13 Things to Ask Your Shipping Company

By April 13, 2019 June 8th, 2020 No Comments

When planning to send out a shipment, do you have all your bases covered? Whether you want to ship a skid or a large over-dimensional load, there are a number of factors that play into the planning process. Check out our logistics tips below to make sure you’re good to go.

If you have an in-house logistics team or are working with a third-party logistics company (3PL), the below questions should always be covered pre-shipment:

  • What are the dimensions – length, width, height, weight – of the piece(s) being shipped?
  • Are any of the pieces over-dimensional/require permitting or escorts?
  • What type of equipment is required to haul the freight – dry van, reefer, flatbed, etc.? (Follow this link for a complete list of equipment and standard dimensions)
  • Does the load need to be chained/strapped/tarped? Is dunnage required?
  • If it is a refrigerated load, what does the temperature need to be set to?
  • Should it be shipped as a full-truckload (FTL) or less-than-truckload (LTL)?
  • What kind of time deadlines are there? Will the load arrive on time if shipped LTL or is an expedite required?
  • What time of year is it – are spring thaw restrictions in place?
  • Is the load crossing the border? If yes, is a customs broker in place and are the customs documents properly prepared?
  • Are appointment times required at either the shipper or receiver?
  • Does the load need to be shipped blind?
  • Is a bond required?
  • Are goods hazardous?

Note that over-dimensional loads can often raise the most questions or issues prior to shipping, especially if crossing the Canada-US border. Some key things to keep in mind when shipping over-dimensional loads are: does the load require permits or escorts? If it is a wide load, will the load clear guard rails on 2 lane highways? Where is the final destination? Some states and provinces over-dimensional loads cannot travel at night, on weekends, or holidays.

When in doubt… ask!

No matter how small or large the shipment, you must look at all aspects involved. More often than not these questions can be answered by your shipping or production team, but for more complex issues a quick call to your local 3PL will answer any questions you may be unfamiliar with. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have prior to your next shipment.