Shipping Companies

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Shipping companies, otherwise known as carriers, offer a variety of shipping options to manufacturers/shippers who have products to move. They may serve only local areas, the entire United States, or the entire world. Obviously, this entails a significant level of expertise, lots of expensive equipment, and connections with other companies who can take over when the shipment must go beyond the original service area.

Shipping Services

Some of the services offered by shipping companies are full trailer loads, partial loads (generally call less than load or LTL), distribution of pallets and containers, and technical services. Some companies also offer warehousing which may involve loading and unloading, packing, and logistics. If a load is moving outside the contiguous United States, it may be transferred to another method of shipping such as air or sea freight.

When a shipper/manufacturer needs the services of a carrier, she may contact a freight broker/logistics professional to find the carrier and to negotiate and manage the contracts. This reduces the manufacturer's direct involvement considerably and usually saves the manufacturer money. The services of a freight broker can be especially valuable when there are transfers from one form of shipping to another.

Attributes of a Good Shipping Company

For the manufacturer/shipper, there are two key goals related to every load. The goods must arrive in good condition, and they must arrive on time. A high percentage (over 90 percent) of safe and on-time loads will bring the carrier more business, and, more importantly, a substantial percentage of repeat business. Other factors, such as cost and insurance coverage, are also very important and should be addressed early in any negotiation.


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