6 Strategies to Avoid Delays in Shipments

Everyone hates delays, especially when it comes to shipments. Delayed shipments can cost businesses both time and money. That’s why it’s important to do everything you can to avoid them. Here are seven strategies you can use to avoid delays in your shipments.

Use the Right Packaging

The right packaging not only attracts customers but also keeps the contents of your shipment safe and secure during transit. This means you should avoid using old or damaged packaging, as it is more likely to cause delays.

The first step is ensuring you use the right packaging for your product. If you’re shipping something fragile, ensure it’s well-padded, so it doesn’t break in transit. If you’re shipping something that could leak, ensure it’s properly sealed so it doesn’t make a mess of the box’s contents. Here are the best materials that you can use for shipping:

  • Bubble wrap: Great for protecting delicate items
  • Packing peanuts: Ideal for filling empty spaces and keeping things in place
  • Cardboard boxes: Strong and sturdy, perfect for heavier items
  • Air pillows: Excellent for filling voids and cushioning your product
  • Packing paper: Wrapping items in packing paper helps to keep them clean and free of scratches

Get Your Paperwork in Order

Look at your process and ask if anything could be improved. There’s a greater chance of human error when manually inputting data, which could lead to delays further down the line. Automating your paperwork can help to reduce the risk of errors and improve the efficiency of your shipping process. Here are the benefits of automating your paperwork for shipment:

  • Faster processing: Automated systems can process paperwork faster than manual ones by scanning and inputting data quickly through optical character recognition (OCR).
  • Fewer errors: Automated systems reduce the risk of human error since data is inputted automatically. This means your documents are more likely to be accurate, which will help to avoid delays.
  • Improved efficiency: Automated systems help to streamline your shipping process since all the information is stored in one place. This makes it easier and faster to retrieve, which can help to avoid delays further down the line.

Choose the Right Shipping Method

There are a lot of different shipping methods out there, and not all of them are created equal. Some methods are faster than others, and some are more reliable than others. Do your research to find the shipping method that best meets your needs to avoid delays down the line.

It would help if you considered the following so you can pick the right shipping method:

  • The type of product you’re shipping: Is it fragile? Perishable? Valuable? The answer to this question will help you narrow down your shipping options.
  • The destination of your shipment: Where is it going? Do you need it to arrive quickly? Do you need it to arrive by a certain date?
  • Your budget: How much are you willing to spend on shipping? Keep in mind that faster shipping methods tend to be more expensive.

Ship to the Right Address

This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how often people make this mistake. Make sure you have the correct address for the recipient before you ship your product. If you don’t, it will inevitably cause delays as your shipment gets routed to the wrong place.

Here’s how to properly layout a shipping address to make sure that it’s correct:

  • First and last name of the recipient
  • Address line 1 (Street address or P.O. Box number)
  • Address line 2 (optional) (Suite, apartment, or unit number)
  • City, state, and ZIP code
  • Phone number (optional but recommended)
  • Email address (optional but recommended)

If you’re using a shipping label, ensure all the information is accurate and legible. Instead of handwritten labels, you can create printed address labels using an online label maker. This will help to reduce the risk of errors and make your shipment look more professional.

Use a Reputable Courier Service

When picking a courier service, reputation matters; choose a service with a good track record for reliability so you can be confident your shipment will arrive on time and without any problems. A reputable courier service will also offer features like tracking and insurance to give you peace of mind.

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a courier service:

  • Reviews: Check out online reviews to get an idea of the quality of the service.
  • Tracking: Ensure it offers a tracking service so you can keep an eye on your shipment.
  • Insurance: See if the service offers insurance if your shipment is lost or damaged.
  • Time frame: Find out how long it will take for your shipment to arrive.
  • Cost: Compare the cost of different services to find one that fits your budget.

Consider the Duties and Taxes

When shipping internationally, it’s important to know the duties and taxes that may apply to your shipment. If, for example, you need to send a package to the Philippines, the Bureau of Customs insists that all materials brought into the country are subject to CUD (Customs Duty) and that whoever imports those goods will be held accountable for VAT (Value Added Tax).

It is different for other countries like Qatar, where there’s no VAT, but there is an import duty of 5% on all products brought into the country. So before you send your shipment, be sure to check the duties and taxes that apply to the destination country. You can use a duty calculator to estimate the fees.

Closing Thoughts

Delays during shipment are common. However, you can avoid them together by being proactive and taking preventative measures. The next time you need to ship something important, keep these six strategies in mind so that your item arrives on time—every time.

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