If you manage a business that has to ship goods on a national or international scale, you really need to find a freight shipping company that meets all of your needs, getting your products to their destination on time and without damage. In truth, you’ll want to look for some of the same things that you demand from a shipping service that you’d use to send personal packages, only on a much larger scale. You need different options for packaging, shipping times or methods (ground, air, etc.), and of course, pricing. As a responsible business owner you’ll want to comparison shop, and there are several things you should consider before you settle on a freight shipping company that can handle your packaging and shipping needs.
- Rates. Although you want to select a company that is established, stable, and loved by its customers, you cannot avoid the question of cost. In fact, the bottom line is likely to be one of the most important considerations, especially since costs can quickly get out of hand if you ship tons of product. Luckily, most shipping companies will be able to offer you a variety of services in a wide range of rates so that you can easily scale your shipping choices to fit the needs of your operation. A company that is unwilling to offer affordable solutions to their customers is probably not the type of vendor you’re looking to work with.
- Scope of shipping operation. Most large-scale freight shipping operations actually contract with a number of carrier services in order to offer their customers more options when it comes to meeting their needs. This allows them to ship goods quickly if necessary while still providing you with the chance to save money if that’s your goal. And of course, with multiple carriers on call they can ensure that if one method isn’t meeting your needs, another one might do the trick. You also want to check that the company has branches or at least agents in some or all of the many locations they ship to as a way to ensure quality control and the safety of your products.
- Your products. The type of products you ship could be problematic for some freight shipping companies for a variety of reasons. For example, your goods could be fragile or you might be sending materials deemed hazardous in some way. There may be all kinds of laws surrounding the items you ship (especially if you are in the alcohol or tobacco trade, just for example). You need to make sure that the freight company you choose is familiar with your products and capable of shipping them to your satisfaction.
- Accessibility and reliability. It’s important that you have visibility where you shipments are concerned and that you are provided with an avenue for recourse should any problems arise. A good company will offer you options like online tracking for packages, as well as the number of an agent that deals directly with the concerns of business clientele.
- Insurance. Although you will likely be required to pay some amount of insurance on anything you ship, you should take the time to learn more about the insurance your freight shipping company carries to cover replacement of your goods should they be lost or damaged in transit. You’ll want to make sure that their cargo insurance policy is sufficient to cover any losses you could experience.