Relates to the notion of expedition

What does shipment refer to?

is a specific logistical term defining a dispatch or sending of goods to a set destination. It may also refer to the act of sending these goods, or even to the goods themselves depending on the context. In this case, we will be dealing with dispatch in its general sense. Its cost represents a significant part of a company’s expenses. It must be carefully planned, managed and maximized for retailers and industrial companies to achieve success in their business. includes the stages from loading to delivery (often to the customer’s home!), and is a service offered more and more regularly to end users. For a large company, margins easily cover costs, but an SME will need to elaborate its shipping fee strategy wisely.

Regardless of the service used, it requires five stages to be completed for delivery to occur within the set deadlines.

The 5 key stages when shipping goods

1. Preparation

Regardless of the means of transport - multimodal, , road, rail, air or sea - adapted packaging is the key to perfect . The packing chosen guarantees safe handling during loading and unloading. Packaging by palletization, cardboard boxes or containers ensure absolute safety of the goods during the entire trip.

2. Identifying the goods via RFID

Faulty identification is a frequent source of errors, and can lead to mishaps in delivery or loss of goods. Labels and transport documents must all include the following:

  • The sender’s exact contact details,

  • Those of the recipient,

  • The number of packages in the box,

  • The packages’ overall weight and volume,

  • The package’s reference,

  • For certain fragile or dangerous goods, handling instructions are included with an explicit pictogram,

  • RFID labels mean shipments can be followed at any given time. All the stakeholders throughout the are thus informed.

The recipient’s phone number makes delivery easier. The serves as proof of loading and delivery in the event of a dispute.

3. Inspecting shipments before they are sent

Each undergoes external physical checks (packing - pictograms). Transport documents are checked for compliance.

4. International shipments

They include a step, as well as documents drafted by a broker. Prior to this, the sender must take out an insurance policy covering all risks. Insurance options adapt to volumes, transport means and the final destination.

5. Delivery

It is the final stage. Nonetheless, the relationship between the parties does not simply stop once the recipient has been handed the package. Recourse or returns are of course still possible.

Examples and practical applications

Minimizing shipment costs

  • The solutions: maximizing space in the trailers or containers then transported by boat or train is a practical solution for minimizing costs. This is known as the Full Truck Load strategy (). ensures the best prices if there is just one delivery zone. For several packages to be delivered in a given zone, the freight consolidation process comes as a replacement for this logistical solution. In such cases, the transporter will take care of sharing the trailer with other recipients.

  • transport: it combines at least two different means of transport. This mode is an appropriate transport solution for complex itineraries (crossing mountains by road and rail / rivers and seas, etc.). Costs for long distances are lower in such cases.

Regulatory cornerstones for all types of transport

  • The commercial invoice issued by the retailer

  • The booking confirmation

  • The

  • For international , the Incoterms and

  • The forwarder’s cargo receipt (FCR) delivered by the to the product sender

  • The ocean

  • The insurance certificate