With every shipment of goods you transport, you could be risking a financial loss. If something were to go wrong you, could potentially lose both the goods and any potential profits associated with them. These four easy-to-follow steps will help protect your shipments, minimizing stress, as well as financial risk, when shipping.
Check Insurance Coverage
While it’s legally mandated that carriers have some amount of insurance, it’s generally a very limited level of coverage, often referred to as Carrier Liability. The Law Dictionary defines carrier liability as follows, “A common carrier is liable for all shipment loss, damage and delay with the exception of that caused by act of God, act of a public enemy, act of a public authority, act of the shipper and the goods’ inherent nature.”
We encourage shippers to always check not only their own insurance coverage, but also the coverage of the carriers used to transport the goods. If you’re moving goods worth nearly $750,000 and the carrier only has insurance coverage for up to $300,000, you could potentially be liable for the difference. That’s not an ideal situation, to say the least.
Use Reputable Carriers
While we understand the desire to use lesser known carriers in order to find the lowest price possible, this is a decision that should be avoided if possible. Different companies maintain different standards of practice. While the cheaper option may seem nice, they could spend less money on maintaining their fleet. If that’s the case, you could be placing additional risks on your shipment or you may compromise deadlines if they have too many maintenance issues. It’s also important that the carrier selected have previously worked with your kind of shipment. If you are shipping a great deal of material that needs to be kept at a certain temperature, some carriers may potentially lack the necessary equipment or trailers to maintain the required temperature.
Know Legal Requirements
Different types of loads have different requirements to be met. For example, some oversized loads may require special government permits, or even escorts. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the federal government does not issue these permits, but rather the states do. If you plan on having your goods traverse across multiple states, you may be required to acquire these additional permits.
Perhaps the best advice is to partner yourself with a third party logistics company, such as SmartWay Transportation. Partnerships with a company such as ours, allows you to focus on sales and manufacturing, while we work to find the best most reliable carriers. We’ve worked tirelessly to form relationships with a variety of different carriers to help keep costs competitive. To learn more about the different areas in which we operate, visit our website or follow us on Facebook.