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Navigating Shipping Regulations: A Small Business Guide

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When you start a new business, you have a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders. But if you want to deliver your products to customers in ideal conditions and within affordable costs, you have to prioritize shipping from the list of these requirements.

With that being said, you need to remember that shipping isn’t just about putting your items in a box and sending them on their merry way. You also have to be careful about certain rules and regulations that are part of the shipping process.

To help you get a firm grasp on these policies, here’s a lowdown on navigating shipping regulations as a small business owner.

Learn About Prohibited Items

Before you start choosing the best shipping company for your business, you have to learn which items you absolutely cannot ship with certain couriers. While some carriers may let you ship prohibited items with additional charges, others will refuse to accept your order for delivery. If your business produces sensitive items such as ammunition or fireworks, make sure to check with different carriers on how they will ship your products.

Weight Restrictions

Many courier companies have weight restrictions for the items they can ship. This not only changes your costs but also determines if certain couriers will handle your product for delivery. Once you’ve figured out the weight requirements for your packaging, you can perform stress tests to meet standards like ASTM D4169, which establishes how well your product stands against challenges such as drops, vibrations, and compression.

Be Careful About Package Dimensions

Some shipping carriers have strict guidelines about how large of a package they can deliver. As a rule of thumb, your package size should be a few inches bigger than your products. But instead of letting your item shift from side to side, you can fill the space with materials, including packing peanuts and bubble wrap. You can also insert handwritten notes in your package for some personalization.

See How Insurance Covers Shipments

Whether you are comparing the pros and cons of sea freight versus air freight or considering the benefits and disadvantages of land cargo, you must understand how insurance covers you in the case of a loss. Some couriers offer a flat dollar amount on all shipments, while others charge you a little extra to increase this coverage. This can also depend on the value of your package as well as your choice of insurance.

Don’t Forget Shipping Deadlines

If you use project management software to stay on top of your internal processes, you may appreciate the importance of meeting deadlines. When you achieve your goals according to deadlines, it gives you time to streamline your next few steps and fix any mistakes without putting your business through the wringer. This also applies to shipping couriers, which is why you need to remember their deadlines and cutoffs for timely deliveries.

Determine How to Meet Special Requirements

In case your products fall under special categories, like firearms, you need to meet special requirements that different shipping companies hold. In addition to understanding regulations and restrictions, this also lets you explore specialized shipping processes, such as the perks of using a shipping service to transport a car. This is where you can explore the business-centric solutions of different couriers and enjoy services that are tailor-made for your needs.

Shop Around For Better Prices

Regardless of what you think about business accounting software, you can’t deny that cost-saving is one of the top goals for any organization. Do your part to understand shipping regulations across different couriers, and remember that the company you choose should go above market price. After getting quotes from different providers, you can compare their solutions and make an informed decision.

Making your way through shipping regulations can be quite a task. But when you gather the facts in one place, it becomes easier to understand these requirements. This way, you can handle this challenging business process without breaking a sweat.

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