Having worked with many small business owners and large printing companies I’ve seen both sides of the shipping freight industry and have picked up a few useful pieces of advice. These aren’t hard and fast rules to the world of shipping freight and won’t always apply, but by following these 5 tips there’s a good chance you’ll see an increase in saved money.
1. Package the freight carefully. When you’re shipping freight, once it leaves your facility or location it will more than likely only be touched by forklifts and other mechanical means until it is dropped off. This means that anything hanging over the edge of the pallet will be crushed, torn, or otherwise mangled. When shipping freight try to package everything on a pallet wrapped with shrink wrap. Keep the sides as straight as possible to provide best protection for your cargo. And make sure you have your shipping information on all four sides as pieces of paper tend to get ripped off during transit.
2. Compare rates to get the best price. When you’re shipping freight there are always multiple competitors trying to get your business by offering better deals than the previous. It only makes sense to shop around and get the best price. When shipping freight you’re shipping large packages which mean large bills so every little dollar helps in the long run. You can call different companies, use online resources, or go through a broker because every dollar counts when shipping freight.
3. Think about using a broker. A freight broker is someone who deals with many different freight carriers on a daily basis and this allows them to get better rates which they pass on to you. They also know the best shippers for certain areas of the country as they keep very accurate databases. Another plus to using a broker is that you send all your information to them, they find you the best prices and then just send you one bill even if they used multiple shippers. This can be very handy if you want to cut down on paperwork and confusion.
4. Condense shipments to as few as possible. You may find yourself shipping freight in large amounts to the same location and rather than a bunch of individual boxes put them on one pallet and wrap them. This will not only please your shipper but decrease the chance of one box not making it, getting lost, or being crushed. Some shippers also charge extra fees depending on how many packages you are shipping and combining a bunch of small ones into a larger one will save you the extra fees or processing charges that come with shipping freight.
5. Know when it needs to arrive to avoid extra fees. A common mistake I see people make that ends up costing them in the end is not knowing when their package needs to get there. They have a general idea and they wait too long and end up paying extra for second or next day shipping. When it comes to freight this can rack up the costs extremely fast. Always know what day you need a package to arrive on. If you’re working with a customer or client then make sure to get the information from them as soon as possible so you aren’t rushed when shipping freight. It’s also best to be shipping freight between 8am and 4:30pm on weekdays. After hours and weekends will end up costing you after extra fees which add up fast when shipping freight.
Hopefully one or more of these tips will be of use to you and you’ll start to save a little money and put it to better use than extra fees.