Freight shipping is expensive enough without adding to the cost by making avoidable mistakes! Even experienced shippers routinely shoot themselves in the foot by committing these shipping mistakes, so please review this checklist. It will help you make your shipment on time at the lowest possible cost.
Costly Shipping Mistakes: A Checklist
1. Weigh accurately. Don’t guestimate the weight of your shipment. Instead, weigh it or determine its weight by checking with the manufacturer or retailer. Your LTL (less-than-truckload) freight carrier will re-weigh the item, and sometimes charge extra if there is a difference.
2. Use the proper freight classification. Standard freight classifications are the basis of rates charged by LTL shippers. There are 18 of them, and it’s tricky to select the applicable one. Consult with your carrier to make sure you classify your item(s) properly, or you will leave yourself open to unexpected upcharges.
3. Package/prep properly. Remove handles, knobs, glass panels and other protruding and/or delicate features from the shipping item. Package these items carefully in a box with plenty of cushioning material. These simple steps prevent damage and make it easier for the LTL carrier to handle and stow your item.
4. Unitize your shipment. Boxes of small items and large items such as dining room chairs can be unitized on a pallet to ease handling and stowing, as well as prevent damage. Use plastic stretch wrap film or plastic banding to secure items to the pallet.
5. Make sure your shipment is adequately insured. All LTL carriers have liability insurance, but the terms vary. If you are shipping an expensive item, make sure your carrier has it covered. If not, either the carrier or you can purchase additional coverage at a reasonable cost.
6. Select the right carrier. Many people go wrong by selecting an LTL carrier not well suited to the job at hand. Important things to consider when selecting a carrier include experience handling your type of item(s), familiarity with your pickup and delivery areas, years of service and track record. Check online customer reviews and company websites to get a sense of which carriers are the right fit.
7. Complete paperwork carefully. Customers go astray by doing everything right up until this point, and then put the wrong address on the bill of lading — this is how a lot of deliveries wind up in, say, Kansas instead of Kentucky. Never complete shipping paperwork in haste — it will cost you!
8. Track the shipment. Top LTL carriers provide easy tracking options for customers because tracking is one of the best ways to prevent costly shipping mistakes once the item has been picked up. If you monitor the shipment, you can alert the carrier to any issues (just in case the carrier has not spotted the problem already).
Stay Out of Trouble With Transit Systems
Did you know Transit Systems, Inc. specializes in helping consumers and businesses ship large, awkward and expensive items? For decades, we’ve been helping customers get their tough shipments from point A to point B on time at an affordable price. Our deep experience with problematic shipments gives us the expertise to help you avoid shipping mistakes and get the job done right!
Have an upcoming shipment? Please contact us now to discuss your needs and get an estimate.