7 Common Freight Shipping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

There are over 2 billion online shoppers in the world. As a business owner, it’s important that your company appeals to this vast audience. You must have a reliable shipping strategy to accommodate your business needs.

Yet even a simple shipment is still a complicated matter. Freight shipping mistakes can turn a simple shipment into a nightmare.

Here are some common freight shipping mistakes to avoid during a shipment.

1. Not Choosing the Right Carrier

Choosing a shipping carrier is a critical aspect of successful freight shipping, but it is a mistake that many shippers make. Here are some common mistakes related to carrier choice and how to avoid them:

Not Considering the Carrier’s Specialization

Different carriers specialize in different types of shipments, such as hazardous materials, temperature-controlled items, oversized cargo, or international freight. When looking for truck driving companies, it’s essential to choose a carrier that specializes in the shipment you need to transport for your goods to be handled appropriately.

Focusing Only on the Price

It’s easy to get lured into choosing the cheapest carrier option, but it’s important to consider other factors, such as the carrier’s reliability, delivery times, and customer service. Opting for a cheaper carrier that has a poor track record may end up costing more in the long run.

Not Checking the Carrier’s Insurance Coverage

Freight shipping can involve risks, such as damage, theft, or loss. It’s crucial to ensure that the carrier you choose has proper insurance coverage to protect your goods in case of any mishap.

Not Researching the Carrier’s Reputation

It’s essential to do your due diligence before choosing a carrier. Check reviews and ratings from other shippers to investigate the carrier’s safety record and compliance with regulations. 

2. Improperly Packaging Your Shipment

Improperly packaging your shipment is one of the most common freight shipping mistakes. Most carriers have strict guidelines on packaging and palletizing that must be adhered to for your shipment to be accepted.

Packaging also affects overall product safety and determines how long your cargo will take to arrive safely. When packaging items for shipment, you should ensure that you use sufficient cushioning and ensure that any fragile cargo is secured rigidly. It is also important to take into consideration the weight limit for each pallet and to properly manage the weight distribution once the cargo is loaded.

Additionally, make sure that any loose items are properly secured and that all pallets are hand-wired and shrink-wrapped. By taking these steps, you can reduce the risk of damage or loss to your shipment and ensure that it arrives safely and on time.

3. Not Providing Accurate Weight and Dimensions 

Not providing accurate weight and dimensions is a common freight shipping mistake that can be costly. Without the correct information, carriers can charge customers based on estimated data, leading to excessive fees. 

To properly avoid this mistake and avoid unnecessary charges, it’s important to accurately weigh and measure the packages that are being shipped and report those figures accurately to the carrier. Customers should also include a “tare” or packaging weight in the measurements, as carriers use this to calculate the shipment’s total weight. 

Taking the time to ensure that these measurements are accurate and up to date can save customers from facing extra charges from carriers. Providing accurate information can also benefit your customers. It helps to ensure that their shipments arrive on time and in good condition.

4. Ignoring Special Requirements

These requirements can depend on many factors including the specific characteristics of the item being shipped, such as hazardous materials or items with certain sizes and weights. 

It is important to make sure that you are following all the necessary protocols to be able to ship the item safely and securely. Failing to do so can result in fines or delays in delivery. To avoid this mistake, make sure you know all the necessary rules, regulations, and other requirements associated with it.

5. Not Properly Labeling Your Shipment

Proper labeling is critical. It helps ensure that shipments are properly and accurately processed throughout their journey. Any item missing a complete label should not be shipped.

When labeling a shipment, be sure to include the consignee’s full name and address, the sender’s name and address, a description of contents, weight, and the total number of pieces. Many carriers also require additional information. It is important to research each carrier’s requirements. 

6. Failing to Track Your Shipment

One of the most common freight shipping mistakes involves failing to track a shipment. This too often leads to the shipment becoming lost or delayed, even without the shipper or consignee having a clear idea of where their freight is at any given moment. 

To prevent this error, shippers should ensure they have access to the shipment’s tracking details. This can easily be obtained from the freight company. Shippers should stay in close contact with the freight company throughout transit. 

7. Not Having a Backup Plan

A shipment that is late, lost, or damaged can be a stressful and time-consuming situation. Proper preparedness and planning can help to mitigate issues and ensure that the freight arrives as expected. 

Always consider alternate carriers. This will ensure that the most reliable services are selected and that the message about potential risks or delays is heard by management. The use of technology can help to prevent issues from occurring.

Avoid Common Freight Shipping Mistakes Today

When shipping freight, mistakes can be costly. Be aware of and avoid common shipping errors that can prevent financial losses and ensure timely shipment of inventory. 

To reduce the chances of mistakes and increase the efficiency of your freight shipping process, be sure to take advantage of the resources provided here. Follow fact-based decision-making. Make sure you contact an experienced shipper today to avoid common freight shipping mistakes.

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