You don’t have re-invent the wheel for your small shipping business to thrive. As an entrepreneur, your goal is to deliver value for money to your customers. There is enough information to make your shipping process easier and effective. The following nine small business shipping tips should help your company grow.
1. Create a Reliable Shipping Carrier Partnership
Do a search on trustworthy companies that offer transport management services. Identify one with a list of their current rates and carrier standards. You will find an option that fits your business needs and budget. Make sure it has a track-and-trace system since not all carriers have this feature. This system will facilitate control of your shipment and location of products at any transit point. It doubles up as a safety measure and a tool to inform your shipment schedule.
2. Know the Carrier’s Resources
Some types of shipping require specialized carriers. Depending on your shipment material, identify a carrier service with the equipment needed to move your goods safely and properly. Seek to understand their shipping experience for similar goods and the safety measures in place to allow smooth transit. You should also identify a shipping line that will accommodate your growth. If your business requires specialized shipping, get a carrier with a reputation for delivering in that specialty.
3. Abide by the Rules and Regulations
Shipping is governed by rules and regulations. Understand the applicable guidelines for your shipping business. Specific rules apply for each shipping location and destination. Not all products can be shipped. Always consult your shipping carrier before sending your package. This saves you additional charges, delays and legal barriers.
4. Make Sure the Carrier Is Compliant
Ensure your choice carrier has complied with all legal requirements. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) grants legal authority to compliant carriers. It requires carriers to keep a record of legal process agent documents, comply with safety standards, and file specific registrations. To find out if your carrier meets these requirements, query the FMCSA’s database. You can reconsider or continue with caution if your carrier is listed as a non-compliant entity. A poor compliance history could mean no guarantees for the safety and security of your products.
5. Package Products Properly
To prevent damage to your parcel, ensure appropriate packaging is done. Taping the openings and seams of your boxes with a paper packing tape or a two-inch-wide clear, brown, reinforced tape is an easy and effective way of secure packaging. Avoid the mistake of using a cord, twine, duct tape, string, basic or masking tape. Never reuse shipping boxes for they lose their structural integrity with time. Fill empty spaces with newspapers to avoid shifting of packages during transit. Tightly secure boxes to pallets with shrinkwrap and make sure they are tightly and squarely stacked.
6. Understand the Limits of Carrier Liability
If your shipment is damaged in transit, don’t imagine the carrier’s basic liability program will safeguard its value. This common misconception will cause you to absorb the cost of your shipment mishap. There is a difference between carrier liability and insurance. To avoid surprises, understand what each party is responsible for. Get all the information you need on the specific liabilities that only you can shoulder, and those the carrier must cover.
7. Don’t Ignore Shipping Insurance
Although shipping insurance is optional, don’t overlook it. Due to the possibility of human error or damages to your package, it’s proper to insure your products. Your package is handled by many people across the supply chain before it reaches its destination. You are likely to recover the value of a stolen, lost or damaged shipment with insurance. Avoid the temptation of cutting down your cost of business by ignoring insurance. Otherwise, you may end up incurring costly expenses in the event loses or damages occur. Pass that risk to an insurer by paying your premiums for goods on transit.
8. Select Guaranteed Delivery
If your shipment must be delivered by a specific date, you need to select the guaranteed delivery potion. Don’t rely on delivery estimates for urgent orders. You may lose business and clients. Although shipping carriers schedule their deliveries, they may face uncertainties that could occasion unforeseen delays. A guaranteed delivery not only ensures timely and efficient service, but also a stress-free transaction.
9. Consider Air Delivery
Where delay and damage could be costly, consider air and other expedited delivery services. Your goods will experience less handling and higher priority to ensure a stress-free delivery. This is your ideal option for long distance shipping of valuable equipment. The less the number of handlers, the fast, efficient and convenient the process of doing business.
These small business shipping tips should give you a solid base for cost-effective and smart decisions. You will be shipping savvy as you dedicate your time to pursue excellence. Never be afraid of consulting experts or experienced shipping players. With these small business shipping tips, growth is not an option; it’s certain.