A few years ago, a high-tech client of a shipper forgot to include several key pieces of a trade show exhibit that was being shipped via container to Asia. The ship was already on the Pacific before the company got the call to try and find a way to get those extra pieces added to the same shipment. The customer wanted to use a helicopter to fly out to the ship with the cargo. Fortunately, using their logistics capability, the firm was able to find an alternative ship leaving port that could take the heavy pieces and deliver them on time without having to worry about paying for airfreight, which would have been quite expensive.
Not all cargo shipments end up in an emergency situation, but when you do have a need for custom shipments or having something expedited, it is nice to remember that you have set up the right shipping partners in advance.
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Here are some things to look for when searching for a solid shipping partner:
As mentioned, being able to bend over backward to handle the needs of a client is a feature that you can find in companies that excel at shipping. One company, Landstar.com, not only has a global network of operators that move merchandise for them, their logistics people have also taken the time to put together a service that encompasses expedited and emergency shipments so that you can plan for that type of help from them when you need it. Expedited shipments that run through services like this give you a choice of trailer type and size, while allowing you to determine how express the shipment needs to be.
While it isn’t hard forfirms to be virtual and assemble a network of operators, you’ll soon find that within the industry there are caveats that you learn about from other people that ship products like you do. One of the more important things to look for therefore is a company that has taken the time to build a network of operators that meet the standards that they have and that you would want. When they do that, you can normally rest assured that whatever the destination, your cargo will arrive safely and on time.
Building partnerships with shippers as you expand your business allows you to focus on the operations side of manufacturing without having to worry about how your product will get to your clients. When you find a company that offers specialized services for emergencies, it is a good sign that they may become a strong partner for you in the future.