Freight Shipping: Common Mistakes, Tips for Success, and How to Make a Winning Bid

Freight shipping can be a complicated process if you don’t know what you’re doing from the start. When mistakes happen, they can end up costing you a lot of money and even those who have been in the business for a while have made these mistakes.

If you’ve been in the business for a while, there are also some tips for you to consider that could help you to grow your freight shipping business even bigger. Everything from ensuring you make the most out of your shipping space to how to be more successful in bids; you can find everything that you need here to help your freight shipping business thrive.

Not Packaging your Freight Properly

When the incorrect packaging is used, they’re more likely to be damaged in transit. Check what you’re shipping and pack them accordingly for their needs. Fragile items, such as glass, are going to require different kinds of packaging to ensure that they arrive at their destination in one piece.

One of the easiest ways to ensure the safety of your packages is to secure them to a pallet or crate. Don’t play too many packages on them so that they end up hanging over the edge. Instead, interlock stack your packages and pallets to minimize vibrations that occur through transport. Then use bands to keep them all in place.

Adhering to Transit Times

Transit times are meant to be estimations and should be adjustable accordingly for weather issues, repairs, getting gas, or backed-up traffic. Shipments should be scheduled as soon as possible in order to ensure that they arrive on time.

There are some deliveries that are going to be time-sensitive, so there’s no wiggle room if you schedule things at the last minute. Give yourself plenty of time by planning ahead to accommodate any problems that may arise during the trip.

Incorrect Procedures Regarding Inbound Freight

When receiving shipments, it’s important that you take the time to inspect everything before a driver leaves again. Noticing damages or shortages will force everyone to stop what they’re doing so that these errors can be accounted for. If you notice any issues with any of the packages, make a note of it on the delivery receipt and take pictures for your records. You don’t want to be held responsible for something that isn’t your fault. For the damaged package, you should also inspect the contents to see if they’ve been damaged as well.

Adhering to the federal regulations are also key when working in the freight shipping business. Make yourself aware of all the policies to avoid getting into trouble.

Streamline The Process

Errors can be minimized if you streamline the entire process and outsource certain tasks. By placing the responsibilities on someone else, you can focus on taking care of the core role of your business so that you can get it done right. Employing these strategies can also decrease your lead times and improve rates for your customers so that you can provide more competitive prices. Do some research into third-parties who can provide you with real-time updates and can integrate their processes into your systems to minimize errors.

Label Shipments Clearly

Don’t handwrite; shipping labels should be printed in order to avoid confusion or misunderstanding. Each label should indicate who is the shipper and the address of the person who will be signing for the package. Phone numbers of both parties and the shipping date can also be added to labels to provide a more accurate record of the package’s history.

Understanding the Current Market Rates

The best way to win a bid is to know how much you should be bidding in the first place. Taking a look at past rates and their current trend will help you to make a bid that’s competitive but not losing you any money. It requires a lot of time and practice to get used to reading the numbers, but it will soon become second nature to you with a bit of practice. There are also free online shipping calculators that can be used to help you figure out the best rates for your business.

Being Aware of Competitors’ Prices

In conjunction with knowing the market rates, knowing what your competitors’ rates are will also give you a good edge to getting that winning bid. If they’re priced too high, you can swoop in and steal a bid by offering a more affordable cost. Exercise caution; they’re likely using the same strategies that you are and examining your own rates as well. Just learn to play smart and you’ll be able to stay on top of the game.

Leverage a Bidding Solution that Increases your Advantage

Employ anything and everything you can get your hands on to develop a strategy that will keep you above the rest of your competitors. Look into apps for your smartphone that allow you to manage your bids more easily, while still providing you with the market information that you need. Shopping around for tools that can assist you in the bidding process is an invaluable exercise; just don’t fall for apps and programs bearing false promises of success.

Consistent Bidding Strategies

Before you can start to build a successful business, you have to know what your strengths are and how to improve your weaknesses. Which areas are you under-performing in and what can you do to get your employees on board? What strategies have worked best for you in the past and which ones haven’t? Taking a look at your history is the best way to develop a bidding strategy that will improve your success rates.

Staying above water in the freight shipping business can seem impossible, but with the right strategies in place and doing some research, you can pave a much smoother path to success. Mistakes will happen from time to time, but their repercussions can be minimized with the right plans set up.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan