3 Mistakes New Shippers Make and How to Avoid Them
The shipping and logistics industry is extraordinarily complex for companies that are just getting started with it. With the number of challenges presented and sheer depth of options, having a dedicated freight professional to guide you through the process is very helpful, but it is also not realistic for most companies, especially if shipping hasn’t been high on the company priority list. When companies need to start shipping their items, it often becomes the responsibility of someone already on the team – and, invariably, this person will make mistakes that are common among those without prior knowledge and experience in this realm. What are these mistakes and how can you avoid them if you’re brand new on the shipping scene? There are three mistakes, in particular, that seem to be most common among new shippers.
Not Using Third Party Logistics Providers (3PLs)
For nearly every industry, it seems like common sense that the most inexpensive way to secure products or services is to go directly to the supplier. Going to a third party or a middleman costs more money, the thinking goes, and so new shippers will apply this logic to the shipping and logistics industry as well. They think that the cheapest way to secure shipping space is to go direct to the carriers and that using a third party logistics provider (3PL) will cost the company more money. In the logistics industry, however, that kind of economic logic doesn’t apply. 3PLs are able to secure much better rates for their clients because of their volume, buying power, and connections within the industry. Even with the upcharge that a 3PL levies, the rates often beat what you could get directly from a carrier. Not only that, but 3PLs can also use their knowledge and experience to provide advice and help guide your company through the complex shipping world.
Why Details Matter
Setting up a shipment can be an overwhelming process, especially if you have to set up a less-than-truckload (LTL) shipment. There are a lot of details that can make or break the success of your shipment, and there are some details you may not even know are important. It’s critical to understand that information matters in the shipping industry – you need to have as much of it as possible to ensure the best rates for your shipment and its safe, timely delivery. Some of the details you’ll have to provide to your carrier or 3PL representative include packaging, pick-up and delivery times, information about the product being transported, and any special services required for safe handling of the cargo. By failing to provide this important information, you may subject your company to additional upcharges and problems in-transit with your shipment, jeopardizing the carrier’s ability to deliver the product to its destination on time.
Don’t Forget to Insure
Insurance protects your company from damage to the product or any losses that could result from it. Most new shippers believe that their cargo is already insured – but are you sure it is covered for its full value? What about the situations that are covered? Before pick-up, it is always a good idea to doublecheck with the carrier and purchase insurance as necessary, so your company isn’t left out in the cold should the worst happen. When working with a 3PL, your representative can research the proper insurance needed for your shipment – you’ll just have to let them know its total value.
AFP Global Logistics
For any and all of your freight shipping and warehouse storage needs nationwide, look no further than AFP Global Logistics. We provide a full range of shipping and logistics services, and our 25 years in the business have given us the tools we need to create customized logistics solutions that are tailored to the needs of each client we serve. We have what it takes to provide the superior shipping and logistics solutions that your business needs to thrive. For more information or to start designing your own logistic solutions today, get in touch with AFP Global Logistics at 410.590.1234 (toll-free 800.274.1237), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our quick and easy contact form here!