Any company that sells products outside their local community will have to deal with shipping at some point. Driving your products down to your local post office for shipping may work when your company is small, but as you grow, you will have increasingly large shipments to keep up with. A freight company can help. Freight companies can forward large numbers of products at once. They're well equipped to deal with heavy cargo, and they can get your product to its destination in a timely and efficient manner. Here are four things you'll need to do when you decide to work with a freight company:
1. Consolidate your shipments if possible.
Many successful companies cut down their shipping costs by consolidating their shipments into as few batches as possible. Rather than sending shipments out every day, consider scheduling a weekly freight shipment. As long as you give customers an accurate assessment of shipping times ahead of time, most of them won't mind waiting an extra week for their product. Contact a freight company to discuss the best times for pickups. Some companies offer a volume discount when you ship a certain amount of freight at once.
2. Choose the right size.
Standard shipping containers are 8 feet wide and 8.5 feet tall. Their length is variable; you can select between a 20-foot and 40-foot length. These standardized sizes are used because containers of this size can be easily stacked together on cargo ships and hauled using commercial trucks. Choose the smallest size that comfortably fits everything you need to ship. Smaller containers are often cheaper, so you can save money by avoiding using oversized containers when they aren't necessary.
3. Decide if you need special services.
Typically, freight companies move cargo in shipping containers which aren't climate controlled. If you're shipping delicate items that cannot tolerate certain temperatures, you may need to select a refrigerated service which will keep your shipment cold throughout its journey. This is a necessary option for anyone shipping perishable food items, but it can be useful for anyone concerned about the effects of radiant heat on their goods.
4. Choose a company with a tracking system.
Some freight companies offer a tracking system that can be used to update you on your shipment's progress. This can be extremely valuable for customer relations. Being able to tell customers exactly where their packages are will give them peace of mind. A tracking system will allow you to keep your customers aware of any changes to the projected date of their shipment's arrival.