When you run a small business, it’s extremely easy to get caught up in the process of actually selling products to customers. But once a customer has clicked “buy” online, your journey hasn’t come to an end. Sure, you may well have secured a profit, but you’re going to have to actually get the item to them.
Shipping is generally perceived to be a pretty straightforward process. But you do have to draw a few things into consideration when it comes to ensuring that your products are shipped safely and effectively. Here are some areas to focus on.
Shipping potentially dangerous products
You have to pay a lot of attention when it comes to shipping potentially dangerous products. Many of us automatically jump to extremes, thinking of “dangerous products” as knives, biological substances, or controlled drugs and narcotics. A surprising amount of products do fall under the category of “hazardous” or “prohibited” goods. Take lithium batteries as an example.
When it comes to shipping lithium batteries, you need to comply to regulations regarding the packaging that lithium batteries are shipped in. The type of packaging required will be determined by whether the batteries are full regulated, defunct, damaged, defective or even recalled.
So, make sure to check whether any products you are shipping are listed as potentially dangerous and look up rules and regulations surrounding them. Then make sure to abide by these rules and regulations.
Practicing logical loading methods
Many small businesses start out using couriers to transport their products from one place to another. This is logical – it can prove cost effective and these third parties will take the hard work out of your hands. You can either send items via a postal office or they can pick them up from you. Once they’re out of your hands, you needn’t worry about them. The courier will ensure that they get to the recipient in good shape and condition.
However, as your business grows, you’re going to have to start considering taking shipping into your own hands. It’s highly likely that you will begin to receive higher volumes of orders and that you may even get some bulk orders from stockists who want to sell your products in their generalized stores. It could prove a lot less expensive for you to invest in your own truck and hire in-house drivers who can deliver large volumes of items from A to B.
But when doing so, you need to look into loading methods. Items should generally be loaded onto crates or pallets and secured. This will prevent them from breaking during shipping, saving you money and ensuring that customers get what they have ordered when they expect it.
You should also ensure that you load crates or pallets in a logical manner. This prevents them from shifting around during transit, reducing risk of injury from falling items when doors are opened. Common loading methods to look into include standard loading, loading side by side, or pinwheeling.
These are just two areas to focus on when it comes to safe and effective shipping. Make sure to incorporate them into your business’ routine as soon as possible.
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