It may only be October, but Christmas preparation is just a few weeks away. The shops are already full of wrapping paper and cards. The decorations and trees won’t be too far behind. And that can mean only one thing: we’re about the enter the silly season. That time of year when poor weather, increased demand, fixed deadlines, impending holidays – and this year, a driver shortage – unite to put increased strain on freight services. So, what can you do to help make sure that your shipments aren’t caught up in the melee, and reach their destination on time?
Four Tips for Sending Freight During the Festive Season
Make sure your paperwork is in order
Nothing causes delays to freight like insufficient or incorrect paperwork. So, it can be really worthwhile to create a checklist of the bits of administration that you need to have in place before organising your shipment. This will include but is not limited to: an EORI number, relevant licences, HS classification codes, commercial invoices, customs declaration, certificate of origin, and Export or Transit Accompanying Document (EAD).
Pack your goods properly
It doesn’t matter if you’re sending individual boxes, filling a container, or packing pallets, If you don’t properly protect and pack your freight, you’re going to face damage and delays. So, use packing material. Select the right sized boxes. Pack heavy items at the bottom, and lighter, delicate items at the top. If you’re using pallets, stack your boxes like you’re building a wall, don’t let anything overhang, and wrap your pallet when you’re done.
Give yourself a little more time
A good freight forwarder will always do everything they can to meet your deadlines. But poor weather and high traffic inevitably leads to occasional delays. So, if your freight has to be somewhere by a fixed deadline, it always pays to plan ahead. Book your collection a day or two early. And make sure that you book the right freight service for your needs. It doesn’t have to be express freight, unless you’re working with perishable goods. But cost-saving options, such as multi-modal freight, might not always be appropriate if you need your deadlines met.
Don’t forget cargo insurance
Cargo insurance can often seem like a prohibitive expense on top of all the other costs of sending freight to Europe and beyond. But it’s a good idea for a variety of reasons. With the right policy, it protects you against loss, theft, damage, and delay. All things that can cost you serious money should they happen to your freight.
Sending freight to Europe during the festive season is no different to shipping at any other time of year. But it can be more stressful due to those unbending deadlines. And it can take longer because of the potential of uncontrollable delays. Everyone knows that the traffic is worse around Christmas. And everyone knows that the winter weather has significant potential to be disruptive. So, plan ahead. Prepare your goods and your paperwork well. And protect yourself against the unexpected. Do all that, and you’ll nail your festive exports!
Are you looking to ship freight to Europe this winter? Get in touch to find out how Plexus Freight could help.