5 Shipping Mistakes -- how to avoid them
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Posted by: Rhette Baughman
Shipping should be as simple and seamless as possible. This advice from UPS's shipping experts will help you avoid these most common mistakes.
Mistake No. 1: Selecting the wrong service.
Customers often choose UPS because of our delivery guarantees and superior tracking capability. But even with those advantages, shipping managers must still make daily decisions on balancing customer service against cost. Though UPS offers more domestic shipping options than anyone, when there’s doubt about which service to use, our advice is "trade up." It's virtually impossible to have a package arrive too early, and it's not worth the worry to discover that the urgency is greater than initially thought. Use our Calculate Time and Cost Function to help determine which service is right for you.
If you're shipping multiple items, Christopher Tidball, of the UPS Freight Group, says UPS Ground with Freight Pricing can assess for you the best deal. "If you have a few boxes on a pallet, sometimes it's more inexpensive to go with the small package service," he says. "That way, you won't pay for the weight of the pallet, and we pass those savings on."
Mistake No. 2: Needless address corrections.
If a package has an incorrect or incomplete address, or if it's identified incorrectly as destined for a residential or commercial destination, an address correction charge may be applied. Such charges, however, are generally needless.
"In UPS WorldShip®, and our other major shipping systems (UPS CampusShip® and UPS Internet Shipping), users may utilize the Address Book Editor and/or Validate Address functions. These check that the city, state, and postal/ZIP code are a valid combination," says Kimberly Hartley of UPS. "Shippers can also use the Classify Addresses function to identify the address as residential or commercial."
Mistake No. 3: Improper packaging.
The UPS Package Lab staffs a team of engineers devoted full time to damage prevention, packaging sustainability and custom solutions. "You must consider three things," says Quint Marini of the UPS Package Lab. "The material of the box and its contents, the environment the package will ship through, and rightsizing the packaging."
Sustainability, says Marini, is paramount, but caution must be exercised. "One-hundred percent recycled cardboard, for example, may work, depending what you're sending and where, but it isn't always the best solution since it degrades rapidly," he says. "Cornstarch peanuts may be fine, unless you're going to send them into Florida during hurricane season – you'll have a puddle of goo."
To learn about custom packaging solutions, contact your UPS account executive, consult the UPS Package Advisor or our packing experts at The UPS Store®. To learn more about green packaging, visit UPS's Eco Responsible Packaging Program.
Mistake No. 4: Not making use of support resources.
UPS offers an amazing array of materials on ups.com, from shipping system user manuals to FAQs – all of which provide easy-to-find, user-friendly information. The searchable Support page is the ideal place to start, with commonly asked questions and answers, as well as a listing of shipping, tracking and billing topics. And, for technology-specific issues, the Technology Support page will get you well on your way to a solution. So, if you have a question, the support section should be your first stop.
Mistake No. 5: Failing to get UPS help with international services.
delays, compliance issues and international laws and regulations can be
incredibly frustrating when you're shipping internationally. That's why
we built UPS TradeAbility® – to help you manage the movement of goods
internationally, for import, export or both. This free suite of
up-to-date information-based services gives you access to harmonized
tariff codes, landed cost estimates, up-to-date regulations, licensing
information, watch lists, and forms. You can also store your export
commodity information in our online product catalog or even integrate
TradeAbility services into your website or backend systems.In
addition, when it comes to smoothly negotiating the Customs labyrinth,
UPS Paperless® Invoice eliminates the need for paper commercial invoices
by integrating order and shipment processing, and transmitting
commercial invoice data to enable clearance by Customs offices across
the globe – streamlining your processes and eliminating the possibility