Freight Management Systems
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These simple yet to the point questions can make the difference when shipping your precious cargo.
Tips on Packaging your freight
Proper packaging is a must. Don't ship your goods without proper protection. Many claims and damages arise from improper packaging -- and packaging errors may eliminate or reduce your carrier's liability.
• Do not ship hazardous materials on common carriers.
• Use a strong box to protect the contents.
• If you reuse a box, remove or mark out any old shipping labels.
• Protect the item you are shipping with newspaper, foam padding, shipping "peanuts," bubble wrap, or shredded paper.
• When shipping multiple items, pack cushioning between each item.
• Seal the box strongly using packing tape and shrink wrap.
Spell out every detail, even ones that may seem insignificant. The more information which you can provide to your freight broker, the more closely they will be able to match your needs to just the right carrier to handle any specific shipping condition.
Look for experience:
There is no doubt that if you do have a very specialized product, it would be in your company's best interest to go with a freight carrier which has experience handling your product. Your freight brokers, such as FMS, are experts in transportation knowledge and will provide their recommendations as to who should move your freight. It may be worth it in the long run to pay a premium shipping fee to safe guard against any mis-handling if you have sensitive handling instructions.
This is essential, especially if your freight should have special handling needs. With more and more shippers utilizing the consolidation power of LTL shipping to save on freight costs, the trucks will be loaded in a more professional manner to maximize storage capacity. This means that all of your outbound freight should be packed tightly and securely to minimize the volume required inside a container to transport your freight. Please refer to our packing tips below.
Quality is vital:
When you use a professional freight broker like FMS, they have your best interest at the forefront of their thoughts. You, their customer, are the life blood of their organization and are a very precious component to the success of their business. A reputable freight broker will align themselves with other well known transportation companies to best handle your freight. However, you can ask the carrier a few simple questions to help insure that you will receive quality service from the dock to the door and back. You may wish to ask the trucking company you use the following questions to better understand their quality control procedures:
1.Do they have an in-place Quality Assurance Program?
2.What is the age of their equipment, and do they have an appropriate equipment maintenance program?
3.Are there controls in place to handle anomalies and contingencies so that the shipment of your freight is not delayed?
4.Do they have a disaster recovery plan that will protect your assets while in their control?
Understand all your options:
There are numerous options to consider when routing shipments, including truckload and LTL carriers, intermodal and specialty transporters. Sometimes one type of shipping method will suffice, while at other times, a combination of shipping methods and carriers may best suit the situation.
Consider your special needs:
Depending on the nature of your shipments, you may need to look for a carrier that can provide other services which are unique to your shipment. For instance, a valuable shipment of pharmaceuticals may require additional security services, while deliveries to locations that do not have a dock may necessitate a truck equipped with a lift gate. Factor in all the capabilities you will need before you select your carrier.
Factor in availability and response time:
Ask about the carriers' business hours. Are they available 24 hours a day? Are they open on weekends and holidays? If not, consider the impact this might have on you and your business -- and factor this into your contingency plan. Carriers should be flexible enough in most situations to meet your needs. Knowing this in advance could help you in a bind and your freight broker should have this information available to you.
Develop a contingency Plan:
It would be a wonderful situation if things worked right 100% of the time. However, you know your business better than anyone. You should incorporate into your existing business contingency plan provisions to allow for unexpected changes in shipping requirements and how you should resolve the situations. Be prepared for last-minute glitches that may affect your plan. Pre-planning and an arsenal of shipping options can minimize the effect of the inevitable crisis.