What Documents Are Needed for International Air Freight Shipping and Pick-Up?

Did you know that experts predict that airfreight will reach 63 million metric tons this year?

The popularity of air freight shipping is rising as businesses look to take advantage of its speed and efficiency.

However, air freight has its own list of documentation and terminology. This can be confusing for first-time airfreight customers. 

Why not take a minute to familiarize yourself with the documentation and vocabulary needed to air freight items internationally. You can learn everything you need from the article below.

1. Commercial Invoice

A good shipping company will provide daily services to even international destinations. However, this service is only possible if the documentation is correct and accounted for.

The first document that a company will need is a Commercial Invoice. This will be a specific document that includes a breakdown of every item that they will ship. Alongside a definition of each item is the value of the item and the total value of the consignment. 

This document will also explain who the shipper and seller are and where they are based. The seller will use this documentation to prove ownership of the shipment. 

2. Consular Invoice

Many countries require a consular invoice as a measure to control and check the goods that are being imported. It allows a country to learn about and control goods before they arrive to an air or seaport. 

A company can obtain this document by purchasing it from the consulate of the country they will be shipping to. Often this document is prepared in the language of the country of the consulate. 

3. Certificate of Origin

Each country will have its own, or be part of, a trade relationship with the other country. This means that before the shipment leaves the ground, a document must be prepared that indicates which country it comes from. It may also show which trade agreements it is subject to. 

This document may be prepared by a non-governmental company. This document may still be requested by customs even though some of the information it contains is found on other documents. 

4. Electronic Export Information Document (EEI)

The US government is currently requiring that shipping companies file a copy of an Electronic Export Information document.

This is required by the US Census office and is used by the government to compile official statistics. This means that it is important for all shipping companies to file this document. It is required for all shipments over the value of $2,500 regardless of export license type or end-user. 

5. Bill of Lading

The bill of lading is the basic contract between the owner of the goods and the company hired to ship them. It contains information regarding the parties and the quantity and types of goods in the shipment. 

Upon arrival in the destination airfreight receiving location, the receiving party will usually need to provide the bill of lading in order to accept the goods. 

6. Export Packing List

There are obviously many details regarding the materials that are in the shipment that may not be required by the government. However, it would be in the best interests of all parties to provide these to handlers.

This could include information regarding the storage requirements for the goods, or the perishability of the goods.

This information is usually provided in the export packing list:

  • Cost of Shipping in US dollars
  • Address of the shipper
  • Company ID
  • Contact details for the consignee
  • Specification of the shipment and its needs
  • Quantity and Weight
  • Location and Origin

The shipper will often make important decisions on the basis of this information including how to manage its weight. 

Custom and border officials may well check the contents of this list against the shipment contents itself.

7. Inspection Certification

In some cases, you may need to arrange for a third party company to independently inspect the goods. They will provide an Inspection Certificate. This will confirm that the goods are really the goods stated on their paperwork.

To obtain this paperwork you will need to learn the destination country’s specific requirements. A testing company will then provide this certificate after inspection. 

8. Destination Control Statement

Since international trade is strictly conducted according to existing trade agreements, a goods certification will need to show compliance. An example of this is the Destination Control Statement. 

This statement indicates to all handlers that the item may only be exported to permitted to certain destinations.  

9. Other Documentation

The requirements of countries around the world may differ from one another. While for most major shipping destinations the above information is sufficient, there may be additional requirements for other locations. 

Examples of some documents that you might need include the following,

  • Dock receipt of handling
  • Warehouse receipt of handling
  • Insurance certificate for the entire journey
  • Export license
  • Certificate of Handling
  • Declaration of dangerous materials

A shipping company will inform you of what is required in advance. In fact, many will handle these steps for you providing you can provide the necessary information. 

Air Freight Shipping and Much More

If you are interested in increasing the efficiency of your supply chain, then we are here to help!

We specialize in affordable and fast shipping of commercial and personal goods. This means you will receive a personal service whether your shipment is tonnes of industrial equipment or a simple envelope. 

We leverage our years of experience in the shipping industry, including air freight shipping, to provide freight services. We are based in the Florida area. Why not get in touch or follow our blog to see how our services can benefit your business.

Why Courier Shipping Services Are More In Demand This Year

Did you know that, among shipping services, couriers specifically have experienced great success over the past few years? We also believe they are one of the least understood modes of shipping.

Courier service is one of the most personalized modes of delivery and, therefore, one of the most reliable. It is also commonly used for local deliveries–especially in larger cities, where a hand-delivery could take up to half a day

You might say that couriers do their work right in front of our eyes without us even noticing. Perhaps that’s one reason for their popularity. And that’s what we’ll discuss in this article.

Shipping Services vs. Courier Services

It might be surprising to learn that UPS and FedEx, common household names, rank highest among those offering courier service, along with the U.S. Postal Service.

This is because all three also offer shipping as well as courier services. This is one reason why there is a fine line between shipping and courier services. We’ll try to sort this out now.

What is Shipping Service?

Shipping is a very encompassing term, referring to the “process of transporting an item, usually through the mail. Shipping is a very basic, common way of getting an item from one place to another, or from one person to another.”

Shipping services deliver both parcels (smaller packages weighing less than 70 pounds) and freight (200-10,000 pounds).

What is Courier Shipping Service?

What is a courier? This is somewhat more complicated. With courier service, an individual delivery person is responsible for carrying out the exchange of items between two or more parties.

Couriers are usually employed by companies that charge a flat rate to the party shipping a given item.

There are two main types of courier service:

Standard Local Courier Service

Commonly used by businesses, local courier service involves the local delivery of an item by an individual courier. This might be, for example, a confidential document of an office machine part needed for a timely repair.

Since this category also includes rush and on-demand services, it is sometimes used by individuals for urgent needs ranging from delivery of documents to emergency medical supplies.

In such situations, items might be handed off to a major carrier for expedited long-distance shipping and then delivered by a different local courier at its destination.

Local couriers also pick up and deliver luggage for airline and other mass transit passengers.

Regional Couriers

Also known as regional parcel carriers or delivery services, are hybrid shipping companies and local courier operations, with services such as overnight delivery and warehousing–sometimes even freight handling.

International Courier Service

Several shipping services deliver both freight and parcels overseas. However, courier services that specialize in international delivery will offer the best rates.

They will pick up the parcel at your location and hand it off to one of their international carrier partners. Then a local courier will deliver it to its destination.

International couriers have special expertise and certain advantages when it comes to international deliveries–for example, better connections with port authorities, ability to acquire permits, and tax discounts.

Regional and local courier services in the U.S. consist of air transit services, ground deliveries and other services including messengers and local deliveries. Couriers specialize in the delivery of envelopes and parcels, not items over 100-150 pounds.

While technically not courier businesses themselves, Federal Express, UPS, DHL, and the USPS all employ couriers to hand-deliver expedited mail and packages.

Recent Demand for Courier Services

Over 50% of online businesses plan on providing same-day delivery in the next 3-5 years. And 18% of consumers say fast delivery is the biggest factor in choosing their favorite store.

Given that last-mile delivery by local couriers has been key to expediting deliveries, this should signal a bright future for that industry if the trend continues.

E-Commerce

It won’t surprise anyone that much of the demand for courier services today can be attributed to the nearly daily supply chain innovations of Amazon.com and e-commerce generally (led by Amazon).

Amazon puts pressure on smaller operations to keep innovating in order to both keep pace with Amazon and serve its competitors.

So, it makes sense that much of today’s demand for courier services involves B2C (business to customer/consumer) orders, which often means the delivery of items purchased locally.

Local Businesses

Small businesses are also finding ways to use courier services to save their own staff time, thereby reducing their overall expenses.

Nearly all small businesses, especially those wishing to remain independent and local, have to find ways to hold their own against Amazon!

Food Delivery

The recent proliferation of food delivery services–a form of courier service if there ever was one–has increased demand for couriers generally, because of requests of traditional couriers to deliver food (in areas not served by others)…

This is also due to the many food-delivery services that have sprung up–including UberEATS, Doordash, Grubhub, and Postmates. And it’s because of the pressure on local restaurants to beef up their own delivery operations as well.

Expanding the Taxi Niche

Uber and Lyft emerged seemingly out of nowhere around 2010 and rapidly took on the long-standing taxi industry.

Now, not only have the new shared ride services expanded their services into areas such as food and package delivery, but they’re also setting a standard for other “ad hoc” courier services. What will we see next?

Regional Carriers

Yet another factor in the flourishing of local couriers has been the growth of regional shipping and transportation companies mentioned previously, such as Winnesota above, Lone Star Overnight, and US Cargo.

Couriers and Innovation

A sort of “dog chasing its tail” scenario has come about due to couriers’ well-established need and motivation to track their deliveries.

After all, they have to both compete and collaborate with logistics “giants like UPS, FedEx, and the USPS–not to mention Amazon. So they have entered the pursuit of innovating to create even more demand for innovation.

The investment advising company Market Realist reminds us how much these technologies and the increased reach of the Internet have led to greater transparency and advanced methodologies for online tracking.

Shipments can now be tracked online from the moment of ordering through the actual delivery. It has only grown more sophisticated.

Delivered on Time!

Shipping services, including courier services, seem to have played a significant role in defining and reinforcing 21st-century needs regarding shipping logistics and consumers’ parcel-delivery expectations.

This will be an interesting industry (or group of industries) to watch over the coming years. Time will tell whether or not their current role in accelerating other businesses’ innovations will continue.

Of course, we have a stake in all this ourselves. In fact, our services span a few of the areas discussed here. Keep an eye on where and our industry generally are going by reading our blog–which we believe is a great information source!

Just E-Commerce Things: Everything You Need to Know About 3PL Companies

Have you checked out that 3PL provider? Or what about this 3PL warehouse?

If you’re drowning in e-commerce terminology for third-party logistics companies, no worries. You’re not the only one.

Whether you’re operating in a small business or a mammoth of a corporation, 3PL services can really smooth down a lot of rough business edges.

But knowing that the 3PL market is projected to grow on a global scale by 7.1% from 2018 to 2025, you can’t stay in the shipping dark ages anymore.

So keep on reading for the ultimate guide about everything 3PL.

What Is a 3PL Exactly?

Basically, a 3PL is a third-party logistics provider that offers a variety of outsources logistics services.

These services span a wide spectrum of categories, from the management of procurement to fulfillment processes.

Overall, it’s a catch-all term for services that involve —in one way or another — the storing and shipping of items.

3PL providers come in all shapes and sizes as well, starting from warehousing services to refrigerated shipping services.

3PL vs. 4PL: Which Is Which?

You might have stumbled upon 4PL whilst looking for 3PL providers, so here’s how they differ.

For example, you’re in the shirt-making business and you are using the services of a 3PL provider to take care of your shirt storage in a fulfillment center.  

Your 3PL provider goes ahead and outsources their process of putting your shirts in specialized boxes before getting to their fulfillment center. This makes them into a 4PL provider.

Another case would be when the 3PL provider becomes your company’s only point of contact throughout the supply chain process. Once put in charge of multiple 3PL activities, it is a 4PL or a lead logistics provider (LLP).  

Benefits of 3PL

Now that you know what is what in the logistics world, here’s how a 3PL can take your business to the next level.

By virtue of handling a variety of logistics functions; like distribution, warehousing, packaging, you get the opportunity to tremendously cut your costs of operations.

In addition, 3PL providers will be able to do these services way better than if you decide to do them in-house. They can make use of the economies of scale and the simple fact that it’s their core business. 

3PL Services: What Can They Do for My Business?

Instead of waxing poetic about the benefits that 3PL providers can bring to your business, let’s take a deep dive into the services they offer and you can judge for yourself.

1. Procurement: The Lost Art of Streamlining Sourcing and Manufacturing

In a nutshell, procurement is the process of getting the finalized product that you sell. 

It applies to products that people make in their garages to full-blown manufactured products.

All of the steps taken in this process falls under the procurement umbrella.

To save time and money, 3PL companies come in to streamline the process through a variety of services.

Examples of 3PL services are raw materials sourcing, scouting for the perfect factory for your business. As well as, setting up a schedule for your manufacturing, as well as product development.

2. Transportation Galore

This section is were 3PL providers tend to shine.

Whether you limit your product transportation domestically, or you ship internationally, 3PL services can take care of the whole operation.

From selecting the perfect carriers to taking care of the paperwork, all in a time-controlled manner with the lowest costs possible.

Usually, the distribution services available are divided into the following categories:

  • Import/Export: If you’re in the business of international buying and selling, freight brokers — air freight or otherwise — can cut through the noise and paperwork, then offer you the best deals available.
  • Overseas Shipping: Not only can 3PLs help with securing the lowest of freight rates, but they can also manage the ship and air schedules with an iron fist.
  • Domestic Shipping: 3PLs acting as freight brokers can also secure the cheapest US rail and truck freight deals, as well as keeping a close eye on the most time-efficient pickup times.

3. Fulfillment: The E-Commerce Edition

E-commerce companies have special needs that are tailored to the fast-paced e-market, so the 3PL industry is all caught up to speed via their fulfillment services.

With many startups and small businesses experiencing growth, 3PL providers have developed a quick response in their fulfillment scales.

Nowadays, they usually provide these services at a lower cost than operating an independent warehouse.

These 3PL fulfillment services come in different shapes and sizes. It usually depends on whether your business is a B2B or a B2C, however, they all tend to offer these services:

  • Order Processing and Packaging: Two-in-one deal where the 3PL handle customer orders online, package it accordingly, and perform quality control on both the processing details and packaging.
  • Warehousing and Inventory: Full-fledged inventory management which includes receiving, storing, and tracking capabilities. In addition, it also offers specialized processes for high-value items or climate-sensitive products.
  • Returns Management: Nothing can clog up your business pipelines like managing returns. But with 3PL services in returns management, you have options like having the returns sent to your 3PL for handling and restocking.
  • Stock Forecasting: Some 3PL providers offer stock level forecasting services. This can be essential to meeting order demand on time.

4. Growth Services: For Your Sales and Customer Reach

There are a few 3PL providers who offer front-end sales services. These can help you with increasing your client base as well as your marketing efforts.

In addition, there are some services specifically designed for e-commerce businesses. They are composed of strategies set for tackling online markets.

From brand development, online store management, to social media multichannel management, you can delegate all of these functions to professionals.

Use the saved time and money to focus on your business core, especially if you’re a startup or a small business owner.

However, make sure to choose the right 3PL provider. The right one can tap into intelligent procurement. This will transform the supply chain logistics into a well-oiled supply-to-sale logistics machine.

Ready to Take Your Business Logistics to the Next Level?

Now you know all about 3PL providers and what third party logistics entail. So, you can pick and choose thorough a variety of providers for the services that your business needs.

So how about you start checking the services available for you?

And if you have any questions, contact us and we’ll put you —and your business— on the right track!

Everything Consumers and Business Owners Need to Know About Expedited Freight

Today’s global economy is moving at a breakneck pace. Getting reliable freight services is crucial. Pressing deliveries that are sensitive on time can mean the difference between business success and failure.

The freight industry is undergoing many different changes. With many groundbreaking disruptions in it, here’s the thing. The value of time-sensitive freight is becoming higher as time goes by.

Expedited freight is the future norm of delivery. Even then, there are many things that we still don’t understand about it.

In this guide, we’ll list everything that you need to know about expediting services.

From the meaning of expedited delivery to expedited freight tracking, this is a guide for you.

1. Expedited Freight Shipping: Meaning and Role

Before we try to go deeper, here’s the thing. We need to first understand freight shipping meaning and how expediting works.

The role of expediting services is to cut as much time as possible. Moving your goods from point A to point B takes time. Some customers need their goods in a time-sensitive manner.

When expediting, the logistics provider takes care of everything that slows delivery. This comes from several methods.

One of them is paying extra for the delivery vehicle to not wait before filling up. Methods like full truckload and less than truckload need the delivery vehicle full. The vehicle will start traveling as soon as they get your cargo.

There’s also the in-between resting for the drivers. Most forms of shipping allow the driver to drive between 12 – 14 hours, depending on the contract. This means they only drive up to half a day’s worth of work.

If you’re doing expedited freight tracking, you will see the travel is nonstop. Expediting services uses two drivers working in shifts to take care of your freight. This means it’s twice as fast as well.

Shippers use their best resources in freight shipping, meaning your cargo goes faster. This can be anywhere from land, air, and sea.

2. Who Need Expediting Services?

Those who need expediting services are people with products that have a deadline. Time sensitivity is an issue that needs a good freight company to take care of. Losing hours can mean the difference of a successful transaction.

Freight sent this way can range in sizes. This can be anything from a few stacks of documents to pallets upon pallets of cargo.

Companies who need such delivery options, including expedited freight tracking, include:

  • Medical companies for emergency supplies
  • Businesses with vital equipment parts
  • Factories that need raw materials

Freight shipping, meaning expediting deliveries, means measuring up to business demands. Every business would need freight sent in a short time at some point. Knowing that a company can provide expediting services is vital.

3. Why Expedited Freight Tracking Is Crucial

The value of logistics is key to helping a shipper to expedite their freight. When it comes to companies who provide such a service, here’s the thing. Expedited freight tracking can give them peace of mind.

Proper tracking gives the shipper an insight into how their product is coming. Instead of simple but vague information, giving exact logistic points to shippers provide peace of mind. Companies let you track the shipment’s progress and status through optimized logistics.

A fantastic company will make sure of superior logistics in freight shipping, meaning fewer touch points, shorter routes, and more up-to-date information in expedited freight tracking.

4. Is Expedited Limited To Small Shipments?

There are no limits to distance when it comes to expediting services. Even then, you need to be realistic. National level shippers still need realistic deadlines. The meaning of expedited boils down to “as fast as possible.”

Before you even check your shipment in, expert logistics providers will inform you of the realistic delivery time they can provide.

As delivery times go, many will give you times that will not put you in trouble but enough to give them leeway as well. This is where a superior understanding of logistics comes to play again.

There are different factors that your shipping company needs to know. These are crucial to give you the shortest time possible. Long distance freight deliveries need to streamline such factors to prevent any delays.

Expedited freight tracking gives shippers power to make the shipping companies accountable. This also means that it’s best to work with national shipping teams instead.

This should not be their first hurrah in expediting services. They should make sure that they get as little handling as possible to shorten delivery times.

If there’s any incentive to expediting services, here it is. Trusting a reputed shipper to do the job makes the difference.

5. Myth: Only Big Businesses Need Expedited Freight Shipping

Businesses big or small will get the best out of freight shipping, meaning it will work for anyone. Any business who needs to meet a certain time with their shipment can and should afford expediting services if they need it. Any experienced company with expedited freight tracking can do a full delivery whatever size it may be.

Urgent shipping means you need to provide peace of mind to your customer.

Why You Need Expedited Freight

When it comes to expedited freight, shippers will provide realistic times even before shipping. Understanding the level of logistics and supply chain needed to expediting services can provide you better peace of mind.

If you’re looking for a shipping company, you need someone who can deliver nationally. You need someone with expedited freight tracking. Hire us at Need It Now.

We deliver from many locations, some as fast as same day deliveries. With access to over 50 metro areas and experience in national level deliveries, you can have the peace of mind you deserve. Use their expedited freight tracking so you never miss a detail.

Check out Need It Now and deliver it today. Our logistics experts, all at your service now.

Going the Extra Mile: Why Your Final Mile Services Provider Matters

Are you an online retail business looking for easier ways to deliver your products right to your customers? Are your goods too big to fit the requirements of postal or carrier services? Are they, however, too small for freight delivery services?

Final mile delivery is what you may be looking for. Right now, it’s booming with the e-commerce industry. There’s even an expectation that the first- and last-mile delivery industry will exceed $1,100 million by 2026.

If you want to know more about final mile services, keep reading our guide below.

1. What Are Final Mile Services?

A final mile delivery or service is the delivery of a product to a customer’s home. It’s what comes after the freight delivery from your company to a city or state. It includes the planning and execution of the last delivery leg. 

This often pertains to the delivery of items bought online. It also refers to the delivery of big and bulky products. Often, a final mile service delivers goods that a parcel carrier or postal service can’t deliver.

These may include furniture, appliances, mattresses, and more. It’s also worth noting that e-commerce has been booming in the last few years. Thus, retailers are going online and are selling their products through the internet.

More e-commerce retailers provide an easier and more convenient shopping experience. Members of younger generations even prefer e-commerce retailers to traditional mortar-and-brick stores. This then causes a growing demand for better delivery services.

The standard service is the delivery of your goods to the door. Some services offer delivery to the client’s room of choice. Other services even help with unpacking and clearing debris from the package. 

2. Why Is Final Mile Delivery Important?

Now that you know about what it is, it’s time to talk about why you need a final mile service provider. 

Today’s delivery services are evolving. As we mentioned above, the internet is a primary catalyst for it. The competition is always growing with online retailers popping up left and right.

To have an edge, great customer service is one of the best things you can offer your clients. This is where final mile delivery services are good at. They handle your goods and customers with care.

If you sell specialized products, they can help your customer set it up. Most final mile services have personnel who are knowledgeable of certain products. This is especially important if you sell items or appliances that are confusing to set up. 

This is also important if you sell one-of-a-kind items like antiques. You want a final mile delivery service that guarantees the best handling for your goods.

A final mile carrier leaves a lasting impression on your customers. Remember, they are the ones who your customers have direct interaction with. They go beyond delivering your products at the door or the curb.

Also, the delivery service of your retail business has an impact on customer behavior. A survey of delivery expectations says that 43% of consumers demand faster delivery times. 74% of customers who received same-day delivery also stated they’d purchase from the same company in the future.

3. Benefits of Choosing the High-Quality Final Mile Delivery

Let’s say you offer great customer support and services on your e-commerce site. Now, wouldn’t you want to offer the same quality of customer service in the delivery stage? If you do, then you understand what builds up your customers’ loyalty. 

Shopping from your site isn’t the entirety of your relationship with your customer. Receiving the item is still part of the customer experience. In some way, the final mile delivery services you choose to represent your business.

The better the final mile service treats your customers, the better your reputation.

Another benefit is the many distribution centers. Final mile services should have various distribution centers in an area or state. If they do, you know you can launch products and fulfill deliveries in a jiffy.

Having many distribution centers is a good sign for retailers who want scalability. This assures you that they can handle many deliveries in one area. With it, you know all your goods will reach their destinations.

4. Trends in the Final Mile Delivery Industry

Before, the last mile transportation network included traditional trucks and similar vehicles. With the breakthroughs in technology, automated carriers are available now. Companies are using drones, self-driving cars, and other automated solutions.

It’s not the drone-filled skies some of us may have hoped for. However, it’s efficient and safe at the least. 

In line with new technological breakthroughs, another trend is real-time customer feedback. Sending feedback requests after delivery is so yesterday. Now, your clients can choose among the options for giving real-time feedback.

They can do it with their mobile phone or computer. Do you want them to share with you how the ridesharing experience was? Allow them to tell you through an app or your site. 

5. Finding the Best Final Mile Service Provider

Now, you know you want a final mile delivery service. The question is, how do you choose the best one for your business? Allow us to share the crucial elements for choosing among the many last-mile delivery companies in the market. 

For the first one, you want a service that handles the packages with care and is on time. If possible, they might even shorten the time it takes to deliver. This is a sure guarantee for customer satisfaction and positive reviews.

Another element is expertise with home delivery. For example, delivering complicated appliances to the customer’s doorstep isn’t enough. The personnel also need some experience with setting up and handling the appliance.

Get the Goods Home

That’s it for our guide on final mile services. It matters that you choose the right final mile service. After all, they will have direct communication with your customers. 

But why stop here? We’ve got more to offer. If you want to check out our services, feel free to sign up today.

5 Advantages of Automation in Logistics

In today’s ever-expanding Digital Era, we’re relying on technology more than ever. Businesses in all industries have started to take advantage of automated processes on every level. When it comes to shipping an logistics, there’s no exception. 

If your business relies on shipping merchandise across the country, you’re in luck. You’ve come to the right place by reading this article. Detailed below are the top five advantages of automation in the world of logistics and distribution. 

After all, making the most of these technological developments are in your best interest. You want to do everything you can to stay ahead of competitors in your niche market. 

Consider the following statistic regarding the logistics industry throughout the United States. Already in the year 2019, it’s generated $3 billion in revenue. In other words, this vast industry has a lot of ins and outs to navigate if you want to stay on top. 

1. The Efficiency of Automation Enhances Your Business’s Customer Service

When you invest in automated solutions for your business’s logistics, your customers will be grateful. The truth is, they have busy schedules and expect the delivery of their purchases to be efficient and secure. They want to feel as though your value their time and energy. 

That’s why automated logistics processes can be so beneficial for your company. By using these efficient services, you’ll establish your business as a reliable one when it comes to shipping.

In fact, if your delivery service takes too long in the eyes of customers, the consequences can be severe. These days, it’s too easy for customers to post online reviews about businesses they have experience with. These reviews can paint the business in either a positive or negative light. 

If you want to establish – and maintain – a reputation as a reliable business, you won’t take this lightly. After all, even experts recognize that customer service expectations are rising throughout the country.

Consider your investment in automated logistics as an investment in your company’s consumer loyalty. That loyalty to your brand, in the long run, is an invaluable asset. Then, they’ll be more likely to recommend your services to their friends and family members. 

2. Don’t Underestimate the Financial Advantages of Automation

Another great advantage of automation is an obvious one. You’ll save a ton of time and, therefore, money. 

For one thing, relying on paper communication is too outdated and expensive. Save the environment by digitally operating your business’s shipping and distribution, instead. 

In addition, automation simply makes business operations faster than they were in the past. That means you’ll be saving your business plenty of time on a regular basis. Since time is money, your business will experience an increase in productivity as a result. 

3. It’s Simple: Saving Time Increases Productivity

Speaking of an increase in productivity, don’t underestimate the vast difference you’ll notice with proper automation of your logistics processes. Even your employees will notice the difference with an updated solution to shipping.

After all, your employees deserve to be recognized for all of their hard work. If automated processes make their working lives easier, they’ll be grateful. Happy employees, by the way, are more productive employees. 

Plus, using the top automation means you’ll be free to worry about other responsibilities on your plate. That additional focus will allow you to strategize other areas of your business to increase profits on every level. In other words, automated logistics systems increase overall productivity in a variety of ways. 

4. Use Analytic Data To Optimize Your Operational Strategies

One of the best things about automated solutions, though, is the availability of analytical data. When you use software solutions for any part of your business, this will remain to be true. 

This is of particular usefulness, though, concerning your business’s logistics and shipping. Over time, the analytic component of automated logistics software will gather a ton of data. Then, you can evaluate that data and make more strategic decisions about the future of your business. 

For example, you can determine what products are not as popular amongst your consumer base. Perhaps, even, you can see what times of the year your business is more successful. No matter how you use that analytic data, the logistics software solution will be worth your investment. 

5. You Can Rely on Automated Proof of Delivery

The last thing to consider when it comes to automated logistics is the fact that you’ll always receive proof of delivery. Gone are the days when only priority shipments provide this feature in the form of a paper slip. Instead, your business will profit from knowing your customers are receiving their goods with electronic notifications. 

For more detailed specifics, check out this article on the benefits of electronic proof of delivery. Now, you can feel more confident that every single one of your customers is receiving the item that he or she ordered. 

Continue Investing in Your Business’s Logistics and Distribution

After reading this article, you should feel more comfortable about automating your business’s logistics processes. There are plenty of notable advantages of automation in this industry. It’s up to you, though, to make the most of these technological advancements available. 

After all, as a responsible business owner, your top priority is your company’s bottom line. You deserve the peace of mind that comes from knowing your business is optimizing its investments. This is true, in particular, when it comes to its investments in operational resources. 

That’s one reason it’s so crucial to only work with the best logistics services on the market. You don’t want to rely on a courier service that isn’t dependable, do you?

Well, that’s where we can come into play. We prioritize shipping merchandise for our clients in an efficient, reliable manner. 

For that reason, we encourage you to browse through the rest of our website to see how our experienced courier service can benefit your business and its shipping needs.

To start, check out more information about the courier and logistics services we offer on our website today. Then, keep investing in your business and its financial future with reliable shipping strategies.

8 Vital Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Same Day Express Courier Service

When you have a parcel that needs to get on its destination on the same business day, find a proper courier that can do its job. You likely rely on them to meet this specific transaction or even your entire business.

An express courier company needs to have the right business model to make it work. If you’re going to work with an express courier service, you need to make sure they can do it. You need to have peace of mind before giving them your business.

In this guide, we’ll give you 8 questions you need to ask from your same-day courier. What can you ask that will help you find the right couriers?

1. Are Your Drivers Reliable?

The first question you ask about is the reliability of their drivers. There’s nothing as important as having your package and documents coming in safe and on time. There are a few things you need to look at to see if they have the right drivers.

Good signs an express courier company cares for drivers are uniforms and vehicles. A uniformed courier is a sign of professional work and care. You want your couriers with drivers who care, with good customer service.

It’s crucial that their drivers have full insurance in case any mishap happens. If a company assures you that they perform full background checks on all drivers, you’re good to go.

2. How Do They Do Same-Day Delivery?

For an express courier service, the most important question to ask is the delivery method. If a company promises same-day delivery, you need to ask them how they do it. This is to make sure that they are doing a reliable job of moving your packages.

How do they do it?

Some companies will have drones on standby to carry their parcel. As there is a growing drone delivery market, some customers would prefer for this to happen.

Some couriers will have smaller hubs or express drivers that will be on standby to do it too. Depending on the size of the package, you want to know the nitty-gritty. This is to make sure everything comes on time.

3. What Tech Do They Use?

Technology for logistics companies is growing as we speak. Many of these allow them to do fast deliveries, which in turn will save you much time. You need to ask them what tech they have that make placing, managing, and tracking orders easy?

When you pick an express courier company, there are some vital things you need to find out.

  • Can you place an order online or by phone? 
  • Do they provide real-time estimated time of arrival? 
  • Do they send confirmation emails or SMS?
  • Do they have proof of delivery?

These questions should help you determine how they do their job.

4. Do You Pick Up Parcel?

A courier’s ability to pick up parcel can be business-defining work for you. The right same day courier should be able to offer immediate pickup service.

Depending on the size of your package and time of the request, you want them to be fast and urgent. They need to have both a set pickup schedule for regular packages and emergency pickup too. 

5. What’s Your Industry Experience? 

A vital piece of info you want with private couriers is their experience. You want to hire someone with industry experience dealing with situations like yours. This is a great thing to ask for small businesses who sell less or handle their own fulfillment.

You want your express courier company to have the experience to manage, handle, and fulfill your orders. You want to understand if they can handle irregular package flows and changes in demand too. This can be great for businesses like eCommerce providers who have fluctuations in their deliveries.

Ask your courier what fulfillment processes that they have in place. The best provider for you will have the ability to deal with operations that have the same needs as you. This will lead to less disruption in their method of operation and fewer adjustments on their side too.

6. What Are Your Package Restrictions?

When it comes to couriers, you would want to ask them about package contents. Check with them what type of rules they have with packages they handle and if there are any restrictions. If you sell products that have delivery restrictions like batteries and perishables, you need to know.

Some couriers will not support a few items for delivery. Some will have stricter rules and needs when handling the same packages. Some will have no issues with these products as long as it offers no legal repercussions.

Ask if they can handle their product. Check as well if they have ways to make sure that the product is snug and secure during its trip.

7. What is Your Maximum Weight Restriction?

An express courier company will specialize in speed of delivery. You will find, however, that some companies have a maximum weight that they allow per package. As you are a growing business, capacity constraints can be problematic.

You want a fulfillment partner that can scale as you grow. Understand how they move packages so you’d know if they can help you with the capacity you need.

8. What Are Your Actual Prices?

At the end of the day, you’re a business. Nobody wants a sticker shock if you’re trying to make a profit. Look for an express courier company that can give you good value for money service.

Your courier should provide upfront pricing so you know if you’ll take their service. This includes any and all possible service options that you will do with them. They should not have any hidden fees or surcharge that can impact your bottom line.

Choose The Right Express Courier Service For You

When choosing an express courier service, you want to ask the right questions for your peace of mind. Experience, reliability and strong service-oriented business model can help give you the edge you need.

If you’re looking for an express courier that can give you superior fulfillment services, you need experts with experience. 

Need It Now Delivers.

We provide a strong advantage when it comes to deliveries. Talk to us now.

Don’t Check in Your Bags! The Advantages of Shipping Luggage Internationally

Planning to travel abroad, be it for business or pleasure? You will probably need to take some clothes and other personal belongings with you. This means you need to think about the best way to get your luggage to your destination country.

Should you check in your luggage at the airport or have it shipped ahead of you?

There are many benefits to shipping luggage internationally instead of checking it in. Here are a few you should know about.

Avoid the Hassle of Clearing with Customs

Do you like to travel light? Given the chance, who wouldn’t like that?

When you let an international courier service ship your luggage, that’s exactly what you get – the opportunity to travel with a minimum load.

The disadvantage of checking in your bags is that you will have to clear customs when you reach your destination country. This may take time as you wait for your baggage at the baggage belt before proceeding to get customs clearance.

The process can get quite cumbersome if you are connecting flights and have to have your bags checked at every country in your itinerary.

When you opt to have your luggage shipped overseas, you can avoid potential delays when clearing with customs. This way, you will only need to present your passport and ticket as you walk through the checkout lot.

Your long-awaited time abroad will start with a hassle-free experience.

Gain Some Control over the Unexpected Events

No matter how well you plan, you just can’t anticipate everything and international travel is no exception.

If you are traveling abroad by air, for example, and bad weather is expected on your travel date, your flight can be delayed or even canceled. This means you will have to wait until you are booked on the next available flight.

If you have heavy baggage with you when this happens, you may end up being stuck at the airport until the situation has been resolved.

If you arrange to have your luggage shipped ahead, you will have the freedom to move around the airport or even run a few errands before it’s time for your rescheduled flight. No need to worry about leaving your baggage unattended.

This way, you will be in full control of your trip.

Ensure the Safety of Your Luggage

Aside from your own safety, the safety of your luggage is also of utter importance when you are traveling to another country. However, you can’t always be sure that your prestigious briefcase or suitcase will be handled with the utmost care.

Why not let the pros put your mind at ease?

No doubt, most airlines have efficient systems for handling passenger luggage.

However, because they prioritize passenger safety over anything else, thus they may not give your luggage the exacting level of handling and care desired. This explains why cases of lost or missing bags at the airport aren’t uncommon.

Plus, fragile items such as those made of glass may get damaged while in transit.

Although most airlines will compensate you for lost items, the process of filing a complaint can be quite cumbersome and time-consuming.

If you’re traveling abroad for a vacation, this may mean that you may not wear that swimming costume that you bought after all.

With international luggage delivery services, you can rest assured that your luggage will be placed in the safest hands possible.

Plus, you will be sure that your luggage will be waiting for you upon arrival at your destination country. This is essential to ensure everything goes on well during the time you will be spending overseas.

Get Around the Destination Country with Ease

Traveling abroad for the first time?

Even if you are armed with a detailed map of the place you will be staying, you can never rule out the chances of getting lost, especially if nobody will be receiving you at the destination country.

Now imagine arriving at the destination country with lots of luggage to carry. Who will keep an eye on your bags as you queue up at the taxi stand to get a cab? You may easily lose your luggage in an airport buzzing with activity. What’s more, you will surely get exhausted.

The easy way out is to ship your luggage ahead of you.

Although this may come at a small fee, you can’t compare it to the risk of completely losing your luggage. A luggage shipping service will identify the exact physical address that your luggage is supposed to be sent.

So, once you land, you will have an easy time getting to your destination. You won’t have to get worried about losing your luggage through the hefty airport commotion while looking for a ride.

Save Money

Did you know that shipping luggage ahead of you can be a more economical option than checking it in?

Depending on the distance involved, international travel can be quite costly and heavy bags can escalate the costs.

This is because most airlines charge higher prices for the privilege of checking bags that exceed a certain weight.

In this regard, shipping your bags may prove to be a cheaper option than checking in the bags.

Shipping Luggage Internationally Is a Viable Option for You

From the above discussion, it is obvious that shipping luggage internationally offers a number of great advantages over checking the luggage. These advantages include potential cost savings, convenience, luggage safety, better control over unexpected events, and many more. Ultimately, the final decision is yours to make.

If you are ready to have your luggage shipped ahead of you, call tel:2129891919 or get a quick quote today!

Weighing Your Costs: The Delivery Cost Comparison Guide

Globally, annual online consumer shopping will reach $4.8 trillion by the year 2021. In just a few years, analysts forecast that e-commerce will be the largest retail shopping channel on the planet.

Today, people aren’t only spending more time shopping online – they’re spending more during each session. Resultantly, businesses are competing fiercely to attract their share of the estimated 1.92 billion people who will shop online in 2019.

Studies show that 85% of all shoppers browse online reviews when trying to make a buying decision. Of those, 77% go on to make a purchase.

The delivery cost is one part of the shopping experience that consumers write about frequently. Even if you offer free shipping, excessive costs to deliver goods can eat away your profits.

Because of this, business owners must do a carrier cost comparison to understand shipping rates for different packages. This way, they can save money while carving out their share of the $4.8 trillion online shopping pie.

Why Delivery Cost Matters

Unchecked shipping costs can become expensive. Still, there are times when consumers need goods right away. This can range from last minute gifts to parts needed to repair a vital household appliance.

The three major United States shippers – USPS, UPS and FedEx – offer similar services. These are the main shippers for same-day, overnight and today delivery. Still, packaging guidelines and pricing vary somewhat.

Same-day delivery service bodes well with consumers. It can create a seemingly seamless shopping experience. As more consumers come to expect same-day shipping, retailers will be compelled to deliver.

When it comes to attracting and retaining buyers, it’s all about consumer convenience. Same-day shipping has emerged as a way to make shopping more convenient and closer to an in-store experience.

Now, with the click of a mouse, consumers can have goods arrive at their doorstep anywhere from a few hours to a few days. For retailers, the trick is to keep shipping costs under 7% to 8% of consumers’ total shopping cart total.

Cost of Delivery By USPS

For guaranteed overnight delivery, the United States Postal Service offers Priority Mail Express. The service is available seven days a week.

Priority Mail Express is the cheapest option for shipping flat, lightweight goods. USPS offers the service for $24.70. You can ship anything that fits in the Mail Express envelope to anywhere in the U.S.

The USPS also ships packages overnight. For example, a:

  • 1-pound shipment costs $39.40
  • 5-pound shipment costs $63.20
  • 10-pound shipment costs $93.15
  • 50-pound shipment costs $288.45

The United States Postal Service is the most cost-effective choice for shipping items that weigh less than a pound.

For a long time, reliability was a big issue for the government-run service. Relatively recently, however, they have redeemed themselves as a dependable carrier by delivering parcels more consistently.

One advantage of using USPS is that they provide free boxes. You can even have shipping boxes delivered to your business.

Delivery Pricing for FedEx

FedEx offers First Overnight for next morning delivery. FedEx Priority Overnight, however, is available for next day delivery before 10:30 a.m. or in the same afternoon for rural areas. The carrier also offers FedEx Standard Overnight for delivery to rural areas between 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and private residences before 8:00 p.m. the next day.

Starting at $46.30, you can ship overnight packages using FedEx Standard Overnight. FedEx First Overnight comes with a heftier price tag, starting at $81.69.

FedEx next day package shipping rates are higher than USPS. Comparing similar packages, a:

  • 1-pound shipment costs $81.11 to $123.05
  • 5-pound shipment costs $102.99 to $141.08
  • 10-pound shipment costs $141.83 to $175.05
  • 50-pound shipment costs $390.12 to $429.71

However, there is a relatively new caveat with FedEx shipping.

You want to avoid getting charged with a “Ground Unauthorized Package” fee. Starting September 03, 2018, FedEx rolled out new fees for oversized shipments along with additional handling surcharges. The new penalty is a hefty $675 fine.

FedEx laid out several criteria for Ground Unauthorized Packages. These include packages that are:

  • A combined length, width and depth of 165 inches
  • More than 108 inches long
  • Weigh more than 150 pounds

If FedEx pinpoints one of your shipments as a Ground Unauthorized Package, they may refuse or return it. In other words, adding insult to injury, they will charge you the fee and refuse to accept your shipment.

UPS Delivery Options

When you need to move items in a hurry, UPS offers Next Day Air for $46.58. You can use the service to ship items that weigh less than 8 ounces. The next tier of service, UPS Day Air Early costs $80.98.

UPS overnight package options are similar compared to FedEx for lighter packages but are less for shipping more substantial items. For example, a:

  • 1-pound shipment costs $81.47 to $122.52
  • 5-pound shipment costs $103.47 to $140.63
  • 10-pound shipment costs $142.45 to $174.77
  • 50-pound shipment costs $208.42 to $240.80

If you’re not careful, however, you can also face fines if you don’t choose your shipping options carefully.

Starting June 2018, UPS rolled out a penalty system that’s similar to the FedEx Ground Unauthorized Package fine. The UPS version, however, is less punitive.

UPS will penalize shippers if weekly charge corrections total more than $5. The Audit Fee is $1 per package correction or 6% of the total amount of corrections, whichever is higher. Accordingly, you’ll want to double check every shipment to make sure that your items comply with UPS guidelines.

Putting It All in Perspective

It’s important to note that overnight shipping services guarantee that your goods will arrive when indicated. In reality, however, a 100% success rate is impossible. What the guarantee means that if the carrier cannot fulfill their promise, you’ll receive a refund for the shipping fee.

As more consumers shop online, delivery cost will become more critical for retailers. It’s essential to keep shipping costs down for the benefit of both consumers and your business.

If you have questions about shipping best practices and optimization, contact us today to speak with a friendly representative. Ask about our free app that you can use to arrange same-day and next-day shipping across the United States.

How to Get Quotes from a National Air Courier Service

In January of this year, over 2.2 million revenue tons of air cargo moved across the United States. Air cargo is used most often when time is of the essence. 

Because this form of shipping tends to be more expensive and more complicated, you need to know how the process works. You have more options than merely quoting with a well known national air courier.

We’ve created a guide to help you get the best rate for your next air freight shipment. Let’s get started! 

Preparing Your Shipment 

Before you can start getting quotes, you need to have your shipment packaged and ready. Freight carriers will want your shipment to be on a pallet. This allows them to easily move the shipment to and from the truck and plane. 

Pallet Hangover 

Place your items on the pallet. Walk around the pallet and make sure no part of your items hang over the edge of the pallet. If it does, fix it. 

The carrier will not accept your shipment if you do not do this. These overhangs will get damaged when they load multiple pallets next to each other. 

Secure the Items 

If you have an oddly shaped item, strap it down to the pallet using ratchet straps. If you have stacked your pallet with boxes, you can use plastic wrap to secure everything. Though we still suggest you use straps here too. 

Remember, you need to secure it so that any rough movement won’t affect it. If you think it might be good enough, make it more secure.  

Measure the Dimensions

Measure from the highest point of the item to the bottom of the pallet. Then measure the width and length of the pallet. This should give you the total dimensions of the entire shipment. 

If you have multiple pallets of the same thing, you will want to account for each one. 

Weight 

Do not guess on this. If your guess is too low the carrier will find out and charge you more. If your guess is too high, you are overpaying for your shipment. 

Don’t forget to add the weight of the pallet into your total. Wood pallets can weigh anywhere from 30 to 70 pounds depending on their size and the type of wood used. Plastic pallets can weigh 15 to 30 pounds. 

The easiest way to know for sure is to weigh the finished packaged shipment. Most of us don’t have a scale that big though. You can ask the manufacturer for the finished production weight of the item. Of you can weigh one box and multiply it by how many boxes are on the pallet. 

Find Your MNFC Number 

Now that you have your dimensions and weight you can calculate the density of your shipment. The density will tell you what freight class your shipment belongs in. This is how carriers charge for shipments. 

If this sounds like too much math, there is good news. You can use an online calculator to determine your freight class for you. What is great about these calculators is that they will give you an analysis of your shipment. 

You may find that if you slightly adjust the height or weight, you can get your item into a different freight class. 

Get Quotes 

You can start shopping around for air freight quotes now. You need to decide who you want to get quotes from. 

National Carrier 

These are the large national carriers with shipping lanes across the major distribution channels in the United States. Typically they are going to give you the best rate as long as you stay within their channels. 

Independent Carriers 

These are the smaller carriers that tend to specialize in a particular region. If you are looking to ship there, this is a great way to go. Because they specialize in an area, their resources are more focused. 

They can beat out the national carrier on rates for their geographic coverage area. Hiring this type of air freight service is ideal because they know the area and have extensive experience in air freight deliveries.

Freight Broker 

Air freight is a bit more complicated than truck freight. You will need to arrange transportation for your shipment from your facility to the airport, then the flight, then transportation from the destination airport to the final destination. 

You can do this yourself through a courier service. Look for a shipping service that specializes in your area to the best rates. 

The other option is to hire a freight broker to do all of the work for you. The benefit is that you don’t have to do anything and you can take advantage of their pre-negotiated rates. The downside you are limited to only working with the carriers that the broker has relationships with. 

What You Need to Quote 

To get an accurate quote for your shipment, there is a list of information you will need to provide. 

  • Package width 
  • Package height 
  • Package length 
  • Weight
  • Distance from the origin airport 
  • Distance from the destination airport 
  • Type of service you want 
  • If you want insurance 

Getting insurance may seem like an unnecessary waste of money. It isn’t if anything happens to your shipment during transport; the insurance will cover it. That way you are not out the value of the item you shipped. 

Bill of Lading 

You will know you have successfully completed your shipment quote and booking when the carrier sends you a BOL. This is a vital piece of paperwork that outlines the critical details of your shipment. 

The driver will not pick up your shipment without this paper. 

Quote and Book with a National Air Courier

You are now ready to ship with a national air courier. When you ship air freight you need to make sure you package your pallet so it can withstand a lot of jostling and bumping. 

Remember your shipment is going from the truck to the cargo hold and back to a truck. That is a lot of moving around. 

Have the accurate information for your shipment so you can get the best rates. Then choose the carrier you feel most comfortable with. 

Get a quote today and let us help you get your shipment moving by air freight.