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Archive for May, 2015

How To Make Your Delivery Seamless

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 By: admin

When it comes to accepting a pallet shipment, there is a lot to know.  If you have never done it before it can be quite a lot to learn in a short period of time.  This is a quick recap on what you should be ready for.

Have the Necessary Equipment

Pallets are heavy, and drivers typically won’t unload the pallet off the truck for you without charging a fee.  The reason is because they expect you to have a forklift since pallet shipments are almost 99% business to business and the businesses typically have loading docks and forklifts.  All that is really needed is a forklift.  If you don’t have any equipment at all there are ways to still get the shipment but it becomes a lot messier.  Try to borrow a forklift from a local business if you can.

Be Ready

The truck drivers assume they are delivering to a location where someone is standing watch, waiting for a shipment.  In other words they expect a receiving department with someone waiting there during normal business hours.  For a lot of businesses we ship to this just isn’t reality.  Someone needs to have a heads up that the shipment is coming so they can grab a forklift and be on site.  We can request a courtesy call ahead – but they don’t always call.  We can request an ‘official’ call ahead in which case they have to call, but it will cost you (typically $50-$75).

Track the Shipment

We make it a point to send out tracking info on all our orders.  With pallet shipments, you will know the expected day of delivery and whether it is out for delivery or not, but you won’t know the time or window of arrival.  This can be important if you need to be set up to accept the shipment.  Typically right next to the tracking data is the local terminal’s phone number.  If you track the shipment by phone and tell someone on the line you need more details they can give you an idea if it’s expected to deliver in the morning, afternoon etc.  However this is only after the truck has left for deliveries for the day.

Provide Us With Delivery Site Details

Knowing if we are shipping to a residence, fire station, hospital or standard business can help us determine if you may need extra equipment or a call ahead in order to get the shipment with no issues.  If you have delivery hours it’s important we know them in case a driver shows up outside of delivery hours and has to come back and charge for a re-delivery.  If we are shipping to an army base with a gate that requires a code we would need to know this as well.

Most people are surprised at the cost of traffic safety products.  They assume a traffic cone is $5 and a traffic drum can’t be more than $20.  The reason it’s more than most would imagine is because of the safety standards the products need to meet and the reflective sheeting that needs to be applied.  But the reason for this post is to help you save the most money possible on your next traffic safety purchase.  Here are some tips:

Buy In Bulk

If you purchase a few pallets of product three or more times a year, consider buying all at once.  For one you can negotiate a better price per unit when you buy in larger quantities.  Two, you save a lot on shipping.  For example, if you are shipping twenty traffic cones you will probably pay $4-5 per cone for shipping.  If you purchase one hundred cones it may be closer to $1.50-2 per cone for shipping.

Find The Nearest Manufacturer

Once you know who the nearest manufacturer is, you can begin to search for that brand of product.  A lot of companies (including us) drop ship our goods straight from the manufacturer.  If you are in New York find a northeast manufacturer then go from there.   Otherwise you may end up purchasing from a manufacturer in California and pay the freight cost to bring the product cross-country!

Manage Freight Costs

Freight can be 20% or more of the total cost of your purchase.  Be sure that whoever is shipping your product gets good freight discounts.  If the price seems a bit high and you are part of a big company/organization, there may heavily discounted shipping accounts that you can use.  Ask a higher up about any LTL (pallet shipments) or UPS/FedEx accounts your organization may have.  For us, we get great rates because we ship through the manufacturer’s account and they get large volume discounts.  But when shopping elsewhere, it never hurts to ask around.