Have you ever ordered something online and wondered how it magically appears at your doorstep? Have you shipped something yourself and felt overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork involved? In both cases, you have interacted with a shipper, the people and companies responsible for transporting goods from one place to another.
Shippers build the shipping industry, but what exactly do they do, and what challenges do they face? Read along to find out.
What Is a Shipper?
A shipper is a person or company that transports goods from one place to another. They are responsible for the packaging, labeling, and documentation of the products being shipped. Shippers work with different carriers like airlines, shipping lines, and trucking companies to transport goods.
Types of Shippers
Shippers can be individuals, businesses, manufacturers, retailers, or wholesalers. An individual shipper may transport personal items such as furniture or vehicles. Businesses, manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers, on the other hand, transport goods on a larger scale. They ship products to customers, distribution centers, or retail stores.
Responsibilities of a Shipper
Shippers are in charge of packaging goods properly to prevent damage during transit. They are also responsible for labeling packages with the correct shipping information, such as the recipient’s address and shipping class.
Additionally, shippers complete necessary paperwork like bills of lading, customs declarations, and other shipping documents required by the carrier or government agency.
Shippers can use air, sea, and land freight as means of transporting goods. Air freight is typically faster and more expensive than sea or land freight.
Meanwhile, sea freight is commonly used for shipping large quantities of goods that are not time-sensitive. Land freight, on the other hand, can be used for shipping within a country or across borders. It is often used for shipping smaller quantities of goods or time-sensitive deliveries.
Freight documents include bills of lading, invoices, and customs declarations. The bill of lading is a document that acknowledges receipt of goods and serves as a contract of carriage between the shipper and carrier.
The invoice is a document that shows the cost of the goods being shipped. Customs declarations are required for international shipments and provide information about the quantity and value of the goods.
Shippers negotiate freight rates with carriers based on the weight and volume of the goods being shipped, the distance traveled, and the mode of transportation. Other factors that may affect shipping costs include fuel prices, currency exchange rates, and the carrier’s capacity.
Tracking and Monitoring
Shippers use GPS tracking, shipment tracking software, and carrier notifications to ensure they arrive at their destination on time and in good condition. They can also use these tools to monitor the shipping route and to identify potential delays or issues that may affect the delivery of their goods.
Shippers face delays, damaged goods, and customs issues. Delays may be caused by traffic, weather, or other unforeseen circumstances. Damaged goods can occur due to poor packaging or mishandling during transit while customs issues may arise due to incorrect documentation or issues with customs clearance.
Shippers ensure that goods are transported safely and efficiently. They have various responsibilities and can use different modes of transportation for their shipments. However, they may also face challenges.