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A majority of shipping mistakes are due to nothing more than improper planning. Last-minute delivery updates, fulfillment delays, and routing issues are the things that far too many shipping nightmares are made of.
And you can go ahead and double that number when it comes to heavy haul shipping!
If you've never had to use this mode of shipping, let me tell you, it is already fairly complex all on its own.
Heavy haul is the movement of larger commodities that require special handling procedures, equipment, and permits. Things such as heavy machinery, massive parts for construction projects and even modular homes are all considered to be heavy haul shipments.
Needless to say, heavy haul headaches are very common. However, most of the time these headaches can be avoided by following just a few simple tips.
If you are thinking about setting up a heavy haul shipment, here are a few best heavy haul practices that help tremendously!
The heavy haul industry has more special regulations than any other shipping mode, with the exception of hazardous materials. And this is actually where a lot of issues tend to originate.
Some of the biggest mistakes and headaches occur because of paperwork errors, or not having the right permits for a heavy haul shipment. Therefore, the number one tip for efficient movement of heavy haul equipment is to be thorough about when dealing with the paperwork.
One wrong dimension, a missed piece of equipment, or a few ounces missing from the weight can completely change your freight classification. When this happens, your legal documentation and permits do not meet with what you are shipping. This makes them null and void, and the process must begin anew.
Do yourself a favor and simply be thorough right from the beginning. Don't try to cut corners or shave time off the process, it will just make a mess of things and take twice as long to get you on the road.
One item that significantly impacts which are required for a heavy haul shipment are the dimensions.
However, every heavy haul carrier has different methods and procedures for measuring the commodities being shipped. Some carriers place an emphasis on weight while others rate their shipments based on height and length alone.
One system that many shippers utilize is the power of multiple parties taking measurements independently. When this is done, the data from all parties can be compared and reviewed for accuracy before submitting an estimate. This will ensure that you receive an accurate quote and hire the right carrier to move your heavy haul.
Many headaches with heavy haul shipping occur as it arrives at its destination. This headache is one that is due mainly to poor communication between the shipper and the receiver.
The main issue occurs when the shipper assumes that the recipient has effectively planned to offload the heavy haul equipment.
Unfortunately, far too often, the receiver has not done this. This break in the movement leads to delivery delays, additional freight charges, and other unexpected situations.
If you schedule a heavy haul shipment, make sure to work with the recipient. Verify that they have the right equipment to offload the freight and that space is available to do so safely.
Regardless of the type of movement, all shipping is subject to some level of unexpected delays.
While standard carriers can simply pull into a truck stop when issues arise, heavy haul shippers are not as fortunate. Planning for the unexpected during a heavy haul shipment is, by far, one of the smartest things you can do.
To help with all of that planning, we recommend teaming up with a 3PL. Not just any 3PL will suffice, they also need to be knowledgeable in the heavy haul shipping arena.
The problem with any shipment that requires permits, special handling, or equipment is the reality of restricted available resources to complete the movement. This is the situation that many heavy haul shippers deal with when one carrier unexpectedly backs out at the last moment.
To avoid this heavy haul headache, many professional shippers always have a backup carrier on standby. They accomplish this during the rating process, by contacting a secondary carrier and asking them for availability windows.
Having somebody on standby regardless of the type of shipment always reduces stress.
For those people who want to avoid the stress and frustration of planning a heavy haul shipment, a 3PL can help.
A 3PL has experience in this highly technical industry. They understand what permits and special handling is required for all heavy haul shipping. Furthermore, they work in conjunction with all parties involved in the shipment, including the recipient - who ensure that the full delivery goes off without a hitch.
As a matter of fact, here at Redwood Logistics we have the experience and knowledge to get you up and running a heavy haul shipment in no time! Reach out to us today and let's discuss how to get started.