How Does Freight Shipping Work?

truck with cargo container on road in shipping yard or dock yard against sunrise

Whether you own a large organization or small business, knowing what to expect when creating a reliable shipping plan is fundamental to a successful business and happy customers. Have clear objectives in mind and familiarize yourself with shipping methods. Then, take the time necessary to find a dependable shipping company with a competent array of services to formulate an efficient logistics plan.

The Loading Process

When loading a shipping container, paperwork, such as a load-risk assessment form, needs to be filled out. Loading is normally done by on-site personnel that is qualified to operate forklifts, ensure platform stability, install gates and perform any other processes needed to complete the work. Carriers then take charge of the shipping platforms and start the shipping phase. Unloading is similar to loading. Carriers typically drop trailers or containers off after checking with security, and qualified personnel completes the unloading process.

Driver Safety and 3PL’s

Many companies use third-party logistics or 3PL services to ensure deliveries get there during crunch times. Load arrival is expected to be fast lately, especially with the advent of e-commerce and next-day shipping. Most of the shipping time is saved in the picking, loading and unloading process because once a load hits the road, many unexpected and unavoidable factors come into play, like traffic and bad weather. Drivers also need to get enough sleep for safety purposes. This is where a 3PL comes in to cover the gaps with additional carriers and round-the-clock warehousing capabilities.

How It’s Paid For

Payment is a simple concept, but it can get a bit involved. With everything from the initial shipper’s invoice to collection and validation, insurance and the costs of goods, audits, exceptions in carrier-incorrect billing and lost protocols and customer service, costs and delays can mount up. A cost-effective solution is to hire a freight payment service, which handles such concerns as multi-currency processing, reporting, and electronic payment. Some businesses prefer freight factoring. This is a method that allows transportation companies and drivers to immediately convert invoices to cash, which enables a smoother flow of business in the face of payment gaps from clients. This process is facilitated by factoring companies that pay trucking companies on an invoice’s issuance, minus 10 percent. When the customer pays the factoring company in full, the trucking service receives the last 10 percent from the factoring company, minus fees. To qualify for factoring, a shipping company normally is required to show a minimum yearly balance and to have been in business beyond a specified time.

To speed up shipping time, it’s helpful to have a well-prepared picking and packing system and a clear idea of routes and shipping strategies. Shipping companies with fair rates, large fleets, and reliable drivers can also help with travel logistics.

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