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Common Shipping Mistakes: How to Avoid Them?

Mistakes are human, but they could be costly. Mistakes in business could result in lower profitability and even bankruptcy. There are so many mistakes committed in the shipping industry that result in delay in delivery, damage or loss to the freight, or missed opportunity.


The most common freight shipping mistakes are the following:

  • Incorrect address – This is the most common mistake and the one that can easily be avoided. Take your time and make sure to write down the correct address, up to the last detail, on the bill of lading or you will be taking the risk of your freight ending up at the wrong destination.
  • Improper packaging – Not using the right packaging material and procedures is not a minor mistake; it can result in damage to your freight for which the carrier may refuse to pay the damage claim on the grounds of improper packaging. Consult professionals on how to properly package your freight.
  • Inaccurate weight of shipment – Estimating the weight of the shipment when no weighing scale is available could be costly. Carriers will re-weigh the freight in their terminals and may impose additional re-weight fees to your shipping charges. Consider buying a reliable scale to save on unnecessary expenses such as re-weigh charges.
  • Inaccurate freight class – In the freight business, the lower the class, the lower the rate to be charged. Many customers are trying to save some extra bucks by shipping the freight at the lowest class possible. If the classification is incorrect, the mistake will be caught by the carrier and they may impose a re-classification fee on top of your bill.
  • Shipment services – Shipment services may be added to your bill if you do not specify that one is needed at the delivery point. When you do not specify that the shipment will require a lift gate at the delivery terminal, the freight will be returned to the carrier’s terminal and a redelivery will be made with the needed lift gate. Redelivery charges and lift gate charges will be added to your bill.
  • Delivery receipt – The consignee of the freight must inspect the delivery and make note on the delivery receipt for any damages or discrepancy. Failure to do so may not entitle the consignee for any payment of damages.
  • Relying on one carrier – While it is always good to develop loyalty with a carrier, the same carrier may not be in a position to provide you with services that will suit your varying needs. If you are contracted with a carrier for full-truckload shipment, you will have to pay for that rate even if your load is only half-truck. Establish connections with other carriers.