There Are Many Advantages to Freight Shipping for Small Business Owners
When it comes to shipping logistics, small business owners are often at a loss on how to start. They talk to friends for recommendations or perform generic Google searches that often lead to confusion from information overload.
- Where do I start?
- What is freight shipping?
- Is it right for me?
- What’s the difference between shipping to my customers and shipping my products from China?
- Who do I call?
- Who can I trust?
- What do any of these shipping terms mean?
- Will this cost too much?
The number of questions about freight shipping a business owner can Google are endless, but there are definitely answers out there.
First Things First, A Small Business Owner Should Know Freight Shipping Terms
Freight Shipping, defined.
In a nutshell, freight shipping is the transportation of products and cargo by land, sea or air. When business owners have to ship products from overseas and manage the mass distribution of those products to their storefronts then to consumers, or directly to their consumers (in the case of an eCommerce business), there are a lot of additional terms and concepts to understand.
A good resource is the Freight Cowboy’s blog on shipping terms for small business owners, for example. In this post, they define terms like:
- Freight Broker
- Freight Forwarder
- Hazardous Materials
- Less than Truckload…and more.
Understanding the meaning of these logistics terms are incredibly beneficial when a small business owner has decided that freight shipping is right for his/her business.
A Small Business Owner Should Know What Type of Freight They’re Shipping
Once you know the appropriate terms to use regarding freight shipping, you’ll want to know how those terms apply to the assets you are shipping.
You want to know if your cargo will require FTL or LTL services, what type of packaging, the tariffs, port regulations, timing, etc. When you know this information, you can properly manage your shipping and get a feel for how much your freight will cost.
The issue here for most small business owners is that they do not have the time to learn about shipping cargo beyond the definitions and type of shipment. Most business owners go into business to provide a product or service for their consumers, so chances are you didn’t start your business to become an expert at freight shipping.
According to an article on SmallBizTrends.com, small businesses lose 500 hours a year managing freight shipments. That’s a lot of hours spent trying to figure out terms, processes, regulations and track shipments.
Small Business Owners Can Rely on Third Party Logistics Providers When Shipping Freight
If you’re the kind of business owner who is focused on a seamless experience for your customer base, you will want to work in partnership with a third party logistics company.
The best way to maximize the impact of working with a 3PL is to allow them to serve as your “shipping department” that will manage the transportation of your merchandise each step of the way. Finding a 3PL you can trust is important for a small business owner, because working with a logistics partner is essential to the sustainability and scalability of a business.
Having an Integrated Freight Shipping System Can Help A Small Business Scale
Owners of companies of varying sizes see major benefits when finding the right 3PL partner to integrate into their business. If you’re new in business, or just getting to the point where you can no longer sustain managing your shipments yourself, you are probably looking at or have already hired a third-party logistics provider. Depending on what stage you’re in, you may not have realized all the ways in which offloading that task (pun intended) can really help your business.
Many different kinds of companies (i.e. art galleries, boutique retailers, etc.) find that freight shipping helps to even out their operations and generally allows their business to run smoother. By having the shipping process managed by a third-party, owners are able to focus on business development strategies, properly manage inventory, anticipate high and low seasons, etc. Working with a 3PL that is tech-savvy and has the ability to easily integrate with your company’s software and systems is ideal, and makes room for a logistics provider to have maximum impact.
Whether your business is art, interior design, clothing, toys or electronics, your goal is sustainability and growth of your business. Losing 500 hours a year managing your freight shipments is probably not on your annual list business goals, and that’s where a FreightHub is able to assist.
Freight Hub is an asset-based 3PL provider (meaning we offer all logistics services in one place). We have served owners of businesses varying in size and product for more than 10 years.
Learn about all the technology-based advantages we provide to entrepreneurs looking for rapid business growth with a freight shipping partner they can count on!