the pallet in two places, ideally the top and the side to make it easy to find and scan.
The more detailed and clear your labels, the fewer headaches you’ll deal with!
Pack to Avoid Damage
When it comes to packing your pallets, you want to have damage prevention at the front of your mind every step of the way. It’s inevitable that your products will shift and knock against each other, so you want to be mindful of your packing materials and strategy.
Use new, undamaged materials and fill up your boxes and pallets to reduce air pockets. If you have multiple rows, utilize sturdy, flat cardboard between rows. Finally, shrink-wrap your pallets at least 3-5 times around to stabilize them and keep dust and debris out of them.
If you’re shipping during a time when there might be rain or winter weather, make sure to take extra care to prevent damage. Shrink wrap the tops of your pallets and boxes to keep any water from getting inside. Tarps are also a solid option for preventing water damage.
Did you know that there specific considerations for pallet shapes? If your pallets have any jagged edges or pieces hanging over the side of the pallet, then they pose a safety risk to the people shipping them and might cost you extra. If you want to save money and make sure everything is protected, pick a pallet or crate that can accommodate all of the cargo.
Are you planning on shipping your products overseas? There are additional things you need to think about before you pack up your products and send them out.
What Are Your Shipping Options?
If you’re thinking about shipping products overseas, then it’s important to have a thorough understanding of all of your shipping options. Depending on your individual timeframe for shipping and your budget, some might work better than others. For example, shipping via air is faster than cargo ships, but it also costs more.
If you want to make an informed decision about shipping internationally, then it’s essential to speak with a professional to discuss which options are available to meet your shipping needs.
Get Shipping Quotes
Just like you need a professional consultation for shipping options, you’ll also want to seek one out for shipping quotes as well. If you want to ensure your budget doesn’t take a major hit, then it’s essential that you come to the conversation prepared with a lot of information about what you’re shipping.
Give the shipping company all of the specifics. Include details about the goods you’re shipping and don’t forget the packing materials and any delivery requirements.
Prepare for Customs
One thing that comes with shipping internationally is dealing with customs in each of the countries. It’s important to know what you can and can’t ship to a country. You also need to know their declaration rules, and whether you’ll need to pay any duties on your shipments.
The best way to stay ahead of the game with customs is to speak with your shipping company. They’re familiar with shipment rules for each country, and they can help you budget and navigate customs without a headache.
Don’t Let Freight Shipping Cost You an Arm and a Leg!
Whether you’re brand new to the world of freight shipping or you’re a seasoned professional, there are always ways you can improve your shipping methods and save money. Staying on top of the latest trends and amenities in the shipping industry ensures that you’re always shipping as efficiently as possible. Following these tips is a great way to do just that!
Are you interested in learning about more ways to make your business more efficient and productive? That’s what we’re here for. Check out the rest of our blog for tons of great business tips and insights.