Shipping Your Goods the Right Way

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 working hard to provide excellent service under unusual circumstances, and hope our world can get back on its feet as soon as possible.

Factors to Consider Before Shipping Freight

When it comes to shipping your freight, there are always decisions that need to be made.  The most important of these choices is what method of shipping and transport will best serve your needs.  Regardless of whether you are a business who is shipping overseas or within your own country, here are some important factors to consider before making your shipping decisions.

Cost

The most important factor to consider is the cost of shipping freight.  When it comes to understanding the true cost of shipping, however, many different factors come into play.  These include:

  • The cost of storing goods in a warehouse for any prolonged period of time.
  • Any damages that may incur over the course of your freight’s journey.
  • Any loading and unloading fees.
  • Tariffs or duties if shipping overseas.

These are just a few of the many hidden costs of shipping.  It is important to take into consideration all the factors that will determine your shipping costs before making a final decision.

Here’s the Deal:

Transloading is a great way to ship your freight as it combines various shipping methods to not only speed up your shipping, but also to save you money on your shipping costs.

Speed

The length of time that it takes your freight to reach its destination is another very important part of your shipping needs.  Again, transloading can be an effective means of getting your freight to its destination quickly and efficiently and can easily be combined with other shipping methods such as ships.

It is up to you and your clients to find an agreeable middle ground for what is considered fast shipping.  However, the old adage of time is money and money is time most definitely applies to shipping methods.

Reliability

Not only do you want your goods shipped as cost efficiently and quickly as possible, it is important in today’s competitive business world that your shipping methods are reliable.  Make sure to find a shipping company that is reliable and can back up their shipping methods.  Chances are if you have found a deal that is too good to be true, it probably is.

Remember:

Regardless of how cheap or fast your freight is promised to arrive at its destination, if the shipping methods or timeline is unreliable, you will damage your business relationship with your client.

Cost, speed and reliability are all very important factors that you should be taking into consideration before choosing a shipping method and a shipping company.  We at Cratex are celebrating our 40th anniversary in the shipping industry and are proud of our reliable track record.

Finding the Right Container for your Shipping NeedsCratex Transloading

Shipping cargo can be tricky business.  There are many factors that need to be considered to ensure prompt, efficient delivery.  You will also want to ensure that your goods arrive in the same condition that they left.  Regardless of what you are shipping, proper shipping starts with finding the right container.

As the leading trans-loading company in the Vancouver region, we would like to offer the following advice on how to select the right container for your shipping needs.

Size Matters

The volume of cargo you are looking to ship will determine the size of the container you will need.  There is a wide range of container sizes to accommodate your shipping needs.  In addition to containers, there are numerous options for customized packing solutions if the cargo you are looking to ship will not fit in any of our containers.

Keep Reading:

Later we will talk about why containers are the most efficient and economical solution for all your trans-loading needs.

Unique Needs, Different Containers

Obviously, there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to shipping.  That is why there are several types of containers to choose from.  Some container examples include:

  • Refrigerated – the ideal way to ship ice, meat, fish, produce etc. These containers have aluminum floors and stainless-steel walls, as well as built in refrigeration that requires three stage power.
  • High Cube Containers – these containers provide extra height allowing for more storage or for taller, more awkward freight.
  • Exportable Containers – these containers are specifically used for your overseas shipping needs. These containers are painted with marine quality paint and are watertight to withstand the most rigorous weather conditions they will encounter on their voyage.

In addition to these different types of containers, you also have the option of shelving, treated lumber floors, as well as dividers and wood paneling.

Containers – An Easy Trans-Loading Solution

Containers are the easiest and most efficient way to move cargo.  They can be stacked, stored and quickly loaded and offloaded from ships, railcars or even semi-trucks.  The efficiency of using a container ensures that your cargo will be protected from the elements and will arrive on time to its destination.

Containers not only protect your precious cargo, they will also cut down on your overall shipping costs because of how easy they are to load.  If you are looking for the safest and most effective way of moving your freight, containers are your answer.

We would love to discuss which type of container is right for you and how we can be a part of your shipping needs.

Avoiding Freight DamageVancouver transloading

Although rare (less than 1%), damaged freight is a reality that can have a huge impact on your business.  Luckily, many of the accidents that damage freight are preventable.  Here are some helpful tips on how you can prevent and avoid freight damage of your goods.

Start with a Pallet

When it comes to preparing your freight for shipping, do not cut corners.  Regardless of what you are shipping, we recommend using a pallet as a base.  This is especially important if you are planning on using transloading as part of your overall shipping method.  A pallet is neither expensive nor hard to use and provides a stable base that is easy and can be wrapped or bound to protect your cargo.

Protecting Fragile Freight

A pallet is just the beginning of how to avoid freight damage.  If you are shipping fragile freight, here are some great ideas on how to ensure that your freight remains undamaged throughout its journey.

  • Add extra packing on the inside of each box to protect individual items.
  • Pack items in smaller boxes or individually.
  • Add an extra layer of shrink wrap to the outside of the pallet and boxes. (We can help with this process if needed).
  • Pack it in a crate for optimal protection.

Here’s the Deal:

Even if you take these extra steps, the most important part of ensuring that your fragile freight remains undamaged is to correctly label it.  Make sure that your labels are bright and can be easily read when they are stacked.  A fragile label goes a long way and will reduce the chances of freight damage.

Other Strategies to Avoid Freight Damage

Even if you are shipping standard materials, there are many strategies that you can employ to minimize any freight damage.  These include:

  • Pack heavy boxes at the bottom of your pallet and lighter boxes on top.
  • Distribute weight evenly on your pallet and stack your boxes evenly as well. Make sure that no boxes overhang or jut out as these will definitely get damaged.
  • Use cardboard corners around the pallet to strengthen your entire load.
  • Do not use damaged boxes as they will collapse and could potentially damage your freight.
  • The best thing you can do to protect your goods during transit is to secure them inside a well-made wooden crate.

Remember:

Always use a quality adhesive when packaging your freight.  Incorrectly sealed packages are one of the top reasons that freight gets damaged.  Make sure that the tape is at least 2 inches thick and is durable enough to hold up against water damage.

By following these tips, you should be able to minimize or even negate any freight damage.  Undamaged freight will not only save your business money, it will also lead to customer satisfaction.  If you have any questions on how we can help you protect your freight, please call us or stop by today.  We have been delivering all types of undamaged freight for over 40 years and would love to be a part of your shipping process.

Preparing Your Pallets for Shippingcustom packing

Properly prepared cargo is an important first step for any successful shipment.  Stable, well packed pallets can save you money in insurance claims due to broken or damaged freight.  It also saves time as well because packed freight is easier to move and stack.  As the premier company for all your packing and crating needs, we would like to share these tips on how to prepare your pallets for shipping.

Responsibilities  

It is important to remember that you are responsible for packing your own freight.  Moving companies are only required to move your freight from point A to point B.  If your pallets fall apart mid move, freight may be lost or damaged or it could just sit in a warehouse marked as undeliverable.  Take the time to pack your freight carefully, to avoid these types of scenarios.

Packing Boxes

A properly packed pallet starts with carefully packed boxes.  This includes:

  • Quality boxes, superior packing tape and other materials.
  • Fully packed boxes, leaving no space so products cannot be damaged or crushed during shipment. Use packing material to fill the empty areas.
  • Tape around the tops and bottoms of boxes to reinforce them and prevent them from being damaged.

Stacking Boxes

Once you have properly packed all your boxes, it is time to stack them on the pallet.  When stacking, make sure to:

  • Stack heavy boxes on the bottom of the pallet to stabilize the load and to prevent any boxes from being crushed.
  • Distribute the overall weight of the pallet evenly. It is important that there is equal weight on all sides preventing tipping or leaning.
  • Align boxes evenly to build a symmetrical pallet and to prevent any overhang that may cause damage during shipment.

Reinforce the Pallet Load

As you build the pallet, it is important to reinforce it to make it stronger and solidify the entire load.  To achieve this, you can use:

  • Flattened cardboard every couple of levels or rows to stabilize any loose boxes. This will also protect the boxes from damage.
  • Use cardboard beads or reinforced cardboard around the corners to strengthen the overall pallet load and to prevent any corner damage.

Secure the Pallet Load

Once you are satisfied with your overall pallet load and it is stable, reinforced and properly aligned, it is time to secure the load and prepare it for shipping.  It is always a good idea to wrap the pallet load with shrink wrap.  To properly shrink wrap your cargo, make sure to:

  • Wrap your freight 3-5 times for added strength.
  • Use quality shrink wrap and twist to add more strength.
  • Wrap the top part of the pallet, but make sure to leave space so that your pallet is accessible for a forklift.
  • Ensure your pallet is protected by a wooden crate and secured so it doesn’t shift inside the crate during transit.

These steps should ensure that your pallets are ready to ship and will arrive on time without any damaged freight.

Benefits of Custom Cratingtransloading

Not all crates are created equally.  Regardless of what you are shipping, you want your goods to arrive at their destination as quickly as possible and undamaged.  One of the best ways to protect your freight throughout its destination is to use a crate.  Custom crates offer even more protection and can be more beneficial if you are using transloading as your main shipping means.

Here are some of the many benefits of using custom crating.

Built to Suit

The main advantage to using a custom crate is to prevent damage.  It can be built to the exact dimensions of your goods.  Custom crating is ideal for all types of cumbersome goods or items that are too large for conventional crates.

At Cratex, we take custom crating to another level to ensure that your goods are protected at all times.  This includes:

  • Determining the exact requirements regarding the shape and size of your freight.
  • The amount of protection required.
  • The fragility of your goods.
  • Whether or not there are any environmental concerns to be considered.

Support

A custom crate will also consider the weight of the products that you will be shipping.  This means that your custom crate will be able to support and protect your goods regardless of the method of shipping.  Using a custom crate will give you piece of mind that it will not break on its way to its destination.

Easy to Move

Because a custom crate protects and supports your freight, it can be loaded and offloaded as many times as necessary without concern of damage.  These crates can also be customized to make them stackable.  The mobility of a custom crate adds a new dimension to your shipping and will allow a more streamlined and faster shipping time.

Prevents Shifting

Custom crates also prevent any shifting that may occur as your freight is being shipped.  Using braces or blocking, a custom crate will ensure that your freight will not be damaged or move as it travels to its shipping destination.

At Cratex, we offer other ways to protect your goods as well.  We can work with you to find the perfect blend of custom crating and protections, such as shrink wrapping to ensure that your freight arrives in the same condition it left our warehouse.

We bring years of experience to every custom crate we make and understand the unique needs that you may require for your precious freight.  We can help you understand and meet all of the rules and regulations of various destination points and ensure that your goods arrive on time and undamaged.

Lowering Your Freight CostsUnsure what the purpose of your bill of lading is? It's an important document for transloading, intermodal or any other type of freight shipping.

Chances are that shipping costs are a significant portion of your company’s expenses.  As the premier packing and crating company in the Lower Mainland, we would like to offer you the following 5 ways to lower your freight costs and save your business money.

Maximize your Loads

The more you ship, the less you will pay for each load.  Before sending your next container, make sure that it is filled and you have made the most out of the container’s space.

Choose the Right Transportation Method

Maximizing your shipping load is only part of the solution.  It is important that you choose the right transportation method as well.  Sometimes the cheapest mode may not be the most cost efficient.  Some factors to consider when determining the right method for you include:

  • The type of product you are shipping – Is it fragile? Does it have an expiration date? Is it seasonal?
  • Your product’s destination –national, local or international.
  • Will you need multiple transportation methods and transloading – air/boat/rail/truck or a combination of the three?

Consolidate your Cargo

Consolidating your cargo or making it part of a larger shipment with other companies who are shipping to a similar area may be a great way to cut shipping costs.  Even if it means that your freight is travelling in a less direct route, it may make sense from a cost benefit perspective.

Remember:

Part of the total shipping cost can also include storage fees or time in a warehouse.  It is always better to get your product to its destination sooner rather than later.

Time it Right

Try to ship your cargo to its destination at non-peak shipping times such as major holidays.  You will typically pay more for shipping costs around busier times such as Christmas or Chinese New Year.  Many carriers are at full capacity at these times and your shipments may be delayed or charged premium fees.  Plan accordingly.

Reliable Partners

Find a reliable shipping partner that you trust and has your best interests in mind.  A responsible and competent partner should be able to help you consolidate your cargo and find you the most efficient and effective transportation method for all your specific shipping needs.  The right collaborator should also be flexible and have multiple contacts regardless of what type of transportation you are using.

At Cratex Group, we understand the unique world of shipping and work on a personal level with all our clients to not only reduce shipping costs, but to provide the tools and equipment necessary to ensure their freight arrives on time and in the same condition it left the warehouses or factories.  We look forward to working with you soon.