TOP 4 road freight shipping pitfalls for smaller businesses

Theoretically, it sounds easy. You just register at our digital road freight platform, submit a request for your needed form of transportation, get an offer and ta-dah: Freight is on its way. However, road freight shipping can be tricky for companies, who are first-time shippers or aren’t used to logistics on a regular basis. Here are the most common setbacks and how you can avoid them.

1

Not enough lead time planned​

Shipments are not parcels. Road freight transportation has more steps, and each of them is open for potential delays. So always expect the unexpected. Especially for international shipping, keep in mind that there could be obstacles like traffic jams, strikes or simply bad weather. A very common time setback are customs delays due to missing or incorrect papers. Avoid late arrivals of your freight by using enough time buffer and use paperless documentation.

2

Don’t get surprised by costs

Some shipping cost can be easily overlooked and to avoid feeling blindsided, you should take care of the following:

a) Measure the dimensions of your freight properly, and don’t rely on numbers a third party gave you without double-checking them.

b) Check if your goods are possibly so-called “Dangerous Goods”. The fines for wrong classification can be unexpectedly high.

c) Another surprise may be customs fees, so use a customs calculator or contact experts like Gerlach Customs.

d) Think ahead: Will my shipping need a fork lift when loaded? Waiting time is very costly. Communicate as much information to your carrier as possible about the specifications of your freight.

3

Not packaging your shipments correctly

Shipments are not parcels. Road freight transportation has more steps, and each of them is open for potential delays. So always expect the unexpected. Especially for international shipping, keep in mind that there could be obstacles like traffic jams, strikes or simply bad weather. A very common time setback are customs delays due to missing or incorrect papers. Avoid late arrivals of your freight by using enough time buffer and use paperless documentation. Our recent blog post on transport planning might be a good source for further steps.

4

Not having proper insurance for your shipments

Cargo loss and damage happen, unfortunately. Every carrier tries to avoid it, but there are unforeseen snags as physical damage by car accidents, or wet damage because of the weather. There’s a legal insurance provided by a freight forwarder, but it can be as low as 2USD/kg. If you ship more expensive goods, it’s on the shipper to insure them accordingly.

The solution for successful road freight transport at low prices lies in good communication and well-thought-out planning. With the help of digital freight forwarding platforms, you minimize potential risks – all documents are archived in the right place and there is only one, experienced contract partner. Better asked experts to guide you through the process.

Janine Wolff
Janine Wolff is a business economist and design enthusiast, has a passion for blogging and traveling and is our Junior Social Media and Content Manager at Saloodo!.

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