The ebbs and flows of weather and retail seasonality create freight shipping challenges for most small businesses. Unishippers’ team of logistics experts is ready to help, year-in and year-out. Here are their recommendations for how to handle your freight shipping during all seasons.
September and October mark the high season for holiday inventory shipping. With the increase in demand for truck availability, Unishippers can help make sure your freight shipping gets on the road. We are able to leverage our network of 65+ freight carriers for truckload capacity during peak seasons.
Late October and early November bring a frenzy of activity with an increased number of shipments moving between distributors/warehouses and retailers. Smart shippers will have their holiday shipping strategy planned well in advance in order to get their freight shipping where it needs to be, when it needs to be there. Read our guide to holiday freight shipping for our tips on handling this season like a pro.
Deep winter brings freezing temperatures! When the weather gets frightful, be sure to think about your temperature-sensitive cargo. Many Unishippers carriers offer “Protect from Freeze” services to ensure fragile shipments stay above freezing temperatures. These services usually involve heated trailers, heat shelters and blankets around cargo to keep goods above the crucial 32-degree threshold. Learn more about freeze protection.
Additionally, the months of November and December have fewer business days due to carrier closings for the holidays – which means transit times for your freight may be delayed by one to three days, depending on the lane. Winter weather can also bring service interruptions that impact shipping times for your freight. Many carriers suspend guaranteed services in preparation of bad weather, so be sure to plan ahead as much as possible to help avoid delays. It’s also important to keep your customers in the loop on when they can realistically expect to receive their shipments.
After the holidays, shipping levels out as the frost starts to melt and the roads begin to unfreeze. Depending on your business, March through May may be a great time to reevaluate your freight shipping and plan for the remainder of the year, such as identifying carriers who can handle your capacity at your budget. Unishippers carefully evaluates carriers on their reliability, rates and how well they can meet the needs of our customers. Our shipping experts can recommend carriers that meet your specific requirements such as speed, routes, special care and more.
Summertime means sunshine…and heat! If you are shipping perishable materials—or anything that can be affected by climate – you want it to arrive at its destination looking just as good as it did leaving the warehouse. For your temperature-controlled items, packaging is key! Make sure you are using appropriate insulation – there are a variety of foams, foils and blankets that you can use, depending on your needs. If your product needs to stay cold, you may also consider using gel coolants or dry ice. However, remember that dry ice is considered a hazardous material and requires special handling.
In addition to proper cooling equipment, remember that refrigerated freight trucks may have smaller truck space and payload capabilities. Read our blog about temperature-controlled freight shipping to learn more.
At Unishippers, your account team acts as consultants for your business. Our logistics experts are available to recommend shipping options, assess shipping needs and more – through every season of the year.
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Freight Class Tips to Know
When you schedule a shipment without first determining the proper freight class, there’s a good chance your shipping quote won’t match your final invoice. By taking time to understand the freight classification system, you’ll be able to classify your freight correctly and avoid surprises down the road.