Best Practices for Shipping Heavy Items
It’s no secret that the internet has revolutionized retail. The e-commerce industry will only continue to grow and become more sophisticated as technology advances by leaps and bounds each year. What hasn’t changed as much? Shipping. Sure, maybe self-driving trucks will be a reality in our lifetime, but shipping still requires physically taking an item from one location, putting it on a truck, train, ship, or plane, and bringing it to another location. There’s lots of human interaction with shipping, so there’s plenty of room for error. That chance for error only increases when you are shipping heavy items.
At Taylored Services, we’re shipping and fulfillment experts and wanted to provide these 6 tips for shipping heavy items safely:
Place additional emphasis on inbound damage control.
Whether it’s scratched, torn, cracked or broken, a large item that’s delivered with damages will almost always result in an expensive request for re-delivery, not to mention an upset customer. Your fulfillment professionals can help prevent damage by following a more rigorous inbound inspection processes during receiving. This will help hold your inbound carriers more accountable for any damages they cause and compel them to handle your products more carefully.
Perform a careful pre-shipment inspection at the warehouse.
Large items are particularly susceptible to damage at the last-mile stage, so ask your fulfillment partners to put some additional checks and balances in place to ensure all is in good order before shipping out.
Pack large items really well.
Heavy items need protection too, so the right packaging is a must. Here’s a few tips to keep large, heavy items safe and secure:
- Use plenty of lightweight cushioning materials (e.g., foam peanuts, newspaper, cardboard dividers).
- Consider shrink-wrapping large items to help prevent nicks or scratches.
- Use a box that’s not much bigger than the item you’re shipping. The tighter the fit the less risk of your item sliding around the box and breaking.
- Use high-quality tape or hot glue to keep the box in-tact during transit.
Make sure your fulfillment centers are customer-friendly.
The ability to offer customer pick-up is particularly important in the heavy goods arena, where shipping costs are high, and many buyers are eager to avoid the extra expense. In light of this, keep customer service needs top-of-mind as you choose your large-item fulfillment centers or providers. They should have clean, well-marked and safe loading areas for customers, as well as personnel on hand ready to greet customers and assist them with loading. These centers should also operate during the hours or days of the week that are most convenient for your customers’ work schedules.
Consider package insurance.
Package insurance is an easy way to keep your mind at ease when shipping heavy items. Of course, this insurance will cost a bit more, but the extra expense is almost always worth the risk. You can give your customers the option to purchase insurance for an additional cost at the checkout process. Or, if you’re interested in having all of your packages insured, you can build that cost into your product or shipping rates.
Give some thought to working with a 3PL.
When it comes to warehousing and shipping heavy items consider partnering with a multi-channel fulfillment specialist such as Taylored Services. We’ve got the experience and the know-how to handle all kinds of freight and can offer creative solutions to your shipping challenges.
Taylored Services is a fully integrated third-party logistics provider specializing in wholesale, retail, and direct-to-consumer unit fulfillment. Headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey, they operate 1.5 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space strategically located near the nation’s busiest ports, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, and New York. Since its humble beginnings in 1992, Taylored Services has grown to become a national leader in distribution, fulfillment, and warehousing.