Logistics and shipping for the small business: What you need to know

Warehouses, containers, lorries and forklifts. These are all things we think of as related to shipping and it’s not wrong.

But oftentimes the small business owner, or even housewife on occasion, needs to ship something larger than a courier parcel. How does one ship these larger consignments if it’s not something you regularly do? Let’s take a look at logistics and shipping for small business.

shipping for small businessDefine your consignment

To figure out how to ship something you first need to define what exactly you are going to be shipping. Most companies consider parcels 5kgs and below to be courier, while anything over 5kgs would be cargo. Once you have established the weight, you must choose the appropriate packaging. Without that, many companies will simply refuse to ship your consignment. What is the right packaging you ask? Well, since that varies greatly from one product to another, there is no way we can cover all of that in this article so instead, we’ll look at some of the most used options. For things like books, video games, clothing, electronics, the humble cardboard box is an excellent choice. Now let’s say you actually have a whole pile of boxes? Well, then you may need a pallet! Pallets come in standard sizes so all you have to determine is the height of the goods once packed on the pallet. National Pallets have all the info you might need on this matter and can also offer a free quote to get you started.

Wrap it up

For some unique items boxes simply won’t do. In the case of musical instruments specialized cases with padding will be necessary to ensure they aren’t damaged in transportation. Pianos, especially grand pianos need special wrapping to avoid scratches to their beautifully polished finish and if they are shipping out of the country they may even need a special crate. It’s best to contact experts in this type of moving to avoid any costly mishaps. The same can be said for artwork and sculptures. Depending on the medium, different specialized packing may be required. Some may even be temperature sensitive so be sure to check that the service you are using is aware of that. And always take insurance! Always!

Shop around

Unless you are shipping something very unique that requires specialized knowledge and skills, shop around at different companies. Measure your consignment for its dimensions, weigh it, and take those figures to a few different companies. It doesn’t hurt to look for more cost-effective options. However, you should remember that the largest majority of insurance claims on shipped items occur because of damage in transit. So the cheapest may not always be the best. Read up on reviews for the company and compare the fine print. At the end of the day, it pays to do your research!

Bubblewrap, newspaper, packing peanuts, sawdust, cardboard boxes and even pallets! So many options to shipping for small business. Enough to find exactly what you are looking for to suit your needs and your pocket!