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Create a Smooth Holiday Shipping Experience With Tips From Unishippers

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 8, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The busy shipping season for manufacturers, retailers is fast approaching. Even other types of small and mid-size businesses are ramping up to ship thank you gifts to loyal vendors and clients. The following information and tips provided by Unishippers Global Logistics, LLC, the nation's first and one of the largest small package and freight shipping resellers, will help your business avoid lost, delayed or damaged parcels.

For Heavy Freight Shippers

Be Smart About Pallets

  • Pallets, when not packed and wrapped with care, can become a shipping nightmare. Fortunately, it's easy to avoid pallet headaches with a few simple steps. Many shippers try to save a few dollars by skimping on shrink-wrap. All too often, boxes fall off of poorly wrapped pallets and are damaged or lost. A good rule of thumb is to use two to three complete wraps around the pallet to ensure a secure load.
  • If every box on your pallet is not going to be labeled individually, it's a smart idea to at least mark each box 1 of 10, 2 of 10, etc. By doing so, you can minimize the risk of any boxes being missed if they should fall off the pallet. In addition, it is recommended that you mark somewhere on the pallet how many total boxes are in the shipment.

Deal Carefully with Damages

If the worst happens and one of your shipments shows up damaged, don't panic. Calmly and carefully observe the following tips which may help resolve the situation in your favor.

  • The most important thing you can do when there are damages to a shipment is to clearly and accurately notate the damage on the delivery receipt before the delivery driver leaves. Be sure to include details such as the quantity of boxes damaged, descriptions of the damage, etc., and make sure the driver has dated and signed the delivery receipt before he or she leaves. In addition, take pictures, if possible. Having photographic evidence of the damage will go a long way in justifying your claim.
  • Notify your shipping provider immediately that damage has occurred in case an inspection is needed, and be sure to keep the shipment intact (including packing materials) until an inspection has been done.
  • Completely and accurately filling out the claims form is also important. While this seems like such a common sense recommendation, many customers neglect to take the time to understand and properly complete claims forms, which can often lead to rejection of the claim. Call the carrier if you are not sure how to fill out a form, because it is ultimately up to the customer to prove that the carrier caused the damage.
  • If you discover damage after the driver has already left, stop unpacking the shipment and retain all the packaging. Contact the carrier immediately and request that an inspector be sent to review the damage.

For UPS Shippers

Daily Stop Customers, Take Special Note

  • No pickup or deliveries will occur on November 22, December 25, and January 1. If you are a customer who normally has a UPS Daily Stop, on November 23, December 24 and 31 your pickup will need to be prearranged by contacting UPS On-Call Pickup service (1-800-PICK-UPS). Daily Stops will not happen automatically. Please make sure you have made these arrangements by November 21, December 21 or 28 respectively. Please also note that UPS will only pick up air and international shipments on those days, not ground. Unishippers customers that already have a daily stop arranged with UPS will not be charged a pickup fee for November 23, December 24 or 31. For the UPS 2012 holiday schedule click here.

The Earlier, the Better

  • UPS always recommends avoiding the rush and shipping as early as possible. The holiday season kicks off on Black Friday, November 23, 2012, and after Black Friday there are only twenty regular delivery days prior to Christmas.

Shipping Alcoholic Beverages

  • If you are planning to ship wine as a thank you to your loyal customers this season, make sure to read the rules and regulations of the carrier you are using before you ship. For instance, when ordering wine with UPS you must be licensed to ship wine and you must be entered into a contract with the carrier for wine transport. Additionally, this also applies to shipping beer, except when shipping beer via UPS you can only ship to licensed consignees.

Other Important Tips

  • If your shipment has some value to it, check your carrier's liability limits. When in doubt, insure your shipment. The peace of mind and protection that insurance provides will justify the extra expense.
  • Also be sure to check the carrier's holiday schedule to avoid surprises. There are days when freight carriers will be closed or will be running a limited operation. Make sure to check the specific carrier website for details.

"If this seems like a lot to remember, it is. That is why a third party logistics provider could be invaluable to a small or mid-size business," said Unishippers president, Kevin Lathrop. "Unishippers works with more than 30 shipping carriers. It's best not to leave all of these details to chance at an already stressful time of year. Experts can take the guesswork out of the process."

About Unishippers

Founded in 1987, Unishippers has grown to the largest reseller of shipping services in the nation with more than 290 franchise locations. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, the Unishippers concept is simple – work with major carriers including UPS®, Saia, Estes and YRC Freight to handle the pickup, transport and delivery of customers' shipments. All the while, local franchisees work to provide customers with service and support. By leveraging the combined shipping volume of all its customers, Unishippers gets deeply discounted rates from its carriers, resulting in lower shipping costs. Unishippers serves more than 50,000 small to mid-sized businesses, and has been recognized as a top franchise by Entrepreneur, Franchise Times and AllBusiness. For information on Unishippers, including information on franchising opportunities and price quotes, visit www.unishippers.com.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Holly Kleese, Fishman PR 847-945-1300 x260, hkleese@fishmanpr.comSource:Unishippers Global Logistics, LLC