Freight shipping is a really big business that refers to the entire supply chain from origin to destination. Freight companies carry more than boxes and pallets. They also take risks that can turn into big losses.
Whether you’re a new freight shipper or you’ve been in the business for a long time, If you’ve ever shipped anything via freight, you’ve probably made some wrong and costly assumptions that could be a huge problem to your business in the long run.
Below are nine wrong assumptions that many businesses have about their freight shipments and how these assumptions can have an expensive impact on their shipper freight businesses.
1. Classifying a Home Business as a Commercial Area
Many new freight shippers don’t know that deliveries to residential areas differ from the ones to commercial areas. Typically, residential deliveries attract extra charges.
When it comes to shopping, if a business is being run from home, the home won’t be considered a commercial area. So you need to know this before charging.
To avoid any problem with your dispatcher, you must be able to distinguish between a commercial and residential location.
2. The Odds are Little ─ I Don’t Need to Pay For Insurance
One assumption that new freight shippers have is that they can get away with not buying insurance because the odds are less than 1%. However, it is still possible and costly if your shipment gets damaged or lost.
To avoid losing valuable items, ensure they are properly packed and, more importantly, get additional insurance. Most carrier liabilities cover about $2/Ibs; therefore, if your shipment weighs 2000 Lbs, you would get a cover of about $4000, which is a lot.
3. I Don’t Need Shipping Documents, The Carrier Already Has Them
The bill of lading and the custom invoice are a must-have for both you and the carrier. They’re a document that provides proof of delivery to your customer. If you don’t have these documents, then you can’t claim ownership of the goods being shipped. However, many shippers, including experienced ones, assume that their carriers already have the needed information.
In the real sense, carriers are only bothered about the information about their location. Hence, to be able to receive your shipment, you must have forwarded the bill of lading to the carrier in advance.
4. I Don’t Need a Tailgate
Although many shippers wonder why they need a tailgate when they can easily offload the truck by hand, it is a rule that must be obeyed. This may look like you’re wasting money, but it’s a safety measure for the people involved. However, if your shipment is about 120 Lbs or lighter, then you may get a waiver.
5. An Extra Skid Can’t Be a Problem
Most times, shippers assume that adding a seemingly insignificant pallet to their shipment would not be a big deal. Hence, they make calculations based on their assumptions. However, these calculations are not always accurate. Pricing in freight shipping can differ depending on the carrier; therefore, to avoid unpleasant surprises, you must know the precise details of your shipment and also get a quote beforehand.
6. It’s Protruding Just a Little; It Will Be Fine
For the safety of your cargo and that of others, it is essential to ensure that your shipment is properly packaged. However, most shippers assume that a little item protruding won’t be a problem. Fortunately, most carriers won’t accept a protruding shipment. To make things easier, ensure your shipment is within the pallet.
7. The Driver Will Call Us
If you’re waiting for your driver’s call to pick up your item at the warehouse, you may be disappointed. Most shippers assume that the driver has their phone numbers and would call them. However, drivers only use the special instruction section in situations where the address is difficult to locate. They get busy and focused on the road and will not use their phones except for unavoidable circumstances.
8. They Came at the Wrong Time
Assuming that it’s the carrier’s fault to have come at the wrong time is highly costly. Most carriers handle multiple shipments at a time. Therefore, if you’re unavailable at the time they arrive, they will leave to attend to other shipments, which will cause you both extra time and money.
9. The More Expensive, The Better
According to surveys, most shippers believe in high prices. They assume that the more the carrier charges, the better their service will be. However, you don’t need to pay more for quality. How expensive a carrier is has nothing to do with their reliability or speed, and you can get quality at a lower price.
Wrong assumptions always lead to poor pricing and high shipping fees, regardless of your company’s size. By equipping yourself with comprehensive freight shipping knowledge now, you will be able to evaluate and manage your resources better.
Benefits of Researching Freight Shipping Options
Conducting thorough research before selecting a freight shipping provider is essential for both experienced and novice shippers. By exploring all their options, companies can make the best possible decision for their organization, getting the most cost-beneficial solution for their shipping needs.
Research is critical for any shipper looking to save on costs and improve supply chain efficiency. Freight quoting services allow organizations to compare carriers to ensure that they are making an informed decision regarding the level of service, transit times, and price. Research should also be conducted on freight brokers, who specialize in negotiation with third-party carriers so as to obtain more competitive rates and work towards securing capacity when market conditions are tight. Evaluation of historical data can provide further insight into prospective relationships and provide a comparative insight into various carrier partners’ performance metrics over a period of time using real data.
It’s important to remember that transportation rates change rapidly, depending on fuel quotes and fluctuations with government regulations that ultimately impact the industry’s ability to move cargo quickly while maintaining cost efficiencies. As such, shippers need to have an up-to-date view of all available quoting options so they can make smart decisions when it comes time to agree on rates with carriers or brokers. Comparing quotes ensures a company is not inadvertently overpaying for services or underutilizing potential partner relationships that could benefit its organization in significant ways through improved delivery times or higher quality service levels at more agreed-upon transport costs.