If your business ships gold, silver, and bullion, you probably already have systems in place to make sure you are doing things efficiently and safely. Even so, if you are responsible for risk assessment you may still have burning questions in the back of your mind of:
- Are you really shipping your gold or silver for the best price?
- Are your shipments really safe?
1) Packaging High-Value Items Correctly
It's important to make sure your high-value items are packaged correctly and safely, whether your shipment is domestic or international and especially when you're shipping gold, silver, precious metals, stock certificates, even cash. Depending on the size of your items, you will choose boxes, padded envelopes, or potentially crating if your shipment is large enough.
Packing your gold and silver in a sealed bag inside the shipping package ensures nothing can slide out during the shipping process. Use a tamper evident case or bag, which some companies, like Cabrella, will provide free of charge. Make sure the package is sealed as securely as possible, with no potential flaps that could work their way open. If you still have questions about the actual packaging process, this link from the USPS give some helpful pointers on preparing shipments.
One last packaging tip we like to remind customers shipping gold or silver is to make sure the packaging and labeling is innocuous so that anyone with bad intent can't tell there is gold or silver in the package just by looking at it. While postal workers do have to pass a background check to get a job with the USPS, that can't be said of all carriers nor can background checks guarantee your package can't fall into the wrong hands. The bottom line is do not label gold, diamonds, jewelry, etc. on a box unless necessary for customs purposes.
Use boxes or envelopes that don't mention a gold or coin business, perhaps just using a name and return address or mailing address, not company names that have the words "gold" or "silver" in them. While shipping insurance mitigates the risk of theft, it's still best to do what you can to ensure the safe arrival of your package. No one enjoys going through a claims process and losing the valuables being shipped to begin with.
2) Choosing the Right Company for Shipping Gold, Silver, or Bullion
We find that most of our clients prefer to use USPS registered mail, especially for gold shipping.
Registered mail offers a "chain of custody" process that makes sure the registered packages are locked up at each stop along the way. This extra measure of care provides peace of mind for those making the shipment. However, there are some downsides with Registered mail. Mainly, the “chain of custody” process extends the delivery process. Often times, registered mail packages take over 7 days to arrive at a destination (possibly shorter or longer depending on the distance of the destination). For rush orders or if you want to turn over more business, you can use companies like Cabrella that will also insure USPS services like Priority Express Mail or Priority Mail.
While you can use other carriers, many of them do not offer insurance on gold and silver so you have to use third party for insurance, nor do they have the same chain of custody process.
If you are still interested in comparison shopping among shipping companies, see the comparison feature from Consumer Affairs. This source allows you to read thousands of customer reviews for major shipping carriers like UPS, FedEx, and USPS all in one place. The site also gives a thorough description of different shipping company types and shipping company uses so you can determine which company is right for you as you comparison shop.
3) Shop Around for Shipping Insurance
Your carrier will offer shipping insurance which is highly recommended for expensive items like gold, silver, and bullion. While prices for the actual shipping might be fairly comparable between carriers, insurance is where you have the potential to overpay or save big. Don't fall into the trap of thinking the shipping carrier you choose is the only place to get shipping insurance. In fact, many times carrier insurance won't cover high value items like gold or jewelry.
Third party shipping companies can offer shipping insurance at a much more affordable price point—up to 90% less than major carriers. A third party acts as an insurance broker so they match clients with the best insurance to compliment their shipping process. Often a these companies offer an easily integratable software that doesn't add a burdensome extra step to the shipping process. For example at Cabrella, we keep all of your shipment details on a convenient dashboard and streamline the claims process should anything ever go wrong with a shipment.
4) Conduct Risk Analysis
Shipping insurance exists for a very important reason—that sometimes accidents do happen. Shipments get lost, stolen, or tampered with. That is why it is important to carry shipping insurance on gold, silver, and bullion. A third party shipping company might help customers with risk analysis by calculating loss ratios and providing customers with notifications throughout the shipping process including deliveries, failures, hazards, and more.
Also, a third party shipping insurance company can offer more flexibility when shipping internationally because they may have fewer international restrictions than major shipping carrier insurance. Not to mention, following claims is much simpler because they have automated claims processes so you won't be losing more of your precious time or money if you need to file a claim.
Third Party Shipping Insurance Simplifies the Process
With careful packaging, using USPS unless you already prefer another carrier, finding shipping insurance, and conducting risk analysis you can ship your gold, silver, or bullion with confidence. And using a third party like Cabrella truly streamlines the process and provides you with big savings.
If your business makes regular gold, silver, or bullion shipments nationally or internationally it only make sense to streamline the shipping process with a shipping insurance software. And best of all, third party shipping insurance can save up to 90% on shipping insurance with a software that matches your package with the best insurance for you.