10 tips for reducing uncertainty when shipping containers
I remember the first time I sent a package of collectibles from Japan to the US. It was going to be a two-month journey. As I handed the package to the shipper, I crossed my fingers and prayed that the collectibles would arrive safely.
Cargo owners and freight forwarders face the same thing every day, but on a much bigger scale. There are so many different parties involved in the movement of cargo (including shipping lines, carriers, terminals, distribution centers, and more) it can sometimes feel like you're sending off your container into the unknown and hoping it arrives safely and on time.
However, there are things you can do to reduce some of the uncertainty. Here are 10 tips that will help you manage your cargo and ship with confidence.
- Start your shipping process early.
- Hire reputable freight forwarders who understand the logistics industry and the intricate details of moving cargo.
- Ask for extra free days at the terminals to provide cushion for possible delays caused by weather or other issues.
- Have someone physically check the product you're shipping so that you're not surprized by any issues upon arrival.
- Add an experienced broker or custom agent to your team to eliminate bureaucratic hurdles.
- Keep an open line with your shipper and the shipping line in regards to any changes with shipping documents and/or the shipment.
- Use an express release instead of an original bill of lading to speed up the movement of your cargo.
- Make sure to communicate delivery instructions with all stakeholders for a smooth loading and unloading process.
- Have on hand a list of trusted cargo movers who can reroute cargo quickly.
- Read and understand your contracts. “The devil is in the details."
To keep an eye on your containers while they're in transit, sign up for a free Crux Systems account. We aggregate and analyze data from multiple sources to provide the most complete and accurate view of your container status available today, so you'll always know in real time what the status of your container is.