Railroad shipping is an attractive option for manufacturers, businesses, retailers, and other large distribution networks that must ship full or half truckloads of goods. With its cost-effectiveness, environmentally friendly profile, and capability to transport large volumes of products, the freight train has long been the backbone of the transportation industry.
To make the most of this shipping method, it’s crucial to ensure that you and your team are implementing the best practices. Here are five mistakes to avoid when shipping items by railroad that could result in lost time, money, or even damaged goods.
Inadequate Insurance Coverage
Many businesses invest in insurance to help manage risks associated with transporting their products. However, having insufficient coverage can spell disaster in the event of an accident, derailment, or other unforeseen incident. When shipping by rail, carefully review your insurance policy to ensure it includes the necessary protection for all potential losses.
Not Properly Securing Loads
One of the major challenges businesses face in the railroad freight process is securing their cargo. If a load is not adequately secured, it can shift during transit, leading to damaged products or potential derailment. To combat this, consider investing in common securing equipment for freight train shipments. Items such as rail car airbags, rail guards, and tie-downs provide essential protection during transportation.
Lack of Communication With the Railroad Company
It’s crucial to maintain open lines of communication with the railroad company to avoid misunderstandings or delays. Share detailed information about your freight, including dimensions, weight, and any special handling instructions. Be proactive in requesting updates on shipping progress and alert the railroad company immediately if there are changes in your shipment requirements.
Neglecting To Plan for Unpredictable Delays
It’s always best to plan ahead and expect the unexpected. Weather-related incidents, accidents, maintenance, or other unexpected delays can impact rail shipments. Mitigate potential delays by allowing extra time in your shipping schedule to accommodate unforeseen hiccups. Be sure to stay informed about rail industry news and developments to better anticipate disruptions to your shipments.
Failing To Leverage Rail Shipping Efficiency
Maximizing the efficiency of your rail shipments provides cost and time-saving benefits. Work with the railroad company to optimize shipping routes and consolidate freights whenever possible. Utilize scheduling tools and software to ensure your products arrive at their destination in a timely manner.
Overlooking Extra Services Offered by Railroad Companies
Many railroad companies provide value-added services to customers at a nominal or no additional charge. These services might include online tracking, expedited shipping, and on-site loading and unloading. Familiarize yourself with the additional services offered by your railroad provider and take advantage of them to maximize the benefits of rail shipping.
Avoiding these common mistakes when shipping items by railroad can save money, maintain the condition of your products, and improve the overall shipping experience. By following these guidelines, your business will be better equipped to navigate the world of rail freight shipping to your benefit.