Making an express shipment is part of the daily life of millions of companies around the world. The pressure to be the first and provide a better service makes companies resort more and more to this type of delivery. But despite being a task that is repeated many times, it is common for mistakes to be made because some fundamental concepts that would make our lives easier are not clear.
Decalogue for your express delivery
Whether it is to send a pallet or to send a package, the faster you want to be, the more your costs will increase. It is not the same to deliver something in 48 hours, in 24 hours, on the same day or in the next two hours. But the cost is not the only thing you should look at. The first step is to know the real needs of your client, since it is usual that the need and the speed chosen for the shipment do not coincide. If you choose a slower speed than you need, you’ll be running late, but if you choose an unnecessarily fast speed, you’ll be overpaying without getting any real benefit in return.
Correct and complete data
Sometimes we want something to arrive as soon as possible but we do not worry about providing the most basic thing to make this possible: the delivery data. For logistics operators and transport companies, having all the data to perform a service makes the road go downhill and everything is easier. Something as simple as the contact person and the telephone mean, on a daily basis, that a merchandise can be delivered on time or not.
Know the shipping conditions
An express shipment, like the rest of shipments, has some particular conditions that you need to know so as not to get unpleasant surprises. Do you have means of loading and unloading at the pickup and delivery locations? What extra costs can we face depending on certain characteristics, such as the need to depalletize the merchandise? Do you need to take out any special insurance because your merchandise is very delicate or very valuable?
Know your costs
One of the best ways to be scared is not knowing our costs or what the price we pay for an express delivery is due to. For any company that has regular merchandise transits, it is essential to know, understand and know how to take advantage of the rates that it has agreed with its logistics operators. The first step is to understand if we are paying for the weight, for the dimensions (which will be the most common in the case of light shipments) and how our company cubes.
The rates are usually made up of different weight and size sections and being able to adjust our shipments of pallets and packages to these sections -not jumping to the next section if it is not necessary- can mean that at the end of the year we have reduced from substantially our costs without having lost quality of service as a result.
Accuracy weight and dimensions
If we want to be able to use the sections of our rates as we mentioned in the previous paragraph, the first thing is to be able to measure and weigh them properly. Depending on how much volume you have and the means at your disposal, your needs will be different. You may not need – or can’t afford – a modern scale or arch to weigh and measure your shipments, and something as basic as a simple meter may suffice for smaller volume businesses.
In addition, we are not only talking about costs here. Companies usually have limits of kilos and centimeters, whether they are to send pallets or packages, and if you exceed it, you not only risk an extra cost but also that the shipment cannot be delivered.
Prepare the express shipment well
Preparing what we want to send in the best possible way is the first step for our express shipment to reach a successful port. First of all, prepare it from a security point of view. A pallet in which the placement of the merchandise makes it stable (the merchandise will be exposed to movements, curves and possible braking along the way) and that is well shrink-wrapped will be actively protecting our products.
The second aspect to take care of is efficiency. For example, packaging that is unnecessarily loose (a box much larger than the product) will cause us to pay more for shipping. In fact, we will be sending air, in reference to the free space between merchandise and packaging.
Security also comes into play here, because the more air our box carries, the more the merchandise can dance inside. If you cannot buy a packaging that fits better, there are other options such as bubble wrap or cardboard to fill that space.
At the other extreme we find those packages that are too small for their content. Boxes that barely close and are likely to open during the journey, which also make your merchandise more sensitive to any impact. In the same way, the merchandise that protrudes from the base of the pallets is very prone to breakage.
Lastly, when preparing and packing our shipment we must also take into account the brand image of our company. There are materials, companies, shipments or products in which a standard packaging may be worth it, such as the brown cardboard box of a lifetime. However, there are other shipments in which the packaging will want to be part of the product and the user experience, especially in premium brands. In these cases we will resort to other types of materials and finishes, but without forgetting not to compromise the safety of the merchandise at the expense of the aesthetics of our product.
Choosing a good logistics operator
Hitting the logistics company responsible for making your express delivery is another of the fundamental pillars. Is your logistics operator specialized in this type of service? Do you have a way to verify its effectiveness, either by external references or because the logistics operator has a long history? Do you have more than one express delivery model -such as our 10 and a.m. pallet services- that allow you to have more options at your fingertips? What complementary delivery services do you offer (depalletization, different types of vehicles…)?
The world of logistics and transportation will never be 100% predictable and a problem or error can always arise throughout the entire process. However, if you apply these simple tips in your day to day, you will be maximizing the chances that your express delivery will be successful.