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Top tips for managing shipping risks

#FeatureByGeorgeBassey

Top tips for managing shipping risks

On paper, transporting goods from Point A to Point B appears to be a simple, translational affair. However, in reality, shipping is fraught with risks and turns that could drastically affect your business.

There is the risk of piracy, accidents and damage to goods, international conflicts, disruption of travel routes, exorbitant customs duties, freight rates, and even currency regulations—all presenting dramatic hurdles in what should be a straightforward process.

As a business, anticipating and scaling these hurdles and reaching your customers on time would give you an edge over your competitors. This article will discuss how you can manage these risks;

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1. Ensure your goods are properly packaged

Shoddy packaging is an invitation to loss and damage. You should use standard packaging like a box, packaging tape to seal the gaps, and a filler for internal protection. When shipping a pallet, inspect it to ensure it is in good condition before you begin palletising. It is important that your packaging is tight, as loose packaging allows the goods to move around. This movement could damage the product if the shipping vessel experiences any turbulence. Beyond the functional importance, proper packaging can also help to cast your brand in a good light.

2. Consider investing in insurance

Accidents and damages are not unheard of in the shipping business. It could be from theft, poor weather conditions, or even collisions. By investing in insurance, you give your business a soft landing.

3. Select the appropriate shipping method

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Whether air freight, pipeline, or train, there is a host of shipping methods that you can choose from depending on your priorities. If your goods are perishable or cargo security is a priority, you would benefit from using a swift shipping method like air freight. Or you could transport by road if the destination is near and you want to save cost.

4. Use an experienced shipping company

There are many advantages to contracting an experienced shipping company, and longevity is often a sign that a company is doing something right. Given how fully e-commerce has been embraced, small and medium-scale businesses should expect international customers. Your business would benefit from the excellent relationship experienced shipping companies like GIG Logistics have established on foreign waters.

Nevertheless, before engaging a carrier, here is a list of questions you should consider:

i. Do they own the fleet, or are they operating on a contract-owner basis?

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ii. How qualified is their personnel?

iii. What is the shipping company's track record? You can assess this by consulting other businesses that have worked with them or checking their accident records.

iv. What is their shipping rate?

v. Is their equipment or distribution centre well maintained? You can also inspect their fleet for any damages that could put your goods at risk.

vi. Do they have the technology to help you keep track of your goods in transit?

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5. Be thorough with the documentation check

To ensure that you are on the same page with the shipping company, conduct due diligence by checking the shipping documents. It is in your best interest to demand accuracy and clarity in the document. Some important documents to keep an eye on include bills of landing and sales, title documents, health and safety certificates, import permits, and certificates of origin.

6. Communicate in a timely manner

Communication is at the heart of management. In business, timely communication will save unplanned costs. For instance, if you are transporting hazardous materials (HAZMATs), timely communication to emergency personnel will keep them on red-hot alert to manage unfortunate incidents. You should inform the importer of the arrival date so that the goods are swiftly processed when they get to the border to prevent extra costs. Communicate the full shipping details to your insurance company so you can be duly compensated if things go wrong.

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Risks are an unavoidable part of business. Shipping issues can drastically damage the supply chain of your business and cause a disconnection between you and your customers. The implications are dire. However, by recognising these risks and planning for them, you can forestall or mitigate their occurrence. Position your business for safe and efficient shipping (local and international) by partnering with GIG Logistics today.

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#FeatureByGeorgeBassey

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