Shipping large and heavy items is often associated with multiple challenges, from fortified packing materials and more complex weighing and cost estimate processes, to the physical removal and transportation of your products from your warehouse, to your customers’ doors. These challenges can be a pretty big deterrent for brands otherwise eager to scale their businesses globally.
But what can you do? The citizens of the world, your customers, love to buy items online, from retail e-commerce stores based near and far, and have them shipped internationally to their home addresses. Last year, over 11 billion purchases were shipped internationally to the US alone, including large and heavy items. That’s a lot of potential profit ready to line your pockets, so you’d better not miss out on this tremendous sales opportunity.
At Ladingo, we want you to be able to sell big, ship big and scale, so we’ve put together a list of 10 things you should remember when shipping large or heavy items, to make the process as smooth as can be. You’re welcome.
1. Take accurate weight/size readings, or live to regret it
Shipping large and heavy items is already a more costly affair than standard small item shipping, so avoiding any possibility for oversize or overweight surcharges is an absolute business necessity. Be sure to measure and re-measure your items’ dimensions and weight, to ensure they’re as accurate as can be.
2. Insurance is always the best policy
Despite your most valiant packing efforts and meticulous selection of the most reputable courier available for the shipping of large or heavy items, things happen. Pallets are dropped, items break, water damage can occur, etc., all preventing the shipped item from reaching its final destination – the possession of a satisfied customer. And that’s without taking into account the possibility of your export contract not being fulfilled, or you not being paid under it. Taking out proper shipping and export insurance is an absolute must and will save you money and endless frustration in the long-run.
3. Package with care, in case it is handled without
It is your responsibility to ensure that your large or heavy items are packaged to withstand hard knocks, bumps, drops and other careless activities. Use new, reinforced (double-walled) corrugated cartons that are strong enough to withstand the weight of multiple other large or heavy packages stacked on top of them. Fill empty spaces inside the cartons with bubble wrap, styrofoam or other resilient void fill. And make sure every carton has been sealed securely with reinforced water-activated tape, to keep your items in, and everything else out.
4.Shake it so they don’t break it
Test the quality of your packing by giving your carton a little shake once it’s been filled and sealed, to make sure no parts can rattle about and potentially damage other parts of your item during the international shipping process. If you hear any noise, reopen the carton and readjust your void fill, until the only sound you hear when shaking the carton is the serene sound of silence.
5. Palletize goods being shipped together
Pallets save space, keep packages together, prevent cartons from falling over and make transportation far easier. Stack your cartons filled with large and heavy items on a strong pallet and secure them with extra strong strapping. Doing so additionally provides you with the peace of mind that it will be that much harder for forwarders, customs officials and shipping “pirates” to open and rummage through your items.
6. Request tracking information
As a responsible retail e-commerce brand, it is up to you to know where your sold items are through the entire sales and shipping journey, until the large or heavy items are safely transferred to the possession of your (now) satisfied customer. Monitor the progress of your shipment as it makes its way to its final destination, keep abreast of any potential red flags that may indicate a delivery mishap may occur – and prevent it before your customer notices anything’s out of the ordinary.
7. Research couriers before signing on the dotted line
Large and heavy items are more “sensitive” to ship than smaller products. As such, it is even more important than usual to ensure that they are handled with professionalism, timeliness, and care. Before you sign a contract with any single courier, be sure that their services meet your brand’s needs, do not impose restrictions that would prevent your large or heavy items from being shipped and offer you the best value, for the lowest price.
8. Splurge on door-to-door services, it will save you in the long-run
Large and heavy items are well, large and heavy. As such, signing with a courier that won’t ship your items to your customers’ doors could place a heavy weight on your customer satisfaction ratings. Spend a little extra money on a courier that will pick up from your warehouse and transport the items directly to your customers’ homes and you’ll be sure to make your customers happy – and eager to do business with you again in the future.
9. Do your due documentation diligence
Don’t get lost in the sea of customs, duties and other required documentation and risk hefty fines or items being returned. Make sure you have an organized list of the documents you need to fill out – and fill them out carefully before every shipment is picked up. Enough said.
10. Forget #1-9 and contact Ladingo
When shipping large or heavy items, there’s a lot to remember, but you already have so much on your plate. Rather than letting yourself get bogged down by all the nitty gritty shipping details, entrust your large and heavy shipping needs to Ladingo, the first technological solution that enables the simple, straightforward and automated purchase of items to be shipped internationally.
Ladingo’s international shipping solution is enabling e-commerce companies to fulfill international orders, by taking the hassle out of the international shipping of large and heavy items – through container sharing. Ladingo’s innovative platform connects online retailers, ocean forwarders and customers to enable the shipping of purchases of all shapes and sizes in shared containers. The platform knows how to optimally load the containers with existing purchases AND deal with regulations, customs and taxation issues, optimizing cost-effective delivery to travel along the best route and satisfy all parties’ individual needs. In this way, Ladingo is enabling the world of B2C e-commerce to have large and heavy items delivered to their front door, seamlessly and efficiently, so brands can focus on other, more pressing retail e-commerce tasks.
When seeking to ship large and heavy items, all you need to remember is one word: Ladingo.