The Complicated Nature of Freight Shipping and Why it Helps to Have a Partner

When a lot of people think of “shipping,” they simply think of ordering a product from an online retailer, and then selecting whether they want it express over-nighted, standard three-day shipping or within five to seven days from the purchase. And while that may be the norm for shipping as it pertains to ordering a lot of consumer goods from big box store websites as well as online retailers, it’s hardly the case when it comes to getting large, commercial equipment from its point of purchase to its purchaser. That’s a whole other animal.

Yes, when you’re dealing with the likes of pallets, skids, crates, wraps, international shipping codes and customs – not to mention other intangibles and logistics involved in transporting commercial equipment – things have a tendency to get a bit dicey and expensive for the customer. Yes, it should go without saying that freight shipping has the potential to be a nightmare. It’s a process that can be so complicated that it can take a lot of the buzz out of purchasing a new piece of commercial equipment for your company or manufacturing site. But working with a quality, reliable and efficient freight shipping partner can take a lot of – if not all of – the hassle out of this all-important transportation process. In this post, we’ll take a look at why freight shipping has a tendency to cause headaches, and better help you understand the value of a quality shipping partner.

The Cost

One of the biggest headaches associated with freight shipping is none other than the costs to do it – especially when these costs change, which is certainly something that has a tendency to happen. Why are costs such a headache? There are so many different options when it comes to moving commercial equipment from Point A to Point B, from packaging options to ways the equipment can be shipped:

  • Packaging Types: Pallets, skids, skeleton crates and full crates are four of the most popular packaging types when it comes to transporting commercial equipment. Depending on the product in question, each has their own place. Pallets offer the least amount of product protection, but they are also the cheapest packaging option. Skids are essentially custom pallets, and skeleton crates are skids with additional wood framing. The most secure type of packaging for a commercial piece of equipment is a full crate, which essentially is a wooden box with a skid-type bottom that’s built around the product.
  • Types of Shipping: Aside from how the product is packaged, there’s also the means of transportation it must take to get to the end user. There are a variety of different transportation options, all of which vary in cost and speed. Here’s an overlook:
    • LTL: LTL, or less than truckload, shipment is best for smaller freight. This method is normally fairly fast, but where it really scores big points is in how affordable it is. However, items transported this way must be skidded and covered with some sort of protective packaging.
    • Blanket Wrap: These types of shipments don’t usually require a skid or crate.
    • Ocean: Items shipped by sea must be specially packed into ocean containers, which can raise costs. Even after they’re stored in these special ocean containers, they must be packaged similar to equipment being shipped LTL.
    • Air Shipment: The nice thing about freight air shipments is that they are normally twice as fast as ocean or truck shipments. The bad news about shipment by air is that these shipments are also about double the price and there are also sizing restrictions, meaning each item in question must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.
    • Other Shipping: Logistics van shipment and flatbed shipment are two other shipping types that involve transporting items in trailers.

You paid enough for your product, why pay a ton more to ship it to your location? That’s the value of a freight shipping partner, as a quality one can help you choose the right shipping method and packaging for your situation and your piece of equipment.

International Shipping Challenges

Having an item shipped domestically is one thing – having it shipped internationally is a whole different thing. For instance, any commercial freight going in or out of the United States – or any country for that matter – will have to clear customs. Do you have customs clearance? A quality shipping partner works with a customs broker to help streamline this process.

Then, there are what’s called “Incoterms,” or international commercial terms. If you’re not an international shipping expert, you’re likely going to struggle to understand these and just what type of impact they have on transporting purchased equipment to your facility.

Finally, just from Incoterms and customs clearance, you can probably guess that international shipping is complicated. But another way that international shipping can complicate things is when it comes to the invoice – specifically, mistakes on the invoice. That’s another value of a good freight shipping partner, as they’ll take a final look at international shipping invoices to make sure that everything checks out.

Other Challenges a Freight Partner Can Help Solve

Aside from the packaging type and shipment type – which play a role in overall cost – and juggling the international shipping logistics, there are a variety of other challenges that a good freight shipping partner can help overcome. For instance:

  • Freight Class: Do you know what freight class the product falls under? Before you can ship, this must be determined.
  • Qualified Carriers: Whether by air, land or sea, it’s also important to find qualified and professional carriers. A good shipping partner only does business with the best carriers, so you can trust that your product will be delivered on time and in good condition.
  • Insurance: What are your liability limits on your shipments? Will it be enough in the event that the unthinkable were to happen?
  • Transit times: Is your product arriving in the appropriate amount of time?

 

As you can see, a good freight partner can help resolve a lot of logistical issues that deal with price, transportation and international hassles. And here at Bid on Equipment, we’re pleased to work with a great freight shipping partner who will provide you with free shipping quotes based on the weight and dimensions of your purchase. They’re also pleased to help you manage any other obstacles that have the potential to pop up throughout the process of getting the equipment from Point A to Point B.

For more information, contact Bid on Equipment today.

What to Look for When Purchasing a Commercial Meat Grinder

Meat grinders are essential tools in any home kitchen, restaurant, commercial processing facility or other facility that has a desire to chop, mix or process meat. In a nutshell, a meat grinder is an appliance that replaces a mincing knife, making the task of meat processing much more efficient.

The origins of the meat grinder date all the way back to the 19th century by a German revolutionist. These early grinders were hand cranked and forced the meat into a metal plate that was dotted with several holes, which thereby processed thin, long strands of meat. As time moved on and as technology improved, much of the manual hand cranking involved with these older meat grinders was eventually replaced with electricity.

The meat grinder is still used today, commercially in the likes of restaurants. But today’s meat grinder is a far cry from the early days of the grinder. Today, there are many options and features to choose from when it comes to grinders of the commercial variety. This post is designed to provide more insight and analysis on just what you should be looking for when you’re in the market to purchase a new commercial meat grinder.

What type of meat grinder do I need?

As we noted earlier, meat grinders have come a long way since they were first invented in the 19th century. Today, there are three main types of meat grinders: manual grinders, standalone grinders and grinder attachments. We’ll briefly examine these types below:

  • Manual grinders: Similar to the original meat grinder, a manual grinder fittingly requires the user to turn a crank or a lever to process the meat. Typically, these types of grinders are best suited for environments where there isn’t a need to process large amounts of meat. It’s also best utilized in areas of the country where electricity might not be readily available. Most manual grinders are made from cast iron steel and some are even coated in aluminum or other metals.
  • Standalone grinders: Standalone grinders are those that are most synonymous with commercial industry, mainly for the fact that they are electrically powered. For this reason, standalone grinders are also commonly known as “electric meat grinders.” Because they’re so automated, they’re best utilized in environments which have to process large quantities of meat. While they’re more expensive than a manual grinder, they also come with more plate options for grinding and processing different types of meats.
  • Grinder attachments: These typically are more suited to the household market than to the commercial one in that these are grinder attachments that connect and work with other kitchen devices, such as food processors and mixers.

Do you need a conventional grinder or a frozen one?

While we already covered the three main types of grinders in the above section, there are various sub categories of grinders as it pertains to their capabilities. For instance, some grinders are just designed to grind and process thawed meat, while others are designed to process frozen meat. These “frozen” meat grinders are able to process blocks of meat in temperatures as low as negative 25 degrees Celsius. Before purchasing a meat grinder, be sure you know whether or not you’ll need it to work with frozen or thawed meat (or both).

Do I need my grinder to do anything special?

We already covered one special task that you need to know whether or not you need your meat grinder to accomplish in the processing of frozen meat, but there are a few other special things that you need to keep in mind. For instance, one other task that many want their meat grinders to be able to do is process bone, soft bone to be specific. Some meat grinders are able to do this, others are not able to do this. So if your restaurant or commercial facility deals with the likes of prime rib or other meats that might include a soft bone, you’re likely going to want to choose a model that’s able to process this. It’s another thing to take into consideration.

How much meat do I need to process?

Just how much meat do you need to process? The answer to this question will more or less dictate what type of grinder you’re going to want to acquire. For instance, as we covered above, if you don’t process a lot of meat, you can probably get away with buying a manual grinder. But if you process a lot of meat, an electric grinder is almost always the right way to go. Generally speaking, the more meat you’ll need to process, the bigger the motor you’ll need on your meat processor. You wouldn’t attempt to tow a boat in a sedan vehicle now would you? No, you’d select the truck or SUV for that. Think of meat grinders similarly. If you’re only looking to make a batch of hamburgers every now and then, you don’t need a very powerful meat grinder. But if you’re processing all kinds of meats and crafting all different kinds of foods, make sure you’re purchasing a meat grinder with the ability to handle such capacity.

What’s my budget?

Last but not least, there’s the aspect of cost when it comes to the purchase of a commercial meat grinder. There’s always the challenge of acquiring a product that is able to fit within the budget you’ve set aside for it. Meat grinders are hardly the most expensive piece of equipment that you’ll likely need in your restaurant or commercial facility, but they can still put a decent dent in the wallet, as they range in price anywhere from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. While many businesses can absorb these costs, many others are looking for a more affordable upfront cost, especially those who are just opening a restaurant. For these businesses, buying from a credible, reliable source such as Bid on Equipment could be the best route to take. Because of the turnover rate of the restaurant and food business, Bid on Equipment regularly receives lightly used grinders that it is able to turn around and sell for a fraction of the like-new price.

 

There is a lot to consider when it comes to the purchase of a new commercial meat grinder, from style to additional features and, of course, to price. But price should never be something that stands in the way of you and the equipment you need. That’s where we come in at Bid on Equipment. Visit our website to browse our selection of meat grinders today.

November 2015 Trends Report

What has been bringing buyers to Bid on Equipment through the month of November and what are they looking for when they are here? This last month we noticed a large increase in interest in Meat Equipment including Meat Grinders, Meat Preparation Equipment, and Breakdown Meat Equipment.
 
Below are the top ten search terms that have shown the largest increases from Internet search traffic this month.

 

Interest in each of these terms has grown 100% – 2000%!

Used Woodworking Tools For Sale Restaurant Equipment For Sale
Bakery Equipment For Sale Used Dairy Equipment
Used Meat Processing Equipment Used Machine Shop Equipment
Used Boilers For Sale Used Meat Grinder
Used Printing Equipment Bakery Oven For Sale
 
The top ten overall categories for Bid on Equipment in the last month.
Woodworking Equipment Boilers
Bakery Equipment Tanks
Machine Shop and Tools Lathes
Dairy Equipment Meat Equipment
Restaurant Equipment Welding Equipment
 
The top ten overall Manufacturer Pages for Bid on Equipment in the last month.
Sweco Combi
Cleaver Brooks Hussman
Bakers Pride Multivac
Miller Alto Shaam
Waukesha Bosch