Shipping is just as much an integral part of our local economies as it is to the global economy. However, everything has been impacted by supply chain disruptions over the past 36 months. Those disruptions do not appear to be going away until possibly Q4 of 2022, if everything goes well.
As business owners or shipping managers, you are always looking for ways to improve your shipping processes and make them more successful. By following the tips outlined in this blog, you can rest assured that your shipping operation will run smoothly in 2022 and beyond. Keep reading to learn more!
Stay on top of changes that may affect your shipments. Seasonality and weather can affect your freight, stay educated. If you are shipping to or from an international location, your freight is going through a port, stay educated. If you are not yet using a good Transportation Management System (TMS) to help manage your freight, get educated. This is all important because it allows you to make decisions based on real data rather than intuition or personal preference.
To make your shipping better this year, build more time into the overall process. You can do this in several ways, but some methods are more effective than others.
Every step of the way, freight is simply going to take a bit longer for every part of the process. If your freight is coming from or going to an international location, it is going to take longer to get it to a port (sometimes weeks longer). It will take longer during its sea transport (75% longer) and it will take longer to unload at the port. The port of Long Beach currently has over 100 ships waiting to be unloaded. Pre-pandemic, that number was rarely over one (1).
Build more time into your shipping plans. Everything has changed.
When working with a good logistics partner, there will be times when they will need to switch the carrier that you thought your freight was riding on. This generally comes up when your logistics partner is trying to help reduce a delay that has surfaced. Afterall, you expect your logistics partner to Stay Educated (see above) more than anyone else. By being flexible and prepared, you can minimize disruptions to your shipping schedule.
Shipping is a process that is sometimes fraught with delays and complications. However, by following a few simple steps and being patient, you can greatly improve the chances of your shipping experience going smoothly. Here are a few tips to help you stay patient.
It is important to pack every shipment well to ensure the items arrive at their destination safely. If you are shipping pallets of small items, make sure that the items themselves are securely packaged to protect them. In addition, make sure that the pallet is properly loaded, corners are protected, pieces are banded/strapped down, and the entire pallet is shrink-wrapped to prevent load shifting during transport. For larger items, have them professionally secured to a pallet and crated. There is no better way of protecting your valuable items during shipping.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your investment/sales is to make sure your items are properly insured. Talk to your logistics partner about “All Risk” insurance for your freight.
Carriers often limit their liability to 50 cents per pound as stated in the fine print on their freight bill. So, an umbrella policy of $100,000, which most carriers have, may not cover even a fraction of the value of your freight. Also, the carrier’s insurance may not respond to your claim if they deem a loss to be outside of their control (i.e. flood, tornado, hurricane, or levee break). For best protection, get first party “all risk” cargo insurance on your freight and don’t jeopardize your financial fate on a carriers’ cargo liability insurance policy.
In order to stay ahead of the competition, it’s important to future-proof your business by preparing for changes in the shipping industry. PPLUS Global Logistics can help you do just that. We provide solutions to make sure your shipments are delivered on time, every time. Contact us for a free quote and see how we can help you prepare for the future of shipping.