Freight costs are a necessity for today's manufacturers. Star Trek would have us instantly teleporting across distance and space but until that becomes a reality, we need to rely on planes, trains & automobiles (and occasionally boats) to get materials from suppliers to customers.
With over 60 years of experience in supplying our custom parts to customers throughout North America and across the oceans, we've encountered our share of "faux pas" with shipping. So here are a few things to think about in the pursuit of getting your parts on time, in one piece, at a somewhat reasonable cost.
- Let us know who your favourite carrier is (courier, trucking company, delivery service, Uber...). *Note that you need to consider if it's a heavy item or a large quantity; shipping hundreds of pounds by air is going to increase the cost significantly.
- Do you have an account with your carrier that we should be aware of?
- Avoid the "low-cost" carriers that tend to find "creative" ways to jack-up your price despite their lowest-price quote... and don't get us started about the risk of damage...
- UPS is a very popular carrier but they’re also really big – good luck finding an account manager to talk to if things go wrong. We’ve had a lot of success using Fed-Ex ground.
- Tell us who your contact is for shipping matters. A real person, please...
- We’ll need your Tax ID # if you’re in the U.S. (for Customs purposes).
- How soon do you really need the parts? You can save a lot of $$ by shipping over the course of a few days or picking up tomorrow instead of today.
- Does your facility have a shipping dock or are we delivering to your house? Can you accept a skid? This makes a big difference in the type of truck needed to carry your parts. For example, hand-bombing boxes off of a skid on an 18-wheeler is never fun... *Note that from a damage perspective, shipping multiple parts on a skid has a big advantage over loose boxes (remember Ace Ventura?...)
- Consolidation of multiple orders in one shipment at the same time can offer large savings.
- If you’re Offshore, we recommend working with a Freight Forwarder. One of our favourites is Kintetsu World Express (KWE); they’re totally with it and have all the info on what’s needed, wherever.
- Finally, rest assured that we’ll prepare the customs paperwork for our neighbours to the south so no worries on that side.
OK, so we’ve been a little hard on some of the big carriers but please know that we use many of them daily because they generally get the job done...and we know the ups & downs. The main point is that with just a little preparation in advance, we’ll get your parts to you safe & sound, on-time and at a cost that won’t empty your wallet.