How To Handle Shipping Products That Require Special Attention

You may have found a great product that you want to sell and a ready, willing target market of buyers for it. 

There’s just one issue: you’re not quite sure how to ship it.

With all the other issues that you need to handle while running your business, you shouldn’t have to worry about how to ship products that require special attention. Instead, consider selecting a fulfillment partner who has experience in the intricate shipping and handling of certain items. 

Such fulfillment partners are usually referred to as third-party logistics (3PL) providers, as they handle much more than just packing and shipping. You can outsource some or all your operations to a 3PL. 

Each 3PL entity is unique. Some providers specialize in particular products (i.e., food and perishables) while some offer additional support services (i.e., a warehouse network). It’s important to determine whether the 3PL has experience in handling products like yours and whether the 3PL can handle future demand for your product. 

Let’s have a look at some of the considerations surrounding the shipping of products that require special attention, and how a 3PL partner can help you succeed.

Expertise in Products Like Yours

Not all 3PLs are created equal. Each has a specialty and few can handle multiple product lines. For example, a 3PL for perishable foods normally cannot also handle furniture or bulky industrial machinery. 

It’s important to determine that the 3PL has experience in handling your product. Determine which types of packing material are used and the methods for storing and shipping the product in order to avoid loss or damage.

If the 3PL provider does not have experience in your product but is desperate to seek your business, there may be all sorts of surprises awaiting you. These might include charging you extra for additional, special packing materials. 

Space and Capacity for your Products

The big draw of a 3PL is its facilities. The provider’s space needs to be organized in such a way that it can properly receive your products from your manufacturer, warehouse or store them, and then prepare them for shipping to your customers. 

Ask the 3PL provider if they have the capacity to add your products to their existing operation. Additionally, ask whether the company has the capacity to grow as your business grows. This may not be feasible, as special products like refrigerated items need additional space, equipment and electricity. Rapid growth in a furniture business could quickly require a lot of space.

On the flip side, you also want to know whether the 3PL provider can handle a temporary or seasonal slowdown in your business. Ask the 3PL provider whether there are any minimums that be must be maintained.

Discounts and Insurance

The cost of shipping is one of the biggest challenges for any e-commerce business, regardless of size and volume sold. Customers expect items to be shipped to them at the lowest cost—regardless of the product’s special shipping needs.

You may have negotiated a special discount with a shipper of your choice. However, that discount may not be viable for the special items you now want to ship, or the carrier may be incapable of shipping those items. 

A large, experienced 3PL not only has negotiated deep discounts with several shippers but also knows which shippers can handle your special items.

Insurance is also an important consideration, especially for products that can easily be damaged or perish en route to the recipient. Lean on a 3PL with fair terms regarding credits and replenishment of damaged products.

Special Warehousing and Transportation Network

If your product is a food item that is fragile and can perish quickly, proximity to customers is important— your product requires rapid delivery.  Inquire about the number and type of warehouses (i.e, are they refrigerated?) the 3PL owns and whether the 3PL has relationships with other 3PLs or a larger warehouse network with the same features. The more warehouses in the network, the closer your products will be to your customers. 

For even faster movement of perishable items, some 3PLs operate their own transportation network. Relying on a 3PL that has a transportation component may allow transport of inventory between your manufacturer and the 3PL’s warehouses, or even between you and your wholesale or retail customers.

Taylored Services-The Ideal Resource

Taylored Services is a fully integrated 3PL provider specializing in wholesale, retail, and direct-to-consumer unit fulfillment. The company operates 1.5 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space within proximity to the Gateway Ports of Los Angeles / Long Beach and Newark, NJ. 

E-commerce businesses need a partner with significant investments in systems and technology and established, long-term relationships with other interim suppliers along a product’s “shipping journey.” By using Taylored, clients can track their merchandise at every step through the warehouse and to multiple points of destination.

Services Include:

Warehousing and distribution

E-commerce

Supply Chain Management

Value-added Services and Merchandise Rework

Transportation Management Services

Working with a full-service, integrated logistics provider like Taylored Services not only helps e-commerce businesses of all sizes to service customers more efficiently but also allows such businesses to scale when needed without significant investment.

Author, Jake Wengroff writes about technology and financial services. A former technology reporter for CBS Radio, Jake covers such topics as security, mobility, e-commerce, and IoT.

Resources:

https://www.easyship.com/blog/shipping-fragile-items

https://www.shopify.com/blog/competitive-shipping-as-a-small-shop

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Address:
800 Federal Boulevard
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Size: 300,000 sqft

Technology:
• RF Technology
• Narrow aisle high bay rack system
• Apparel and Accessories
• High value storage area, secured yard
• Transload and Pool consolidation
• Omnichannel distribution

Chino, CA #1 & #2

Address:
14050 Norton Ave,
Chino, CA 91710

Size: 400,000 sqft

Major Equipment:
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• Locus Robotics

Technology:
• Synapse
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• Document Management
• Custom Reporting
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Specialty:
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Processing:
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• Full Case Distribution
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JONATHAN ROSENTHAL - COB

Jonathan has spent a lifetime as an entrepreneur. He started his
first company, NetAir International, in 1983. It was innovative as
the first multi-city on-demand jet charter company and grew into
the largest operation of its kind in the U.S. His second venture was
in launching Saybrook Partners, a merchant bank in 1990 and
later Saybrook Corporate Opportunity Funds in 207. Jonathan
serves in numerous leadership roles, including as founder and
chairman of the LA Harbor Performance Enhancement Center,
WherehouseIT.com, and the Harvard Graduate School Leadership
Institute. He also serves on the Marine Transportation System
National Advisory Committee, Los Angeles Sustainable Freight
Advisory Board, and the University of Southern California Center
for Supply Chain Management board of directors. He earned a B.
A. in Philosophy from California State University, Northridge, B.A.
Sc. in International Law and Legal Studies from Uppsala
University and a J.D., law from Southwestern Law School.

Jonathan is passionate about both expanding and sharing his
knowledge and expertise. He has lectured in transformational
change at the University of Chicago, UCLA, John’s Hopkins, and
Harvard College.

JOE DESAYE - CEO TFMI

Joseph DeSaye has spent over 40 years in logistics. His journey began in 1980 when he co-founded FMI International with his father and brother, specializing in air and ocean forwarding services. Together, they expanded the company to include comprehensive services that grossed over $350 million in sales.

He has a proven track record of success, growth, and leadership within the logistics industry.

THOMAS MCCORMACK - CIO

Thomas has dedicated over 20 years of his career to working in IT for 3PL companies where he has grown to deeply understand the importance of keeping pace with a dynamic and ever-changing marketplace. Prior to joining Taylored in 2014, he led IT or a $2.8 billion window manufacturer and a $1.2 billion electronic media organization. He holds a degree in accelerated mathematics/calculus from LaGuardia Community College and an MBA with a focus on computer software engineering from Fordham University.

Thomas is passionate about coaching and mentoring teams and sharing his experience in cross-functional team leadership. He knows that one of the best ways to grow an organization in today’s society is through the implementation of effective technology that allows them to stay ahead.

MIKE YUSKO - CFO

Mike overseas finance, human resources, and legal at Taylored, as well as directing Taylored’s operating companies. After over 35 years in 3PL, vitamins and supplements, consumer products, engineering, and construction, he is a man of many talents. He has served as CFO at companies ranging in size from $50-$700 million and spent 15 years at PepsiCo as the senior finance leader of a $1.2 billion beverage unit.

Mike holds a B.S. in business administration and accounting from Clarion State College. He is passionate about providing solid leadership and applying “Fortune 50” know how to elevate smaller companies.

JIM DEVEAU - CEO

Jim Deveau is a retailer at heart, with over 20 years of experience leading in the retail industry with companies such as Lord & Taylor, AnnTaylor, Charming Shoppes, and Footstar. After assisting with Footstar’s restructure in 2004, Jim transitioned into the 3PL industry. Over the next ten years, he held various C-suite positions at FMI International, Summit International Logistics, and Toll Global Forwarding before becoming Taylored’s President and CEO and board director.

Jim is passionate about sharing his knowledge. Holding an undergraduate and graduate degree from Northeastern University, together with his extensive experience, he frequently speaks at industry trade shows and conferences and has been recognized as a leader within the industry. He also currently sits on the advisory board of warehouse exchange and was chosen by the US Chamber of Commerce to represent retail trade post 9/11.

Chino, CA #1 & #2

Address:
14050 Norton Ave,
Chino, CA 91710

Size: 400,000 sqft

Major Equipment:
• Automated high speed sortation
• Locus Robotics

Technology:
• Synapse
• Warehouse Management
• Transportation Management
• Routing & Compliance
• Document Management
• Custom Reporting
• Web Portal
• Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Specialty:
• Apparel
• Footwear
• Accessories
• Jewelry
• Bulk Materials

Processing:
• Wholesale, Retail, DTC
• Full Case Distribution
• Cross Dock
• Transload
• Pick & Pack
• Kitting
• VAS

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Specialty:
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Processing:
• Wholesale, Retail, DTC
• Full Case Distribution
• Cross Dock
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• Web Portal
• Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Specialty:
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Processing:
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Size: 540,000 sqft

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Technology:
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Specialty:
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Address:
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Specialty:
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Processing:
• Retail, DTC
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Specialty:
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Processing:
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Specialty:
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Processing:
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Size: 319,000 sqft

Technology:
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• Omnichannel distribution

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