A Blind shipment – a shipment where a third party controls the movement of the freight and does not want the shipper and/or consignee to know the name of the other party – presents a unique set of challenges for both the shipper and the carrier. Most blind shipments are booked by “middle-men” in order to keep a manufacturer from attempting to do business directly with a distributor’s customer, or vice versa. Because of this, the information contained on the BOL is technically inaccurate.
3 Blind BOLs
Blind shipments can include up to three separate BOLs:
1) A BOL used by the shipper when the freight is picked up
2) A BOL to be used at the time of delivery to the consignee
3) The BOL with the correct information, which is given to the carrier when the shipment is booked.
Blind shipments always incur additional fees due to their complicated nature and the extra work it takes on the carrier’s part. Each carrier has a specific way blind shipments are handled, so it is always in your best interest to check with the origin terminal prior to the actual movement of the freight.
Potential Blind Blunders
Problems can arise with these shipments, as they are fairly complicated. All blind shipping documents provided to the carrier should be sent via email and confirmed received via email in the event that something goes wrong. At any point along the way the improper BOL may inadvertently be used; the shipper may not use the “blind” BOL, the carrier may not exchange the blind BOL for the real one (causing the freight to go to the wrong place), or the carrier may not switch the final BOL, alerting the consignee to where the shipment actually came from. It is fairly standard for carriers to have language in their rules tariff that states they will try their best to fulfill the requirements of the blind shipment, but they will not be responsible for any misroutes. More often than not, the carrier makes no adjustments to blind shipment routing mistakes.
Your Unishippers team of freight shipping experts can help take care of your business’s blind shipments – from BOL creation to arranging a pickup – and can help act as an advocate on your behalf if issues arise.
Trade show shipping can be, well, tricky. So treat yourself to a stress-free trade show shipping experience by brushing up on these tricks of the trade.
Not every carrier offers a Trade show service, so it’s important to choose a carrier experienced in delivering to/from trade shows. Not sure what carriers are experienced in trade shows? Check with your Unishippers office! They are experienced in helping businesses with their trade show shipments and can provide you with all the available options from a list of vetted, reliable carriers. Continue reading
When you’re running your growing business, taking the time to update your blog and social media pages can seem like an overwhelming task. You know it’s helpful, but how do you find the time to do it well? Here are three tips to get you started:
Know your Audience
The first task is to know who you’re talking to. What kind of people are they? What kind of work do they do? Why would they be interested in your products or services? The more you understand your readers’ background, interests, and challenges, the easier it will be to write for them. Your blog and social media posts should provide value to readers. Knowing who they are is the first step in getting them to read what you write. Continue reading
The Sort and Segregate Scoop
Sort and segregate. Sort of like a less cool (and magical) version of Hogwart’s Sorting Hat, where the carrier is the hat and your freight is Harry P. Still not sure what it means and why it’s appearing on your freight invoice? Read on. Accio info!
What It Is
Sort and segregate refers to when a consignee requests that a carrier sort or separate the items in a shipment according to size, color, flavor, or other differentiating characteristics. This service does not need to be indicated on the BOL, nor does it need to be approved by the shipper (that’s you) or Unishippers. In fact, this service can be performed at the receiver’s verbal request. And, alternately, a specific consignee may have sort and segregate instructions on file with the carrier for any shipment arriving at their location. Therefore, it is imperative that the shipper (again, that’s you) understands the requirements of the consignee and if the consignee location requires this service, the shipper should know in advance so that the quote is as accurate as possible (accurate quote = no billing surprises). Continue reading
Ultimately, the key to dealing with liftgate charges is prevention. And prevention starts with good education. So we’ve rounded up the most frequently asked questions about liftgate charges, how to avoid them, and what to do if you need to dispute one after receiving your invoice.
What is a liftgate anyway?
A liftgate refers to a mechanical loading or unloading device that a carrier may have to use if a pickup or delivery site is not set up for easy shipping (i.e. a loading dock). Because, the truck driver most likely can’t turn into a big green Hulk and move your freight off the truck with zero assistance. Continue reading
Back That Dispute Up: Re-Weigh and Re-Class
Reweigh. Like when you hop on a scale right after eating that quarter pounder and fries and the number is different from what you weighed that morning. Super. This can happen with your freight shipments, too. A carrier may inspect the weight of your shipment, and if it doesn’t match what is on the BOL, you can be faced with a reweigh charge. The same is also true with a re-classed shipment. The carrier may determine that the class of a commodity is higher and as a result, you will be assessed with a re-class charge.
Don’t agree with the re-class or reweigh charge? First, make extra sure that your dispute is valid. For a reweigh this means double checking that the original weight you provided was not an estimate and that it included all packaging materials and the pallet. For a re-class this means thoroughly reviewing the NMFC description and notes for the application of that class. Sometimes, factors like packing material, type of crate, the intended use of the commodity, or product materials change what the class of an item is. Continue reading
3 Tips To Help Increase the Odds of Success
Questioning a reweigh charge? Have a guaranteed service failure claim? Investigating a discrepancy on a shipment invoice? Disputes happen from time to time, and when they do, we want to help ensure a speedy resolution between you and the carrier. Check out these tips for dealing with disputes.
Tip #1: Keep It Fresh
Rather than waiting until a shipment is due to be paid, disputes should be filed with the carrier as soon as possible, and no later than 20 days past the delivery date. At this point, details are still fresh and the invoice is not yet delinquent, which will make it easier to work your dispute with the carrier than if it is filed outside of this timeline. Continue reading
Cold calling is more than just a “necessary evil.” For many small and mid-size businesses, it’s an integral part of finding new and qualified leads to help drive steady and efficient new business revenue. For best results, consider these key tips and techniques: Continue reading
It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over: What to Do If Your Claim Has Been Denied
Oh joy. You just received the dreaded “denied” letter from the freight carrier after you filed a claim. But don’t despair! If you’ve been keeping up with our Claims Series, you’ll know that persistence pays in the world of freight claims. It is very important to read the denial letter carefully because a denial letter does not always equal the end of the conversation with a carrier. Continue reading
It happens all of the time. You’re at a party, a family function, playing golf, or yes—waiting for an elevator and someone asks you the question: What do you do?
Crafting a 30-second pitch to spark interest in your work or business may seem simple enough, but any short speech takes time to pack a persuasive punch. Here are some questions to consider before starting: Continue reading