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Ten common logistics mistakes and how to avoid them

Given the high intensity and volume of activities, each logistics system, as well as the process, is accompanied by many errors - in transportation, storage, inventory management. In logistics systems, mistakes are still not given enough attention. Research shows that mistakes are most often an additional cost. However, errors in distribution centers can cause customer's dissatisfaction and complaints. Warehouse errors relate to errors in the process of picking up and handling goods (surplus/shortfall in delivery, replacement of goods, damage to goods, etc.), but also to poor inventory management (expiration of time, product spoilage, write-offs, etc.). Failures of the transport system, on the other hand, are caused by delays in delivery, damage and loss of goods in the transportation process itself.

With the increasing demand of companies operating worldwide, it is essential to provide ways to ensure smooth international trade. International freight forwarding is a sophisticated service with many different regulations, security and countless entities involved in the goods transport from one point to another.

If you've ever shipped goods abroad, you certainly know the feeling of anxiety as you wait for your cargo to arrive at your desired destination. When transporting cargo, it is necessary to properly plan and execute all tasks. Otherwise, many things can go in the wrong direction very quickly.

Logistics is the process of seeking to create the conditions for coordinating all activities within the supply chain, from origin to destination. The purpose of logistics is to create a competitive advantage through optimal investment and value for money and consumer services.

Many logistics operators offer their logistics services, tailoring themselves to the end-user and meeting their needs as much as possible while ensuring customer confidence and sustainable cooperation in the future. Logistics operators have become critical entities in logistics processes. Together with other participants in the logistics chain, they can ensure the optimal flow of goods, cash, and information flows.

Whether you are sending one container per month or ten containers per week, it is essential to be aware of common mistakes that may occur when communicating and working with freight forwarding services.

The goal of each freight forwarder is to expand the business and increase profits. However, it takes a lot of effort to achieve it. One part is to avoid some basic mistakes that could prevent your business from progressing. In this post, we will outline the main things to avoid to grow your business.

Daily cargo transportation requires proper execution. The following mistakes lead to unwanted and unnecessary organizational costs and headaches. The list below can help you diagnose your business and determine what aspects of it still need improvement to be successful in the logistics market.

A lot of things can happen even when the load is in transit. It’s always important to take the time to plan and prepare so everything can go smoothly. Here are some of the most common shipping mistakes:

Improper packaging

One of the leading causes of damage (and associated costs) is cargo packaging errors. When packing cargo, always use fixing and sheeting to protect the load. Always pack and wrap the goods according to the nature of the items. For example, sensitive machines or glass require a specific type of packaging. Be sure to take additional steps to protect the product from damage and to make it easier for the freight forwarder to handle and store the goods.

Follow best practices for packaging and securing pallets, cartons and crates. To protect the products from harsh transport conditions, use enough cushioning material for stability and linings and ensure the packaging with the most suitable material (straps, laces). When the shipment arrives at your destination, inspect it as soon as possible for damage and notify your shipping partner immediately.

Whether you ship machines or electronic devices, always keep in mind that the packaging you choose is essential. Choose the right protection to save time and money and to ensure your cargo arrives at your destination in its entirety and without damage. Incorrectly packed cargo leads to a higher likelihood of damage to the shipment. Avoid unnecessary costs and be sure to consult a packing professional.

Weighing cargo inaccurately

If you don’t state the correct weight classification of the shipment, an additional cost may be an undesirable result.

Some organizations do not have the proper equipment to weigh cargo, which leads to estimated weights. Carriers have certified scales at the terminals and will re-weigh the shipment and charge a fee if the original estimate is incorrect.

As a customer, you don't need to estimate how much the package or postage will cost you. The freights forwarding service should give you the correct shipping cost, which can help you plan your budget. Cost calculators are also available online and can help you determine your costs.

Inadequate suppliers

Most freight forwarders cannot accept all of their customers' requirements. This is an indication that outsourcing should be applied. Outsourcing is the strategic use of an external partner to carry out activities entrusted to internal staff and resources.

Choosing the wrong supplier can cause a problem for the company even when the fault that occurred was not your fault. Clients contacted you for a reason and believed that you had only trusted partners. To avoid situations like this, analyze how well your vendors handle business operations and consider changing the ones you think might do a better job. Hubbig's innovative platform only releases proven partners who make quality transportation, so you can rest assured that your goods will be in safe hands!

Choosing the wrong freight forwarder

One common mistake is choosing the wrong freight forwarder. If you choose a shipper who is not suited for the task, the chances to experience the problem are much more significant. There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a freight forwarder.

The freight forwarder must be familiar with the pickup and delivery areas as well as the shipper’s track record and have sufficient experience. The freight forwarder acts as an expert in supply chain management and contracts the transport of goods with ships, aircraft, trucks and rail.

Before selecting a freight forwarder, always check the ratings, reviews and customer experiences. International freight forwarding requires additional expertise in the preparation and processing of customs and other documentation and the handling of international shipments. If you want to be successful, hire a freight forwarder who is well versed in the regulations and laws of exporting/importing countries and who will know what to do if things go wrong.

Poor time management

Like all other things in life, time is crucial for international delivery. Shipping time estimates can be deceptive and is a common mistake, especially among smaller companies.

Let's say you need to ship your goods quickly. Then ask for an offer and find out that the shipping time is more than two weeks. If you promised the goods would arrive sooner, this would create a severe problem.

Generally speaking, if you want goods to arrive at your destination faster, send them by air. Air transportation is more expensive, but it is the fastest and probably the safest way to ship goods. Also, it is ideal for shipping small and medium-sized items. Larger loads take longer to transport, so shipping is much safer by sea transport.

Researching the shipment time of a freight forwarder is a crucial step to take if you're working with a cheaper freight forwarder. After a short survey, you will see how many days it will take to import and export your goods to specific destinations. For more accurate details, it is undoubtedly best to contact a reliable logistics forwarder.

Another way to avoid misplaced resource calculations is to get the shipping cost within one month from the date of shipment. Shipping prices are continually changing from month to month. Prepare the goods and details for shipping and request a tariff at least 30 days before scheduled shipment.

Unsecured goods

There are two types of transport insurance: liability insurance (owned by the carrier-freight forwarder) and cargo insurance (owned by the owner of the goods). Stolen or damaged products are a common scenario. During transport, goods are in constant danger and exposed to various types of risks - from natural forces, technical defects or defects to human errors that are the product of ignorance, negligence or carelessness.

Most freight forwarding services have insurance. Discuss insurance with your freight forwarding company and clarify the terms of the contract. Also, it is essential to mention the type of goods included in the transportation and insurance and any other special provisions of the insurance policy offered.

Improperly completed paperwork

Filling out your paperwork improperly can lead to a significant disaster. For example, filling in the wrong information on a bill of lading can cost you dearly. A double-check of information before submission of documents should be mandatory. Always check and confirm your information to eliminate any miscommunication and additional costs.

All relevant documents must be prepared when the cargo is ready for a pickup. Failure to do so may result in wasted valuable time. In the transportation industry, time is money, and any lost money will have a harmful effect on meeting a deadline that can have negative consequences.

Partnering with the Hubbig digital platform will help you reduce the risk of late document preparation, but also generate greater efficiency by switching to digital storage and digital data transfer.

Choosing the cheapest fee

This is one of the most common mistakes. For example, you own a company that needs to ship many goods as soon as possible and make a significant profit. Then you decide to find a freight forwarder at the lowest possible price. In situations like this, keep in mind that price is not the only reason to consider when choosing a logistics company. In most cases, the freight forwarder strives to provide the best logistics services at the best price. Choosing the company with the cheapest shipping rates can be a lot more expensive if the shipment is delayed, lost, damaged or kept at customs.

One way to confirm a company’s experience in the freight forwarding business is to find out their rating in the industry. The big difference is the business performance of a one-year-old company and an experienced logistics company that has operated for decades. However, make sure that the company is performing well. Longer competitiveness in the market does not mean excellent service.

Failing to track your shipment and delivery schedule

The best and most reliable freight forwarders usually provide their customers with secure tracking options. This is one of the ways to make sure your cargo arrives on time. By monitoring and recording the shipment, you can alert your freight forwarder of any issues.

Although delivery schedules can help you determine when your package will arrive, these schedules are never a guarantee and you should never rely on them entirely. You can ask the carrier for a guarantee to ensure that the goods arrive on time, but you should never assume that the expected delivery date is always possible.

Ignoring staff development

When it comes to potential mistakes, the human factor is often the critical point in the business of almost every company. Improving their mental and physical capacity could lead to an improvement in the performance of the entire organization.

The logistics market is continually evolving. To be successful in this sector, it is crucial to keep employees informed and educated about new strategies and available equipment.

Employees are our most valuable asset. It takes a lot less time to motivate and hire existing employees than to find new employees. Do not neglect their development needs and devote some time and resources to training and staff development.

Some of the causes of reduced employee productivity and fatigue are poor work organization, inappropriate workplace, long and intense work, lack of motivation for work and poor interpersonal relationships. These lead to harmful attitudes towards work and poor work performance. A possible significant improvement in work efficiency would be a change in activity, which requires additional training for the employee. But, at the same time, training enhances employee’s knowledge and ability to work in different conditions and places.

Ignoring these essential factors in the freight logistics company can lead to significant delays.

The organization of goods transportation is one of the essential parts of managing a commercial business. Careless packing and weighing of products, selecting the wrong supplier and freight forwarder, unsecured goods, delivery and shipment tracking time, improperly completed paperwork and choosing the cheapest service are some of the most common mistakes that can happen in this business. Logistics operators are aware of the constant changes in international regulations and the work of certified international freight forwarders, so it is easier to avoid mistakes, pitfalls and risks that may arise at any time.

When choosing a freight forwarding provider, make your priorities clear. Keep in mind your budget, timing and any regulations regarding freight transportation. To secure the shipment efficiency and legality, it is best to seek professional logistical assistance that will give you with the highest quality standards.

Now that you are aware of some of the most common shipping errors that occur when shipping, try to avoid them as successfully as possible.

If you are concerned about any of these delivery issues, with the innovation, specialist knowledge and competitive pricing, Hubbig is ready to help and answer any questions you may have. Most of these mistakes can be easily avoided if you seek help. Even the slightest mistake or delay can cost you dearly, so contact us today!


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