On Document Archiving: How to Choose the Right Archive Record Storage

While many companies associate a digital archiving system with an increase in costs, it can save you money overall.

If you’re paying for rent by the square foot, you need to make the most of your office space. Document archiving will ensure that you get the most from your space and keep your most important documents in a safe and secure site away from your office.

Here are 6 steps to proper document archiving for your business.

1. Run an Audit

While you might think your first step is to take all of your documents and start boxing them up, you could end up storing things you don’t need. We all have a pile of papers waiting to be tossed out. You should make sure you separate what you need to keep, what can be scanned, and what should be thrown away.

You’re going to risk wasting valuable and expensive storage space by just boxing everything up. There are so many files and forms that could be redundant or unnecessary. Take a ruthless attitude and treat nothing as sacred.

When you decide what to discard, keep in mind the minimum retention rates for things like tax forms.

Keep in mind your carbon footprint as well. Make an effort to recycle everything from phone books to light bills. If you’re working with a document storage company, they’re going to offer secure destruction and shredding services for you. Double check that they recycle everything they get and leave it in their hands.

2. Digitize Some Documents

If you’re not legally bound to keep a document, you don’t necessarily have to keep the paper form around. Unless it’s something you feel sentimental value for, it can take up less storage space sitting on a hard drive. Back it up twice and you’ll have it whenever you need it in an emergencywithout keeping it onsite in a box.

If you don’t have a good scanner, ask if the storage provider you’re using has one. Many copy machines have high-quality scanning capacity built in, so if you have extra time to hang out around your office you might have access and not know it.

An electronic document management system allows your documents to be scanned and stored on the cloud. Whether you use Google Drive or your own home server, you can have your documents accessible wherever you are in the world. Install some security permissions and password protection and you should be able to keep any nefarious actors out of your personal or professional business.

3. Finding the Right Boxes

When it’s time to start boxing things up, you need to choose the highest quality boxes available. They should be durable enough to handle lots of heavy files and last for years to come. Cheap corrugated cardboard shipping boxes meant for single use won’t suffice.

A few drops of water and they’ll start to fall apart.

You should also clearly label your files and your boxes. This will allow you to get quick and easy access to what you need when you need it. Have a hybrid file system with a digital database connected to your physical storage so you know a file is in box A17 and can find things easily.

A records database will keep everything much more accessible than just throwing it in boxes labeled 1-100 with no digital database to correspond.

Streamline the process for finding files later and you’ll thank yourself.

4. Choose the Right Location

When you’re looking for storage, you need to keep your files in a location that’s easy to get to. Not only should it be physically close, but it should be a place where you can get ahold of them quickly.

If your small business has an extra room, an onsite storage room will probably be good enough. You’ll see that as the years go by and that your business grows, you’ll need more room. It takes space to put in climate control and maintain a facility for your records and might need that space for your business soon.

An off-site solution is one of the best ideas you can have if you think you’ll outgrow your space soon. You’re better off starting your business with an off-site storage space rather than having to move and implement a new strategy later. Start that strategy now rather than having to change things up when your business is up and running.

6. Organization is Key

You need to keep the documents that are alike together. Only you know what kinds of documents you have and what you need to store, but there are some basic rules to follow.

You should have a few categories of documents to hold on to. There can be tax returns, invoices, employee data, and customer data in separate categories. You should then organize each one of these by date.

When you do this, you’re able to get access to your files quickly without fumbling aimlessly through boxes. You can look up what index the files you’re looking for likely are in and then retrieve them from your facility

Keep retention rates marked in your records as well. This can help to remind you when you can have your files destroyed so that you can keep rotating them. The best thing you can do to protect your data is to get rid of anything you really don’t need anymore.

Document Archiving Is Good For Business.

No matter what industry you’re in, document archiving is a concern about space, staffing, and budgeting. Since all of these elements work hand in hand to contribute to your profit margin, you need to take document archiving seriously.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Medical Courier Service

Courier services are big business on a global scale. It’s an industry that’s booming, well into the many billions of dollars, with more and more companies entering the market every year.

But how do you know which ones are reliable? And how can you trust them when it comes to sensitive, delicate deliveries like the ones required for medical courier services?

Even more importantly, what if you’re a business that needs a medical courier service but you’re feeling skeptical that any of them could measure up to your very high standards? After all, shipping and delivering medical products can be a very costly and sensitive process, and you or your business might rely on delivery success.

Keep reading for the ultimate guide on how to select the best medical courier service, so that you or your clients receive the highest standard of care.

Medical Courier Employees: A Vital Element

There are several things to consider when looking at hiring a medical courier service, and chief among them is the courier staff.

Employees must have a friendly, calm and compassionate manner. They’re dealing with chronically ill, stressed, or otherwise incapacitated clients who may not have much interaction with the outside world on a regular basis.

Some of them might rely on service animals, and so a courier must be able to manage and interact with those animals.

Delivery people must be vetted with appropriate background checks and possess HIPPA compliance, because they are moving and handling material that’s not only expensive or confidential and personal but also literally life-saving.

They also need to be detail-oriented, time efficient, familiar with routes and familiar with handling of toxic or expiring compounds and chemicals.

They should also have training with communicating with lab technicians, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

Customer Service

For your peace of mind, in addition to couriers that have been thoroughly trained and vetted, you’ll want to know that the entire customer service staff is also top-notch.

Should an issue arise, you’ll want to be able to communicate quickly and effectively with a real, live person.

Also, since many clients are patients with difficulties in communicating, such as being hearing impaired, you’ll want to ensure that the courier service has those bases covered.

Patience in this industry is also a big bonus. If you’re dealing with communicative and laid-back customer service employees, even a major snafu can be pleasantly managed.

Your Courier Must be Insured

In case of unforeseen events such as weather disasters, it’s important that the courier service you select is licensed and insured by a reputable company.

As well, their couriers should also be insured.

Timing and Availability

Customers relying on medical couriers are often waiting for time-sensitive items. A delivery that’s a day or even a few hours late can seriously impact their lives.

It’s necessary that when choosing a medical courier service, a client or business sees that their website or other resource has tracking options, as well as dates and times of availability.

Ideally, you choose a courier that is available every day of the year, at most times or 24 hours a day and always with the option for same day delivery.

Careful Transportation

Delivering medical products is a careful process, and the delicate nature of the products makes the method of delivery all the more important.

Why is this? Weather, both hot and cold, as well as changing environments over long distances, makes the trucks or delivery vehicles one of the things you must consider very closely.

In addition, a courier service that understands and uses high tech insulated packaging will be key in your decision-making process. And let’s get blunt here: blood, organs, and other organically-based compounds must be stored at very specific temperatures. There is no room for mistake or negligence, ever.

Please be sure to ask questions of the courier services you are considering, like what are their trucks equipped with, and are they built for climate control?

Ensuring this will also ensure that your products are successfully delivered to you or your patients.

Experience is Everything

Even though the courier industry is booming, and new businesses are arriving on scene with cool technology and innovative ways to deliver your medical supplies and products, that doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to be great.

Sometimes, experience can trump the bells and whistles. When it comes to something as sensitive as medical deliveries, this couldn’t be truer.

Research the courier company to see if they have a long history of success. That will include client testimonials, and any other published proof of their superior courier abilities.

And if their services are a bit more expensive, it’s usually worth the extra expense to have peace of mind and a guaranteed delivery.

While the younger companies might entice you with flashy promises and cutting costs, it might not be wise to pursue their services when considering your needs.

Your Medical Courier’s Abilities are Vital!

This guide is a great way to carefully consider the couriers you’re interested in hiring, either for yourself or your business.

It’s a bit of an in-depth process, but don’t be overwhelmed. In the end, with your products successfully and safely delivered, it will be well worth it.

Are you ready to start researching the amazing courier services available, but don’t know where to begin? Head over to our blog and get an idea, then let us know how we can help you.

Why It Pays to Pay for Hand Carry or On Board Courier Service

You used the tracked, registered, certified parcel delivery…where is your package? The Hope Diamond was sent to the Smithsonian Museum via ordinary mail carrier. Can you imagine trusting your vital medicine, a human kidney or fragile electronics to the public and private postal services today?

Most parcel services have fixed pickup and delivery times, huge sorting hubs and automated sorting. Many things can go wrong. Many hands have access to your cargo before it reaches its destination.

Sometimes you need your delivery faster than posted timetables, even the same day. When speed and security are a priority, a courier to hand carry your items aboard a passenger flight is the best choice. Read on to learn more.

Reasons You Might Need Hand Carry Service

Emergency shipments aside, there may be security or other reasons to prefer hand carry courier service. Antique glass, legal documents like passports or contracts or even the latest draft of a future movie are often too precious or a security risk to trust to common carriers.

Absolute white glove service for an antique concert bass? It sits in its own seat! A 10k pink diamond ring? Never leaves the courier’s pocket. The master copy of next year’s Call of Duty game? It walks directly from the hands of the software developer to the duplicator a whole continent away.

If you need an uninterrupted chain of control from your hands to the recipient, you need hand carry/on board courier service. There are other reasons to select on board courier service, though.

No Rigid Timetables or Routes

Missed the 5:00 p.m. deadline for next day delivery? Not on the scheduled route for the area? On time service, even when your parcel isn’t on a timetable shared by the common carriers is no problem. An on board courier service is only bound by the last flight out of the airport.

A courier can take custody of your product right as it leaves assembly, hand carry it aboard a passenger flight and deliver it straight to the recipient.

High Priority Cargo

Larger items travel as the checked baggage of the courier. As checked baggage, they travel in a pressurized hold. They receive priority handling and are available to travel to their final destination faster than ordinary cargo. At check-in, a courier is present for security screening and can request TSA special handling if necessary to speed your goods on their way.

Oversized goods are presented as oversize baggage and are transported accordingly. At the destination, your goods are unloaded as passenger baggage and are available for delivery to their final destination within minutes of airport arrival.

High Security and Real-Time Whereabouts

When the safety and security of your parcel are important, couriers can provide real-time status updates. For small items that meet carry-on baggage requirements, your parcel will never leave courier custody. Larger items will be personally presented to baggage check-in and picked up at arrival.

From the airport, your courier can hand carry your parcel directly to the recipient and confirm delivery. GPS tracking throughout the process gives you peace of mind.

Fast Customs Clearance

As accompanied baggage, your parcel will go through passenger customs clearance. This ensures expedited processing speed. This can mean the difference of minutes and hours instead of days spent in customs clearance.

Once through customs, your item can then be handed off for delivery to its final destination. A waiting delivery vehicle can speed your package on its way or your courier can hand-deliver the items.

How Do You Prepare for Courier Service?

Contact your courier company for specific guidance. In general, make sure your documents are in order for delivery. Your courier will meet you at a designated place. For small-size shipments, the item is placed in an airline-carry-on, backpack or briefcase. Larger items may be placed inside a suitcase or taken boxed.

Items should all be securely packaged before the couriers’ arrival. All items should be sealed and secured before leaving your custody. Your courier checks the packaging and will ask you to correct any irregularities before taking the parcel.

Items traveling as baggage must be packed to withstand rough handling or stacked baggage on top. Checked boxes, cases or bags may be subject to search or x-rays. For high-value items and electronics easily damaged by x-rays, your courier requests TSA hand inspection. They will accompany the shipment during inspection.

What Happens After the Courier Takes Custody?

The courier clears the security checkpoint and gets onto the plane with everyone else. Small carry-on items remain with the courier the entire time. Your courier must place them in the overhead compartment or underneath the seat in front of them.

Your package then flies to its destination, taking advantage of any direct or connecting flights. For most domestic deliveries, the same day handoff is possible. International delivery in less than 24 hours is within reach, too.

In the end, your courier may be met by someone to take your package to the recipient or they may deliver it themselves. Either way, courier delivery allows unmatched speed and security for your special items. Want to request ID confirmation and a photo of the recipient? The courier can do that!

How Do I Arrange for Service?

One telephone call and our representative can walk you through the process and find you the most economical, safe and fast delivery for your needs. Having a courier hand-carry a 200 lb hospital scanner part across the country and into the next one over is not much more than sending the parts by express overnight service.

However, no customs delay, use of scheduled commercial flights and positive control over the shipment means that the hospital scanner is back in business faster. When speed and security are off the essence, a courier taking charge is ideal.

How to Drive More Efficiency with Picking and Packing Best Practices

Want to create more efficiency in your warehouse? Looking for ways to improve your picking and packing processes?

When your warehouse is slow or inefficient, it can cause problems in every part of your business. Because of this, it’s important that you’re always following warehouse best practices and using the best techniques for picking and packing.

Below we’ll look at the very best tips and warehouse organization ideas that can help your team be more efficient in the warehouse than ever before.

1. Perfect Your Storage Plan

One of the most important things you can do to make your warehouse more efficient is to create a great storage plan and find ways to maximize warehouse space. You need to consider the different strategies for your warehouse so that you can store items in a way that makes sense.

Many warehouses are organized very randomly, and items are only placed in whatever space is available at any given time. It’s important to build some kind of organizational strategy that can improve and speed up the picking process.

A volume-based system in which items are organized based on their popularity and how much they are needed is usually a great choice.

It can work well to use a combination of random storage along with a volume storage system. By doing this, you’ll have a section of your warehouse dedicated to high volume areas. However, new items will be placed into any part of that section.

2. Choose Your Picking Strategy Wisely

In addition to having a great storage plan in your warehouse, it’s also crucial to use the best picking strategy you can.

If you have orders that are time sensitive and need to get out of the warehouse fast, it’s important that you have a great picking strategy that can keep up.

There are a few different options that you may not know about, and each comes with their benefits. Here are a few common picking strategies you may want to consider using.

Piece Picking

Piece picking is one of the most popular and common picking strategies. With this method, an order will be picked individually once it comes in. Usually, a worker will simply go into the warehouse and pick the items until an order is filled.

This is a very simple strategy and is usually only best for smaller warehouses.

Batch Picking

Batch picking is one step up from piece picking.

In this case, instead of one order being picked, a worker will pick several different orders at one time. This can work well for a warehouse that has a bit more volume, but can still be slow compared to other methods.

Zone Picking

With a zone picking strategy, workers will be assigned to different areas in the warehouse. They’ll pick their items and place it in a box. If an order requires items from several zones, the box can then be moved to the next section manually or by using a conveyor belt.

While there are other good picking methods, the options above are some of the most popular. It’s important to find the one that works best for your warehouse and the volume you’re experiencing.

3. Only Touch Items Once

One important thing to remember is that you need to minimize touches during the picking and packing process. Using only one touch when picking will prevent errors and eliminate the need for extra repacking and shipping checking.

The picking process needs to be streamlined as much as possible. The best way to do this is to ensure that an item is only touched once. Eliminate the need for smaller containers and make sure that items are being moved from the shelf to the box to a truck.

Having pickers perform the entire move from to the truck in one movement will allow things to go more smoothly.

4. Decrease Worker Movements

Another best practice for improving efficiency is to decrease movement in your warehouse. Make sure that your workers are walking back and forth as little as possible in the warehouse.

When your workers are traveling long distances from Point A to Point B all day long, they can get tired fast. You’ll also be losing a lot of time while they’re in transit.

As a result, decreasing their transit time can be a good part of motivating warehouse staff and ensuring that they remain sharp. Having tired workers around is not good for maximizing efficiency, and it’s possible they’ll make mistakes in their state.

You need to evaluate your picking and packing strategies and take a long look at your storage plan in your warehouse. Chances are that a few changes could really make all the difference.

Consider switching to a zone picking strategy and storing your items in a more logical way. This will reduce the time your workers spend walking around the warehouse.

5. Automate More of Your Picking and Packing Process

When you’re trying to increase efficiency in the warehouse, it’s important to look for every way that you can to incorporate new technology to automate your picking and your packing processes.

You may want to consider installing conveyor belts to move items from different areas of the warehouse as needed. Barcode scanners and similar types of technology are also essential for keeping track of items that leave your warehouse.

Whatever ways you can find to automate warehouse tasks, it can be a big help in improving your process. This will allow you to free up your workers to do more important things. You’ll be able to ensure your warehouse is operating smoothly and efficiently at all times.

Final Thoughts

The process of optimizing and improving warehouse picking and packing strategies is neverending. There are always ways to make things in your warehouse run more smoothly and quickly.

By following the tips above, you’ll already be on the path to success and will ensure you’re making your warehouse more efficient than ever before.

Looking for a great courier service that can meet your needs? Contact us today to learn more about our services and what we can do for you.

What Can Courier Companies Do for Your Business?

same day delivery

If your day to day delivery requirements have an impact on your success and reputation, you may need something more than UPS or FedEx.

Fortunately, courier companies offer a number of options the large parcel delivery services can’t provide. It may be time to make a switch.

But exactly what does a courier service do for you? If you’re asking yourself this question, keep reading.

We’re going over some of the primary benefits of using a courier service and how they can help your business.

Fast Service

Whether you’re sending products out to customers or need business documents delivered across town, speed is always important.

A courier company can provide you with a level of timeliness the larger parcel services can’t. Couriers offer a much more personalized experienced, pacing your needs as their top priority.

When you hire a courier, they can show up when requested and will guarantee your package makes it to its destination on time. This is a level of service UPS or FedEx doesn’t have the ability to provide.

With them, your delivery gets grouped in with the rest. Even if you pay for faster service, there’s no guarantee it will arrive when promised.

In addition, a courier company is available 24/7 and can even provide service on holidays. This comes in handy if you have an emergency delivery.

Professional couriers also have an intimate knowledge of the city and know the best routes to take in order to ensure prompt delivery. With postal services, you never know for sure.

Reliability and Care

Damaged or missing items could mean a loss of business. Knowing your package is in good hands is an invaluable service, especially when shipping important documents or products.

You’ve likely heard stories about packages getting abused and damaged by the larger parcel services. Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself.

When you use a professional courier, you eliminate this worry. They understand the importance of your delivery and will handle it with care.

One reason you can trust your package with a courier is that they’re handling fewer deliveries at once. They’re not throwing you package in the back of a truck with a hundred others.

For salaried couriers, they have an obligation to provide good service for every customer. If they don’t, they could lose their job.

Many courier companies also offer freight services with the same level of care and reliability. Regardless of the size of the item, you get to have the peace of mind it’ll arrive safely and on time.

Cost-Effectiveness

Depending on your shipping needs, using traditional methods could be extremely expensive. There’s a good chance a courier service will provide better rates. Plus, you get more personalized care for the money.

Courier companies don’t have the same fees and regulations as the large parcel services. Instead, they offer different options such as flat-rate or per-mile.

Choosing to enter into a contract with a courier can make your daily delivery requirements much more cost-effective. You’ll know upfront how much you’ll pay each week, which makes forming and adhering to a budget much easier.

If you often ship heavy objects, you’ll likely see huge savings. Courier services typically don’t charge exorbitant amounts for items over a certain weight. They can also offer discounted rates for shipping larger volumes.

The cost-effectiveness of a courier can also allow you to provide better shipping rates to your customers. This is great for client retention.

You can often get online quotes from couriers, so you’ll know upfront how much you’re about to spend.

Better Customer Service

The customer experience you’ll get is one of the biggest benefits of using a courier service. What’s even better is this customer service is extended to the recipients of your deliveries as well.

Couriers are trained to provide a professional, personalized experience for every customer. This is one of the things that sets them apart from traditional parcel services.

They maintain a good appearance, are polite and have quality vehicles. This means a lot to businesses who have high delivery requirements. A courier’s professionalism is an extension of your business and can help maintain a good reputation.

On your end, you’ll enjoy a level of customer support the large parcel companies don’t have the resources to provide. This includes online ordering, phone support, easy tracking, and instant quotes for every type of service they provide.

Courier companies can also send electronic proof of delivery, so you know the second your package arrives. This could be by phone or email.

Streamlining the entire delivery process is what courier companies are all about. Postal services simply don’t have the resources to provide this level of service.

More Delivery Options

When working with an established courier company, fast delivery service isn’t the only thing available to you. Many companies offer a full range of shipping and storage options.

This may include warehousing service for items that need to be stored until a future shipping date. They may also offer refrigerated services for perishable items.

These services are great for online retail businesses and companies that need help storing inventory until a specific delivery date.

You’ll also be able to take advantage of pre-scheduled deliveries and same-day delivery. Regardless of your business’s needs, a reliable courier service can become your one-stop resource for all your delivery needs.

Discover How Courier Companies Can Help Your Business

If traditional shipping methods are no longer getting the job done for your business, it’s time to hire a courier service. Not only can they provide faster service, courier companies can offer a number of other resources that will help your business function smoothly.

Consider your daily shipping needs and determine what kind of commitment you need from a courier. Regardless of what you need, finding a professional service will solve a number of problems at once.

We offer a full range of courier and warehousing solutions in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you.

How to Ship a Cake for a Special Event

Cake Delivery

You can ship cakes to people across huge distances. This can expand your business and make you more money.

But first, take a look at this guide to learn how to ship a cake safely.

Pick Your Cake

When you’re shipping a cake, dense, moist cakes are always a better choice. Things like pound cakes, carrot cakes, and fruitcakes tend to ship well. Though you can ship any type of cake, light cakes are much more likely to crumble and break during the trip.

Cakes steeped in things like syrups and liqueur are also ideal shipping cakes. Because they are infused with the syrup, these cakes are less likely to fall apart.

If your cake has some kind of cream filling, you’ll need to make sure you ship it correctly, especially if the cream is dairy based. Anything made from eggs or other dairies must be refrigerated at all times.

This doesn’t mean you can’t ship these cakes, but it does mean you’ll need to make sure you keep the cake at the right temperature during shipment. If you don’t, the filling can spoil and give your clients food poisoning.

Pick Your Frosting

Again, if this frosting is dairy based, you’ll need to ensure your cake stays properly cooled during the shipping process.

But you should avoid shipping cakes with delicate, fluffy frosting or a lot of intricate designs. These might not hold up well during the trip.

For example, the frosting on your cake can start melting if the temperature gets too warm. This will leave whoever opens the cake with a sticky, slimy, mess.

Fondant holds up a lot better. It will hold its shape and won’t stick to the packaging if things get a little warm.

If you have delicate or intricate cakes, save those ones for hand deliveries only. Shipping cakes like that will only lead to disappointed customers and a damaged reputation.

Prepare Your Cake for Shipment

You should always freeze a cake before you ship it.

This will actually set the icing in place and help the cake stay together and keep its shape. It also keeps the cake cool, which will, in turn, keep the cake fresh.

You should put the cake in the freezer at least 12 to 24 hours before you’re ready to package it. This will ensure its completely frozen through.

Once frozen, wrap the cake in plastic wrap so it’s completely covered and wrap that layer in aluminum foil. This will both give the cake some support and keep the cold temperatures inside the wrapping.

The cake will start to thaw during shipment, but that’s what you want. Thawing will keep the cake moist and fresh.

How to Ship a Cake

Becuase you want the cake to arrive at its final destination in good condition, you must package cakes very carefully and treat them like a fragile item (because they actually are).

These shipping instructions will help your cake stay in one piece during the delivery.

Put the Cake in a Styrofoam Cooler

A styrofoam cooler will keep the cake from getting too warm.

First, put the cake in the cooler. Then line the cake with some kind of frozen gel packs to keep the cooler nice and cold.

For the best results, put the cooler in the refrigerator before packaging the cake. This way the cooler will already be the temperature you want, and the gel packs will work better.

If you can’t find a styrofoam cooler, you can also…

Put the Cake in a Specially Designed Cake Box

These are essentially the same things as styrofoam coolers.

They are made from foam insulation so the inside will stay cool, but they are also cut to the exact shape of a cake. Most of them also come with compartments in the bottom for frozen gel packs.

Put the Cake and Cooler in Another Box

Whatever cooler you decide to use, putting the whole thing in a cardboard box is your next step.

Spread a layer of foam peanuts on the bottom of the cardboard box. Having these peanuts underneath the cake will keep it from sliding around during shipment.

Place the cooler on top of the foam peanuts and fill in any remaining gaps with more foam peanuts. When the box is completely full and secure, place another layer of foam peanuts on top of the cooler as well.

This should prevent the cooler from moving and damaging the cake.

Tape the Box Shut

Use packing tape, and make sure you put several layers over every seam. The last thing you want is your only layer of tape popping off and spilling your foam cooler and cake into the back of a truck somewhere.

Mark the Package

The cake should not be turned upside down, so you must mark which side of the package is the top.

You can either do this with stickers or a permanent marker.

Write the phrase “THIS SIDE UP” on every side of the box and include arrows that point to the top. You should also mark the box as perishable and fragile.

Choosing the Right Shipping Method

Obviously, you want your cake to get to your client as fast as possible. A longer shipping time only means a bigger risk of your cake getting damaged.

Though the cake could probably last a one or two day shipping time, you should get same day shipping as often as possible. If you can’t do this, your next best bet is overnight shipping.

This will minimize the shipping time and make sure your cake stays in good condition for your client.

Let Your Client Know Your Plan

As you’re considering how to ship a cake, make sure your client knows what to expect. Tell them what kinds of cake you can ship, how long the shipping will take, and how they can expect the cake to arrive.

Because the cakes are frozen, your client should wait until the cakes thaw out and reach room temperature before eating.

Need some help shipping your cake quickly? Take a look at some of our services.

Everything You Need to Know About Mailing Perishable Food Items

Do you sell perishable food items online?

Or, do you want to send your kids in college those tasty homemade pies you promised them?

Mailing perishable food items is easier and convenient today than in the past. With speedy delivery and proper packaging, you can mail food items to your customers or loved ones with less worry.

In this post, we’ll share everything you need to know about mailing fresh and frozen food. This includes special packaging, mailing speeds, and cooling methods.

Let’s get cracking!

1. Understand Government Regulations

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requirements are essential to consider when shipping perishable food items.

Mailing food items may cause concerns about shelf life, food safety, and distribution. If you find a reputable mailing service, they can help you navigate and meet these requirements.

First, you need to ensure that your courier service ships perishable items. It’s encouraged for the food to be delivered quickly, probably overnight. The outer packaged should have a “Keep Refrigerated” label to alert the handlers and recipient.

The package must be kept below 40 degrees F. The recipient should use a thermometer to check the temperature at the time of delivery. Or, the food should be frozen or partially frozen with traces of visible ice crystals.

If the food arrives warm with temperatures above 40 degrees F, it’s advisable not to eat it.

2. Proper Packaging

As expected, this is the most critical aspect of mailing food items.

First, you need to pack the food in airtight containers to avoid the risk of spillage during movement and handling. Proper insulation is also an important consideration when packing your food items.

You need to keep the heat out, and there are several materials you can use to do this. This includes:

  • Styrofoam cut sheets – You can use these as inserts for your shipping boxes
  • Styrofoam boxes – Boxes with thicker wallers are the best, but they cost more
  • Insulated liners – Liners are great for tightly wrapping your items
  • Air-filled insulated liners – This option uses thermal properties of air for safe shipping
  • Insulated pads – Pads feature Styrofoam and insulated liners to keep your products fresh

You can also keep the perishable items cold. As a rule of thumb, use ice packs for refrigerated items and dry ice for frozen products. The amount of ice packs and dry ice you need depends on your product’s weight. The anticipated shipping time is also important.

When using dry ice, keep in mind that it’s a hazardous material. Wear gloves while handling it to avoid burning your skin. Be careful enough not to let it come in direct contact with food. Be sure to label the package that it contains dry ice.

Avoid using brown paper and strings when packaging the food. The paper can tear, and the strings are likely to get caught on sorting belts. Also, don’t use duct tape as it becomes loose when exposed to cold conditions.

3. Find the Right Mailing Service

Even with proper shipping, choosing the wrong courier service will result in a disaster for you. Ideally, the longer it takes for your package to be delivered, the more likely the food quality will decrease.

As such, pick a service that offers a guarantee for same-day delivery. They should offer pre-scheduled routed delivery and rush courier & on-demand services. These services allow you to get your package delivered in the minimum time possible.

Be sure to compare quotes offered by different services before making your selection.

Also, consider the shipping speed. Reliable courier services should provide a shipping time of 12 to 48 hours. Of course, the type of the product and the destination of the package will determine the exact shipping speed.

4. Choose the Right Shipping Day

Some courier services don’t ship products during national holidays and the weekends. So, be sure to determine the ideal day for mailing perishable food items.

Delivery will take longer if you mail the packages at the end of the week. They are likely to sit in a warm warehouse over the weekend, and this means the quality will decrease. Some companies can offer storage services, but this will come at a fee.

So, plan in advance, probably early in the week, to ship your package without risking spoilage.

5. Use Local Produce

If you’re in the grocery business, the best way to ensure your products are safe is by using local producers. This way, you can close the production gap. Ideally, you don’t need to ship products from other states or towns when there are local producers who can meet your needs.

Being close to where you’re shipping your products from means the products will spend less time in the sun or warehouse. If there’s no local producer near you, consider finding one located near your courier service.

Be sure to work with a producer that can offer packaging and tagging services.

6. Always Check the Package Destination

It’s not uncommon for courier services to deliver a package to the wrong address. This can be their mistake or yours.

Whatever the case, always confirm the mailing address to ensure it’s correct. If the recipient gave you the address, be sure to call them to validate it. When the package is ready for shipping, review the shipping details to ensure everything is accurate.

This is particularly important for same-day delivery packages. Delivering to the wrong address will add more hours to the shipping time. This is likely to affect the quality of the package.

Also, don’t send the package to business addresses or other places with no adequate refrigerator storage.

Mailing Perishable Food Items – Final Thoughts

We trust that these tips for mailing fresh food will help you to ensure your recipients and customers get their packages as fresh as possible. The essential aspects of mailing perishable food items include proper package and reliable courier services.

At Need It Now Delivers, we offer national courier and logistics services to deliver your package on time.

Do you have any question about our services? Be sure to reach out to us at any time.

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.

8 Ways to Reduce Shipping Air Freight Cost

Air freight is much faster than shipping freight. Especially when ships have already slowed down to the pace of a sailing clipper to save on fuel. And when confidence in the ocean shipping market is looking a little shaky compared to air.

But the freight cost covers that speed difference. Shipping your goods in a plane is speedy but pricey.

The good thing is there are ways to optimize your air freight routine to reduce the transport costs, and we’re going to share these tricks with you.

1. Space Out Your Shipping

More cargo, less often. That’s the golden rule to keep air freight costs low.

There are two main things to consider when pricing up a freight job: the distance and the weight of whatever you’re shipping.

If you send lots of small and light packages, the price you pay covers the distance factor each and every time. If you combine these into one large shipment, you’ll pay a lump sum all at once, but it’ll probably be cheaper overall than the first option.

Of course, while it’s ideal if you’re able to space out your shipping, that doesn’t match up with every business’ needs. Or it might not match up with your cash flow. So if this isn’t for you, how else can you keep those air freight costs low?

2. Use a Consolidation Shipping Service

Consolidation services take small packages and bundle them together in the ‘spare space’ within other shipments.

This is an ideal solution for any business that can’t avoid sending relatively small packages on a regular basis.

Rather than paying for your own, expensive, shipping space, you ‘fill in the gaps’ in another shipment, paying only for what you use. The company sending the larger shipment save money by not paying for empty space, and you get a great shipping cost.

3. Negotiate a Long-Term Agreement

To cut down on the amount you spend on shipping, don’t just keep using the same service. But we don’t necessarily mean shop around for a better price.

Developing a relationship is more valuable than the short-term gains of looking at other providers. Talk to your regular provider about setting up an agreement which benefits you both in the long term.

You may be able to make a commitment to ship a set amount of goods each month, for example. If that’s the case, to ‘lock in’ that business for themselves, the courier service is likely to be able to negotiate with you on the price.

4. Prioritize and Keep Freight Costs Low

One other way to keep overall shipping costs low is to prioritize your shipments by order of urgency. Things that can’t wait go by air. Things that can wait go by road or boat, whichever is suitable.

Using a mix of transportation solutions means that only your urgent shipments cost you air freight prices.

It’s a simple and easy way to save money. Just make sure all staff involved in your shipping process know what types of shipments take priority.

5. Do You Need All That Packaging?

We understand that people are a little more cautious when shipping by air. Airplanes’ speed and the potential for turbulence, make many customers a little nervous when shipping their precious cargo.

But in many cases, the packaging we see is just a little over the top.

Take a proportionate view of the risk of damaged goods. If you’re shipping very sturdy items, save cash by stripping back some of the packaging. You’ll save both on weight and on the packaging materials themselves.

If you’d like some advice on suitable packaging for your needs, just ask us.

6. Let the Carrier Pick Up Later On

Most businesses have closed up shop by around six in the evening. Which means the carrier can’t pick up their goods.

Reduce transport costs by allowing them to come by later on. When you do this, you’re helping to maximize their efficiency – as they can pick up more items in a day. So they might be able to offer you a better price.

It can also be a good way to build a good relationship with the carrier. Which in turn should affect the rates you’re offered.

Of course, if you’re not willing to hang around yourself, you’ll have to pay staff to stay on until later in the evening. Do the math and make sure it still makes financial sense.

7. Ship Off-Peak

Some days are more expensive than others. This depends on demand, though it’s generally the case that Friday is the cheapest day to ship on.

This is because many recipients want to be stocked for the weekend rush, and will be looking to receive goods on Thursday or Friday. These need to be shipped on Wednesday or Thursday.

So if your shipment can wait until Friday, you might bag yourself a better deal.

8. Outsource Transport Needs

A small business probably doesn’t have much call for a freight team.

Outsource your shipping management needs to a reliable logistics company. They’ll sort everything out for you at a fraction of the cost of a full-time member(s) of staff.

Plus, they already have the in-house expertise to keep all your logistical needs running smoothly.

Are You Ready to Ship?

ASAP Courier provides national and international shipping solutions for time-definite delivery needs.

Set up a new account in minutes and get a quote for your next vital shipment. Our licensed and insured staff will make sure your package arrives when it’s needed.

If you have any questions about air freight costs, or any other shipping queries, we’ll be very happy to help you.

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.