Don't fall for these 9 costly assumptions in freight shipping
Freight shipping can be a complex process, and even experienced shippers can fall into the trap of making assumptions that can lead to costly mistakes. Whether you’re a seasoned shipper or a beginner, it’s important to avoid these assumptions and take the necessary steps to ensure a smooth and cost-effective shipping experience. In this article, we’ll debunk some common misconceptions and provide you with valuable insights to save you time and money.
I could get this off the truck myself. We don't need a tailgate!
Attempting to unload freight by hand without utilizing a tailgate is not only ill-advised but also unlikely to be permitted by carriers. Safety and liability concerns are the primary reasons why rules mandating the use of a tailgate exist. While some carriers may overlook the requirement for lighter shipments, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and request a tailgate ahead of time if needed.
Why would I need shipping documents? The carrier already has them!
Many shippers assume that the carrier already has all the necessary shipping documents, such as the Bill of Lading and customs invoice. However, carriers typically only require basic information about the delivery location when arranging a pickup. By not providing the required documents, you’re leaving out crucial information about your shipment. To avoid any complications, make sure to forward a bill of lading to the carrier in advance or rely on a trusted freight shipping service like Vineyard Brokerage to handle the documentation on your behalf.
It's a home business! That means it's a business!
If you operate a home business and assume that your shipments will be considered as business shipments, you may be in for a surprise. Carriers classify locations with residences as residential, regardless of whether it’s a home business. This distinction often comes with additional charges. To avoid any confusion or unexpected fees, it’s essential to understand the carrier’s guidelines and be aware that residential charges may apply if people reside at the location.
It's written on the paper! The driver is surely going to call us!
Relying on special instructions in the Bill of Lading for the driver to call you before pickup can lead to disappointment. Drivers are often busy navigating their routes and paying attention to the road. While special instructions are meant for specific location details, pickup appointments are not guaranteed for less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments. It’s crucial to have someone available during standard business hours on the requested pickup/delivery date to avoid any confusion or missed pickups.
Only 1%? No way am I paying for insurance with those odds!
The statistics may show that less than 1% of ground freight shipments are lost or damaged, but it’s important to consider the potential consequences if it happens to your shipment. Properly packaging your freight is essential, but it’s wise to obtain additional insurance coverage for valuable shipments. Standard carrier liability coverage may not be sufficient, so exploring instant, automated additional insurance options can provide you with peace of mind and ensure worry-free shipping.
It's just one extra skid. No way it's going to be a problem.
Underestimating the impact of additional skids or repackaging on the overall shipping cost can be a costly assumption. Freight shipping pricing is determined by various factors, including the dimensions, weight, and quantity of the shipment. Adding just one extra skid or repackaging the freight can significantly affect the pricing structure. It’s crucial to obtain a specific and accurate quote for your shipment and ensure that it aligns with the details provided. Avoid making changes without requoting beforehand to prevent unexpected price increases.
But it was lunchtime! It's not our fault they came during lunchtime.
Assuming that carriers will adjust their schedules to accommodate your availability during non-standard hours can lead to missed pickup and delivery fees. Carriers operate during standard business hours, and it’s important to be on-site and available during those times. If the carrier arrives and finds no one to assist with the shipment, it will be marked as missed, resulting in additional charges and potential delays. Ensure that someone is available to receive or hand over the cargo during standard business hours to avoid any complications.
It's sticking out just a bit. It will be fine!
Proper packaging is essential to ensure the safety and integrity of your shipment. Assuming that a slightly protruding item on a skid will be accepted by the carrier can be a costly mistake. Carriers have strict guidelines for packaging to prevent damage to the shipment and other cargo. If any part of your shipment protrudes from the skid, it may not be accepted. It’s crucial to properly package your freight, ensuring that it fits within the pallet lines and is secured to prevent any potential hazards or damage.
This option is more expensive! It has to be better!
Assuming that a higher-priced shipping option is inherently better, faster, or more reliable can be a costly mistake. The price of a shipping service depends on various factors, such as the carrier’s network, distance, and other operational considerations. Instead of solely focusing on price, it’s essential to evaluate carrier ratings and seek expert opinions to make an informed decision.
In conclusion, avoiding assumptions in freight shipping is vital to save time and money. By debunking these common misconceptions, you can navigate the shipping process with confidence and make informed decisions. Remember to provide all necessary shipping documents, understand the distinction between residential and business shipments, prioritize safety by utilizing tailgates when needed, consider additional insurance for valuable shipments, be available during standard business hours, evaluate shipping options beyond price, obtain accurate quotes for any changes in shipment details, and always adhere to proper packaging guidelines. By doing so, you’ll optimize your freight shipping experience and ensure the smooth transportation of your goods.