5 Tips for Shipping Food Across the Country

shipping food

shipping food

If you have a child away at college, sending a care package with his or her favorite baked goods can make your student less homesick. But, what’s the best way to ship baked goods?

During the holiday season, you may want to send relatives your famous homemade chocolate truffles as gifts. So, how does one send perishable foods?

Or you might be thinking about starting a cupcake business that would include shipping your delicious treats across the country. Is there a particular way to ship cakes or cupcakes?

All of these situations involve shipping food, which requires special care and protection from the elements. In addition, these packages can be subject to extreme temperature conditions which can affect the quality of the contents.

When sending food in the mail, it’s important to consider proper packaging, refrigeration, and insulation to keep food safe and intact when it reaches its final destination.

It’s also important to choose the right courier service.

If you follow these five tips, you can ensure the food will arrive safely when sending edible gifts and perishables across the country.

1. Place Goods in Appropriate Container

After baking, allow the food items to cool completely. If you pack up baked goods before cooling, they will release condensation and will become soggy.

Place in an airtight container that is a snug as possible. If the container is too big, items will move around and may fall apart. If there’s extra space, fill that space up with something soft to cushion the food.

You can also use a zip-locked bag. Containers or bags should be wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to help maintain the temperature. Also, it will contain possible spillage.

2. Keep Cold

Even perishable foods that don’t normally require refrigeration should be kept cool, especially during the summer. Duct tape a cold pack to the bottom of the container. Cold packs can keep food cold for a long time.

If shipping meats or poultry, then attach the cold pack to the top with duct tape. Then wrap the whole thing with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

It’s important to keep fresh foods from freezing, or frozen foods from melting or thawing. Non-frozen foods should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Place Contents in Box

Put the entire contents in a box with room for packing peanuts. The box should be either foam or corrugated cardboard and be new. Old boxes degrade over time and become weak.

Foam is a good choice for foods that must maintain a certain temperature, and especially if it needs to stay cool.

If you’re shipping items in glass, such as mason jars, wrap the glass containers in bubble wrap and then surround with peanuts.

Newspapers are not a good source of insulation. It can get wet, tear and doesn’t provide sufficient protection.

Wrap and seal the box with shipping tape only, and not duct or masking tape, which can melt in the heat.

4. Choose a Reliable Shipping Courier

Find a courier service that is experienced in handling and quickly delivering last minute packages that contain food item. Some courier services do not necessarily prioritize these kinds of shipments.

Food shipped in the mail should be sent as quickly as possible. Ship it early in the week to make sure that it doesn’t get slowed down over the weekend. This is especially important over the holidays.

Packages mailed on a Thursday or Friday, or just before a holiday, sometimes experience a delay or end up sitting in a warehouse until Monday.

Properly label the box and write “keep refrigerated”, “perishable” on the box. You will need to let the carrier know that you are shipping food items.

When you mail the package, you should receive a tracking number and an estimated date of delivery.

At this time, notify the recipient to be on the lookout for the package, so that it doesn’t sit out on a porch for too long. You should also remind the recipient if the package needs to be refrigerated or placed in the freezer right away.

5. Make Sure Packages Arrive Safely

When the food arrives, check with the recipient to make sure it arrived safely. Food that should be frozen should arrive at least partially frozen. Ice crystals should be visible.

If food is warmer than 40 degrees, notify the shipping company immediately and do not eat the food.

How to Ship Perishable Foods Review

For review here are the steps for Shipping Refrigerated Items:

  • Use gel coolant
  • Freeze coolant a couple days prior to use
  • Pre-cool the shipping container
  • Double-bag foods with liquids
  • Line the inside of the container with plastic if shipping liquids
  • Place the container in a box and surround completely with packing peanuts
  • Seal inner liner
  • Place styrofoam container into a corrugated box
  • Seal with shipping tap on all seams

And for Shipping Frozen Items:

  • Freeze food items before packing
  • Precool the container
  • Line the container with plastic
  • Place dry ice in the container all around the item
  • Seal and place in a corrugated box
  • Fill the box with packing peanuts
  • Seal all seams with shipping tape

Dry ice is considered a dangerous good/hazardous material. Prior to shipping you must fill out all required paperwork and label the box appropriately.

Shipping seafood requires some additional steps:

  • Seafood should be double-bagged in plastic, with each bag individually sealed
  • Place absorbent materials on the bottom of the container, such as paper towels.
  • Ship overnight if possible

To ensure speedy and safe shipping, it’s important to take these necessary steps.

Shipping Food through the Mail

If you take all the above steps, you should have no problem sending thoughtful and delicious packages to your friends or loved ones.

If you’re sending food as part of your business, using a reliable shipping company is essential and makes all the difference between a bad Yelp review and a repeat customer.

Contact us for more information on courier services or for a free quote.

6 Instances When It’s Cheaper To Hire A Local Delivery Service

local delivery

Even in the era of non-stop digital communication, there are still thousands of bike couriers in cities like New York alone. Local delivery is essential to businesses like law firms, food and beverage companies, and major institutions. While it might be appealing to have things handled by your standard national mail delivery service, a local delivery service can guarantee cheap delivery.

If you need your forms downtown by the end of the day, hiring a package delivery service could cost your hundreds. Hiring a local courier service could cost a fraction of that and get done right on time. While you might think the service level of a local delivery service would cost more, it’s more efficient and effective than a national service.

There are a number of ways that hiring a local delivery company can save you money. Here are 6 instances when you should rely on local delivery.

1. Shipping Perishables

Shipping perishable items can be costly with a large national chain. You’ll be paying for a special refrigerated vehicle, likely be storing it overnight, and could run into all kinds of risks in the interim.

If you simply need these perishables sent across town, hire a local delivery service. They can often pick them up and drop them off within an hour. Given that you don’t know how long your packages could be sitting on a dock with a nationwide chain, a local delivery company provides services they can’t.

This could save you a lot of money in potentially lost or spoiled inventory. You’ll have satisfied customers, and you’ll have provided service few companies can. There are very few companies, aside from local pizza delivery, that can get you a perishable food or medication within a couple of hours.

Hiring a local service ensures that customers get what they want at a price point that could cost you less than if you went with another service.

2. Dealing With Legal Documents

When you’re dealing with a legal matter, time is often of the essence. A delayed transfer of ownership could cause one party to develop cold feet and back out of a deal. That could cost you or your firm thousands to millions of dollars.

Don’t trust these vital documents to go out with the 5 PM mail. Hire a local delivery service to pick up the papers and drop them off immediately.

Local couriers know the quickest route to get to Point B. They won’t throw your vital forms on the back of a truck and deal with them when they get a chance. Your needs will be the priority of the moment and will be met with top priority.

You won’t have to worry about a deal going south so long as you’ve got a local delivery company handling your package.

3. Working In The Medical Industry

While many industries claim that their matters are “life and death”, this can be true in the medical industry. If older x-rays or files need to be brought from one end of the city to the next, a local delivery company is your best option. Rather than having medical staff leave their post, you can have a much less costly delivery professional bring them to the office they’re needed at.

If a sample needs to get across town for an important test, you might not be able to wait until the next business day. A local delivery company can get it there safely and securely within an hour or two.

You’ll save money for your medical office by retaining patients who love the efficiency of your services. You’ll also be saving on the costs you would be spending to do a same-day delivery with one of the big 3 or 4 national delivery companies. A local delivery company can help to ensure patients get the care they need when they need it.

4. You’ve Made Mistakes In The Past

If you’ve had trouble with other delivery services or have had a lot of returns from a certain client, a local delivery company can be a lifesaver. They can offer your clients the kind of personal and professional attention that they demand.

Instead of shipping items out at the end of the day as most companies do, you can send a single personalized shipment to a customer you’re on the mend with. Repair your relationship with a customer who is skeptical by giving them the time and attention they deserve. They’ll take notice and will begin to rebuild their loyalty to you and your company.

5. You Want To Outdo Your Competitors

Most businesses don’t offer same-day or local delivery. Other than flower shops on Mother’s Day, people don’t expect to have their orders delivered on the same day. If you can work this service into your budget, you will increase sales with just a simple gimmick.

Every industry is competing online now. Take things to the next level by giving customers the option to have things delivered in a few hours. Team up with a local delivery service to do this more cheaply than customers could imagine.

6. You’ve Seen A Drop In Sales

Every industry seems to be competing with Amazon. People love the convenience of their services even though they often have to wait a few days to receive their shipments. As a viable alternative, you could offer same day shipping on most local orders.

If you specialize in one particular city, you can build a strong following by getting your products into the hands of customers the day they make their orders.

A Local Delivery Service Is Good For Profits

The rarity of being able to receive your orders on the day you make them makes a local delivery service a must-have for your business. Local delivery can increase sales by showing customers a personalized and caring approach to their needs. You’ll see loyalty, profits, and brand reputation increase when you pair with a great local service.

Autonomous or drone delivery is coming to revolutionize the industry. If you want to know more about how it can affect your company, check out our guide.

6 Times When You Might Need A Same Day Document Courier

You need to get this package delivered today.

But you don’t have time to take it yourself. You also can’t spare anyone to send them out with it. They’d end up stuck in traffic for hours anyway and it would ruin their productivity for the day.

What do you do? The answer might be easier than you think. A reputable same day document courier can get your package where it needs to go at the speed of light.

…Well, maybe not quite that fast, but almost.

Let’s look at 6 instances when same day document delivery would come in handy for your business.

1. You Want to Shine at Customer Service

Customer service can make or break a business. Businesses lose about $62 billion in revenue due to poor customer service. You don’t want your business to be a part of that statistic.

What is an excellent way to go above and beyond and provide stellar customer service? Use a same day document courier to deliver important papers like contracts or invoices.

Same day delivery services are fast. What if traffic is so bad that the delivery truck or van can’t get anywhere quickly? Many services use bicycles or even send a walker to bypass the gridlock and deliver your document on time–or even ahead of schedule.

Your customers will also be impressed that their documents arrive hand-delivered. It shows them that you take their privacy seriously and want to meet their needs as best you can.

2. You Want to Cut Costs

Using a same day document courier can actually be cheaper than delivering documents yourself. When you go yourself, you take time out of your day and put wear and tear on your vehicle.

To get around that, you might send an employee. But you’re still paying that employee, perhaps hourly, and they’ll go in a company vehicle. So you’re putting wear and tear on your vehicle.

Depending on where you are and the time of day, you could be sending them out to sit in traffic. Traffic can turn a 30-minute errand into an hours-long nightmare and increases the wear and tear on your car.

By that time you’ve spent far more paying your employee than the cost of delivery.

Courier service can save money by moving packages in bulk or using some of the alternate means of transportation we mentioned earlier.

3. You Want to Avoid Extra Training and Liability

Do you tend to send a lot of documents? You might think that it is worth it to you to create your own in-house delivery team. But that delivery team comes with a price.

You’ll have to pay someone (or several people) to handle the deliveries. You’ll also need to purchase and maintain a company car to use for deliveries.

Another thing you might not think about is that you’ll have to train those people. There are also certifications they have to keep current on.

Plus, you are now liable in certain cases. For example, what if your in-house delivery driver gets into an accident? The whole thing gets even worse if it turns out to be your employee’s fault.

Now you’re liable and it falls on your insurance. That can turn into an ugly situation pretty quick and at the very least, your insurance premiums will go up. We don’t have to tell you how much of a headache and a financial risk this can be.

It’s easier to avoid all that and use a reliable same day document courier. You can rest easy with the peace of mind that your package will get where it needs to go. And you’re not liable if something goes wrong.

4. You Send Packages Infrequently

An in-house delivery team would also be extremely impractical if you don’t send packages that often. Even if you send a few packages a day, that doesn’t warrant paying a full-time employee to handle deliveries.

Your wallet will be much happier if you simply hire that out. A courier service will get it delivered faster anyways. They have the process far more streamlined than you can make it.

5. You Need Last-Minute Delivery

At times you may have an emergency package that needs to go out at the last-minute. You’re closing down and people are already heading home for the day. How will you get that package where it needs to go?

Many rush couriers are available 24/7. They can get your emergency packages where they need to go at any time of the day. That’s far more than you can expect from an in-house crew.

6. Specialized Services

A same day document courier will often offer useful specialized services. For example, they may serve legal papers or provide last flight out services. Final mile delivery ensure that your packages make it where they need to go as fast as possible.

Some places even offer luggage transportation. That can come in handy for those business and personal trips when your luggage must travel separately.

Find Your Same Day Document Courier Today

There are many instances in which a same day document courier can come in really handy. Most of all it has to do with the convenience of getting your packages delivered fast and on time.

It can be expensive to maintain your own in-house delivery team. Building a relationship with a dependable courier service is a great alternative. Fewer headaches for you and, in most cases, you’ll save money at the same time.

Looking for a quick quote on a package? Get your quote from Need it Now Delivers! today. We make sure that your package arrives at its destination on time. We can even offer same day international delivery within certain parameters.

Check us out today to find out how we can get your business moving at the speed of light!

Smart Travel Tip: How to Ship Luggage

For every 1,000 bags handled by US airlines, only 6 get mishandled. While this figure sounds good at this scale, with nearly 2.5 million passengers traveling every day, this number quickly jumps up over 10,000 a day.

This has led an increasing number of people to look into how to ship luggage.

If you’ve ever lost a piece of luggage or know someone who has, you know what it can do to ruin a trip. You’ll show up for business meetings looking unprofessional. If you’re on vacation, you could show up to the beach with nothing but your winter clothes.

Shipping your luggage might be a no-brainer after considering the statistics but if you don’t know how to ship luggage, you could feel stuck. Follow these 9 tips to make sure you’re prepared for your next trip.

1. Eliminate Waste

Your first step before deciding how to ship luggage should be to make a list of all the things you absolutely need. Then rewrite a leaner version of that list. For the least expensive shipping and easiest time moving your luggage around, get rid of unnecessary items.

You should be able to shave some weight off by considering the weather and if necessary, wearing some of the clothes you’ll need while traveling. You can always take advantage of the hotel or your host’s laundry machines.

Make sure you pack intelligently. If you have fragile items to pack, use softer objects to help to pack or protect them. Don’t add packing materials to your luggage when you can avoid it.

This will help save space, weight, and time.

2. Get All The Details

Before you decide how to ship luggage, get all the details about where you’re shipping to. If you’re going to a work function, you might be checking in at a hotel or conference center that you’re unfamiliar with.

Make sure you have the right room number, address details, and phone number. You don’t want to have your luggage meant for West 42nd Street delivered to East 42nd Street.

Double check spelling with the person you speak with from the delivery company as well. You don’t want someone with a similar sounding or similar spelled name getting your luggage in their room.

3. Find Out Urgency

Do you know how soon you need the package to be delivered versus how much the delivery options cost? Compare some carriers to see who can offer you the best deal.

If you get a good quote from someone but would rather work with another company, quote the other company when you speak to the one that you want to work with. You never know what it’ll take for them to dig out a promo code or special discount for you.

4. Check Weight Limits

Some shipping companies have weight limits for individual packages. Any luggage or package that exceeds that limit should be split into multiple packages or parcels.

You might also be packing lightly when you’re far off from hitting the limits. It’s better to know how much rope you have before you start limiting yourself.

Some companies have no weight limits at all, just size limits. Call ahead to find out when you’re figuring out how to ship luggage.

5. Schedule Pickup

If your package is too heavy to drop off or if you’re too busy before your trip, see if they can pick up your package for you. You might need to have someone around to do the handoff.

Scheduling pickup should be fairly easy. Most delivery companies will work around your schedule and be available to pick up on off hours if you work a 9-5 schedule.

Some companies even offer airport courier services to make things easier.

6. Let Your Recipient Know

Call the help desk or hospitality service desk of where you’re heading and be sure that they can accommodate you. They may need some information from the delivery service or to hold a credit card number from you.

Just be sure they’re prepared before a 100-pound baby gets dropped on their doorstep.

7. Label Inside And Out

Make sure you’ve included a label with all of the essential contact information you can think of. Add your phone number and even an email address along with your home address.

Tape it securely to the front of your luggage and make sure it’s completely visible and weather resistant.

Put all the same information on another piece of paper and place that inside of your luggage. Accidents can happen, things can get torn, and having a second label on the inside of your luggage can save it from being lost.

It can also help confirm with handling staff that you’re the rightful owner, rather than your luggage being handed over to someone who claims it’s theirs.

8. Wrap It Tightly

If you can find some masking or painter’s tape that won’t damage your luggage, pick that up. Wrap the zippers and every potentially porous edge with the tape. This will keep anything from falling out or anything from seeping in.

Buy some plastic cling wrap for your luggage. Tightly wind it around the outside of your luggage. This will protect it from the elements and also make sure your label doesn’t get wet.

The more tightly you pack and protect your luggage, the less damage your items are likely to incur during transit.

9. Get Insured

Don’t skimp on insurance. If your delivery company offers insurance of any kind, you should take advantage of it.

See what the limitations are and find out what you could be covered for. If you’ve already got insurance on expensive electronics, you might not need to buy a redundant plan.

Figure Out How To Ship Luggage So You Can Enjoy Your Trip

Worrying about your luggage should be the furthest thing from your mind when you’re preparing for a trip. There are so many other things to prepare in advance and ensuring that your luggage arrives on time and to the right location shouldn’t be one of them.

If you’re ready to ship luggage in advance of your next trip, contact us today for more tips on getting the right service for your needs.

The Ultimate Guide to International Delivery

Have you ever shipped a package and then wondered if it was sent via the Pony Express? Or maybe it took so long you wondered if they invented a special Snail Express and put your package on it.

Joking aside, sometimes it seems to take way too long for international delivery. Does it really need to be that way?

No, it doesn’t.

Transportation these days is fast. There’s no reason you can’t get a package to almost anywhere in the world in a couple of days.

The problem is that international delivery is a little more complicated than domestic. There are borders to cross, more paperwork to fill out, and customs to clear.

However, there are a few things you can do to help the process move along. Here are five tips to help speed up international delivery.

1. Choose Your Carrier with Care

The most important piece of the puzzle is choosing the correct carrier. It would seem that shipping times would be pretty standard from company to company. But they’re really not.

It depends on a variety of factors. Some examples are

  • The volume of packages they handle
  • The type of transportation they have available (hint: airplanes are faster)
  • How often they send out shipments
  • The type of technology they use
  • Their relationship with customs

The customs issue is a big deal. A lot of delays in international delivery have to do with clearing customs.

To facilitate deliveries, courier companies develop relationships with customs in the receiving country. The relationship isn’t always the same.

That means that even shipping times with the same company may vary from country to country. It depends on what kind of deal they’ve worked out with that country’s customs department.

Do you tend to ship to a particular country or countries frequently? You want to check your potential courier’s average shipping times to those countries.

Package tracking is an important part of international delivery. Packages often change hands as they move around the world. Nothing gives you better peace of mind than knowing where your package is at all times.

Some couriers may charge extra for package tracking. That’s not always a bad thing, but you need to realize that it may be part of the cost.

When comparing companies, the cost is, of course, an important consideration. But if speed is very important to you, the cost may be secondary.

Decide which is most important when choosing your courier company. Understand that you will usually pay more for faster service.

2. Understand Your Shipping Options

Most courier companies offer a variety of shipping options. This is great for you because you can offer your customers more choices.

Some customers may be more concerned with cost and don’t mind a longer shipping time. Others may want their items as fast as possible and don’t mind paying for it. A flexible courier gives you the opportunity to be flexible with your customers.

A courier with superior customer service can also come in handy. You don’t have to figure out the best way to ship a package yourself.

You can simply call and talk to a representative from the courier service. They are well versed in shipping times and costs to the areas they ship. Tell them what factors are important to you and they will recommend the best shipping method.

3. Clearing Customs

As we’ve mentioned, clearing customs is often a factor in delaying international deliveries. Most courier services help a lot with this and handle any customs inquiries. They will work to ensure your package arrives on time.

However, there are a few things you can do to help facilitate quick customs clearance. The main thing is to completely and correctly fill out the paperwork. Most customs delays happen because the description is lacking or doesn’t match.

Countries have different regulations regarding items that they will accept. It’s unreasonable to expect you to know them all.

But it would be a good idea to know the regulations concerning your product. At least for the countries you ship to most often.

Also, be sure your customers are aware of customs and import taxes. It’s standard practice for the customer to pay the tax, but it’s good form to let them know.

Sometimes customers may ask you to mark the package as a gift. This lets them avoid paying the customs tax. This is illegal and you will be liable if customs figures it out.

4. Insurance

While rare, packages do go missing in transit. It happens more often with international deliveries because they change more hands.

Insurance is a great backup plan to have in place in case something happens. But be smart about it. It may be more cost-effective to pay for the occasional stray package yourself. It primarily depends on the product you sell.

5. Currency Concerns

Set your shopping cart up to display prices in the correct currency for your customer. For example, for a customer in the UK, it would show pounds, in European Euros, etc.

This will help to avoid confusion about pricing when customers are purchasing internationally. Plus, to do their own conversions, customers have to leave your site.

Clearly display the shipping options that you offer for international delivery. Again, do this in the customer’s currency to keep things simple. People like websites that are clear and what you see is what you get.

This helps cut down on returns and disgruntled customers. The last thing you want to have to deal with is international return shipping. It’s a pain and expensive. Make your return policies clear to customers so they’ll know if they have to pay return shipping.

International Delivery Made Easy

Find a courier company that will make your international deliveries easy. This will cut down on shipping headaches and help your business run smoother.

For more information about lightning fast, reliable international courier service, contact us today. Focus on your business and let us take care of the shipping. It couldn’t be any easier!

Why Your Shipments Need an Insulated Warehouse

insulated warehouse

Wondering if an insulated warehouse is worth the cost?

When you’re shipping goods, insulation can make a huge difference in ensuring they arrive safely. If your courier service doesn’t have an insulated warehouse, you could run into problems down the road.

This guide will show you everything you need to know about why shipments should have an insulated warehouse so you can make the right decision. Keep reading to learn more!

What Does Insulation Do?

Insulated warehouses have two important benefits: they have stable interior temperatures, and they don’t allow moisture to get inside and collect. This can go a long way toward protecting valuable goods from damage.

Many warehouses are made of materials like metal that offer little to no insulation at all. This allows for huge swings in temperature and damage from water, leading to mold and other issues.

Without insulation, buildings made of metal and many other materials can’t keep heat in during winter or keep the heat out during summer. When the temperature inside varies, moisture is more likely to collect as condensation. This leads to corrosion, rust, and all kinds of other problems in the building.

How Does Insulation Work?

Insulation controls the flow of heat into and out of the building. It also prevents moisture and condensation from forming on the goods stored inside. An insulated warehouse doesn’t allow heat to move as quickly from outside to inside and vice versa, so they’re more energy efficient, as well as better for storage.

Many kinds of insulation contain a vapor retarder that keeps water vapor from passing through, so condensation can’t form inside or on the insulation itself.

A few key terms related to insulation are:

  • U-Value
  • R-Value
  • Vapor Retarder

U-value refers to the thermal performance of the insulation around a building, depending on the materials it’s made out of.

The R-value measures the effectiveness of the insulation, also known as how much thermal resistance it has. A high R-value means the resistance to heat is high, while a low R-value means the resistance is low and the insulation won’t work as well.

Vapor retarder is a fairly self-explanatory term. Vapor retarders prevent or reduce the amount of moisture that can get through the insulation. Vapor retarders often have fire retardant properties, too, making this a great choice for keeping your belongings safe.

Insulation Types

Now, let’s take a look at the different kinds of insulation used for an insulated warehouse.

1. Loose Fill

Loose fill insulation is made with loose fibers or pellets that are projected into the cavities of a building, sort of like water spraying from a hose. This insulation tends to be more expensive than other varieties, but it’s useful for difficult to reach corners that need to be insulated.

2. Batt and Blanket

Batt and blanket insulation is made of fiberglass or rock wool mineral fibers. This is an inexpensive option, but it won’t work unless it’s installed properly.

For metal buildings, batt and blanket insulation with radiant barrier backing are ideal to help control the flow of heat.

This kind of insulation comes in rolls, which can be measured and cut to properly fit the building.

3. Spray Foam

Spray foam insulation is comparable to loose fill insulation since it’s also sprayed into place. This insulation is in liquid form, and contains both an agent to create foaming and a polymer, such as polyurethane.

This type of insulation is easy to spray into the ceiling, floor, walls, or anywhere else insulation is needed. It will automatically expand to fill the space and harden into plastic containing air cells.

If a building has corners that can’t be reached with other insulation types, spray foam insulation can get those spaces completely airtight. Many people use spray foam for buildings with an odd shape or spaces that have obstructions in the way.

Although it costs more than batt and blanket insulation, it also insulates better against air flow.

4. Fiberglass

Fiberglass is one of the cheapest ways to insulate a building. Many homeowners also use fiberglass insulation.

This insulation comes in rolls that are easy to install, even by people who aren’t professionals, although a mask must be worn to prevent the inhalation of dangerous particles. Fiberglass also sheds little fibers, so it shouldn’t be touched with bare hands.

One issue with fiberglass insulation is that it’s soft enough to be penetrated by rodents, birds, and insects looking for a place to nest. It’s also prone to absorbing moisture, so it usually needs a vapor barrier or another protective barrier.

5. Reflective Foil

Reflective foil insulation, also known as foil bubble, is a great choice for waterproofing. Although it’s expensive, it’s easy to install.

6. Rigid Board

Rigid boards made of foam are effective insulators no matter what the climate is. This insulation can be made of a variety of materials, including fiberglass, polyurethane, and polystyrene.

Rigid board insulation comes in a number of different performance ratings, so it can be very effective against moisture and heat when it’s at a high rating. The thickness of the board often determines how effective it is.

7. Insulated Panels

Insulated panels use a core of insulating foam, between two panels made of metal. This is one of the most expensive options, but it offers some of the best insulation out there and is quick to install.

Why Use an Insulated Warehouse?

With so many different insulation options out there, companies can easily insulate a warehouse. If they don’t, it’s a sign that they don’t really care about what’s stored inside.

Insulation helps protect your goods from damage thanks to heat, cold, pests, mildew, and many other problems. Many types of insulation also help protect from fires, leaks, and other more serious issues.

If you’re shipping goods, you need to seek out an insulated warehouse to make sure they arrive at their destination safely. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing a lot of money in the process.

Looking for the best courier service to protect your goods? ASAP Courier & Logistics can help – check out the contact page now to get started.

7 Things to Look for in a Quality Warehousing Service

Looking for a quality warehousing service? Wondering how to choose the best one for your needs?

Using quality warehousing services can be a lifesaver for your business. However, choosing the wrong one can cause a lot of headaches.

It’s important that you take the time to evaluate a potential warehouse service thoroughly before working with them.

Below we’ll look at the 7 top things you need to look for in a quality warehousing service.

1. Exceptional Fulfillment Services

Chances are that your business needs fulfillment services for packing and shipping your products. If so, it’s important to find out what the warehousing service offers and if they’ll be able to meet the demands of your business as well as your customers.

Find out about their turnaround time as well as their standards when it comes to packing a product securely. Do they have automated and manual assembling capabilities? Will your products arrive safely to customers?

Find out everything you can about the warehouse’s fulfillment services and try to uncover if they are the real deal.

Not all warehouses have the capabilities to meet the fulfillment needs of your business. It’s important to ask about a company’s process and make sure that they won’t leave you hanging when you need them most.

2. Strong Security

Any reliable warehouse will also take security very seriously. They will have great security measures in place and will go the extra mile to ensure that your stock is well protected from harm at all times.

A great warehousing service will have a 24-hour security system in place that will ensure the protection of your items from thieves. Many great warehouses will also have plenty of security cameras in place, onsite staff, and other provisions to ensure that nothing goes wrong.

If security matters to you, it’s important that you get a thorough explanation of how your items will be protected when choosing a warehousing service. It can take a weight off of your shoulders knowing that the warehouse has an increased level of security and that your items will be well-protected.

3. Tracking and Monitoring

A great warehousing service will also offer options for you to remotely access tracking data. They’ll have a system in place so that you can easily access information on your products and shipments.

A barcode tracking system can help make this simple and can assure that you always have access to the status of your belongings.

Along with remote user access, a barcode tracking system is absolutely crucial if you want to be sure that your goods are well taken care of. You’ll gain a greater peace of mind by easily being able to check up on the details of your items and shipments as needed.

4. Cross Docking

An excellent warehouse will also offer affordable and efficient cross-docking services. Cross-docking can help to greatly reduce the delivery time of packages and shipments. It can be a great help for giving your customers the absolute best service.

Cross-docking streamlines the shipping process. It allows products to be picked up from a manufacturer or supplier and then sent directly to a final destination.

This service is great for shipping items that are time and/or temperature sensitive. For many businesses, it is an absolute must-have feature from a professional warehouse service.

5. Industry Specific Standards

For many businesses, it’s also important to find a warehouse that understands the ins and outs of their specific industry and specific products that they will need to be stored and shipped.

Not all warehouses have what it takes to handle the needs of food and beverage industries, for example.

It’s important that you consider the needs of your industry and ask what experience the warehousing service has with your type of product. If you have any specific needs, be sure to discuss these beforehand.

If you’re storing food and choosing a shared warehousing service, you may also need to learn more about what will be stored near your items. Toxic materials and food products don’t mix well, so make sure you know what you can expect going in.

6. Ease of Use

When looking for a great warehouse, it’s crucial that you find a great team of professionals that you can trust. Look for a warehouse service who will work hard to make your experience as easy and simple as possible.

A great warehousing company will invest in their staff and train them well. They’ll have adopted some great processes and systems for managing products.

The warehouse should be extremely efficient and also very communicative with you. They should work hard to meet all of your needs and also provide a way for you to easily track and monitor your stock.

Look for a professional company that makes your job easier, and you’ll never be dissatisfied with your decision.

7. Flexibility

In addition to the above points, it’s also important that you look for warehousing services that are flexible when it comes to meeting your needs.

In business, all kinds of unexpected things can happen and your requirements may change suddenly. Find out if the warehouse company has any options for overflow storage. Ask if they have any special services and provisions to help your business at times of seasonal changes or increases in business.

A great warehouse will understand the needs of a business and the unexpected changes that can occur throughout the year. As a result, they’ll have processes in place that will help ease your burden when you most need it.

Choosing the Best Warehousing Service

If you’re looking for quality warehousing services for your business, it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. By taking the time to consider the points above you’ll have the best chance at making the right choice and ensuring your needs are fully met by the warehousing company.

A warehousing service can revolutionize the way you do business and can make your business more efficient. But take your time when choosing a service to use, and ensure that you’re making the right choice.

Looking for a great warehouse service for your business? Contact us today to learn more about what Need It Now can do for you.

6 Common and Expensive Shipping Mistakes to Avoid

There’s more to shipping than just getting your goods to their receiver. There are many factors that can influence how much it will cost you and what you get for the price.

To professionals, shipping represents the business. It demonstrates your reliability and commitment to giving customers what they want.

Saving time and money on shipments is a great way to do better business and get a sharper competitive edge. Avoiding the biggest pitfalls will help you spend less and reduce damage and delayed goods.

The ability to ship things in an efficient, controlled, and cost-effective manner makes a great improvement for anyone who ships a lot of things.

Keep reading to learn about six common costly shipping mistakes–and how to avoid them.

1. Lacking Attention to Detail

When you ship things, you must pay close attention to the details.

Don’t assume you know the weight, size, packaging type, and costs. You need to know for sure beforehand. And you need to make sure every address is 100% correct.

Getting these details wrong often lead to paying more than you have to. It makes the delivery less efficient as well.

If you seek shipping solutions for a company, the best idea is to create a database. Use it to log all the data for reference, calculation, and comparison. This can help you reduce big shipping expenses.

Even when you’re dealing with a last-minute shipment or a very rushed job, you need to impress and satisfy. Otherwise, you’ll lose customers.

It’s important to get the data right in these situations too, no matter how much you feel like you don’t have the time. The good news is that there are software solutions that can do the math for you and your customers.

Many shippers have many more fees than you think. These fees may not be obvious to you and may seem unnecessary. You must be prepared to pay more than you thought if you don’t pay close attention from the beginning.

Look for any additional fees added to the bill. Examples include fuel compensation and residential services. Make room for these fees in your shipment budget.

Be very diligent. Even the slightest address correction can cost more than $10 with many carriers.

2. Using the Wrong Packaging

Getting the packaging details right is so important that it gets its own entry on this list. Pay close attention to the weight of the items you’re about to ship. It can affect the price more than you think.

If the weight you told the carrier and the actual weight of the package differ, you’ll be charged for it. There may be penalty fees with certain carriers.

Ensure that all the packages you’re ready to ship have the right weight that you budgeted for and specified. You need to understand how to ship heavy items.

Inefficient packaging is a very common problem that costs many companies a lot of money. Make sure that you’re not using packaging that’s too big for your delivery.

It may seem convenient at the moment to grab a big box and stuff your items in it, but it will be a waste of money. You have to pay for more space, so you’re paying for the empty space in the box.

You will also end up spending a lot more on boxes, padding, and other packaging materials. In the long run, these smaller costs will accumulate into big costs.

Extra packaging also adds extra weight, which you’ll pay more for. This can cause a difference in the weight you planned for, and thus the final weight. This will make you pay more than you budgeted for.

On the other hand, if you try to skimp too much on the packaging, you may risk damaged goods. It’s a balance you’ll find by paying attention to the details.

Last but not least, don’t underestimate the holding capacity of envelopes when shipping small items.

3. Making Promises You Can’t Keep

If you can’t tell the receiver when to expect their delivery, they may be hesitant about the shipment. If you tell the receiver they’ll receive the product at a particular time and it doesn’t come in time, you’ve got a major problem.

There is a straight-forward solution to this matter. For example, rather than guaranteeing delivery in two days, promise delivery in three days or less. This gives you an error margin.

It lets you be more flexible, and it can help you reduce costs. Most importantly, it will reduce the number of disgruntled receivers.

A good way to make things simpler and more efficient is to use next-day delivery.

4. Failing to Handle Unhappy Returns

If you have a return policy, make sure it’s clear, concise, and accessible. Make sure you have it fleshed out in writing, with all the details covered in concrete form. No maybes and a few conditionals as possible.

Put your return policy on your website. Make it visible to customers before they finish the purchase, or you may lose potential customers. This will establish trust and ensure that both you and the customer are accountable.

Good return policies focus on the customer and making things easier and more efficient for them.

5. Neglecting Automation

Automation is an effective way to reduce inconsistencies and human error. It doesn’t have to be a huge, complicated task to implement automation. It doesn’t have to be very expensive.

Assuming it’s not worth it is an expensive mistake. There are many benefits to automation.

Start in the shallow end. Connect data points with Microsoft Access or Excel spreadsheets. Set them up to memorize and recall data for you, keep track of numbers, and do your calculations.

Automating these documents to give you comprehensive graphs on how you’re doing is a quick task.

Then see how you feel about continuous automation. The more you automate, the less you have to do. And remember, computers don’t miscalculate or misspell.

6. Using Indirect Delivery

This one might seem like an obvious matter to some readers. However, it is a very common mistake that cost many people a lot of money.

This mistake can take a few different forms, such as:

  1. You order an item and have it shipped to your business. Then you send it onward to your customer.
  2. You buy an item and wait for it to come by mail. When it arrives, you get in your car and drive it to your friend.

This is such an inefficient way of doing things. It takes a lot more time than a direct shipment. It costs a lot more. And it’s a lot more work.

You could have the retailer or manufacturer do most of the work, without additional costs. Or you could use a shipping company to deliver it from the first point to the last.

Avoid These Expensive Shipping Mistakes

There are many mistakes that increase costs for nothing, from wasteful practices to unseen fees and penalties for negligent calculations.

Cutting down on shipping can improve your finances a lot. Not only do these mistakes cost more money, they’re often inefficient in other ways as well.

By following the advice on this list, you’ll avoid these costly mistakes and save money.

For more information on fast, cost-efficient shipping, contact us.

7 Times You Need a Walking Courier

walking courier

‘Postman, postman, please be quick, get this to my cutie quick, quick, quick!’ That little ditty might raise a smile, but the truth is, it can be hard to find a delivery service to sort out the more special or time-sensitive deliveries in your business life.

Nationwide courier services are great for general deliveries, non-sensitive and non-urgent items, and we love them for that. But not every item and customer has the same delivery needs. Check out these 7 instances you should use a walking courier to deliver your parcel.

1. Highly Sensitive Documents

Whatever your business does, it’s likely that at some point, you’re going to have some private or sensitive documents to sign. Or, perhaps you need to send out original copies of important and precious documents.

Either way, sending them by mail is pretty risky. After all, how many times have you heard that an item was never received, or was lost in the mail?

When you’re dealing with very sensitive documents, then a walking courier is the safest and most reliable way to go.

2. Forge Customer Relationships

Do you have a new customer and want to build trust? Using a walking courier is a good way to provide great service.

It can be difficult to show your clients that you’re serious about doing business with them, so you need to make a good impression.

If you have a product or document that needs to be delivered to a client, it will show them you really value them if you get it there the same day. Plus, it’ll get your work done faster, too.

3. Meeting Deadlines

If the pressure’s on and you’re dealing with deadlines at work, you’ll need to get things done, fast.

Maybe your customer needs their item delivered for an IT installation the next day. Or perhaps you need a quick turnaround for a wedding cake tasting for a busy bride.

No matter what your business or goods to be delivered, a walking courier can get it there on time.

They’ll handle your package with care, and deliver it safely to the recipient, adding that personal touch that makes business sweet. And it gets you across the finish line in great time.

4. You Need Documents Signed the Same Day

This one’s kind of self-explanatory, but in the world of business, time is money.

There will be customer contracts that need to be signed and exchanged. Perhaps you’re renting new office space. Or maybe it’s something bigger, like a business merger.

When you need documents signed by both parties, and you can’t get there yourself, then a walking courier is the man (or woman) for the job.

Entrust your documents into their care, and they’ll make sure they arrive with the recipient on the same day, so everyone can sign on the dotted line in record time.

5. Get Your Exchange, or Money Back, Fast

Ever ordered something from another company and it’s been damaged, or wasn’t what you thought it was?

For inexpensive items, it’s not such a hardship to wait a week or so to return your item and get your refund.

For a costly item, though, you might be less inclined – or simply unable – to wait patiently for them to put that large amount of money back in your business account.

Or, if you desperately need that item for a specific job, or to help your business run, then you can’t sit twiddling your thumbs while a standard courier ferries the item back and forth.

This is where a walking courier comes in real handy. They’ll collect your item and deliver it back to the supplier so you can get what you need when you need it.

6. If You Mess Up

It happens to all of us at some point – we mess up a client’s order.

If your business is delivering goods to customers and you’ve made a mistake, the best way to make it better is to first say sorry, and then fix it as quickly as possible.

While the initial reaction from your customer might be really bad, hopefully, you can win back their good favor by showing them how eager you are to make things better.

A walking courier can collect a new item from you, and take it straight to your customer that same day.

And even if you don’t provide a physical service, you can use a walking courier to send a disappointed client something to say sorry, such as a gift basket.

7. If You Want to Save the Planet

Earth is a pretty awesome place to live, but us humans are making it sick. And with all the exhaust fumes, heat and gasses that are being released into the air every day from vehicles on the road, Earth gets a little sicker every day.

If the thought of a dying planet makes you sad, then using a walking courier will help cheer you up because they, well… walk.

That way, you know your goods are getting to where they need to be, and all with a pretty carbon-neutral footprint to boot.

The Verdict on a Walking Courier

When you have a package that needs to get somewhere fast, your options are kind of limited.

You could, of course, deliver the item yourself, but that’s pretty inconvenient, and wastes time that you could be using on something more profitable.

Or, you could entrust your precious item to a national delivery service, knowing it’ll get there the next day, at least. The next day’s fine… right?

Well, maybe. But if you want to really impress your customers, have important documents signed pronto, or exchange that duff product for another, a walking courier might be exactly what you need.

If you ever find yourself in one of these 7 situations, remember our advice, and check out the walking couriers available in your area. It makes good business sense, we promise.

If you’re in the market for a walking courier, then click here to see how we can help.

What Causes Delivery Delays?

delayed shipping

They said Tuesday.

You called them Tuesday. Then they said Wednesday. You called them Wednesday. You got it on Friday.

Delivery delays can be a serious headache. Not just causing frustration, but delays in fulfilling promises to your customers.

If it’s a personal order you waste time and productivity sitting around while things don’t come.

Understanding some of the most common reasons for delays can be the first step in combatting them and keeping your productivity where it needs to be.

Here’s our guide to the top 5 reasons for delays, and how to overcome them.

1. Peak Time Deliveries

In many businesses, the time before and around the holidays is nuts. Delivery companies are no exception.

With more and more consumers buying their gifts, and everything else, online, couriers have never been busier. Companies do try to factor this in and make arrangements to deal with it.

However, as was seen last year with Amazon’s shipping partner around Christmas, many delivery centers are simply overwhelmed with the volume of packages they have to process.

Solution

It’s a headache, it takes forethought, but as much as possible, plan well ahead to avoid peak times.

Although an occasional last-minute order may be inevitable, try to think a few months ahead and highlight peak times on your calendar when deliveries may slow. This will keep productivity high and disappointment low.

2. Incorrect Customs Paperwork

With international shipping, if the vendor misses a detail or two off the customs declaration you’ll face major delays.

The value and type of the goods are the most common issues, as the receiving country needs to ensure that all relevant taxes and duties have been paid.

Be careful with deals from abroad that seem too good to be true – the dream may turn into a nightmare if you are stuck with a hefty bill from customs.

Solution

Check with the vendor before placing the order what they will be declaring to customs and whether it’s in line with your expectations.

Supply them with any additional details needed ahead of time and ensure that they put an accurate value and description on the goods.

Also, check locally and with the vendor for who is liable to pay any taxes and duties that may be levied when your good finally get to you.

Everybody along the chain needs to buy into this chain of accurate information, so follow up to make sure that your information will be passed on to the next link in the supply chain.

3. Manage the Supply Chain

If you are a business dealing in bulk shipments, then there can be a disconnect between your requirements and the capacity of every link in the supply chain.

Imagine you order a large shipment of t-shirts from a supplier in New York to be air freighted to LA. Clearly, there needs to be capacity at both ends of the journey for the order to be stored while awaiting transit.

A communication breakdown could occur between customer and supplier if these factors are not taken into consideration when agreeing on delivery timescales.

Especially with relatively small and medium-sized orders, priority may not be given to them. This can lead to a temporary breakdown in the logistical chain and delay occurring.

Solution

Build relationships with your suppliers.

When placing orders, talk through the logistics of the delivery with them. They may feel that that is their concern, but if it’s going to affect delivery timeframes, it’s very much your concern as well.

Work together to identify potential hold-ups and discuss how to overcome them. It may be that once likely hold-ups are factored in, a supposedly slower method of transport becomes the faster option.

The key is communication and lots of it. Never be afraid to ask awkward questions early in the process – it can save a lot of grief down the line when delivery delays kick in.

4. Monitor the Climate

By climate, we’re talking political, not meteorological here.

Trade union standoffs, strikes and unrest can quickly cause delivery delays to mount up, leaving you not knowing when you’ll receive your merchandise, if ever.

Solution

Whilst no one can see the future, it can pay to keep your ear to the ground and listen out for potential rumblings.

Monitor industry specific websites and news feeds to keep up to date with the latest threats of action. If you’re worried that they will result in delivery delays for your company, be prepared to make alternative arrangements.

5. The Actual Weather

Goods being shipped from overseas can be particularly prone to delays due to seasonal weather conditions.

Certain shipping lanes and ports are affected by typhoons and tropical storms which can add considerable time to journeys, or delay them from setting off.

Within the country, it might be sunny in Arizona, but your supplier in Wisconsin might be knee deep in snow. Road hold-ups can mean that your shipment gets stuck before it even gets started.

Solution

If you’re considering placing a priority order, check the weather.

If there are weather warnings out that might impact on delivery times and logistics, take the safe route and either hold off or choose a supplier who is more likely to deliver the goods on time.

Also, make sure that you are using a quality nationwide courier service who can handle your requirements.

The Takeaway – How to Avoid Delivery Delays

It might not be foolproof, but trying a few of these suggestions could help you to cut down on the number of deliver delays you experience.

Especially when you have crucial orders that are time sensitive, it pays to do some extra homework on the weather sites, trade union boards and shipping lanes to make sure that your goods will arrive when you need them.

For peace of mind, make sure you work with a courier company you can trust and have great logistics.

Need it Now Delivers are specialists in all aspects of shipping from air freight to warehousing and last mile home delivery.

Click here to check out the great services we have for you and your business.

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