Typically, partnering with a freight forwarder makes things quick and simple. But now and then the services provided do not meet the expectations of either the sender or the logistics company. Luckily in most cases, this can be avoided.
You can do a few things to improve outcomes and mitigate the risk of delayed delivery or, even worse, damaged or lost property.
At Wyton Transport, we are a logistics company that has transported goods across western Queensland and the Northern Territory for thousands of customers and is a trusted freight forwarding partner in heavy haulage. But we have seen where things can also go wrong. So here are the top 10 mistakes that you should avoid to help the freight forwarder.
This list is in no particular order. While it is written with road freight forwarding front of mind, it is relevant for sea freight, rail freight and air freight.
Wrong pallet size
Using pallets that are the wrong size is one of the big mistakes and also one of the most common causes of damage to goods. Most companies try to save money in freight forwarding by loading as much as possible onto a pallet. However, pallets are designed to carry certain weights. If you have an overhang, that can compromise the usefulness of having the pallet in the first place.
Overhang on a pallet means that there will be knocking of the goods as the freight forwarders transport it.
Using damaged pallets
Pallets get banged up because they are doing all the heavy lifting. Therefore, you must inspect pallets before you start stacking them. You are looking for loose nails, cracks in the board, missing boards, or some movement in the pallet.
These are all signs that the pallet’s integrity has been compromised, which not only makes it unsafe to transport goods. But, unfortunately, it also makes it dangerous for your freight forwarder.
When using freight forwarding services, the goods must arrive in the same condition as they left. In most cases, this is only achieved when the goods are secured.
The most popular and practical way is to use multi-layer shrink wrap around the whole load, including the pallet. A forklift can easily punch through the wrap when it has to, but wrapping around the pallet adds more stability to the goods.
Inaccurate dimensions to freight forwarders
One of the biggest problems for a freight forwarding company that delivers large and bulky products, such as heavy haulage, is being given the wrong load dimensions. Not only does this delay loading, but it can also affect the route and the resources needed in the move.
There are strict regulations around wide and heavy load movements on Australia’s rural roads and highways. If loads are classified as wide or long, the freight forwarder may need additional warning signs or even an escort vehicle.
There are even greater restrictions on the weight and dimensions of air freight and rail freight, so your measurements to freight forwarders must be accurate, not an estimate.
Not getting insurance
While most freight forwarders, including us at Wyton Transport, have limited liability insurance. You must also have your goods insured to cover any loss or damage. There are risks when transporting goods, so that the right insurance will give you more peace of mind.
ly. Not to mention, if you don’t have the necessary experience in this area, it can also be a bit of a minefield.
Descriptions and classification
Freight forwarding services must get a clean and accurate description of what they are carrying. There are many restrictions on the transportation of hazardous materials. There are limits on what you can put on the road, sea, rail, and air freight.
But it is also a more straightforward reason why you should be clear in your descriptions. Freight forwarders are responsible to their staff and others in the supply chain and need to know what they are carrying.
If there is any doubt, then give your freight forwarder a call.
Always using the same logistics company
There are many ways to move freight, such as by air and sea freight, and there are different options depending on where you want to go and how quickly.
Each freight company does not have all the answers, the best services, or can deliver the best value for its customers on every route and service.
For example, a freight forwarder in Brisbane might collect the goods and then use a third-party sea freight company to get a large container to Melbourne, where another third-party logistics company will deliver the goods to the destination. The freight forwarding company does not have the resources or expertise to do every job.
At Wyton Transport, we are a team of freight forwarders in Brisbane who specialise in delivering equipment and supplies from the east coast of Queensland to regional and remote areas of Queensland, the Northern Territory and as far as Western Australia. These areas have unique challenges for logistics, so it makes sense to use a proven company.
The same goes for sea freight and air freight, which also have unique challenges. You should list several preferred freight forwarding solutions to meet your needs.
Not using specialists
There are many companies with a broad range of logistics expertise. After all, we need professional and specialised logistics for our modern economy to run smoothly.
A mistake that often happens is not using a specialist to transport their goods. There is a freight forwarding service for almost anything available. But companies will use the same company for their paperwork as they do for their computer parts.
They will use domestic transport solutions when it is evident that international freight specialists are necessary.
It would be best to consider not only what’s being sent but where it is going, how it is being shipped and when it has to be there. Sea freight forwarders seem like a good option, but it’s not an opportunity if you have tight deadlines.
At Wtyon Transport, we are a large freight and oversized freight forwarder in Brisbane that services remote and regional areas in western Queensland and Northern Territory. If you need a piece of farming or mining equipment on site on time, then call us to handle the shipping process.
We have regular routes to western Queensland towns, so we are also a preferred freight forwarding service to supply remote communities.
Not using a logistics company with a track record
If this is the first time using a special freight forwarding company, then do your homework. There are always new freight forwarding players coming to the market, both big and small. With contracts and third-party haulage, most can offer a wide range of services and have a wealth of logistic resources.
While this might be true, they also rely on an international network of logistic companies in the supply chain. You might have done your due diligence and chosen a transport specialist, but what happens next can sometimes be out of your hands.
Failure to do the proper paperwork
Most full-service and international freight forwarding companies will handle all the customs brokerage and customs clearance, but the sender also has responsibilities. For example, the sender needs to provide accurate details of where the goods are going, what’s inside and their value.
This is a big logistics challenge for many international freight forwarders.
Wyton Transport requires detailed delivery information, including comprehensive contact details. We need this information because we deliver to regional and remote locations and need someone to accept the delivery when the goods arrive.