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Freight Forwarding Errors: Avoid These 3 and Reduce Your Costs
Identifying freight forwarding and shipping errors may seem easy, but avoiding them is an entirely different challenge. Needless to say, it is much more advantageous for shippers to take a few necessary steps up-front and steer clear of errors altogether — but they must first know what these are and where to look.
We’ve shared three of the most costly shipping errors to avoid below, as well as some ways to reduce your risk in making them.
1. Bill of Lading Errors
As the most important document related to your freight shipment, the Bill of Lading must be accurate. Inaccurate BOLs can lead to carrier freight inspections and unplanned expenses resulting from incorrect classification or errors in weight. In addition, be sure to include the correct “bill to” information for your third party logistics (3PL) or freight forwarder, rather than listing yourself in this area of the BOL. This small but important piece of information ensures you take advantage of the rates that your forwarding partner negotiated on your behalf.
2. Freight Packing Errors
One of the main causes of damage (and its related expense) is mistakes made in packing cargo. While this may appear obvious, be sure to pack and wrap according to the nature of the items to be shipped. For example, delicate machinery requires a different type of packing than a shipment of cardboard boxes. Follow best practices for packing and securing pallets, cartons and crates; and, use sufficient material for stability and padding to protect against rough transit conditions. Bind the packaging together using the most appropriate material: stretch wrap, bands or ties, for example. When your shipment arrives, inspect for any damage as soon as possible and immediately apprise your freight forwarding partner, who will manage the claim process for you.
3. Paying More Than Necessary to Ship Your Goods
One of the primary benefits of working with a freight forwarder or 3PL is the the savings realized in the shipping cost itself. For this reason, we believe not taking advantage of an outsourced partner’s expertise to be an error (for the purposes of this article). Experienced forwarders know the places to look to achieve the most savings for your shipment, as well as how to avoid costly shipping errors like the ones discussed above. They also have the tools and technologies in place to increase service, and improve shipping management and efficiency.
You’ll know when you’ve found the right freight forwarder partner when you observe consistent attention to detail and proactive service on your behalf, at reasonable and fair price. Rest assured, these types of quality partners are out there. Be persistent in your search for the right one for your business.