Choosing the freight shipping company that will help you get your goods where they need to go is a big decision. After all, you’re choosing a partner that will help your business succeed, and making the wrong decision can have a serious impact on your ability to operate your business and get your goods where they need to go.
Before you start the process of selecting a shipping company, it helps to ask yourself some questions:
- What are you shipping? Are you shipping furniture, office equipment, or other special items?
- Where is your shipment going? Do you need local, interstate, or international service?
- What kind of service do you need? Will you ever require expedited or emergency services? Do you need indoor pickup and delivery? Are you shipping fragile, valuable, oversized, or hazardous materials?
- What tools do you have at your disposal? Do you have access to a loading dock, forklift, or other equipment?
- How big is your shipment? How much does it weigh?
- Do you need packing services? Will items need to be crated or palletized?
Some shippers are only capable of shipping certain things, or can only provide certain services. Having the answers to these questions before you start the process can save you a lot of time and trouble by helping you weed out the companies that lack the flexibility or expertise to handle your shipping needs.
What To Look For in a Shipping Company
Once you have an understanding of your needs, you can start reaching out to potential freight shipping providers. Here’s what you should look for:
Can they make multiple types of shipments?
You may typically only ship one type of item, but what happens when you need to ship something different? When you’re looking for a freight shipping provider, look for a company that can accommodate these changes and handle multiple types of shipments. In addition to ensuring that you can arrange any shipment with minimal disruption, this flexibility also signals that a potential freight shipping partner will be able to accommodate your business’s growth over time.
|PRO TIP: If you make regular shipments, the best freight shipping companies should be able to learn your shipping needs and schedule a new delivery or pick up in as little as a single email.|
Do they have the experience to handle your shipment?
It’s important to work with a freight shipping company that has the experience and expertise to handle your deliveries, especially if you regularly ship high-value or fragile things like artwork or medical equipment. When you’re speaking to a potential shipper, ask whether they’ve shipped anything similar before. It’s also a good idea to search for reviews from other customers who have shipped items similar to yours.
Can they provide the service you need?
If you need packing or loading services, access to holding facilities where you can store your shipment till you’re ready to receive, or your shipments require other special considerations, don’t let a poor fit sell you if they can’t provide the service you need, and don’t compromise just to get a lower price.
Do they offer insurance?
Always ask about additional insurance when speaking to a potential shipping company. If they are unable to provide information about insurance options, this is a serious red flag. You should also ask what happens if your shipment is damaged to find out what their procedures are for dealing with these situations. A qualified shipping company will be able to clearly outline the process.
Can you track your shipment?
Transparency is key. Ask whether you’ll be able to track your shipment, and get details on how the company will update you about delays or other problems.
Is the company registered and licensed?
Make sure the freight shipping company you’re looking at is registered to operate in the state in which it delivers.
Ask Us How TSI Can Help Your Business
TSI specializes in shipping things that other companies can’t or won’t transport. Whether you’re shipping a few boxes you packed yourself or your shipment needs special care, we can help get your goods where they need to go.