Become an Expert Shipper and Save Money While Doing It

We recognize these are very hard times for many people.  Our hearts go out to you.  We can’t imagine how you must be feeling. We are doing our very best to provide reliable service under unusual circumstances, and hope our world can get back on its feet as soon as possible.

Becoming More Productive

Just running the day-to-day affairs of a business can be exhausting enough, let alone having to deal with the extra demands of shipping.

  • Are you overpaying?
  • Are you getting everything out of your current carrier?
  • What are the locations that I need to ship to this week?

These are just some of the extra pressures that go along with shipping.  As the premier company specializing in packing and crating, we would like to share the following ways to increase your business’ shipping productivity.

Get Quotes

Regardless of where or what you are shipping, be sure to get quotes, so that you understand the shipping process and what that shipment is going to cost.  With so much business being done online nowadays, the length of time that you will have to wait for a quote from any carrier should be very short or almost instantaneous.  If this is not the case, you may want to think about looking elsewhere for your shipping needs – the adage ‘time is money’ applies in this case.

Reduce Paper

By going online, you will not only be reducing paper, you are also shrinking your business’ global footprint. Digital paperwork will also expedite the amount you are spending filling out time consuming bills of lading and other necessary shipping paperwork.

Try to find a company that uses an automated internal system that takes care of all paperwork.  This will drastically speed up the shipping process, including reorders and repeat customers.

Track It

Being a responsible business owner means managing the aspects of your shipping from the time it leaves your dock or front door until it safely arrives at its destination.  Again, try to find a company that uses an automated shipping system, so that checking the status of your shipment is as easy as logging on.

Go with the Pros

By using a company that understands your business’ shipping needs, you will increase your productivity by reducing the amount of time spent.  At Cratex, we have been in the shipping business for over 30 years and use a state-of-the-art internal computer network to track and store your shipping information.

By employing these simple solutions to your business’ needs, you should be able to streamline your shipping department, while cutting down on time and thus reducing stress while increasing productivity.

If you would like other ways to increase your business’ productivity or would like to know more about our various shipping services, such as our custom crating and packing, please contact us today.

Properly Packing For Shipping

It is important to keep in mind that a carrier’s job is to move your freight from A to B, not to prepare it for shipment.  It is up to you to ensure that your freight is properly prepared and packed if you want your goods to arrive at their destination undamaged. Here are some tips on how to pack your freight regardless of whether your goods are being shipped across town or via multiple transloading methods.

The Right Packaging Materials

Using quality packing materials is essential if you want your freight to arrive undamaged.  Make sure to use:

  • Quality Boxes.
  • Quality Pallets.
  • Quality Wood for your Crates.
  • Quality Shrink Wrap.
  • Quality Tape.

Packing Boxes

The first line of defense is the box that you are using to pack your goods. Use many small boxes rather than a few large boxes.  When you are packing your goods, make sure that all your boxes are full and there is no empty space.  Space will allow your boxes to collapse and your items may get crushed or damaged.

If there is extra room use packing peanuts, bubble wrap or even newspaper to take up the extra volume.  Make sure to use enough quality tape to seal each box so that the box will not tear open when being shipped.

Properly Stack Your Freight

Once you have packed all your freight into the desired boxes, it is time to pack them on the pallet.

Here’s the Deal:

Always use a pallet to stack your freight.  A pallet provides a stable and sturdy base that will keep your freight off the floor, away from water.  A pallet is also easy to move if you are transloading your freight.

When stacking your boxes, ensure that your boxes are stacked evenly and that the weight of each pallet is evenly distributed.  Stack all the heavier items at the bottom and lighter boxes on top to prevent any of your boxes from being crushed.  Make sure that no boxes overhang or jut out from the pallet as these boxes will be damaged or may dislodge making your pallet unstable.

Protecting Goods Inside a Wooden Crate

The best way to protect your goods for shipping is to secure it inside a well-made wooden crate. Unless it’s too small or too large for a crate it should be packed in one for protection during transit. And goods need to be secured inside the crate, so they don’t move around if the crate is not handled carefully.

The Final Touches

A well stacked pallet should not be the end of your freight packaging.  A few final touches will really set your freight apart and ensure a safe and undamaged arrival at its destination.

  • Applying a layer of flat cardboard every few boxes can help solidify and strengthen your freight pallet and ensure that the boxes that you are stacking remain even and aligned.
  • Cardboard corner beads are a great way to add an extra layer of strength to your freight.
  • Shrink wrap your pallet. Make sure to add at least 3-5 wraps of quality shrink wrap. Twist the wrap to add strength and do not wrap the bottom of the pallet as it will interfere with the forklift tilt.
  • As mentioned above, most goods should be secured inside a well-made wooden crate.

These tips will ensure that your freight is ready to be shipped and you can rest assured that your goods will arrive undamaged.  If you would like more information on how to properly pack your freight or the shipping options that we can provide, please contact us today.

 Common Pallet Mistakes to Avoid

Regardless of whether you are shipping freight nationally, internationally or just across town, chances are you are going to need to use pallets.  Both experienced and inexperienced shippers can make costly errors when using pallets.  As your premier shipping and crating company, we would like to discuss the three most common pallet shipping mistakes and provide tips on how your company can avoid them.

Choosing the Wrong Pallet

The right pallet can make all the difference when it comes to protecting your freight and preventing it from slipping or shifting during its journey.

  • Avoid pallets that are slick or plastic unless you specifically need such a pallet for your goods.
  • Prior to loading your freight, inspect each pallet to ensure that the ones you are using are sturdy and undamaged.
  • Choose a pallet that is the right size for your freight. The standard pallet size is 48” by 40” and can hold up to 4600 lbs.

Improper Preparation

Once you have the right pallet for your shipping needs, the next step is to properly pack and prepare your freight, so that it will arrive at its destination in the same shape that it left your warehouse.  Pay attention to these common mistakes when preparing your freight for pallet shipping.

  • Top heavy freight. Pack all your heavy freight on the bottom of your pallet.  This will not only stabilize your pallet, it will also prevent the heavier items from crushing and damaging lighter or more fragile goods.
  • Poor shrink wrapping. Shrink wrapping is one of the best ways to stabilize a pallet – if it is done properly.  To shrink wrap your pallet, wrap the entire pallet a full 5 times from top to bottom.  You will want to create one stable and secure unit.  If you are shipping fragile items, ensure that nothing is stacked on top of the pallet.
  • Not properly strapping your pallet. To get a secure and stable pallet, it is important to use straps as well as shrink wrap.  Make sure that the straps are tightened and go through the bottom space or opening of the pallet.

No Documentation

A stable and secure pallet load is not going anywhere without proper labeling and documentation.  These important papers will let the shipping company know the nature of the goods as well as where they are going and how they are going to get there.  Be sure that all proper documentation is securely attached to the outside of your pallet.

These helpful tips should help you avoid common and costly pallet shipping mistakes.  If would like more information on pallet shipping or would like to see how we can assist you with your shipping, packing and crating needs, please contact us today.

Shrink-Wrapping

Regardless of what you are shipping or where you are shipping it to, as a business owner, your main concern is that it arrives on time and undamaged.  Unforeseen losses can lead to unhappy customers as well as extra paperwork and insurance claims.

One of the best ways to provide an extra layer of protection against damage is by shrink-wrapping your freight.  As your premier packing and crating company for all your industrial shipping needs, here are some reasons to use shrink-wrap to protect your freight.

Custom Protection

Perhaps the most important reason to use shrink-wrap when you are shipping freight is that it not only provides protection, it provides custom protection.  That means that regardless of the shape or size of your freight, you are guaranteed to protect every square inch of that item because of the malleability of shrink-wrap.

Not only does shrink-wrap protect goods from the regular wear and tear of bumps and bruises, it also will protect your freight from shipping hazards such as:

  • Corrosion from ocean spray if you are shipping materials overseas.
  • Protection from condensation and humidity.
  • Road grime and other environmental hazards.

Extra Support

One of the added bonuses of using shrink-wrap to protect your freight is that it provides an extra layer of support for each pallet.  This extra support will ensure that your freight doesn’t tip or shift when it is being loaded or offloaded – saving you both time and unnecessary freight damage.

Here’s the deal:

A stable and well-balanced pallet is key to guaranteeing that your freight arrives on time to its destination because over its shipping journey, it will be loaded and unloaded multiple times.

Extra Piece of Mind

Full customer satisfaction is the end goal of any business and by using shrink-wrap to protect your freight, you can be assured that your goods will arrive in the same condition that they left your warehouse.  This extra piece of mind will allow you to put more energy and time into growing your business, securing more customers and less time filling in insurance claims or problem-solving freight issues.

By adding the extra layer of shrink-wrap to your freight, you are not only protecting your material from environmental damage, you are also adding an extra layer of support to each pallet you ship.  The ability to customize your freight’s protection can be a huge game-changer and add a piece of mind to even the most difficult or oversized shipments.

If you would like to see how shrink-wrapping can protect your shipments or are interested in some of our shipping products and services, please contact us today.

Shipping Heavy Items

Regardless of what you are shipping, challenges are sure to arise.  These challenges can become magnified if you need to pack and ship heavy items.  As the premier company for all your industrial packing and crating needs, here are some tips on how to pack and ship your heavy items to prevent any surprises and ensure that they arrive undamaged.

Know the Risks/Challenges

Heavy and cumbersome items come with their own set of risks.  By knowing and understanding these risks, you can better prepare, pack and ship your freight knowing that it will reach its destination in the same condition it left your warehouse.  Some of the risks associated with heavy items include:

  • Being dropped.
  • Shifting in its box when being moved or from vibrations in trucks or conveyor belts.
  • Compression due to poor stacking or over packing boxes or crates.
  • Drastic changes in humidity or temperature.

When preparing your heavy items for shipping, be sure to consider these risks and prepare your shipment accordingly.

Choose the Right Materials

When you are packing your heavy items for shipping, be sure to choose the right materials.  Any solid shipment starts with the right type of pallet. Choose an undamaged and sturdy pallet that can be lifted multiple times, stacked and repositioned.

If you are building crates, use only undamaged wood that will hold together for the duration of the shipment.

Secure your Freight

Secure freight is undamaged freight.  After loading your heavy items on a pallet, be sure to secure them with durable shrink wrap.  This will ensure that your freight doesn’t shift or tip when it is being loaded, unloaded or transloaded.

Another great way to prevent any type of shifting during shipment is to fill all empty space with packing material.  The type of item that you are shipping will dictate what type of packing material to use.

Here’s the deal:

Always choose to over pack and over secure your heavy items.  The last thing you want is unhappy customers because of improperly packed or secured freight.     

Choose the Right Shipper

When it comes down to choosing a carrier, always pick one that can accommodate the needs of your freight.  Heavy or cumbersome items present a whole new set of challenges and you will need your shipping company to be able to meet the challenges and ensure that your freight is handled properly at all stages of the shipping process.

At Cratex, we have the experience and understanding of shipping a wide array of heavy and cumbersome items and use the latest technology and machinery to get your freight where it needs to go on time and undamaged.  We have decades of expertise and a friendly, reliable and knowledgeable staff who can help you with all your shipping needs.

The next time you need to ship your heavy freight, give us a call.  We would love to be a part of your shipping network and look forward to working with you soon.

How to Avoid Extra Charges on ShippingVancouver transloading

Regardless of the size of your business, reducing shipping costs should always be a goal as it will increase your profit margin and is essential for the success of any business.  As the premier company for your packing and crating needs, we would like to share the following ways on how you can avoid extra charges on your freight shipping.

Get it in Writing

Get all your shipping quotes in writing.  This way there will be no discrepancy or disagreement on what the total cost of your freight will be.  When you are getting a quote, make sure that everything you will need for your freight is included in that invoice.

Fees that need to be included in the quote are:

  • Taxes and fuel surcharges. These types of costs can quickly add between 20%-40% onto your invoice.  Make sure they are included.
  • Get the proper insurance. You may need special insurance or more insurance than is normally provided.  Include this cost in your quote.
  • Make sure that the rate and quote are in your currency, not a foreign one. You do not want any surprises, so make sure that the dollar amount is in the currency in which you are paying.
  • Include any special services such as refrigeration or dangerous goods up front, so that you will know the total cost.

Correct Measures and Weight

Your responsibility when it comes to shipping is to correctly know the width and height measurements, as well as the weight of your freight.  If you do not know these statistics, be prepared to pay more when the carrier shows up to move your freight.

You will also need to correctly package your load.  Ensure that your freight is secured and protected.  This will prevent any freight damage and the time-consuming claims process.

Know Your Limitations

It is also important to know any limitations that you may face when shipping your freight.  These include:

  • Docking limitations. Can a large truck back into your loading dock?
  • The size of your facility. Can a 50-foot truck turn around in your facility’s space?
  • Are you a commercial or residential location?

These simple steps should help you to save money on your freight shipping costs.  If you would like other ways to reduce these costs or are looking for an experienced and capable company to handle your shipping needs, please contact us today.  We would love to be a part of your shipping process.  We look forward to working with you soon.

Be sure to discuss all limitations and what type of location you are with your shipping carrier.  This will prevent any cost overruns or the inability to even load your freight in the first place.