Ready to ship freight? Technically, freight is any package over 100 pounds; it typically consists of commercial products delivered to a client through professional shipping services.
Lost or damaged goods reflect poorly on your company and create losses, so if you frequently ship packages, then freight needs to be a key part of your company strategy. To make sure your packages reach customers safely and reliably, follow the five guidelines below for successful shipping strategy.
1. Maintain a very clear payment policies
There must be no misunderstanding between you, your clients, and the shipping company about who pays for what. Create two policies: one for domestic shipping and one for international deliveries.
Domestic shipping fees tend to be very simple, with either the buyer or the seller paying for shipping, before or after delivery. International delivery involves a maze of tariffs, taxes, and a series of shipping stages that need to be sorted through carefully.
Research is your friend here. Target the destination country and explore all shipping requirements and options. Clearly divide payments so that all parties will understand what’s expected of them. Remember, you’re dealing with many different levels of competence and quality between international shipment companies, as well as a variety of regulations.
2. Know the best packing strategy
Depending on what products you are shipping, pack for safety. Box, create, or pallet accordingly. Strap down all shipments as much as possible for maximum containment. Provide any necessary padding and choose the sturdiest packaging options for long trips.
Look up online the best way to pack new goods before starting. The major American carriers provide detailed information on how best to package goods based on what they are, how they’re being shipped, and how much they weigh.
If you use express air, air pressure is also a consideration. Experiment with stacking methods, pallets, and different methods of cushioning to find the best protection without adding too much weight.
3. Know the details of your shipment
This may seem obvious, but it’s also vital: know the details of what you’re shipping. Record the exact number of units, the number of units in each batch, and the type of packaging.
Be sure you have the exact weight and dimensions of each package, because the volume is an important calculation for many shipping companies. If necessary, convert any data into the metric system for easier shipping. Print these details on all shipping labels and be ready to provide them in any online forms.
4. Focus on the appropriate codes
Shipping codes depend on where and how you’re shipping, but they are always very important. If you don’t have much experience with shipping codes, study the requirements carefully.
An HTS code is pertinent and very handy for US shipping. Incoterms and similar codes are typically necessary for international shipping: almost every country uses these global codes to help make sorting mail and packages easier.
They define the type of shipment, the parties in charge of it, and the fees involved. Keep these terms in mind and prepare your freight accordingly. More information can be found online if you are new to coded or international shipping.
5. Make everything obvious
Shipping labels, especially in international shipping, deserve your full attention. Do not hide the most important information. Make the contents, market value, weight, size, and codes all VERY easy to find at a glance on all your invoices and labels.
Use large fonts, clear indications, and simple color schemes that can stand a little wear and tear (or water). Not only will this help keep your products safe, but it will impress shipping companies and make it much easier to work with them in the future. Consider printing the invoices in different languages if it’s appropriate.