Common Shipping Mistakes You Should Not Make

Many industries use cargo moving and handling services, with shipping generally being the most convenient option. In a shipment of freight, three major parties are involved: the shipper, the carrier, and the consignee. During the shipping process, any one of them can make a mistake. However, for this article, we will be discussing common mistakes that shippers and carriers make that you should avoid.
Prior to highlighting the mistakes you should avoid, let us explain the difference between carriers and shippers.

Who is the Shipper?

The shipper is the company or individual that is the owner or supplier of the goods to be shipped. You may also refer to such person as the consignor.

Who is the Carrier?

This refers to the person that is responsible for transporting the goods (freight). Therefore, the shipper contracts the carrier to move freight from one destination to another.

Common Carrier Mistakes

Improper Packing

Cargo loading is strenuous, delicate work. Unfortunately, several of the cases of damaged goods that occur during shipping result from improper packing and placement. It is further necessary to note that where there is damage to a product due to improper packing, the carrier or shipper is held liable and not the consignee.

Therefore, during the course of packing goods and loading cargo, you should contact an expert. You can also use digital solutions like a cargo loading software that uses 3-D visualization and load optimization algorithms to calculate and display the most efficient way to load your cargo.

Inaccurate Shipment Weight

As a carrier, you should weigh the freight yourself. Do not just trust the weight given by customers since they often do not have the proper instruments to measure the weight of freight. Instead, get the right tools that ensure that you can weigh and charge as you ought.

Not Knowing Key Metrics

If you are a carrier, you need to keep an eye on specific numbers to ensure the effectiveness of your logistics. Failure to do so will affect productivity and efficiency. These numbers include:
  • Truck Turnaround Time: This is the time from the moment a truck arrives at your facility until the moment it departs. You can use it to evaluate dock productivity, shipping, and receiving efficiency.
  • Transit Time: Transit time is the time it takes for your shipment to leave your facility and arrive at the customer. It is helpful for logistics planning and lead time estimations.
You can use cargo loading time to evaluate the effectiveness of your loading strategy and identify what needs to be optimized.

Common Shipper Mistakes

Incorrect Address

Often, freight gets delivered to the wrong location because shippers do not take the time to check the address on the bill of lading properly. The tiniest change in the Zip Code can send the ship miles away from its intended destination, and the cost of re-shipping is usually enormous. Consequently, it is better to double, even triple check, the shipping address and other details such as the ZIP code rather than risk having to reship the product and waste time.

Relying on One Carrier for All Shipments

Shippers, especially large organizations and businesses, can make the mistake of using one carrier for all shipments. The reason for this may be trust and familiarity. However, this may turn out to be a fatal mistake if something occurs to the carrier, such as a strike or downsizing. Having multiple carriers provide your business with flexibility and options.

Improper Packing

Shippers may also be found to be at fault for careless cargo handling or packing, resulting in damages.

No Knowledge of Consignee’s Ability to Receive Freight

Often, shippers fail to determine if the consignee has the resources to receive the freight being sent. So, for instance, if the cargo requires that the consignee has a lift gate and the consignee doesn’t, the carrier may return the goods and charge extra to provide a lift gate for the delivery. Awareness of what the consignee can handle will help you know what services to request of the carrier initially and to adequately budget.

Inaccurate Shipment Weight

Many shippers merely estimate or guess the weight of their freight. This is because they do not have the tools to measure it accurately. However, the implication is that the weight estimated is usually incorrect and leads to extra charges when the carrier measures it.

Wrapping UP

These mistakes can damage the smoothness of international trade and transport via shipping, resulting in wasted time and resources. You will be able to enjoy the pleasures of transportation and commerce by sea much more if you avoid them.

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