Top 7 Most Common & Costly Shipping Mistakes You Can Avoid

If you are a business owner, you know all too well how much you spend on shipping. This significant spend necessitates that you get it right. Even so, there are a number of common and costly shipping mistakes that business owners tend to make. 

To help you not fall victim and increase efficiencies, the team at On Track Freight Systems has outlined a few of the most common and costly shipping mistakes you can avoid. Read on to learn more and don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at On Track Freight Systems for affordable and reliable transportation solutions. 

Shipping Mistake #1: Choosing Parcel Shipping Over LTL Transportation

While shipping parcels through FedEx, USPS, UPS, and DHL may have sufficed for a time; your business has grown and you could be wasting money by continuing to use these services over more affordable LTL solutions. For those who need a refresher, parcel shipments are when goods are individually packaged or placed in a carrier-supplied box. 

Typically weighing under 150 pounds, parcel shipments never touch a pallet and tend to move through package shipping systems. 

Understanding the Disadvantages to Parcel Shipping for Your Business

Although placing parcel shipments is simple and straightforward, it has its downsides. Due to the rigorous handling parcels endure, they tend to be at a higher risk of being damaged or misplaced along their journey. 

Also, parcel shipments tend to travel through many checkpoints and transfers, resulting in the delivery taking longer or be delayed more frequently. If you are sending just a few lightweight packages, parcel shipping may make sense for you.

LTL Shipping Offers Ample Business Benefits 

However, if you are sending packages with a regularity that tend to have large volumes and quantities, it can make a lot more sense to consider the benefits associated with less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping

LTL shipments are placed on pallets, secured, and placed in a truck where there are little-to-no risks of damage, making it an overall safe choice (especially when fragile objects are involved). LTL shipping deals with large, bulky, irregular-shaped packages, making it more commercially viable for businesses that deliver a lot of products at once. 

Due to fewer break-bulks, fewer transfers, and the way LTL shipments are secured, businesses often save more money with LTL trnasportation when compared to parcel shipments. So if you are still using parcel shipping for your business, you could be making the cardinal shipping mistake that you can avoid! Fortunately, the team at On Track Freight Systems can help. 

Shipping Mistake #2: Avoiding Insurance

Yes, we understand the idea of buying insurance can seem wasteful, but when it comes to business shipping — insurance moves from a nice-to-have to a must-have feature. No matter how reliable or “on point” a shipping service is, unpredictable situations or accidents are always a possibility. Spending a little bit more upfront can give you peace of mind from possible headaches later on. And in the event the unexpected happens, your cargo is covered.

Shipping Mistake #3: Using the Wrong Packaging

Not using the proper packaging can lead to accidents and unnecessary costs; thankfully, it is completely avoidable. For example, too often business owners ship items in poorly wrapped pallets or in boxes that are too big (or small) for the order. 

To prevent these types of mistakes, be mindful of all packaging options, invest in automated solutions when possible, and never hesitate to ask for assistance when you aren’t sure. If you’re reluctant to ask your preferred carrier or provider about options, you’re probably using the wrong carrier. 

Shipping Mistake #4: Getting Your Measurements Wrong

Choosing to mistake or misquote the size and dimensions of your cargo in an attempt to save money is a bad idea. If your preferred carrier conducts a freight audit and discovers falsified shipping measurements, you can be both fined and forced to pay the difference in cost. Not only that, but your business can be red-flagged, increasing the potential for more audits in the future.

On the other hand, the relationship with your carrier is vital to the health and success of your business. You should view this relationship as you would all other relationships, and no matter what — it’s best to be honest. 

Shipping Mistake #5: Failing to Plan Effectively

As much as we all want things to run smoothly and be predictable, life is often neither of those things. Many different scenarios can happen during a delivery that ends up affecting established deadlines, such as:

  • Car accidents, 
  • Traffic jams, 
  • Unforeseen weather conditions, and 
  • More. 

Instead of sweating over all the different things that could or might happen, it’s best to create a buffer zone or cushion in your timeline. In other words, plan for the unexpected and incidentals that may be out of your control. 

Shipping Mistake #6: Incorrect Address

Although we all know how important it is to get the shipping address correct, this is undoubtedly one of the most common mistakes. Yet, it’s completely preventable. Prior to accepting a shipping address from a client, it’s best to verify it. If you collect these addresses electronically, there are several online verification software that can double-check the address for accuracy. 

If you don’t take the necessary time to check the address of the destination on the bill of lading, freight orders can end up in unexpected places. Check every letter and number more than once, that way you won’t need to spend any effort tracking down a lost shipment. 

Shipping Mistake #7: Choosing the Wrong Carrier

The shipping partner or carrier you choose is more than the company that delivers your packages. Instead, you should view the carrier as an extended arm of your business because they may have more interactions with your clients than you do. 

You can remedy this problem by ensuring you maintain an open line of communication with your carrier. While many can deliver packages, only the right carrier for your business will take the time to understand your needs and expectations. And if you get this decision wrong, it could be the most costly shipping mistake you’ll ever make. 

Contact On Track Freight Systems Today

Whether you’re looking for fast, reliable, and affordable shipments throughout New York and New Jersey or you’re looking for shipping across the country, the team at On Track Freight Systems will deliver! We are a team of seasoned and dedicated logistics experts who specialize in A-to-B solutions and unrivaled customer service. 

We take an infinite amount of pride in our ability to quickly and effectively respond to your needs in a manner that most companies have long moved away from. In other words, we are real people offering real solutions, and every time you reach out to us — that’s what you’ll be privy to!

Contact On Track Freight Systems today!