Do you ship time-sensitive goods? If you work in literally any industry, you probably said yes to this question. In fact, because so much of running a successful business depends on supply chain order fulfillment, it can be argued that most shipments are time-sensitive to some degree or another.
However, there are a few cases where time truly is of the essence, such as when shipping things like medical specimens, goods such as food and other perishables, sensitive documents, chemicals, and other special kinds of cargo. These time-sensitive goods need extra care to reach their destination safely, whether they’re on a van for delivery, an overnight plane flight or sent via another shipping method. Read on to learn more about what to consider when shipping time-sensitive goods.
Package With Care
A priceless historical vase on loan to a museum can make it from point A to point B without a hitch if the delivery is handled correctly by the carrier service, but if the vase arrives in a hundred shattered pieces, all this effort was for nothing. Packaging appropriately is an extremely important part of shipping time-sensitive goods. Use these tips to prevent damage to your products:
- Do not overload pallets or create unbalanced pallet loads. Center weight in the middle.
- Do not overstuff boxes with products to save on shipping. It is better to use multiple boxes and more packing supplies such as bubble wrap to cushion each item than it is to risk damaging important merchandise.
- Stack items on pallets or in boxes heaviest to lightest (heavy on the bottom, light on top).
- Mark time-sensitive shipments, fragile shipments, and perishables appropriately on labels as needed. While a simple sticker won’t necessarily prevent something large that could delay shipment, such as a major weather event, labeling as needed can help you communicate urgency and importance to your delivery service.
- Pack items with a limited shelf life in appropriately insulated packaging.
Understand Shipping Requirements
The shipping process is anything but straightforward once crossing borders becomes part of the equation. It is common for shipments to end up held up at state or country borders due to incorrect product labeling or lack of label entirely. If you are shipping across a border, especially internationally, it is vital that you follow the rules to the letter when it comes to addressing and labeling your shipments. It is also vital to brief delivery personnel on how to navigate customs, what to expect at drop-off facilities, and more. If you suspect you might experience an unavoidable customs holdup, ship early if you can to be sure your delivery makes it to the intended destination with plenty of time to spare.
Technology has come so far that customers can track a single order from the store to their doorstep with a tap on their phone screen and know when their goods will arrive as soon as they leave the shipping facility. Even though you aren’t the customer in this scenario, don’t neglect this awesome technology.
Request tracking information and use it throughout the shipping process, download software or apps that enable you to check up on bulk shipments, and keep detailed records about deliveries and shipments that match the ones you’ve sent out. Something as simple as an online spreadsheet can save you tons of trouble later down the line. No one wants to dig through a mountain of paperwork to find information about a single delivery from months ago — if that paperwork hasn’t been tossed out already by someone else!
Communication Is Key
It may seem obvious, but communication matters a lot in the shipping and logistics industry. There are many people involved in dealing with even the smallest shipment, so having contact information close at hand is the intelligent thing to do. Not only can you deal with problems before they arise, but you can also develop a working relationship with the people who are taking care of your valuable and important shipments. This can help you not get caught in the rush during the holiday shipping craze, too.
Choose Last-Mile Wisely
Your last-mile service matters more than you’ll ever know since they’re the people who get your shipment directly into the hands of the receiver. Choose only the most reliable companies with years of experience and gold-standard reputations, such as our shipping experts here at Wanner’s Transport & Delivery! When you choose the right last-mile service, you’ll ensure peace of mind for all shipments, whether or not they’re timed deliveries.
Contact Wanner’s Today
Shipping time-sensitive goods doesn’t have to be a source of stress when you rely on our team. We’ll ensure we take care of your customers from the first to the last mile. Thinking about delivering cargo yourself? Look into our piece on “how much is a box truck” here! Whichever you choose, we’ll be by your side to ensure complete customer and business satisfaction. We’ll speak with you soon!