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blind shipments

What to Know about Blind Shipping

One of the most misunderstood facets of the freight world are blind shipments.

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How a 3PL Can Simplify Your Blind Shipping Strategy

Do you have concerns about sending blind shipments and the impact this method of shipping can potentially have on your business? You aren't alone. Many businesses that rely on blind shipping find themselves struggling to keep the addresses of both shippers and consignees/recipients completely confidential. After all, if this information was easily accessible, what would prevent them from doing business without you? We totally get it.

For small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the management of blind shipments can be difficult. Many businesses, however, have seen remarkable success in partnering with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider like Worldwide Express (WWEX) to help streamline their freight shipping operations. Here we discuss some key blind ship terminology, important facts and what a 3PL can do for you and your strategy.

Blind shipping vs. double blind shipping

Blind shipping is a term that is often used broadly to describe the process of concealing the names and addresses of those you do business with along your supply chain. However, it is important to understand the two specific types of blind shipping you may use.

What is a blind shipment?

Technically, blind shipping is used when you want to conceal or keep the name and address of the shipper confidential, which could be the vendor or manufacturer, from the consignee/recipient — or vice versa. However, this only conceals contact information of one of the parties involved and does not prevent the other party from going around you to do business.

From a cost standpoint, there are fewer fees involved in concealing just one party's identity from the other. That's why this is the most cost-effective option if complete confidentiality is not imperative throughout your supply chain.

What is a double blind shipment?

A double blind shipment is when the names and addresses of both the shipper and consignee/recipient are confidential. Double blind shipping prevents these two parties from circumventing you and doing business directly with each other.

There are additional fees included with double blind shipping since both parties are anonymous to each other. Companies should evaluate their business model and determine whether complete confidentiality is worth the additional cost.

How a 3PL can help you ship blind

There are many moving parts and items to consider if you ship blind. That is why many SMBs partner with a 3PL to handle their blind shipping processes. In particular, a shipping partner like Worldwide Express can provide:

Blind ship strategy development and refinement

A successful 3PL will collaborate with you as a partner and look at your business model to best determine how blind shipping fits within it. We use our decades of expertise in the shipping industry and take a consultative approach to help streamline your blind shipping operations. This means using best practices to ensure your supply chain is confidential. We have assisted SMBs just like you with this type of shipping and understand the nuances that come with it.

Expertise to navigate multiple bills of lading

Blind shipping requires more than one bill of lading (BOL) since there are multiple parties and addresses involved. Three BOLs that might be necessary include:

  • A BOL used by the shipper when the freight is picked up
  • A BOL given to the consignee at the time of delivery
  • A proper BOL with the complete shipping and delivery information, which is given to the carrier when the shipment is booked

This is often the most confusing part of the process and where errors occur. When BOLs are incorrect, you might find yourself spending countless hours on the phone with a carrier's customer service trying to find out what happened to your shipments. However, a 3PL like WWEX has direct connections with carriers and their terminals to easily coordinate your shipments and ensure the correct BOLs are in play.

Carriers that know how to blind ship

Due to its sometimes-complicated nature, not all carriers work with blind shipments. In fact, in today's shipping environment where there is an increase in consumer demand, carriers can be picky about what orders they want to pick up. That means carriers can go for easier jobs with more certainty. However, at WWEX, we have vetted carriers who specialize in blind shipping. Additionally, we leverage our relationships with those carriers to get your shipments on trucks when capacity is tight, while also negotiating shipping rates to ensure you are saving money.

Complete blind shipment coordination from one partner

We can consolidate and centralize all the steps of your blind shipping efforts. We provide you with an account team and customer service experts who will help you through the entire process. That means you no longer have to spend endless hours arranging pickups and deliveries, agonizing over carriers and ensuring your shipments get to where they need to be — with the correct name and address. We provide all of this for you so you can concentrate on what you do best — your business.

LTL or FTL for blind shipping?

Typically, it's seen as a less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping strategy — and quite often that is the case. However, even shippers moving large amounts of freight can use full truckload (FTL) for their blind shipments. In fact, since the freight will go from pickup to destination without stops and excess handling of the product at terminals, FTL can be less confusing and decreases the chance of error.

Worldwide Express can help with your blind shipments

We know that keeping your supply chain confidential is important to your bottom line. We also realize just how confusing blind shipping can be. That's why it is crucial for SMBs who ship blind to partner with a reliable and experienced 3PL like Worldwide Express.

We like to take a consultative approach with all shippers, backed by our expertise in the market and decades of experience. Our team of local freight experts can help guide you through the entire process. Ready to learn more about what we can do for your blind shipment plan? Contact an expert today!