To Insure or Not to Insure: What Is Shipping Insurance? Everything You Need to Know

As the holidays grow smaller and smaller in the rear-view mirror behind you, you may begin to reflect on how well everything went. And maybe how well some of those things didn’t. For instance, maybe some of the packages you had shipped to friends and family around the world arrived damaged and broken.

That would get anybody’s blood boiling. But it’s not that hard to imagine and almost forgive. After all, an estimated 2.5 billion Christmas packages were expected to be shipped in 2018. That’s a high volume of packages that could lead to some maltreatment of some shipments. 

And Christmas presents are the only shipments suffering fates like this during the holidays. Even businesses are feeling the strain of the volume increase and seeing their own shipments become damaged and broken before making it to the buyer.

But what can be done? Where can you turn? The answer may lie with shipping insurance. Keep reading to find out what is shipping insurance and how can it help save you some heartache next holiday season.

What is Shipping Insurance?

Shipping insurance is much like any other insurance policy. It offers to cover your shipment and protect you from incurring any major losses as a result of a damaged parcel.

Not all companies offer the same insurance policies but there are a few key things and basic coverages you should be aware of before purchasing any shipping insurance.

You Might Not Need Additional Insurance

Before you even start looking over policy options check first to see if additional insurance is even necessary. Both FedEx and UPS automatically insure packages that are worth less than $100.00. However, the U.S. Postal Service only does this for express carrier mail that is worth less than $100.00.

What this means is that the courier will only cover your shipment for up to $100.00 worth of the contents’ value.

However, if the items you are shipping are worth more than $100.00 and you don’t get it insured you’ll only be covered for no more than $100. Be sure to declare how much the contents of your package is and purchase the extra insurance if you want the full amount over $100 covered.

Read the Fine Print

When deciding which shipping insurance policy to purchase be sure to read all the fine print throughout the policy. There are certain things, events, scenarios, and situations for which the insurance policy will not cover.

For example, shipping your package to certain international locations could cause a denial of coverage.

This would mean if your package was damaged at the courier facility, you can file a claim and get reimbursement. However, if that same package doesn’t become damaged until it’s in a location that the courier does not offer coverage to, you are responsible for the cost of the item.

Be sure to read over each of the insurance policies you consider and understand where, when, why, and how they will cover something. The same also goes for when they will not cover something.

Packing Requirements

This goes along with reading the fine print, however, it deserves its own section due to the magnitude and scope of this problem. And yes, it is a problem. More damage insurance claims are denied due to improper packing than anything else.

Here are a few reasons why packing a package can be difficult and cause problems later on if done improperly:

  • The government has established proper packing and shipping regulations
  • Those change every year
  • Each courier also has their own packing and shipping regulations and requirements.
  • Those also change every year.
  • The average consumer is very confused.

And for good reason. The problem though is that the regulations and requirements have to change every year due to changes in consumer behavior and shipping trends.

What this means though is that you need to pay attention to how your courier and the federal government want your package wrapped and shipped. Failing to comply with these requirements could see a denial of an insurance claim should the improperly packed parcel become damaged.

These requirements can be found on the courier’s website as well as the U.S. postal service website.

Filing a Claim

Speaking of having problems when it comes to filing a claim let’s take a quick look at what filing a claim looks like.

Remember to keep all those things in mind from earlier, pay attention to fine print, make sure your package is packed properly, and make sure you’ve purchased the correct policy for your package.

Now that all that is done and out of the way, what do you do if you’re package is actually damaged?

Again, each courier will have their own claims departments and policies, but a few general things to remember and be aware of when filing a claim:

  • Start your claim the moment you discover your package was broken, lost, or stolen.
  • Most couriers have a cut-off date of the longest you can wait before filing a claim.
  • Have all the right documentation filled out correctly.
  • Take photos of the damages or have photos taken and sent to you.
  • Be prepared to wait.

The last one is the hardest one for some people. Once you’ve filed your claim and submitted all your paperwork the claim must be reviewed by claim managers who will decide to cover or not. That process can take a while as well as the amount of time before receiving any actual money.

Be patient and cross all your ‘t’s and dot all your ‘i’s.

To Insure or Not to Insure

That is the question hopefully you’ve found an answer to. Along with the answer to what is shipping insurance? Remember to always read the fine print, purchase the right policy for your needs, make sure you’re not already covered, and file as soon as you are made aware of any theft, loss, or damages to your package.

If you have any questions about shipping insurance or finding the right courier services for you, contact us today!

Who’s The Real Star Of A Stellar Online Customer Experience?

We all know that shopping online has taken over the way companies do business. But what you may not know is that shipping options can make or break the deal for the majority of buyers. 

About 85% of Amazon users won’t buy a product because of the shipping charges. Then 60% of Prime users won’t buy your product if the shipping is too slow. 

How do your delivery options stack up? You are probably missing out on a lot of sales because your delivery options aren’t what shoppers are looking for. 

Let’s go over the delivery options that you have available to you. 

Tracking 

First things first, no matter what shipping options you offer your buyers, you must provide tracking. Your customers want to know when their order ships and when they can expect it. 

In fact, they are more likely to be happy with a longer shipping time as long as they know when the delivery will happen. By offering them an online portal to track their shipment you give them a higher level of communication and build trust.

Rush or Expedited Shipping 

Amazon has proven that some customers want their items fast. In fact, there is a whole community of Prime members who pay a yearly fee just to have two-day shipping on all of their orders. 

Sephora has followed suit and they offer a yearly membership of $15 to get their FLASH shipping. That’s free 2-day shipping on all orders. 

The advantage for you is that these customers are more likely to order more product because they know they have free shipping. 

One Off Rush Shipping 

You don’t have to offer a membership to offer rush shipping. This will be a more most expensive shipping option, but your customers will expect that. 

This option is about service and speed, not price. 

Low-Cost Shipping 

You need to provide a low cost or free shipping option. This will cover all of your customers who don’t want to pay for shipping. 

Now this means that you need to cover the shipping cost yourself. You could build the cost of shipping into the price of the product. This isn’t always possible though. 

Your other option is to reduce your shipping costs. One way to do this is to work with a shipping service that provides warehousing.

You would then hire them to store and ship your inventory. This does two things for your business. First, it reduces your shipping costs by streamlining the process. It also reduces costs by allowing you to leverage the shipper’s volume for lower rates. 

The second thing it will do is place your product closer to your future customers.

Think about it this way, if your company is in Florida, but most of your customers are in New Jersey, then they have to wait for their order to go from Florida to New Jersey every time they order. 

Instead, have your company in Florida, but warehouse your inventory in New Jersey or nearby. Then when a customer orders it only travels a short distance, getting to your customer faster. 

In-Store Pickup

Another popular option is in store pickup. Walmart and Target have been leaders in this type of shipping service. It works well for your business because you already have the logistics infrastructure in place to support it. 

It can also streamline your inventory management since the product may not even need to be shipped. It may already be located in the store. 

There is also the added benefit of getting your customers in the store. This increases the likelihood of buying more once in the store. 

For those who do business online and in brick and mortar locations, this is an option that should be embraced. About 60% of shoppers aged 15 to 49 would be happy to have and want to use this service. 

Shipping Large Items 

If you are in the business of shipping large items then carrier or parcel shipping isn’t for you. In this case, you can provide your customers with the highest level of customer service by arranging shipping for them. 

If you work with a broker you ensure that they get full service at the best price. Your customers may not know that they will have to pay extra for last mile and in-home delivery.

You can get the best rates for both of these by leveraging your broker’s shipping volume. This also takes all of the headaches and work out of the buying process.

Your customers will appreciate the prompt on-time delivery. This type of service is what will separate your business from your competitors. 

Delivery Options for Your Business 

You don’t need to give buyers all of the delivery options that are out there. You just need to offer a couple of different options. This will allow you to cater to the needs of a wide range of shoppers. 

You want to have one low-cost option. This will cover those who don’t care how long the shipment takes, they want the lowest cost possible. 

Then you want a mid-grade option, people who are willing to pay a little bit to get their item slightly faster than the cheapest option. Many buyers will choose this option because it seems like a better option. 

Finally, you want a fast shipping option. This is for those who want their item RIGHT NOW. These shoppers are willing to spend extra money to make sure they get their item as fast as possible. 

With these options, you are sure to have something to satisfy the biggest amount of people. 

Contact us today and let us help you formulate your shipping strategies.

National Delivery Service vs Regional Delivery Service: Which is Right for You?

Do you think you offer the best services your customers need and deserve?

Think about it: there are almost 30 million small businesses in the country. How does your business stand out?

One area you can excel above the rest is package delivery. Customers hate poor courier service like the plague. People also want their orders delivered as soon as possible.

If you need to get your package delivered, you need to understand the different types of courier deliveries. You need to know whether a national delivery service fits your requirements. Otherwise, you might need to use regional delivery instead.

The reason you need to differentiate is to narrow down your choices. Remember, if you’re a business who wants to save money, you need to stay informed. If you want to learn which shipping partner to choose, read on.

What’s the Difference Between a National Courier and a Regional Courier?

Before you know which to choose, you need to understand the differences. The first thing you should remember for national services is that they’re big. It means they have a larger means of transportation.

Having these traits help them with their reach. It allows them to operate anywhere in the country.

National deliveries have the capabilities to use shipping routes that take a week to travel. For example, large companies like FedEx Freight are national courier providers. They can give continuous delivery services no matter where you are in the country.

As for regional carriers, they’re smaller companies that operate in local areas. That means their area of operation is much smaller compared to national carriers. Most people consider businesses as regional carriers if they’re giving services for shipments within a 500-mile radius.

Some of the better regional companies can deliver up 1,200 miles away. It’s only possible if the clients can wait for an additional day. That means far-off customers can only use the second-day services offered by these businesses.

What are the Advantages of Each Carrier?

The advantages of these services depend on your situation. Your business size and your area of operation are two of the best factors to consider. Here are the things you should consider:

National Services

National delivery services have the size for a wider reach. With the size, these companies have access to a greater level of resources like the latest technology.

The resources make it possible for the national carriers to maintain more complex delivery routes. This allows them to keep a bigger customer base. Some can even partner up with large retail companies sell items by the bulk.

The size and abundance of resources make it possible for national carriers to have the proper equipment. It enables them to serve longer routes. It’s much longer than any regional or local courier services.

National services, because of their scale, tend to have a stronger system to protect their company’s integrity. They might offer better insurances to protect packages. Also, even if they cover a larger area, they sometimes work faster than regional couriers because of their organized operations. 

It’s also common for national couriers to have better customer service and more efficient tracking. Very often, it’s not a hassle to log into their website and get efficient real-time data regarding the location of a package. Regional couriers don’t often get this because they might not have the resources to maintain this level of monitoring.

Regional Services

The regional carriers are great when you need to rely on shorter deliveries. Their limited area of operation gives them more flexibility to their services. Often, they’re more familiar with the routes within their service area.

They know shortcuts and other situations since they’re traveling more often in the same area. A lot of customers feel satisfaction when they work with regional carriers. It’s not unusual since these carriers have a smaller customer base.

What are the Drawbacks of Each Carrier?

When it comes to freight weight, trucks move around 71% of the entire country’s packages. Despite this, both types of services have their own drawbacks. Here are some things you need to remember:

National Service

The biggest issue with national couriers is that they may charge a higher price. However, you have to put this into context: most national couriers offer better service, better insurance, and faster delivery. You get what you pay for, after all.

Although national services can be faster, there’s no denying they may have to travel farther distances and go through different vehicles. A package from one end of the country heading to the other might have to go through a bus, an airplane, and finally a truck before reaching the customer. This raises the risk, albeit only sightly, of the package getting damaged while on the road.

Regional Service

The most obvious limitation of regional couriers is their limited geographic areas. What this means is that they will charge you a lot. It’s especially true if it’s outside their normal delivery area.

Even then, it’s possible that they’ll reject your request. It happens when it’s too far for them to make it worth their resources.

If you coordinate different regional services, you might get the deliveries done faster. But the problem is that it’s expensive and often unwieldy. This means regional carriers aren’t the best choice if you plan to have longer shipments.

National Delivery vs. Regional Delivery – Learn the Best Choice Today!

Your choice of courier service changes with the shipment distance involved. If you’re a large business serving the country, national delivery couriers are for you. They have access to bigger infrastructure and resources.

Even if you’re a small business, national delivery might be the right solution for you. They can give you a competitive level of pricing while delivering efficiency. These companies can give the speed you need but give you satisfaction at the same time.

But always remember that there are more factors out there that can affect your choice of courier. If you need a versatile courier, you can contact us today to get a quote. Otherwise, we can talk about how we can help your business grow with our services.

Courier Service NYC

Get It Delivered Fast! Your Guide to Same Day Delivery Service

Courier Service NYC

Got a solid SEO plan for your online business? Do you think you’ve got a solid marketing plan that caters to your target audience?

Attracting customers is one thing, but keeping them happy is another ball game. One good way of maintaining satisfaction is to deliver the products they order in a timely and orderly manner.

If you want to widen your small business’s reach, you need to plan your packaging well. Give your customers choices and check whether you can scale your shipping process. One of the things you need to consider is a same day delivery service.

This service helps fight the impact of lost packages since the item doesn’t stay in transit for too long. But how does quick shipping benefit you and your customers?

Read on and learn more!

1. Greater Degree of Convenience

A lot of people have difficulties scheduling on-time deliveries. After all, most people need to be available once their courier arrives. If your business offers same-day delivery options, you make it more convenient.

Your customers can have the leverage they need to make the orders as soon as they need something. They become more relaxed since they know it arrives soon. It’s much better for them rather than rearranging their schedule to fit your courier’s.

2. Increased Productivity

If you integrate same-day delivery into your services, it benefits your employees too. You’ll see an increase in their productivity since they’re more efficient with their work.

It creates a sense of urgency. This motivates them to finish their work at the shortest possible time. That will increase your business’s productivity.

It has a huge impact on your company’s final turnaround. It does so while maintaining employee morale.

3. Reduced Shipping Costs

Shops and services benefit more from same day shipping. It’s due to its reduced shipping costs. Enterprises that offer this type of delivery schedule won’t depend on more shipping charges.

What this means is that they don’t pay more money on fast shipping.

This can benefit customers since it cuts off extra costs. You might even drop other shipping options and pay a uniform amount of shipping fee.

4. Greatly-Reduced Shipping Time

Most businesses push for the shipping evolution to offer more convenience. Speed is one of the main factors they push, especially eCommerce retail businesses. With the sheer profit made by these companies, a lot of couriers needed to adjust to capitalize on the booming industry.

After all, it’s expected for the global eCommerce retail sales to reach $4.5 trillion within the next three years. What this means is that next day shipping and same day shipping are current industry standards. This applies no matter where you are in most developed countries.

Now businesses push for affordable same day delivery as the next evolution of shipping. This means the orders can now be delivered within a few hours after buying them. Thankfully, the same-day service industry is closing the gap for both local and domestic deliveries.

Once this happens, the B2C segment will outgrow its B2B counterpart. That benefits both your business and the customers you cater to. After all, deliveries arriving within 1-12 hours after order placement makes everything much faster.

What’s Next in Same-Day Delivery?

A lot of companies see same-day delivery as the ultimate goal of internet retail. Even large companies like Amazon try so hard to get a consistent level of delivery. They want it on such a scale that it applies no matter where you are in the country.

If online businesses can deliver same day shipping all the time, they will make physical businesses obsolete. The difficulty of maintaining this process put a lot of businesses into bankruptcy.

The early pioneers of this service crashed and burned. It’s due to the items costing less than their delivery fees. Amazon, when it first launched the service back in 2009, needed to know how to implement it.

Right now, the technology and logistics involved are evolving. It’s becoming easier to get deliveries accomplished, but its scope still has its limits. This is especially apparent to small businesses that operate in small areas.

For all its worth, same day deliveries can still benefit your local business. If you confine it within your area of operations, it’s a nice feature that will make you gain more customers. Customers are willing to pay for extra if they can receive their items within an hour after ordering.

Customer Considerations

A lot of possible customers need to consider what same day delivery can or can’t do. For the most part, your business can offer same day delivery in select areas. If you’re located in a metropolitan area, deliveries that arrive within an hour or two are possible.

What are the other things customers should consider? Let’s look at a couple.

1. Items with Same-Day Delivery Offers Might Cost More

There are some businesses out there that charge more than normal for items with same-day deliveries. It might even be higher than the price of local products you can otherwise buy. That makes it difficult to see how the delivery is worth your money.

2. Local Businesses Might Deliver Faster for Less

Most national companies offer same day deliveries. But before you do anything else, check with local businesses that do the same for you. If you’re looking for groceries or items with high availability, do your research.

Local businesses can offer same-day shipping at a lesser cost. Don’t hesitate to use local groceries and other establishments to get the things you need. Contact them and ask whether they can do deliveries.

Get Same Day Delivery Service Today!

If you’re a business that wants to facilitate a same day delivery service, you need to partner with a good courier service. This can determine whether it succeeds or drives you toward bankruptcy. Always keep tabs on local couriers to ensure that you get the best deals out of your money.

Are you a business in New York? If so, you can use our services to deliver your parcels to your customers. We have the means to complete orders within the same day and help you flourish.

Contact us today and we’ll help you get started on the path to success.

slow moving inventory

Quit Dusting Your Dead Stock! How Delivery Options Can Boost Slow-Moving Inventory Sales

slow moving inventory

slow moving inventory

Even in a well-run business, there could be 20 to 30% of inventory that is dead stock.

Carrying dead stock and slow-moving inventory can increase your costs and harm the rest of the store.

There are ways you can move these problem items and get the cash your company needs.

Continue reading this article to learn how to keep inventory moving and decrease the time it spends on your shelves.

Say Goodbye to Slow-Moving Inventory

The same shelf of products is staring back at you. It has been for months now and it is taking up valuable retail space. There could be a number of reasons that you have dead inventory on your shelves, such as:

  • Lack of customer interest
  • Selling products that are too similar
  • Failure to train staff to sell a product
  • Defective products

No matter what the reason is for having excess inventory, there are solutions that can help you get those annoying boxes off the shelves.

What Is Dead Stock?

Dead stock is inventory that doesn’t sell. If your company doesn’t use inventory management software, you may have product hiding out in your warehouse for years.

Whether you manufactured the products yourself or brought them through another company, if you aren’t moving inventory, you are amassing costs. The cost of storing the products is only one of the costs. Having old stock in your store can make your store look out of date and behind the times. Instead of looking like a retail professional, your store might look like a once popular liquidation special.

Avoiding Dead Stock

The first step to solving your problem is knowing that you have a problem.

Having software that will alert you when you have an aging inventory will allow you to get to work on a solution.

Instead of the wait and hope “strategy”, you can put systems into place that will help you shed the dead weight.

You might find some of your products aren’t worth saving, and they have to meet the dumpster, but that isn’t always the case. There are many smarts ways to get rid of these products and recoup some of your costs.

Some ideas for cost recouping are:

  • Selling to discount stores
  • Donation to charity (Hello tax write-off)
  • Using it as a gift giveaway with selective purchases
  • Offering the product in a bundle

Inventory should sell in 90-120 days in most situations. After the 90-120 day period, it is time to get concerned.

Since cash flow is the life-blood of any business, you need to get that inventory moving even if it means taking a loss.

Before implementing any of these strategies, make sure you are not continuing to order products that are not selling. If you are getting rid of the product at a discount only to have more come in behind it, you will never be able to solve your problem.

Quick and Free Shipping Are Your Friend

When selling your products online, it is important to have the best shipping services possible. Shipment is one of the determining factors for whether a customer buys your product or a product from your competition. The days when your company could charge hefty fees for shipping are far in the past.

When inventory isn’t moving, you can offer free, fast shipping on those products to get them to move. If the free and fast shipping alone isn’t enough to make them move then offer a deep discount to sweeten the deal. The longer you leave the product on the warehouse shelves, the more money you will put out in expenses.

While you will not make a profit off of these sales, your company will come out better in the long run since you didn’t have to count these products as a total loss.

You can use the situation as a way to win new repeat customers by giving them an amazing first experience. When first-time customers buy one of your deals, they will experience your fast shipping and customer experience.

If you haven’t thought much about your customer experience when they receive your package, this is a point you need to address. Your customer’s first connection with your product is often when they open your package.

Getting Customers to Promote You for Free

Once you’ve wowed your customers with free, fast shipping and a great deal, the experience needs to continue when they open the product package.

Pay special attention to the wrapping of the package, the messaging within the packages and any promotions you include. All these things are part of the customer experience, which will make or break the relationship and any free promotion you get from the customer.

If your packaging is unique, interesting and enjoyable, it is likely they will share it on social media or at least send it to a friend to see. Word of mouth and social media advertising is very powerful and can turn your dead stock into a part of your marketing campaign.

What to Look for in an Order Fulfillment Company

As you choose the company that will fulfill your orders, keep in mind that their commitment to their promises to your customers. If they can’t deliver product when they say they will, your customers are going to blame you, not them.

Working with a company that has a great reputation for following through on their promises is a must. Not only should they offer long-distance shipping, but having same-day delivery allows you to get packages to local customers at the speed of light.

Read customer reviews, speak with the sales team and even call customer service to make sure there is a good match between your companies.

Keep the Inventory Moving and Customer Satisfaction High

Slow-moving inventory can be a thing of the past. Offering the best shipping services to your customers will put you out in front of the competition that is skimping on shipping services. Speak with our professionals today to learn more about how we can help you and your business.

Shipping Courier vs Freight: What’s the Difference?

Choosing the right shipment method can mean the difference between making money, breaking even, or losing money. Did you know that 45 percent of companies actually make money on the shipping fees they charge?

The first thing to consider is what are you trying to ship so you can narrow down your options. If you are shipping individual items to customers, it is probably obvious you will pick a courier.

But what about your inventory shipments? Or what if your product is too large or heavy for regular parcel mail?

We will help you make the right choice for your bottom line with a comparison of shipping couriers and freight shipping.

What is Courier Shipping?

Think of courier shipping like standard parcel shipping. It works best with shipments that are 100-150 pounds or less. Your package also needs to be smaller 165 in combined length and girth and less than 108 inches in length alone.

Many local businesses provide courier shipping services. As you are probably already aware, they are fast in providing door to door service.

Courier shipments will travel by truck, but if you pay for expedited shipping they can also go by plane. Your shipment will also stay with one courier for the entire length of the journey.

What is a Freight Courier?

If your shipment is over 150 pounds, you should use a freight courier over a courier service. The shipment time will take longer with this method.

Freight shipping happens in a couple different modes, truck, train, air, and ocean. The most commonly used method though is truck.

For those shipping their item by truck, you will hear two terms used, LTL and FTL. An LTL shipment means it is “less than a truckload”. While an FTL shipment is a “full truckload”.

LTL shipments will typically be less than 10 pallets and under 15,000 pounds. If your shipment is more than this, it is more cost effective for you to pay for the whole truck with an FTL shipment.

Truck shipping will be a door to door service. Though this means that your shipment will end up at the curb or loading dock. You will have to pay for the extra service of inside delivery if you want further service than that.

Air, ocean, and train shipments are done to their hubs. This is because you can’t physically get a plane, train, or ship door to door. For these, you should expect shipments to be done from airport to airport, port to port, or station to station.

You will then need to arrange for truck shipping from these locations to the destination. This final shipment service will be final mile shipping from hub to door.

Benefits of Courier Shipping

Courier shipping gives you fast and reliable delivery times. This is in thanks to the extensive network that shippers have developed over time.

Your package can literally go from one front door to another front door in just days. You can also trust that your package will be safe during transit.

Benefits of Freight Shipping

Freight shipping can give you significant discounts once your shipment becomes large or heavy. It can also let you ship more at one time instead of breaking up your shipments into many different packages.

It is also easier to get a volume discount if you plan on making more than one shipment.

Downside of Couriers

Once your package becomes too large or heavy you will have to pay very high prices. Then at a certain point, a courier will refuse to ship your item.

Think about it this way, do you really expect your delivery guy to lift and carry a 300-pound box up to your front door? No, you don’t. They also don’t have room on their trucks to carry equipment to move these large shipments.

Downside of Freight

Freight is not known for being a reliable form of shipping. Your delivery date will be an estimation. Though you can pay extra for expedited shipping if you really need your package there on a certain date.

There is also a lack of security when it comes to your shipment. With LTL shipping, there are multiple shipments on one truck.

That truck then makes many stops delivering each shipment. This means your shipment can come on and off the truck many times before delivery.

You may also find that you need to use more than one freight carrier to get your shipment delivered. This is because many carriers have specific regions where they will deliver to.

Your shipment is now at risk for damage or theft. To address this you can pay extra for a sealed shipment or a full truckload. Both of these will secure your shipment for the entire shipment and only get opened once at the delivery site.

Hiring a Shipping Courier

If you have a shipment and you are trying to decide between courier and freight, you need to consider the distance and size of the shipment. Once your shipment reaches a certain physical size or weight it becomes cheaper to use freight.

Sure, a shipping courier is automatically door to door and is faster. They also provide a reliable regular schedule. But it is not the smart choice for large or heavy items.

Freight becomes the smarter choice even if it can take longer and be less reliable for timing. Freight shippers have the ability and equipment to move shipments well over 150 pounds. If your shipment is on a pallet, you will want freight.

Let us help you book your courier or freight shipping today.

Common Challenges in Warehouse Logistics and How to Overcome Them

warehouse logistics

Wondering what to do about your warehouse logistics challenges?

Today, e-commerce and other changes have affected the way warehouses operate. Modern warehouses are bigger than ever before and operate differently than they used to. This can mean a whole new host of logistics issues for many companies.

The challenges that your brand faces in warehouse logistics are probably common ones – you’re not alone. In this guide, we’ll go over some of the most common warehouse challenges, and how to address them. Keep reading to learn how to smooth out those rough bits in your warehouse logistics!

What Are Warehouse Logistics?

If you want to understand warehouse logistics, you first need to know what logistics mean in general.

The simplest way to define logistics is as the details inherent in organizing, managing, planning, and implementing complicated operations. In a number of industries, such as the warehouse industry, logistics also includes the way information and physical goods flow.

Warehouse logistics really refers to the whole scope of complicated factors involved in the warehousing process.

The logistics might include things as varied as pest control, safety policies, handling of damaged goods, HR management, customer service, and more.

Why Warehouse Logistics Pose Challenges

Many of the logistical challenges in a warehouse have to do with organization. How is it possible to control every operation detail in a huge warehouse?

It might seem impossible, but it’s necessary – and it’s not really impossible after all. In a warehouse, staff needs to be able to find exactly where specific inventory items are kept, because those items might be damaged, returned, or recalled, for example. This information is crucial for keeping things running smoothly and getting profits flowing in. But it’s not easy to get.

To make logistics work well, you need the right strategies and tools. Meeting these challenges means being flexible enough to beat the competition, while also meeting customers’ expectations, and much more.

Managing a warehouse is no easy task, especially as e-commerce means orders that seem to grow by the day. Let’s take a look at some of the top challenges faced in today’s warehouses, and the strategies for overcoming them.

1. Inaccurate Inventory

The success of warehouse logistics hinges on its inventory. If you can’t know your full inventory, you might run out of stock at a bad time, or keep too much stock instead.

It’s obvious why running out of an item can pose an issue. However, stocking too much of something can also create problems. This reduces the amount of cash flow that can move through the warehouse and adds to the expenses since an excess stock is getting warehoused.

However, having a shortage of inventory is definitely the worse of the two problems. If you don’t have items in stock when they get ordered, you’ll run into customer complaints due to unfulfilled orders. It can be hard to make up your brand’s reputation once that happens to a few customers.

Modern tools can help inventory stay accurate. If you’re not using software to track your inventory, you’ll run into inaccuracies much more often.

2. Poor Inventory Location

When there’s not enough oversight of the inventory, things become more inefficient. That inefficiency results in slower operations and higher costs.

If you don’t know where your inventory is – even if you know that you have it – it will take longer to ship out items once they’ve been ordered. Time gets wasted finding the right things to send to customers.

The loading process then slows down, scheduling gets thrown off, and more issues arise. Warehouse logistics operate in a delicate balance, and one problem can throw off many other areas.

The above-mentioned software can also be useful for tracking inventory location. Make sure all your employees are on board with updating information as needed if items get moved, and make the information easily accessible for everyone who needs it.

3. Bad Warehouse Layout

Space utilization is one of the most important things in a warehouse. Is your warehouse layout helping or hurting?

Having space isn’t the issue. Many warehouses are plenty large for the task. However, they might feel smaller or less organized because the space hasn’t been used wisely. When you optimize that space, you’ll cut down on the needless labor.

For example, keep the inventory that sells often and moves fast near the front of the warehouse. That way, lift drivers don’t need to go all the way to the back of the warehouse for something they’re often retrieving.

4. Repetitive Processes

It’s important to keep things organized and detailed. However, it’s also possible to take things too far and create redundant, repetitive processes that don’t serve the warehouse.

For example, you might find that documentation like pick tickets is getting passed through far more hands than it needs to. Not only is this repetitive, but it also creates more room for errors. A good way to fix this problem is to use barcode technology, so the information is attached to the item and make available to anyone who’s handling it.

5. Picking That’s Not Optimized

Finally, are your picking processes optimized?

If manual processes are still in place at your warehouse, there’s often no regular route taken when items get picked for shipment. This leads to a confusing method that changes depending on who’s working that day.

Avoid adding extra time with un-optimized picking processes. Streamline and automate as much as you can, and you’ll be amazed by how your warehouse logistics improve.

Ready to Upgrade Your Warehouse Logistics?

The world of buying, selling, and shipping has changed. If your warehouse logistics haven’t changed with it, things can quickly become confused and inefficient.

Implementing these strategies to address your logistics concerns will save time, money, and effort throughout the process of getting goods to customers.

Air Freight Costs: How to Calculate Chargeable Weight

air freight costs

Are you ending products to customers across the oceans? How do businesses know how much to charge for shipping? Chargeable weight is often a point of confusion and question when checking freight documentation and quotation. Due to the point that both the actual weight and the chargeable weight gets listed, it has led to some queries raised with couriers. Whether it is with a simple shipping of luggage to a destination first hand before flying or sending products to a business location, this makes some wonder: How does chargeable weight work and how can to determine it? Here are some details on chargeable weight, how to calculate it, and how it affects air freight costs.

What is Chargeable Weight?

When items are being sent into a freight, different weights come into play. One is the actual weight, in which may come in various forms depending on the item in question. This can come as either the gross weight or the volumetric weight.

Now to understand how to calculate these, here are some formulas that can help with determining the estimated weight of the object intended to ship via air freight.

1. Calculate the Gross Weight

The gross weight is sometimes referred to as the actual weight of the object. This is easily done by using a weighing scale. The weight is going to depend on the type of the shipment.

In airfreight shipments, take note that the package’s actual weight is not the only thing measured. It also includes the pallet on which the item rests on. From here, the results will show up on the scale.

There are times that the weighing scale used will display the weight values in pounds. When this happens, start making a conversion of values from pounds to kilograms.

In some cases, people do have to include the weight of the packaging. This means a company not only weighs the product they’re shipping but also the added weight of the bubble wrap and the box or plastic wrap.

2. Calculate the Volumetric Weight

Tackling volumetric weight requires a different manner. Compared to the gross weight, this one takes note of the package’s volume and area. To determine this, it needs a step by step method to find this specific value. The process is as follows:

  • Determine the volume (L x W x H)
  • Make sure the volume is in cubic meters (CBM)
  • Multiply the volume with the air cubic conversion factor (167)

Volumetric weight covers more on the amount of space it covers in the vehicle the courier will use compared to the actual weight. At times, items that are lighter may end up having a higher volumetric weight compared to its actual weight.

At other instances, the shape of the object will also help determine the volume

3. Take the Higher Value between Gross and Volumetric Weight

Once gross weight and volumetric weight are done, put these two values in comparison and take the higher of the two. From there, the courier makes a quotation for the freight’s cost.

Now there are situations where these steps will vary depending on the shape of the object and the density or weight that it has. The following details will take note of these situations and how the process is then determined.

Examples for Determining Chargeable Weight

Example A.

The package stored in a box has a gross weight of 992.08 lbs. The box happens to have 40.21 inches by 38.09 inches by 40 inches as its package dimensions.

First is to determine the volume (40.21 in. x 38.09 in. x 40 in.). In this case, we would get the amount of 61263.956000000006 cubic inches. Converting these into cubic meters (hint: 61,024 cubic inches = 1 CBM), we would get the amount of 1.00393637 CBM.

Now by multiplying the volume of 1.00393637 CBM with 167 as the conversion factor, the result will be at 167 kgs.

Now, converting 992.08 lbs to kilograms should give us the amount of 449.99 kgs.

For this package, the chargeable weight is 449.99 kgs (the gross weight is higher than the volumetric weight).

Example B.

The package is that of a guitar in a case, weighing about 4.5 kgs in total. The dimensions are 114.30 cm by 50.17 cm by 18.42 cm. Since the conversions were already done first hand, the process has become shorter and different.

The volume they have, when expressed in cubic meters, is at 0.10562822 CBM. Multiplying this with 167 on the conversion factor puts this at 17.64 kgs.

Now, when looking at the chargeable weight for this package, it comes out as 17.64 kgs (in this case, the volumetric weight is higher than the gross weight).

If in case this still seems confusing, try calculating these with an air freight chargeable weight calculator.

The Importance of Determining the Chargeable Weight

For couriers, whether they conduct these by using air freights or delivery trucks, the chargeable weight acts as the basis for air freight costs and shipping costs.

As air freights make use of planes for delivering cargo, details like weight and volume are important. It aids in maintaining the balance of the aircraft and ensuring a safe flight.

For instance, take the thought of shipping cotton and steel. Notably, steel would have a heavier weight compared to cotton when put on the scale. In this case, the steel cargo would have a chargeable weight based on its gross weight.

On the other hand, while the gross weight for the cotton package is low, its chargeable weight is high. The reason behind this is that despite it weighing less on the scale, it takes up a significant amount of volume. This high volumetric or dimensional weight becomes the basis for the chargeable weight.

Set Air Freight Costs With Ease Today!

Being able to determine the chargeable weight for your package allows you to have foresight on the appraisal of air freight costs. This enables you to prepare and gauge the amount required when setting up your freights for your products and items.

Regarding meeting your shipping and transport needs, you can contact Need It Now, and they will help you get started.

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.