7 Surprising Shipping Mistakes that Cost You

152494390Unanticipated costs and unexpected delays are can negatively impact your supply chain, but there are ways to increase its efficiency. Some of the most common shipping mistakes include not knowing which transport mode to choose, being unclear about government rules, and not understanding different price structures. Avoid these common shipping errors to get your freight to its final destination on time, with fewer expenses.

1) Ignoring inbound freight management. Don’t underestimate the importance of inbound freight management; it allows a shipper to gain control on shipments received, have better inventory management and note any damage to packages.

2) Not researching shipment weight. Instead of estimating what the package weighs, buy a scale that will accurately weigh the package. Carriers will reweigh the package and charge extra fees if the original estimate is inaccurate.

3) Packaging approach. If your packaging is outside stated parameters of weight, height and width, it will greatly increase the rate. The biggest parcel carriers and LTL companies have shifted to a dimensional pricing system. To avoid fees, change the packaging. If that’s not an option, add weight to the parcel.

4) Not utilizing technology. Utilizing a TMS will provide you with real time data, tracking capabilities, and provide visibility into your supply chain.

5) Wrong destination. One of the most common shipping mistakes. Shippers must take the time to double check the destination address on the bill of lading (BOL). If freight ends up in the wrong place, it takes time and money to track it down.

6) Reverse logistics policy. Companies should assure customers that the return policy is on his/her side, and provide feedback. A well-planned and customized reverse logistics policy can reduce storage and distribution costs, improve brand reputation, and lead to an overall better customer experience, often creating customer loyalty. (link to Reverse Logistics post)

7) Relying on one carrier. Handling all freight shipments with one carrier makes the shipper vulnerable. Proactively focus on being a carrier-friendly shipper and work with a third part logistics partner to leverage their vast network of qualified carriers to help reduce costs and improve productivity.

Most of these shipping mistakes can be avoided with proper attention.  If your staff is stretched too thin and these mistakes are frequently occurring within your organization, consider working with a partner to streamline your transportation needs.