10 Shipping Terms To Know When Going Across The Border
Logistics are no small obstacle, and oftentimes we meet customers who have tried to manage the shipping-related complexities on their own, only to get lost in the language and specificities. In an effort to deal with some of the complexities of shipping, we wanted to share some helpful shipping terminology that should help you and your company when it comes to the logistics of getting across the border.
Not all shipping is created equal, or rather, not all shipping needs are equal. Some businesses need to ship 200 packages a day across the country, and others need to ship five packages a week- each highly fragile and expensive. While many company structures are similar their shipping needs vary by factors such as location, shipping volume, product size, and more.
We will walk you through three common forms of shipping, for more specific information pertaining to your business submit your information here and we’ll be in contact shortly.
Ground shipping is the dedicated shipment, via freight truck, to your desired location. For businesses, this dictates a sizable, consistent shipping load that is picked up from one of your company’s locations, including a company loading dock, from office, or warehouse. It allows shipments to be robust and high volume while still maintaining a low operating cost and providing personal service from an experienced EstafetaUSA driver and shipping expert. By using ground shipping for your large shipments, you are able to transport goods between country borders without the cost of air travel, and still move materials that are of a larger size or volume. While making paperwork at any of our customs bonded warehouses a breeze and allowing 24/7 tracking information on your products. Additionally, ground shipping offers a wider array of services such as cold chain shipping (refrigerated trucks) and express courier options that put a rush on your orders.
LTL shipping, or Less Than Truckload, is a good fit for businesses that don’t have a shipping volume large enough to warrant a more robust logistics method. It allows you to have regular shipments, a personal representative to work with, and a low cost per shipment while still utilizing ground shipping techniques. LTL shipping is a form of ground shipping that allows for a shipment volume that would normally be too small to warrant a on-location pickup. We see a lot of LTL clients starting their business with these services, and gradually growing their service level from there to warehousing, air freight, and more. Companies with limited frequency or volume in shipments will find this service may fit them best, while companies with a larger volume or higher frequency may find themselves leading towards the larger scope of services that ground shipping offers.
Air Freight shares many of the factors that other methods offer however it is unmatched in speed and can handle a large volume shipment at any time. Shipping via plane rather than freight truck for most companies is the only way they’ll ship, meaning this higher-cost method is their only way to get your package across the border. If your shipments are palletized, extensive, and need to arrive quickly, air freight is likely your best option. With one of the largest air cargo fleets available in Mexico, we can distribute from US or Mexican warehouses and move your product in style. These options allow us to move large volumes of product in the most efficient method possible and ensure prompt delivery and handling. While air freight may not be for everyone due to the large volume required, if your company is moving more than trucks can handle or needs it there faster than a freight truck can manage we are here to help.
After you have your shipping methods in line, it comes time to decide where your products will be shipping from. Most companies start out with a basic knowledge; they can either drop off packages at a location, or request a pick-up. That’s the start of it. Then come the decisions as to how many companies you will employ to manage each step of the process (order processing, fulfillment, delivery, tracking) and where you will base your warehouse. Before those decisions are made, let’s clarify a few terms that are commonly used for warehousing that may help you decide the scope of work you will need from your logistics provider.
Fulfillment services refers to the process that occurs between the time a customer orders and receives their products. This can range from a practice involving one provider to a team of companies. It includes anything from kitting to assembly and shipment as well as everything in between. Most commonly the fulfillment process begins with a customer placing an online order and a third-party service processes the order and selects the necessary items then packages them appropriately. Next comes the package tracking methods and how quickly it will arrive at their door. While many middle steps can occur (assembly, kitting, warehouse inventory, etc) this process simply means how you get your products to their new owners.
Pick & Pack
Pick and pack is the process of having inventory on hand and using it to fulfill customer orders. Warehouses are laid out specifically so that each product can be pulled as ordered and packaged specifically for that customer. For example, if cosmetics are being shipped and a customer orders 3 lipsticks and 6 blushes, the cosmetics company itself doesn’t need to manage the order, rather EstafetaUSA gathers those items from our warehouse storage and delivers it directly to the customer. This means the only responsibility left to the seller is to provide inventory to the warehouse as needed.
Much like Pick & Pack, kitting refers to the gathering of materials to be used for fulfillment. However, kitting differs by eliminating the custom option of orders. By packing boxes with the same combination of goods, a ‘kit’ can be created and prepared for the next customer who places that order. For example, the same cosmetics company sells a package of various lipsticks, blushes, and cosmetics. Those can be prepackaged to enable faster shipping once the order is placed.
Many products have more than one stage of assembly for production. The sub-assembly process entails the logistics provider using the raw parts in order to compose the first stage of assembly and then shipping off for final assembly. For example, a chair may have the frame assembled in our warehouse and then be shipped to an upholstery specialist for finishing. This step often makes the final assembly process significantly easier, and cuts down shipping costs because the products can still be packaged as a smaller size.
While dedicated warehousing refers to a facility that your company owns and runs, shared warehousing is held by a third party and can be shared among multiple companies. This allows labor costs to be averaged for all customers using the facility and drastically lowers the entry cost for equipment and supplies. EstafetaUSA offers custom bonded warehouses at entry points across the border, meaning costs are lower for companies taking part in them and customs is a part of the everyday process, meaning fewer hiccups.
Most companies can save between 30% and 40% and sometimes more. Contact one of our shipping experts today.