Every day, companies move millions of tons freight all over the world. Many businesses rely on this movement as an essential part of their operations. The world of freight shipping comes with its own practices and jargon like freight forwarders. For a business manager, it might be challenging to ship freight for the first time. You have to learn all the important jarog and work out what to do. Without a guide, you could end up paying too much for shipping, or even lose your shipment. The following steps will make sure your freight arrives where you want it and undamaged.
Determine Your Freight Class
Before you can even get quotes on how to ship freight, you’ll need to know your cargo’s freight class. Freight class is determined by the cargo’s size, weight, density, value, and ease of handling and storage. The lower the freight class, the lower your total shipping cost will be. If your shipping class is lost while in transit, your cargo will have to be weighed and the class determined again. This can result in a higher weight class and more add-on charges to your overall cost. Knowing freight class of your cargo will make it easier for you assess costs and avoid fees later on.
Pick Between LTL And TL
Once you know your freight class, you can determine what sort of shipping you need for your freight. Freight companies offer two options; “Less Than Truckload” (LTL) and “Truckload” (TL). As the names imply, the difference is whether your freight can fill up a standard size semi-truck. If your shipment weighs more than about 15,000 pounds, or takes up more than ten shipping pallets, your shipment is TL. A TL shipment will be more economic, since the company doesn’t have to fill the truck with other shipments. However, many companies offer flexible LTL options. Once you determine whether your shipment is LTL or TL, you can pick a company that offers you the best deal for your shipment.
Prepare Your Shipment
You’ll need to prepare your freight for shipment. Most goods are shipped with pallets, or a rigid platforms your freight can be lashed to. This makes it easier for the move your goods and helps protect against damages. If you are shipping in the agriculture business, you may want to use boxes for efficient packing. When loading pallets, make sure there is no overhang off the sides. The top of the pallet should also be flat, in case the shippers stack another pallet on top of it. When strapping these your shipment down, use plenty of stretch wrap to protect your boxes and items. Your freight should also be clearly labeled, since they might be intermingled with other shipments. Be careful when preparing your shipment, shipping can cause a lot of wear and tear.
Complete The Bill Of Lading
In order to arrange shipping, you’ll need to fill out a bill of lading. A bill of lading is the legal contract between your company and the shipper. It should clearly state what’s being shipped, point of origin, and destination. This document also serves as the receipt of goods and permission for the shipper to transport it. Anything you want the shipper to do as part of the shipping process needs to be outlined here. Most shipping companies will provide you with a template for a bill of lading. If they don’t, you can find one online. Once the bill of lading is agreed to, have your Legal department check it over again to make sure it’s correct. If you make a mistake here, it could result in the shipment being lost.
Track The Shipment
Once your freight is in transit, make sure you track it through the delivery service. Insist the shipping company provide you with a tracking number. Most companies will let you track your shipment in real time. This tool let’s you be proactive in making sure your shipment gets to its destination safely. It also lets you prepare for delays as they happen. With tracking you can know within a few hours when your shipment will arrive. This shipment is of most value to you. Keep an eye on it to avoid surprises.
Learning how to ship freight can seem daunting without guidelines. The steps outlined here will ensure your freight arrives where you want it to. Work out your shipping class ahead of time to help determine quotes. Determine if you need LTL or TL service to pick a shipper. Use pallets to carefully prepare your freight. Complete a bill of lading accurately to ensure legal protection for your freight. Track your shipment to guarantee its safe arrival. With these steps your company can ship freight without fear or uncertainty.