Shipping is an important part of most retail businesses. Although shipping mistakes aren’t uncommon and oftentimes are out of the business owner’s control, taking measures to avoid them will help in preventing unnecessary shipping expenditure, delivery delays and poor customer experiences.
Read on for the 5 most common shipping mistakes and how to best go about avoiding them.
1. Unsuitable Packaging
Many issues that occur during shipping could be avoided by ensuring cargo is packaged sufficiently. If an item is not packaged properly, there is far greater risk of it getting damaged during the shipping process. This can be an unnecessary expense for you as it is your responsibility to replace the item and cover the additional shipping costs.
For more information on how to package your product correctly, read our Packaging Tips to Minimise Damage During Transit blog.
You may also want to consult a professional on the best way to package your goods.
2. Incorrect Shipment Weight
Although it may seem harmless, providing an incorrect estimate on the weight of your shipment can result in the incurrence of additional expenses. Few business owners are aware that fees are often charged by carrier companies for businesses that provide an incorrect or inaccurate shipment weight.
In order to avoid these fees, you want to ensure you weigh all your shipments and provide your carrier with an accurate shipment weight. Consider investing in a good-quality scale or outsourcing your shipping processes to an experienced logistics company entirely.
3. Using Only One Shipping Carrier
Different shipping providers offer different benefits. Having a multi-carrier shipping strategy gives your business flexibility to choose various carriers that differ in terms of scale, expertise, and geographical location.
This will therefore give you the best chance of providing your customers with the fastest delivery whilst saving your business money, particularly on international orders.
4. Wrong Address
Even the smallest error in recording the delivery address can have drastic effects on the shipping process of the order. This may lead to you needing to resend the item which can be an unnecessary expense and lead to customer dissatisfaction.
In order to avoid this from occurring, you want to minimise the possibility of error on both you and your customer’s side. Consider installing plug-ins into your website that will auto-fill your customer’s address and always triple-check the address your employees record on the package itself.
5. Not Maintaining Delivery Receipts
Maintaining proper delivery receipts will help prevent you from being held liable for damages that occur during transit.
They will also help you pin-point exactly when and where any damages occur so you can better avoid them in the future.
Shipping mistakes do happen, even if you take all necessary precautions to avoid them. One of the best ways to ensure your shipping runs as smoothly as possible though, is to outsource the logistics of your business to an experienced shipping services provider, such as ISS. We will tailor-make a shipping solution that gets your shipments to your customers as quickly and seamlessly as possible, without going over your budget.
Get in contact with our friendly team today for more information.
When it comes to shipping, there are some goods that are classified as dangerous and are regulated by the government and international standards. These items are referred to as ‘dangerous goods’ as they pose a risk to health, safety, and/or the environment during shipping.
To find out the types of dangerous goods and how to best go about shipping them, read on for ISS’s complete guide to shipping dangerous goods.
Types of Dangerous Goods
The different classes of dangerous goods are as follows.
Class 1: Explosives
Class 2: Gases
Class 3: Flammable liquids
Class 4: Flammable solids
Class 5: Oxidising materials
Class 6: Toxic and infectious substances
Class 7: Radioactive materials
Class 8: Corrosives
Class 9: Miscellaneous goods.
Some examples of dangerous goods include:
Aerosols and sprays
Paint and oil
Adhesives and glue
Lighter fluid, matches, and fire lighters
Shipping Dangerous Goods
If you’ve identified your shipments as dangerous goods, you need to ensure you package them sufficiently and obtain the correct documentation.
Packaging Dangerous Goods
When packaging dangerous goods, you need to consider the following requirements:
UN Number: This is a four digit code that classifies single substances or groups of substances.
PSN: This is an acronym for Proper Shipping Name. The PSN accurately describes the type of dangerous goods that are being shipped.
Packing Group: Packing groups are based on an item’s UN Number. They determine the degree of packing required to safely transport the cargo.
Documents for Shipping Dangerous Goods
When shipping dangerous goods, you will need the following documents for customs:
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): This document contains information regarding the potential hazards and how to safely handle the goods during transit.
Dangerous Goods Declaration (DGD): This document states the dangerous goods category of the shipment.
Dangerous Goods Manifest (DGM): This document details all important information about the dangerous goods.
Transport Emergency Card (TREM Card): This document includes information about how to transport the dangerous goods.
Container Packing Certificate : This document contains the identification number of the dangerous goods and certifies that the packing of the goods is sufficient and meets all requirements.
Shipping dangerous goods requires a considerable amount of time, documentation, and preparation to get right. In order to ensure you get your dangerous goods from point A to point B successfully and safely, we recommend you get in contact with ISS. We can handle all shipping processes for you, so you can rest assured knowing your goods are being shipped safely and legally.
At ISS, we believe that all businesses involved in shipping should have some understanding of the supply chain, moreover,theirsupply chain specifically. This is one of the reasons why supply chain visibility (SCV) is considerably important in conducting seamless business operations.
To find out more about supply chain visibility and how you can achieve it in your business, read on!
Basics of Supply Chain Visibility
SCV refers to a business’ ability to see and track activity across their supply chain. This information can come from a variety of sources, including enterprise resource planning systems, order management systems, warehouse management systems, transport management systems, supply chain software and technology, data analysis, and effective communication between all parties involved in the supply chain.
SCV allows businesses to gain more accurate insight into their supply chains and identify potential issues before they arise.
Benefits of Supply Chain Visibility
As time progresses, more and more businesses are striving to maximise their supply chain visibility. This is because SCV presents many benefits to businesses, their employees, and their customers. These benefits include:
Improved decision making: with more precise (and often real-time) data, businesses are able to make better informed decisions about where to allocate resources.
Improved efficiency: SCV allows businesses to identify and remedy inefficiencies within the supply chain more easily.
Reduced costs: more efficient supply chains allow businesses to avoid unnecessary expenses and reduce costs.
Reduced risks: with greater visibility into potential threats, businesses can take steps to mitigate risks and avoid supply chain disruptions from occurring.
More sustainable practices: SCV also allows businesses to better identify non-sustainable practices in their supply chain.
Challenges of Supply Chain Visibility
Although supply chain visibility can greatly benefit businesses, there are a number of challenges that can hinder the implementation of SCV processes. These challenges include:
Data quality: for SCV to be effective, businesses require high-quality data. This can be a challenge, particularly for businesses with legacy systems and/or siloed data.
Data integration: for SCV to be effective, data needs to be integrated from multiple sources. This can be a challenge for businesses with complex or disparate systems.
Implementation costs: the implementation of SCV systems does require considerable upfront investment. It can be particularly expensive for businesses with large and/or complex supply chains.
Despite these challenges, implementing SCV systems in your business can greatly benefit supply chain processes and save you money in the long-term.
For more information, get in contact with the ISS team.
We are pleased to announce that the ISS SHIPPING GROUP will be merging with FLA PTY LTD.
By joining forces, we will be able to grow our businesses and market share and work together to provide even better services for our loyal customers. With increased resources and networks, we will be better equipped to help our clients grow and reach new markets both internationally and domestically.
ISS and FLA have a long-standing history working together within the industry. It is through the friendship of Company Directors, Zoran Ilic and Dario Dicarla that we have decided to merge and create a much stronger business that provides greater opportunities for all.
Both companies will continue to operate as individual entities under their pre-existing names. The merger of the companies will not affect our usual business operations and we will continue to serve our clients diligently, with no disruption.
This merger is an exciting opportunity for us, our partners and our customers, alike. It will benefit us all and provide a stronger foundation for us to expand and grow together.
If you have any queries or concerns about the merger, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team and we will be happy to assist you.
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to what’s to come in the near future!
On behalf of the entire ISS team, we are pleased to announce that Stevan Ilic will now be acting as a General Manager for the ISS Shipping Group.
Previously working as our NSW Operations Manager, Stevan will now be managing the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane offices of ISS Shipping Group, which includes the recent FLA merger.
Managing Director, Zoran Ilic, expresses his enthusiasm for Stevan and the future of ISS, “I’m very excited that my son, Stevan, is taking a more senior role. I feel very confident that he has the capabilities to make sure the business continues to grow and expand.”
Stevan, who started at ISS right after graduating high school, recently celebrated 10 years at ISS in August of 2022. His extensive experience in the industry and at ISS in particular has equipped him with the skills and knowledge required to move into a more senior position.
“His [Stevan’s] knowledge over the last ten years has grown to a level that allows our business to take the next step with regards to the management structure of ISS,” says Zoran. “We are all very excited to welcome Stevan to his new role.”
The ISS Shipping Group is thrilled to announce the arrival of Robert Nikoloski as FLA’s Victorian Operations Manager! With decades of experience working in the shipping industry, Robert brings a wealth of knowledge and a fresh perspective to FLA. His passion for efficiency, customer service, and commitment to excellence make him a perfect fit for our growing team.
Robert’s journey in the freight and logistics industry started many years ago, when he commenced work as an Import Coordinator. Since then, he has taken on a multitude of different roles, where he has expanded his expertise and polished his skillset in import and export consulting and supervising, and business development.
Being customer service oriented, Robert consistently goes above and beyond to ensure his clients get what they need. He thrives on overcoming obstacles and exceeding the expectations of his customers time and time again.
At ISS and FLA, we pride ourselves on our commitment to providing top-notch shipping services to our clients worldwide. With Robert at the helm of FLA’s operations, we are confident that our services will reach new heights.
As we embark on this exciting new chapter with Robert, we invite all employees and clients to extend a warm welcome to him. His expertise in and passion for the industry will undoubtedly contribute to the continued success of the ISS Shipping Group.
Please join us in welcoming Robert to the ISS Shipping Group family! We look forward to the positive impact he will make on FLA’s operations and the growth of the business.
The waybill is one of the most important documents in shipping. It is often considered a ‘passport for shipments’ as it contains information about a shipment’s origin, destination, contents, and route. In addition, goods cannot be exported without a correctly filled and accurate waybill.
Because of this, it is extremely important that businesses get their waybills right. Fortunately, ISS is here to help with our guide to the waybill.
What is a Waybill?
Similar to a bill of lading, a waybill is a document issued by a carrier containing information regarding the shipment of a consignment of goods. It will typically contain information such as the names and addresses of the consignor and consignee, and the origin, destination and route of the shipment. The waybill does not, however, serve as a legal documentation of ownership.
Why are Waybills Important?
The waybill is very important in shipping as it prevents document loss and forged bills of lading. The waybill can also help simplify operation procedures and prevent delays and complications from arising throughout the shipping process.
The Different Types of Waybills
The two most common types of waybills are air waybills (AWB) and sea waybills (SWB).
The air waybill serves as a contract of carriage between the shipper and the carrier through air. As such, it acts as a receipt of goods by airline carriers. AWBs define the conditions of the carriage, such as liabilities and procedures for claims. The format of the air waybill is fixed throughout the air freight industry, where information such as a description of goods as well as the charges can be found.
The sea waybill is similar to the air waybill in that it serves as a receipt given by the shipping line as well as a contract of carriage between the shipper and carrier by sea.
Both the air waybill and sea waybill are non-negotiable documents.
How do you Prepare a Waybill?
When preparing a waybill you need to include informationsuch as:
The consignor’s name, address, and contact information
The consignee’s name, address, and contact information
Cargo information (such as value, origin, destination, dimensions, and weight)
Payment of charges
Consignor’s and consignee’s signatures.
Providing incorrect or inaccurate information on your waybill can be hugely problematic and can result in significant delays in shipping. Because of this, we always recommend that businesses call ISS.
With an abundance of experience in international shipping, we will ensure that all your shipping documentation is correct and all your shipping procedures are carried out seamlessly and efficiently.
Rail and road shipping are two of the most common forms of transport for freight. They both offer more affordability, convenience, and reliability compared to alternative forms of transport.
Rail and road both have advantages and disadvantages over each other too, however. So determining which is best between the two comes down to a number of factors.
As previously mentioned, both rail and road transport are considerably cheaper than other modes of transport. Between the two, however, rail freight is slightly cheaper.
This is mainly due to the fact that trains have greater capacity compared to trucks. They can transport more cargo in less time, hence reducing costs associated with fuel and labour. Rail transport is also less likely to be delayed by traffic, road repairs, and accidents.
Trains usually move between freight stations and depots on a carefully planned schedule. Conversely, trucks are usually dispatched according to delivery requests and therefore offer more flexibility.
In addition, trucks are not restricted by railways and can therefore transport freight to and from remote locations.
As mentioned before, trains are rarely affected by traffic, weather, repairs, and other forms of congestion. They are therefore considerably more reliable than trucks as they are less likely to be delayed.
Freight trains can travel for thousands of kilometres without stopping. Train operators are also able to operate trains for long periods of time compared to truck drivers who can only drive 8-12 hours a day, depending on where they work.
Because of this, trains have much greater range and can cover longer distances, in less time.
When it comes to emissions, rail transport is much more environmentally friendly than trucks. Not only are rail networks electrified, but trains can also transport much more in one trip than a truck can. Because of this, they release significantly less emissions than freight trucks.
Determining whether to transport your freight via rail or road ultimately comes down to the nature and volume of your goods, where you’re shipping to and from, and your budget.
For more information, get in touch with the ISS team today.
If you’ve ever shipped large or oversized items before, chances are that you’ve heard of flatbed shipping. Flatbed shipping is a great option for businesses that need to ship large items and equipment that is too big for LCL (less-than-container load) shipping.
What is a Flatbed?
A flatbed is a type of truck that has an entirely flat trailer, with no roof or sides. Because of its design, flatbeds are easy to load and unload products onto and off of the truck. There are also very little restrictions surrounding the weight, size, and height of the products being transported via flatbed.
What Items Should be Shipped Via Flatbed?
Flatbed shipping is great for shipping a large variety of items. Goods that are often shipped on flatbed trucks include:
Building materials, such as iron bars, steel bars, concrete slabs, timber, bricks, and scaffolding.
Farm equipment, such as tractors.
Equipment used for defense.
Industrial tools and equipment, such as machinery, cranes, and drilling machines.
Benefits of Flatbed Shipping
Flatbed shipping is the shipping method of choice for many suppliers in many fields. This is because it offers a number of benefits, including:
Less restrictions on the shape and size of the cargo.
Faster and more efficient loading and unloading processes.
Flexibility on the weight of the cargo.
What to Know Before Flatbed Shipping
Before you send your goods off on a flatbed truck, there are a number of things you need to know. Follow these tips for hassle-free and seamless flatbed shipping:
Have accurate freight information
You will need to provide your flatbed provider with detailed and accurate information about your goods. This includes what is being shipped, the estimated value of the goods, the goods’ dimensions and weight, and their final destination. Additionally, if your goods have a unique shape, are extremely heavy, or especially tall, you’ll want to inform the company carrying your goods to ensure it falls within the weight, height, and length limits of the flatbed trailer being used.
Familiarity with flatbeds
As with any shipment, you want to understand how it's getting there and how the shipping process works. This will ensure the right flatbed is being used for your goods, and will minimise the occurrence of complications along the way.
Transporting large freight via a flatbed can be a cumbersome task, and that’s why it’s important to work with the experts. ISS are experienced in all types of shipping and can help you get your goods from point A to point B cost-effectively and hassle-free.
For more information on flatbed shipping and whether it’s right for you, get in touch with ISS today!
When it comes to international shipping, one of the most important and often overlooked steps is customs clearance. This process is required to clear your shipment through the customs of the country you are importing or exporting from, and it can be a complex and time-consuming task.
Fortunately, ISS is here to help with our guide to navigating customs clearance.
What is Customs Clearance?
Customs clearance is the process of obtaining permission to import or export goods through the customs of a country. This process involves the submission of various documents, the payment of duties and taxes, and the inspection of the goods by the customs authorities.
The documents required for customs clearance will vary depending on the type of goods you are shipping and the country you are importing or exporting from. Typically, the following documents will be required:
Commercial invoice: This document provides the details of the goods being shipped, including the description, quantity, value, and weight of the goods.
Bill of lading: This document serves as a receipt for the goods and confirms that the goods have been shipped.
Packing list: This document provides details of the packing of the goods, including the number of packages, dimensions, and weight.
Export/import license: Depending on the type of goods you are shipping, you may need to obtain an export or import license.
Certificate of origin: This document certifies that the goods being shipped originate from a specific country.
Other documents: Depending on the country you are importing or exporting from, you may be required to provide additional documents, such as a sanitary or phytosanitary certificate or a certificate of compliance.
Expert Assistance From ISS
At ISS, we understand the complexities of customs clearance and we have a team of experts who can assist you with all aspects of the process. We can help you understand the requirements for your shipment, prepare and submit the necessary documents, and ensure that your shipment is cleared smoothly and efficiently.
Contact the ISS team today to learn more about our customs clearance services and how we can help you navigate this important step in the international shipping process!
If you’re wanting to ship anything via sea, it’s important that you choose the right shipping container for your shipment. With so many different types of containers and sizes, it can be difficult and confusing to determine which is best for your cargo.
Fortunately, ISS is here to help with our complete guide to shipping containers.
Shipping Container Types
There are a multitude of different types of shipping containers, all of which have various uses. We’ve listed some of the most common types of shipping containers and their uses below.
Dry (General) Containers
Dry containers (also called general containers) are the most common type of shipping container you’ll come across. They are fully enclosed with a floor, roof and sidewalls. Dry shipping containers are used for shipping dry cargo that doesn’t have any temperature requirements.
High Cube Containers
High cube containers are similar to general containers, however they are taller by about 1 foot. These containers are most commonly used when a slightly larger volume capacity is required or when shipping taller goods.
Open Top Containers
As the name implies, open top containers are general shipping containers that have an open top, i.e no roof. They can be used to ship goods of any heights and are usually used with a plastic sheet or tarp as a roof.
Flat Rack Containers
Flat rack containers are shipping containers that have collapsible sides that can be folded to make a flat rack. Flat rack containers are used for shipping heavy oversized cargo that can be difficult to load and unload.
Double Door (Tunnel) Containers
Double door containers (or tunnel containers) are shipping containers that have doors at both ends. This allows for easy and quick loading and unloading, as well as the transportation of wide goods.
Open Side Containers
Open side containers are general shipping containers that have one door on the end of the container and one door along the side. Open sides containers are used for shipping goods that are wider and can’t fit through the door on the end of the container.
Insulated containers are shipping containers that are thermally regulated. Insulated containers are used to transport shipments that need to be stored in a temperature higher than the external temperature outside the container.
Reefer containers are refrigerated shipping containers. They are used to transport temperature-sensitive or perishable goods, such as food and drink.
Half Height Containers
As the name suggests, half height containers are half the height of general shipping containers. They are used for transporting bulky cargo that is heavy and dense such as coal, stone and sand.
Shipping Container Dimensions
Shipping container sizes are standard throughout the world. They are referred to by their external length in feet. The most common shipping container sizes are:
The width and height of shipping containers are consistent (8 feet and 8 feet 6 inches, respectively).
If you’re still unsure which shipping container type and size is best for you, get in touch with ISS. We will ensure you get the right container for your cargo and help you avoid unnecessary fees and expenses.
The food and beverage ecommerce industry has grown significantly in the past few years. There is greater demand for home-delivered consumables and more technology that allows us to fulfil this.
One of the biggest challenges food and beverage retailers face in this industry is shipping. Shipping perishables can be costly and difficult due to their many storage and transport requirements. Fortunately, ISS is here to help with our complete guide to shipping perishable goods.
1. Choose the Right Packaging
The right packaging materials will depend heavily on what exactly you’re shipping.
Common lightweight perishable packaging types include styrofoam boxes, custom styrofoam cut sheets, insulated liners, air-filled insulation liners, and insulated pads. Heavier duty packaging options include glass and insulated containers.
Be sure to consider whether you need to add additional packaging like padding, insulation, watertight plastic bags, or wrapping - all of which protect products from temperature changes.
2. Select the Right Cold Storage Materials
The type and the level of cold storage materials you’ll need will depend on the packaging you choose. With styrofoam, the thicker the packaging, the less ice or coolant you’ll need. So while using very thick styrofoam might seem appealing, the packaging will come at a higher cost and take up more room in a package.
You’ll need to find an optimal compromise between cost and space to decide how to keep items cold. Ice packs and gel coolants are more affordable, and work well for items that should be refrigerated, but not frozen.
Dry ice can keep items frozen and prevent them from going bad for longer. But shipping with dry ice also means your shipment may be treated as a hazardous material, increasing costs and red tape. To avoid the hazardous material headache – and ensure that your shipment can travel by air – keep dry ice contents per package less than the maximum weight of 2.5 kilograms. No matter the amount, any package containing dry ice needs to be clearly marked on the outside. And remember, do not place dry ice in boxes with airtight seals, as gases need to be able to escape.
3. Pick the Right Carrier
There is no easy answer as to which carrier is best for shipping perishables. The answer depends on what you’re shipping, where, and how quickly it needs to get there. For perishable shipments, carriers recommend allowing no longer than 30 hours in transit.
Essentially, the right carrier is the one who can get shipments to your customers the fastest. This may mean using different carriers for different shipping zones. If you choose a regional carrier, be sure to select one experienced in shipping food and beverage products.
If you’re unsure how to best go about shipping your perishable cargo, give ISS a call. We are experienced in shipping food and beverage goods across the globe, promptly and hassle-free. Our extensive network of carriers and shipping providers also ensure that we get the best rates possible for our clients, no matter what they need to ship.