Five Common Shipping Mistakes

Updated on: August 29, 2022 | Teachable Tech
parcel shipping

Shipping process plays a very important role when it comes to the online selling business. We need to understand that it is not just about delivering the packages to the buyer. Shipping also demonstrates a company’s commitment to providing an amazing overall experience for its customers, and avoiding some of the common shipping mistakes can surely get you an extra mile ahead of the competition. Most of the time, these mistakes are not that big, but the impact that they can cause can be destructive.

This list of the most common shipping mistakes just might help you avoid those awkward moments when a problem does need to be explained.

Improper Packaging

If an improperly packaged product is delivered, there is a chance that it might get damaged while on delivery, and the customer is not liable for any item damage caused during shipping. As a result, the online shop or the shipping carrier has to bear that extra cost too. In addition, the time it takes to replace the damaged product and ship it again is something no store owner would want to waste.

Carriers have declined many damage claims due to improper packaging. By taking the time to consult with a packaging professional, you can eliminate unnecessary costs and limit liability.


Make sure your product is properly packaged using boxes and packaging materials that are both size-and protection-appropriate for the items. This could also mean using food products and packaging that are still protected while offering freshness if required. The freight owner should know how it should protect its unique plan accordingly in its item packaging.

Inaccurate Shipment Weight

While selling items that weigh more, it is a common scenario to get a weight estimate, but online business owners won’t have the correct tools to weigh the products. Hence, estimating the weight to some decimal places may seem like the best option, but it is one of the biggest mistakes committed by online business owners. The shipping carriers weigh the product package before shipment, and if there is a difference between the actual weight and the weight mentioned by the seller, they will charge an extra fee.

In general, the weight estimation results in the adding up of all the small weights in decimal points, affecting the shipping cost. Shipping carriers have certified scales at their terminals and will re-weigh shipping products and tack on a fee to the bill if the original estimate is inaccurate. And re-weighing fees add up quickly, so purchasing a proper scale from the start saves money.


It would even change the way the truck is loaded since weight distribution should be fairly even over the 18-wheeler’s axles, and if you underestimate the amount of weight, the price quote will be wrong. When if you overestimate the parcel weight, you might end up paying for the freight capacity you didn’t need.

Incorrect Shipping Address

The incorrect shipping address impact that adequate parcel shipping has on the customers is also incomparable. From an online business seller's perspective, both these things are very important and relatively easy to identify. However, a minor change in shipping address like ZIP code, state code, country code, and so on would not be noticeable until the product was halfway around the world, and the store owner thought that shipping a parcel to the wrong buyer's address and then getting it back to its owner would be very costly. Not only is there a loss of money, but the customer dissatisfaction that it causes is much worse for businesses.


In such cases, it is much better to take time and double-, or even triple-check the destination address and ZIP codes, rather than waste a huge amount of money as well as time reshipping the product. Making certain that they are completely legible and double-checking the address are two surefire ways to drastically reduce the likelihood of a wrong address. Or if you’re giving the buyer's address to a freight agent during booking, you can ask to email them the addresses or just confirm them.

Only One Shipping Carrier

Some shippers rely on one carrier for all their transportation needs, but it is reasonable to form trusting relationships with multiple carriers. Shipping relying on one carrier alone to handle all your shipping parcels can cost you big time. If that carrier experiences a strike or downsizes its facilities, you could find yourself with a lot of freight piling up and nobody to move it. It's best to practice having contact with several carriers to enjoy competitive rates and flexible operations When it comes to medium-to large-scale business sellers, relying only on one shipping carrier proves to be one of the biggest shipping mistakes. Most businesses tend to work with only one shipping carrier because of the shipping services they provide. These carriers may provide some of the best shipping services in terms of both price and speed.


Especially when you need one, having a diverse set of strategic partners increases your chances of booking a load overall. Besides solely boosting the odds of securing vital trucking capacity, it allows you to compare the different shipping services each 3PL offers and also do some shopping based on price.

Not Maintaining Delivery Receipts

Before signing the delivery receipt, consignees should inspect all freight they receive and make note of any irregularities. It will be difficult to recover any costs with a damage claim if the damage is not noted on the delivery receipt. Shippers and carriers can point to a clean delivery receipt and claim any damage that must have taken place after delivery. When in doubt, make a note that there is possible damage pending inspection.

As discussed above, product damage during shipping is not liable to the customer. In some cases, there is a need for a mechanism for product sellers to ensure that the damage is done during the shipping procedure and not while packing, and delivery receipts with no damage to the parcel is one way to ensure that easily.


Bearing the product damage cost as well as increasing customer dissatisfaction is nothing less than a nightmare for business owners, so maintaining delivery receipts at every step will help you to identify the stage where the damage took place. Without a delivery receipt or even if one exists but it’s unsigned, it will be hard to prove after the fact if the damage is found that it was the carrier’s fault.