With the current economy in its current volatile state, shipping costs have begun an insidiously upwards trend. Many have noticed an increase in freight rates, but it's quite hard to run a business without shipping items, merchandise, or equipment. No matter what you need to ship, there are numerous ways to save and avoid added costs. Here are some ideas on how to save on your shipping costs.
Smaller may be better
First and foremost - you need to shop around for
freight forwarders, better yet, those who specialise in freight shipping. It's often tempting to go with the big name companies, but sometimes that's really not your best option. While you may get guaranteed quality
service, but there are plenty of smaller companies that will work just as hard, if not harder, to keep you as a valued customer. Many times it's those smaller companies that are willing to put in the extra effort and give you superior customer service because they need your business to stay in competition. Once you choose a logistics company, it is often best to stick with them for multiple uses because
they might offer discounts for frequent customers.
Consolidate your freight
Once a company has been chosen, consolidate your freight shipments. There is no use in sending out two shipments within days or even weeks apart if you can send them in one. Turn two 300kg shipments into one 600kg shipment instead. It's actually cheaper to send just the one even though it will weigh more. The logistics company won't mind much either because it means less trips and less time used to clear the goods at port. Ensure that the weight and freight class are accurate on the bill of lading because after a shipment is picked up, it will be re-weighed to make sure it is correct with the company's class standards. If there is a difference
between the two, it will be re-classed and you will be charged more money and will most certainly result in delays.
Pack it right the first time
When packing the freight, pack it right the first time. If the freight shippers do not think the shipment is packaged correctly and safely, they will redo it for you...and charge you for it. In essence, they don't want you to process a claim on the shipment if items
are damaged. Damaged freight is not just bad for the freight forwarder's reputation but can cost both parties time, money and hair loss; so it's just easier to avoid that scenario all together by taking extra care with the packing.
Lastly, plan ahead. Expedited shipping naturally costs more. Setting up freight delivery ahead of time will not only save you money, but will better ensure that your delivery arrives on time.
Article adapted from Mark Etinger’s Ways to Save Money When You Ship Freight
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