Slide-Lok's Garage Blog

6 Tips To Minimizing Freight Related Problems

5/24/2018

Tips For Minimizing Shipping Problems

The vast majority of our freight shipments are handled without any problems. However, in a very small number of cases, freight can arrive at the customer destination with the wrong items, with damaged items, missing items, or in rare cases, can be completely lost and never show up.

When any of these scenarios happen, it can cause installation delays and installation rescheduling, not to mention expensive re-ship costs, all of which can be very annoying to the end-user / buyer as well our customer who is installing the products for the property owner.

On our end, we do a number of things to help minimize these freight related problems. For starters, we double check all pick packs against sales orders to make sure the right items, and correct number of items, are sent on each shipment. Secondly, we use pallets / skids that are slightly larger than the shipment, so that products do not hang over the edge of the pallet which can expose them to damage when the pallet is being move on and off trucks and thru shipping terminals on their way to their final destination. We also carefully plastic wrap all skids and pallets, to securely hold the products down during shipment. Also, we keep track and monitor which trucking companies seem to have regular problems delivering shipments damage free and eliminate them from our list of approved freight companies. On occasion, customers also have experience with a particular freight company and ask us to avoid using that company, which we gladly do. In additional to these measures, we also select packaging materials that are meant to handle the rigors of shipping, to help avoid and minimize freight damage in transit. For example, our resins are packaged in pails that have thicker millage walls than the industry standard. We also take digital photos of every shipment that leaves our facility, to avoid disputes with trucking companies over the condition of the pallet when it left our facility and where damage to the pallet and goods might have happened. And lastly, we keep tracking information on each shipment, so you and we can keep tabs on orders in transit.

Having said this, there are some things beyond our control and which are within our customers control that can help both of us when freight damage or lost freight happens. When your order shows up at your location:

DO NOT SIGN FOR YOUR SHIPMENT UNTIL YOU'VE DONE THESE 6 THINGS:

  1. You have inspected the shipment for damaged or missing items. When product arrives, take a few minutes to visually inspect the shipment for obvious signs of shipping damage – rips, tears, crushed ends. Also check the shipment against your order. Is anything missing?
  2. Note visible damage & any missing items. If you see any visible damage or missing pieces, note this on the delivery receipt. This is very important. If you do not note damage or missing items on the freight documents when you receive a shipment, it makes it nearly impossible to make the shipper pay the claim for damaged or missing items. Keep a copy of the delivery receipt documents showing these issues were noted, as this will be needed as part of your proof of claim when a freight claim is submitted.
  3. Inspect Damaged Packages. If there is obvious damage to boxes or packages, please take the time to open the box and inspect for damage. Slide-Lok’s packaging is designed to take reasonable amounts of shipping abuse, without damaging the product and not all damaged boxes will result in a damaged product.
  4. Take Photos. If the product is damaged, take photos of the damaged box and of the damaged product to document the damage and promptly email these to us. Also, get a photo of the pallet or skid as it came in, so we have photographic proof of how it arrived. Do this before you unpack the skid. Digital cameras and smart phones are great for this.
  5. Timely Submit Damage Claims. Time is of the essence when reporting any damage or loss to the carrier, or shipper. Please report any damage or lost product to Slide-Lok within 24 hours of delivery. If you wait to report damage, it will be more difficult to get reimbursement from the shipper.
  6. Shipping Times. If you are on a tight schedule and the delivery date of your order is critical, ask us about “LTL Guarantees”. For an extra fee, many shippers will guarantee a delivery date, and if they miss the date, your freight fee will be refunded and freight is on them. In our experience, freight companies do pay extra attention to freight when they know that it is carrying this guarantee. This freight is more likely to show up on time. Also, do not hesitate to reach out to our staff and ask about normal shipping times and place your order to allow for an extra day or two before installation, so a delivery that might run an extra day or two does not cause you to have to reschedule installation with your customer and your install crews.

As always, in the event you do have any damaged, missing, or lost freight, we will work with you and use our influence with the freight company and our freight broker to see that your claims are promptly and appropriately handled. In return, your helping us with the above steps and documentation will greatly help us in our efforts to help you get quick reimbursement and replacement product in the event you have a freight claim.

Keywords: Freight, Shipping, Problems, Damaged, Missing, items

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