1. Shipping and Shipment Basics

What is Shipping and Shipment?

As explained by the Oxford Dictionary, ​ Shipping is the activity of carrying people or goods from one place to another by ship or by some other means.

For eg.: We will be shipping your containers soon enough. Here the word ‘shipping’ refers to the activity of sending goods.

Shipment is often referred to as a group of goods or bulk orders.

For eg.: Your shipment is ready for transportation. Here, the word ‘shipment’ implies bulk orders.

Let us dig a little deeper and understand these five shipping stages.

Shipping and Handling refer to all the activities from receiving and order until delivery at the customer’s residence. Also, when we say ‘shipping and handling’ it includes fees and charges related to the shipping material.

For eg.: Please share the shipping and handling charges for the latest shipment.

There are minimum ‘shipping and handling’ charges applicable for every order.

For eg.: For all order values below $200, shipping and handling charges of $20 are applicable. If I order a cosmetic product for $120 I will have to bear the shipping and handling charges of $20. Or, if I place an order of $220 then charges will not be applicable.

Know more about Shipping and Handling charges here.

Shipping for Small Businesses

Shipping for Small Businesses may seem difficult at first, but, as you begin working on your shipping calculations, the work gets easier. Make sure you perform proper research before finalizing your shipping partner. Also, keep searching for shipping partners and compare their prices regularly. Focus on being customer-oriented and offer lucrative shipping services. These two factors will take your small business shipping to the next level!

Know more about Shipping for Small Businesses here.

Expedited Shipping

Expedited Shipping means that delivering the shipment at the earliest possible time. It means that the shipping company fast tracks their freight deliveries, and the trucks generally do not stop anywhere along the way, to make this happen! A recent study conducted in 2019 claims that nearly 40% of shoppers are comfortable waiting upto 2 days for deliveries via expedited shipping, and 18% are willing to wait till the next day via expedited shipping.

Know more about Expedited Shipping here.

Shipping Large Items

Shipping Large Items can be a task in itself! Imagine that if shipping lightweight or small items is a task, what about large or heavy goods! As a general rule, shipping companies have classified shipments into two parts – Parcels and Freight. Mostly anything above 30 kgs is considered a large item, then again, it depends upon the dimensions as well. Every company has different dimensions for the goods to be considered as Large Items.

So, while talking about large items, the logistics companies have the weight bar at 90 pounds or roughly 20 kgs or above. While talking about large items, there are further two classifications: Large Items and Oversized Items.

Large items are those that are under 25 kgs with a specific set of dimensions. While oversized items are over 150 lbs or 500 kgs and, again, have specified dimensions. The shipping of both these items, large and oversized, can be done through almost all the logistics companies, but certain factors are to be considered while doing so.

Most of the companies do not share their pricing publicly as the pricing changes according to the weight and dimensions, so you need to contact every shipping company and compare the rates. But, make sure there is transparency in communication, visibility while packing, and tracking options available.

Know more about Shipping Large Items here.

What is Flat Rate Shipping?

Flat Rate Shipping, also popularly known as Linear Shipping. It refers to a fixed rate given to all kinds of goods and consignments irrespective of the content or dimensions. Flat Rate Shipping is basically ‘One Price, One Product Size’. For example, Flat-Rate Shipping for products under 5 kgs is $20. BigBooks has to send two different parcels, Parcel A is a set of books weighing 3.8 kgs, and Parcel B is earphones weighing 1.2 kgs. For both parcels, BogBooks has to pay $20 each. Thus, for them, shipping heavy goods are always beneficial. Learn more about Flat Rate Shipping Cost here.

There are a lot of advantages, disadvantages, and factors affecting Flat Rate Shipping. Also, you can learn about the importance of Flat Rate Shipping and compare rates of different shipping companies such as FedEx and UPS. How about we learn a bit of everything about Flat Rate Shipping?

2. What is Shipping Management?

When the process of shipping is taken care of from the scratch till the end, it is called Shipping Management. In other words, Shipping Management is the process of planning and execution of the shipping process to ensure the smooth functioning of the same. It helps the companies to be streamlined and focus on each step of the process along the way.

Often Shipping Management and Logistics Management are considered the same, but they are way different. They are interrelated but both hold their respective set of duties. Find out all about the process of shipping management, the difference between Shipping Management and Logistics Management, also the latest additions to Shipping Management.

What is Freight and Freight Management?

As per Dictionary, Freight is the goods transported in bulk by a truck, train, ship, or aircraft. Even when you enter the term, ‘Freight’, this is probably the first thing you will read about it. Now, I can use glamorous words to describe the term to make it seem different and my own words, but, you know, at times, simplifying terms is the best! And if it is out there, why not educate the meaning in its best form!

Tom Finkbiner says. “Managing international freight requires different sets of skills and experiences, and leaders need to be prepared.”

Learn every about Freight Management from learning different modes of freight shipping, its advantages and disadvantages, and factors affecting it in our detailed article.

Know more about Freight Management here.

What are the Different Types of Shipments?

Shipment can be classified into different types for an easy understanding of shipping companies and companies who want to ship their goods. So, we all know shipment does not only mean the transportation of goods via ship. It also includes transportation of goods via rail, road, ship, and air. But all these are included in the types of mode of transport of shipment.

Here, when we are talking about the shipment, we also mean the types of shipments; for example, envelope or big boxes. Shipments range from a small document envelope to a full-sized container. But, first things first. Let us understand both: Types of Shipment and Types of Freight.

Shipments via Rail, Road, Air, and Sea

Transportation of shipment is one of the major ways of boosting the commercial economy, which is indirectly related to boosting the world’s economy as well. Thus, these freight shipments are very crucial. Also, keeping in mind the economy, the shipments via rail and road are some of the most popular methods as they are economical in nature. There are several types of shipment transportation such as rail, road, air flights, and ships (sea).

  • Rail Transport is one of the oldest methods of transportation. It was first introduced in the 18th century, and since then, there is no going back. It is fast, economical, and more efficient. They are popular to transport goods such as consumer goods, hazardous goods, special cargos, military cargos, etc. Let us go through the entire list here and learn about the advantages and disadvantages, types of rail transport, and comparison with road transport.
  • Road Transport has been there since the barter days. And even now, after decades of generations, road transportation is still in fashion. It is simply because it is easily available, accessible, and economical. You can easily opt for various types of trucks at your convenience. Also, their operations cost and maintenance costs are comparatively less to any other type of shipment. Some of the transport items include refrigerated goods, automobiles, semi-trailer trucks, jumbo trucks, and many more. Let us together learn the benefits of road transport, points to consider, types of road transport, and comparison with rail transport.
  • Air Transport was first carried out in the year 1910 carrying out 200 pounds of silk for the opening of a store. It was all over the news! In the modern days, air transport has been extensively used by companies all over the world, and shipping companies such as FedEx, DHL, and UPS were some of the first ones to conquer modern-day air shipment. Also, FedEx was the first company to integrate the tracking system by sending tracking software to all their clients. Learn more about by-air shipments, different sizes of packages, advantages and disadvantages of air transport, and the use of proper shipping software.
  • Sea Transport goes back decades of years. Kingdoms carried out trades traveling and transportation through ships. In the years ahead of that, a lot many things have changed. The kind of ships, traveling routes, types of goods, etc have seen a drastic change. There are also various types of cargo vessels.! To be fair, you can learn a lot about the history of sea transportation, types of cargos, benefits, and disadvantages, and in-depth knowledge of sea transportation and types of container loads as well. Get all the fruitful information about sea transportation from here.

3. Dropshipping

Most online retailers are using dropshipping to start off their entrepreneurial careers. Herein, the retailer does not have to stock or store or purchase any goods. They simply have to market the products. You may be aware of individuals selling apparel via social media platforms or via a Whatsapp group. Mostly, they all use the dropshipping method.

So why not learn a little more about it? Read all about how to get started, the benefits of dropshipping, commonly sold products via dropshipping, choosing the right dropshipper, the right supplier, and much more. To be fair, learn the A-Z of starting a dropshipping model and how it will benefit you. Also, know about dropshipping wholesalers who deliver your product directly to the customers.

A lot of factors are considered to finalize the right dropshipping partner. As there are many fake suppliers out there, it is necessary to identify the correct suppliers.

Learn all about identifying genuine dropshipping suppliers and methods of payment.

4. What are Shipping Documents and Costs?

Shipping documents are, needless to say, highly crucial for the business. They provide all the information regarding the shipment and costs involved with it. Let us talk about a few of them.

Shipping Cost

The shipping cost needs to be borne by every retailer. They may present their customers with ‘free shipping’ to attract them for buying their products, but in reality, every retailer is bearing shipping costs. One of the most important reasons for calculating shipping costs is to determine if you are actually profiting from your sales or not.

So, let us learn more about the shipping costs parameters, the steps to calculate shipping costs, the types of packing material, and why it is important to calculate shipping costs.

Know more about Shipping Cost Calculator here.

Estimate Shipping Cost

The shipping cost needs to be borne by every retailer. They may present their customers with ‘free shipping’ to attract them for buying their products, but in reality, every retailer is bearing shipping costs. One of the most important reasons for calculating shipping costs is to determine if you are actually profiting from your sales or not.

So, let us learn more about the shipping costs parameters, the steps to calculate shipping costs, the types of packing material, and why it is important to calculate shipping costs.

Know more about Shipping Cost Calculator here.

Overnight Shipping Cost

Overnight Shipping Cost is the kind of shipping that you need to carry out within a day or maximum of the next day. So imagine your customer needs a bouquet of flowers immediately for her mother’s day celebration. She would want to opt for overnight shipping. This kind of shipping that is done within a day or delivered by the next day is called overnight shipping.

Also, there are a number of factors that affect overnight shipping such as the size of the shipment, weight, delivery destination, and much more. Find out the benefits of overnight shipping and compare it from the best options of the most-used shipping companies.

Average Shipping Cost

Average Shipping Cost is to determine the average shipping cost, you need to calculate all the factors affecting the shipping costs. Such as the size and weight of the product, location of the customer, and time is taken to ship the product. It is very important to know your average shipping cost as it can affect your finances, so what better way to learn about average shipping costs than knowing the factors affecting them.

Learn more about the factors, determine the cost of shipping and the importance of average shipping cost.

Know more about Average Shipping Costs here.

Shipping Policy and Templates

The Shipping Policy is one of the most important documents in shipping management. This document provides information about the shipments and in return protects your company from any mishaps. To make sure your shipping policy is ironclad, you need to have all the necessary information in it. Make sure to include the shipment details, shipment costs, delivery timeline, return information, and other requirements.

Send a clear message, accurate, and easy to understand. It helps increase and maintain trust amongst your clients and keeps your business practices safe. Also, shipping policy templates are equally important. Make sure to cover all the shipment options you offer – Standard or Fast (Express) Delivery, Time of Delivery, Shipment Insurance, and many more.

Find out all that you need to create a perfect shipping policy template starting from shipment type to costs, till refunds and returns, international shipment options, and a sample for the perfect shipment policy template.

Shipment Terms and Conditions

A clear and concise shipping policy is highly incomplete without proper insertion of the terms and conditions. Shipping terms and conditions are not just instructions of delivery but they provide information on what happens if goods are returned, or partially delivered, or delayed in payment.

They protect your business. They serve as the rules or conditions as to how they will provide a service. So, yes, a shipment policy document is incomplete without a proper set of terms and conditions that are laid down for presenting your services. To learn all about the shipping terms as per the International Commercial Terms, widely known as Incoterms.

Shipping Label and Sizes

A small piece of documentation that covers all the necessary information about the shipment, is called the shipping label.  Though they are small, they are not insignificant. Shipping labels help through the logistics process and shipment management. From the name and address of the sender until tracking the product, everything is included in the shipping label.

There are various types of shipping labels and the shipping company decides which label is appropriate for their parcel(s). Also, learn about the benefits and common mistakes carried out by preparing a shipping label.

Know more about Shipping Label and Sizes here.

Customs Form or Commercial Invoice

Commercial Invoices are a form of legal document that is presented by the seller to their buyers. It is also considered a form of contract between the two parties. A commercial invoice comes with a proforma list or a packing list. Also, there should consist of three very crucial three elements or headings.

Get to know all about the information that is included in a commercial invoice, also the difference between commercial invoice and packing list and proforma list. Also, all the minute details that are essential for the commercial invoice.

Know more about Commercial Invoice here.

Bill of Lading

It is labeled as one of the essential documents required for international trade. It serves as a legal document between the two parties, carrier and shipper. It is important as it implies the condition of the consignment and the payment information.

Also, this way the relationship between the exporter and the shipper is very transparent and clear. There are two types of Bill of Lading – Negotiable Bill of Lading and Non-Negotiable Bill of Lading. Apart from this, there are roughly 16 classifications of the bill of lading based on the method of execution and method of operation.

Also, you can brush up your knowledge about all the information a bill of lading should contain.

Know more about Bill of Lading here.

Freight Bill

Do you need freight bills or not? Well, a freight bill is often mistaken with the bill of lading, though they are ways apart! A freight bill mainly focuses on the individual or company sending the consignment and the cost of consignment or shipment. It doesn’t serve as a legal document but is widely used for internal purposes or for accounting purposes. So why is the freight bill important?

Well, because it helps in organizing your shipping affairs, covers all the information regarding your shipment, helps with planning, and many more! Freight Bills don’t generally have a fixed format, unlike other shipping management documents.

But, there is certain information that needs to be there. Check out the difference between freight bills and bill of lading, details included in a freight bill, and its importance.

Know more about Freight Bill here.

Shipping Insurance

Once a consignment leaves for its destination, a seller is always worried about breakage, damages, or if something is lost in transit. The best way to keep yourself ahead of these worries is to apply for shipping insurance. This way, you are secured.

While shipping goods, it is necessary to have insurance, it is called carrier liability. But, it does not cover the entire shipment value. Thus, always go for Shipping insurance even though you have it covered by a carrier liability. Shipping Insurance covers all kinds of risks over and above providing a number of benefits. Also, it is not too difficult to secure shipping insurance. You just need to have certain documents handy.

Learn more about the risks covered by shipping insurance, their benefits, and the requisite documents.

Packing Lists and Invoice

The packing list is a document that mentions all the goods placed in the shipment. It is used for internal purposes, mainly used in shipping management, to ensure the list and the product they have received are a complete match. This way, both, the shipper and the seller, are on the same page.

A packing list is important because it can be used to track your goods and know the exact status. Though a packing slip seems like a single document, it consists of nearly 12 essential pieces of information that need to be covered. Also, a packing list serves as evidence of handing over the goods to the shipment company. Now, the packing list and invoice may seem similar but they are very different from each other.

Get to know all the essentials needed in a packing list, its importance, the difference between a packing list and an invoice, how to download or print a packing slip, and how a packing slip and invoice look like!

Know more about Packing Lists and Invoice here.

5. Best Practices, Technologies and Trends in International Shipping Industry

International Shipping

International Shipping has become greatly popular and the trade between countries has proven to be great for the economy. International trade has given opportunities to business to expand their business territories and go global. It has also helped to tap into unknown countries and explore new prospects. While dealing with international shipping, make sure you put in all your information and be as descriptive as possible.

So, the things to remember for international shipping are to choose the right shipping partner, prepare detailed information about your shipment and learn about a few packing tips for international trade. Click here to learn more about international trade.

Know more about International Shipping here.

Technologies used in Shipping Management

Most of the industries have sailed on technological grounds. So why should the shipping management be left behind? Shipping Management has seen numerous technological advancements in the last couple of decades. It has helped them boost their business and expand itself.

One small example of the use of technology is the shipping cost calculator. When we go deeper into technical aspects of shipping management, there are few noteworthy inclusions such as blockchain technology, robotics, artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT), and many such.

The best way to be updated with all these terms is to check them out yourself. Learn about blockchain technology, robotics, artificial intelligence, smart ships, autonomous ships, and the Internet of Things (IoT) in one consolidated form.

Best Practices in Shipping Management

Shipping Management is very crucial for the upliftment of global trade. Now, we have already established that shipping management works in a very organized manner to ensure its efficiency. Let us name a few of the most important aspects of this – Correct Shipping Partner, Shipment Details, and Shipment Method.

Learn about these foundations in detail and also come closer to a few tips that can help you with the shipping management process.

Upcoming Trends in Shipping Industry

Upgradation is a part of the process. With continuous changes in technology, it is highly necessary to be updated and keep improving ourselves. In fact, we, as human beings, do this on a daily basis! In the same way, the shipping industry is also inclined towards updating themselves and getting familiar with the upcoming trends.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is showing high popularity in Smart Containers. It has gained popularity because it can track its real-time location and keep all the parties well informed at all times. Also, learn more about Big Data Analytics, Energy Management and Green Shipping, and Robotics. Get acquainted with these latest trends and statistics involved with it.

Read more about the upcoming shipping trends here.