If you’re a company that produces or sells large items or products of unusually large size or heavy weight, you probably need to work with a shipping company that has a fleet of flatbed trucks. The same may be true if you simply need to move materials as part of your operation. However, while the trucking company will handle most of the issues and logistics, you still need to be aware of them. And the first one should be this:
Is the Shipping Company Willing to Assist You?
A good shipping company is willing to assist you and answer your questions. This goes beyond asking about your load, your destination, and your deadline. A good company will give you information about any permits you might need, any problems that your load might incur, the way you’ll have to load your cargo on the truck, and answer your questions. Customer service is important and can help you avoid problems. So, how good is their communication? Do their policies work for your business goals? Evaluate your shipping company like you would with any other supplier.
Loading Cargo on a Flatbed
It may sound obvious, but many companies assume that the shipping company is going to be the one in charge of loading their cargo. That’s not usually the case, as they normally don’t have towing equipment for loading. Even if they do, they usually have it at their branches, which might not be close to where your production plant is.
Another common assumption is that companies think they can drive or load their machinery from their docks. Some assume they can have their employees just push cargo onboard. While it’s sometimes possible to do it, it’s not always the case. More often it requires special equipment like a fork lift or crane. You should talk with the shipping company about the loading procedure before committing to a deal.
The Permits or Licenses You’ll Need
Your products might need federal or state permits or licenses before being transported to their destination, and some permits vary from state to state. If your products are going to be traveling over two or more states, you will have to comply with the rules of each of those states. Getting those permits requires you file paperwork and some may require a period of time while papers are processed. If it’s your first time shipping to a new client or to a new destination, you have to take into account researching, gathering, and submitting the required paperwork and waiting for the authorization.
The Roads You’ll Be Able to Travel
Just because your GPS shows you a direct route to your client’s premises, doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to use that route to deliver your products. Heavy or especially large units might not be able to use some roads due to weight limits or height restrictions. Some don’t permit hazardous materials or wide loads. You don’t want to see your product or machinery crash against a bridge on Youtube because the driver didn’t pay attention to the maximum height of a bridge. Fortunately, a good shipping company like Nationwide will help you plan to avoid these types of issues if you ask.