Is your refurbishing business flourishing? Are your customers calling for your refinished goods from across the country? Whether you restore vintage cars or upcycle antique furniture, keeping up with demand and shipping to customers near and far can feel like a daunting task.
While figuring out shipping costs and finding carriers can feel overwhelming at first, you shouldn’t let it stop you from sharing your work with out-of-state buyers. Here are some tried and true tips for delivering your refurbished wares to customers, so you can focus less on logistics and more on your business.
Need help deciding on a delivery cost structure? See how to pick the right shipping strategy for your business.
It sounds simple, but we promise you’ll thank yourself later. In the days leading up to shipping, set aside time to prepare your restored product. This could include actions like:
- Taking pictures of the item in case there is any damage during transit
- Wrapping your item (unless blanket-wrap service is included)
- Securing all drawers, doors, or parts that could move during transit
Taking these steps to prep for shipping refurbished items will ensure a stress-free loading experience when the transporter arrives for pick up.
Just Say No to LTL
While less than truckload (LTL) shipping can save you money, it typically means your shipment is sharing space with other items. Ultimately, LTL is an affordable option, but only if you can afford some damages along the way.
Photo by Robinson Greig
For more delicate refurbished items, like furniture and antiques, it is highly recommended to utilize blanket-wrap or first-to-last mile services. These shipping services ensure the shipment is wrapped, secured, and protected, from pick-up to delivery and every mile in-between.
Auto restorers should be sure to carefully vet carriers to ensure they have experience transporting vintage or specialty vehicles.
These kinds of services and levels of expertise are well worth the extra dollars since they provide a higher guarantee that your shipment will arrive safely and soundly.
If you’re new to the shipping side of things, let’s first define what cross-docking is.
Cross-docking is a system of logistics where materials are unloaded from an incoming carrier and loaded onto outbound carriers with minimal storage time.
While cross-docking can be an efficient way to ship perishable items and pre-tagged products, it can ultimately result in a higher risk of lost inventory. For this reason, we don’t recommend it for refurbished wares.
Photo by Hannes Elger
Whether you’re shipping an upcycled cabinet, a restored motorcycle, or a repurposed jet engine, the risk of losing these unique (and likely irreplaceable) items is not something businesses and shippers should have to worry about. If an item is lost in the supply chain, never recovering it could mean a big hit for your refurbishing business.
With one-of-a-kind items that are born from your refurbishing and refinishing efforts, replacements or replacement parts can be hard to come by, if not impossible. So why risk it?
Make sure to cover your shipment with insurance. This will help ensure that paying for any damage incurred during transportation doesn’t come out of your personal funds.
At the end of the day, adding cargo insurance is a small investment that will pay off in the chance that something goes wrong, allowing you to better serve your customers without taking a loss yourself.
Learn more about uShip’s cargo insurance options here.
Shipping Internationally? Find a Freight Forwarder
If you find yourself shipping refurbished items across the pond or other faraway lands, we highly recommend finding a freight forwarder.
Freight forwarding is a service that helps companies make international imports and exports. A freight forwarder does not perform the actual shipping. Instead, they arrange the logistics for crossing international boundaries and prepare all the necessary documents, permissions, and insurance.
These services are here to make your life simpler and diminish some stress. (Couldn’t we all use a freight forwarder in our lives?)
Looking for a freight forwarder you can trust? We love AirSea – an international white glove logistics, shipping, and delivery service specializing in furniture and art transportation. Your restored one-of-a-kind products will fit in perfectly.
AirSea on Instagram
Do you need to transport a large refinished piece? Like a restored car or upcycled armoire? No matter the item, uShip can connect you with a feedback-rated carrier who is equipped to ship it at a competitive rate, so you can focus more on your next big project.
by Alena Follestad-Jutilla
Alena Follestad-Jutilla is a content production manager, specifically focusing on social media, brand strategy, and media relations. She has a history in film, video/media production, blog writing, and content marketing