Shipping, even regularly, comes with its own sets of challenges. RIght from choosing the carrier to back calculating the dispatch date. There are innumerable things that can go wrong when shipping regular items. We clearly understand the problems you face while shipping heavy weight items. Even if you are planning to ship in bulk or ship regularly, there are things that can go wrong. Heavy weight shipments come with very peculiar problems. We have witnessed many online sellers panic when sending out heavy shipments.
Our experience with assisting heavy shipments has taught us a thing or two about it. Here are 7 tips you can use to ship heavy items. We are quite sure these tips will make your life really easy. You can thank us later!
Understand your shipment:
The most common mistake consignors make is that they cannot distinguish between large, heavy and overweight consignments. This is the most common reason for a shipment to be blocked or delayed. It becomes critical to understand the difference. What makes it more confusing is that each carrier has a different definition of the three. Make sure you go through the terms of the chosen carrier to understand which category your shipment falls under.
Note the prerequisites for a quote:
There are a few parameters that you would need before you can get a quote from your chosen carriers. The common ones are:
Weight of item
Dimensions of the item
Where you're shipping from, and where you're shipping to
When you want the item to be delivered.
Usually this information is sufficient to get you an almost accurate quote from the carrier. Some carriers may require other information like customs clearance requirements, etc and other services in case of shipping between countries.
Now that you have all the information you require to get a quote, the actual process of getting a quote is quite easy. Most carriers and aggregators have the rate cards published on their websites. You can compare your information with the information displayed on the website to arrive at the quote. Through our experience we have noticed that the rates for many carriers are quite dynamic.
It is always a good idea to call the aggregators and discuss with the sales managers your requirements and get a personalised quote. This way you leave no space for discrepancies while shipping and you avoid yet another issue while shipping heavy items
Categorise your item:
Not all carriers ship all items. Transporting liquids and gases is a completely different task and does not fall under heavy items. Carriers have a list of dangerous goods and potentially restricted goods that may have different terms and conditions for shipping. You should be aware of these terms well in advance. Once again, we would advise you to talk to sales managers or customer service to get all your doubts cleared. This will help you avoid some serious customs issues while shipping overseas
Insure your item:
When working with reputed carriers or aggregators, damage or loss is quite rare. But that does not mean that you do not insure your shipment. Even if it is a rare occurrence it may happen to you. Usually heavy items are expensive goods. It becomes more important that you insure your goods if they are fragile. But you again need to check the terms of the insurance company you choose. Carriers do provide insurance but it is a one-size-fits-all insurance. We recommend you get insurance that is specially made for your goods. Connect with an insurance company that specialises in insurance for your goods and understand the terms from them.
Apart from this, note that many carriers do not insure precious stones. Insurance of precious cargo is a separate concern and you need to talk to logistics companies that specialise in precious cargo transportation and insurance. Many logistics companies also have a cap on insurance for high value items like antiques and artworks.
Packing tips for heavy items:
It is obvious that heavy items need more careful packing than the regular items. Being bulky you need to take into account the damage that may be caused due being dropped, temperature changes, squeezed into tight spaces, and pressure drops. Surprisingly these damages are more common than you think. Here are a few simple things you can do to ensure you secure your heavy items for the long journey:
As far as possible avoid cardboard boxes. Use strongly constructed boxes with sides that are nailed or stapled. Avoid sides that are glued because the glue can come off easily in moisture
We recommend using new boxes instead of reusing old ones since the strength needs to be intact for the protection of the item inside. The box should be able to carry the weight of the item.
Using heavy duty tapes for sealing the boxes is always a good idea. Use multiple strips of the tape to secure the corners and edges.
Cushion the goods well before putting them in the box. You can use engineered foam and corrugated cardboard for protecting the items from damage. Avoid crumpled paper as cushion because they flatten easily under the weight of the goods itself and will serve no purpose
Preferably use double packing. Slide the packed box into a larger box and fill the empty space in between with foam.
Do not overstuff:
There is a certain weight that a box can carry. Even with double packing, the weight carrying capacity of the box may increase but then it will lose its purpose.
We understand, shipping heavy items is a herculean task. But it need not be. These simple steps will make it your shipping process more organised and in turn avoid extra efforts on your end.