3 Common Causes of Freight Delays (& How to Avoid Them)

Freight delays are frustrating. But when you know what causes them, you have a better chance of preventing them. Protect your business by watching out for the most common causes of slow shipping, and be proactive to keep shipments on schedule.

  1. Shipping Document Errors

    An incorrect shipping document is by far the most common reason shipments get delayed. The most critical document you must have when preparing a shipment for delivery is the Bill of Lading. A Bill of Lading is a legal document that provides all the vital information a shipping company requires to process and deliver your shipment. If any of the information on this form is missing or incorrect, your shipment will not make it to its destination.

    Prevent delays by making sure to hire an outside logistics specialist or by training an employee to handle all shipping tasks. Also, make sure you have a second set of eyes review all critical documents before they’re sent to your shipper.

  2. Poor Communication

    Communication breakdowns often cause shipping delays. This is a particularly common problem when businesses are working with a new shipping company or when inexperienced employees are handling your logistics.

    You can help to reduce the possibility of communication breakdowns by creating a checklist to help guide all of your employees through the entire shipping process and by providing adequate training for your staff. Make sure you always keep written proof of every interaction you have with the shipping company, your warehouse, and the recipients. These records are important if you need to verify something in the future.

  3. Unorganized and Ill-Defined Processes

    Redundant and disorganized shipping procedures cost you time and money. Make it a point to periodically evaluate your shipping procedures and evaluate ways to improve it. Remove any steps that are unnecessary, and refine the remaining steps to make them more effective while reducing the chance for mistakes. Also, remember to review any changes in your shipping company’s policies and don’t be reluctant to shop around for a better deal.

While you can never completely eliminate shipping delays, you can significantly reduce slowdowns by knowing the reasons behind them. Keeping a close eye out for the issues listed above will help you avoid frustrating delays.

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