Roughly 100% of HVAC OEM replacement coil shipments use some kind of trucking company or common carrier. There are occasions when the shipment is small enough to use UPS or FedEx, but the vast majority of HVAC shipments are sent by way of truck. Anyone who has frequently used freight companies has experienced damaged shipments and/or late arrivals. In our industry, these annoyances and inconveniences are typically written off as “the cost of doing business”. Think of the airline industry as an example. Our expectations have been reduced to point where we expect something to go wrong and are pleasantly surprised when the trip is smooth from start to finish.
Many folks might not know this, but even before the pandemic struck, the trucking industry in general had been experiencing a gross shortage of drivers throughout the country. Some estimates have put this shortage of drivers as high as 50,000 throughout the country.
So what does this shortage mean for the HVAC industry? Put simply, it translates into complications and confusion for all involved.
- Longer delivery times. For example, a delivery that used to take (3) days is now (5-7).
- One major reason for the longer delivery times is that trucks now have many more stops than in years past. There are also many instances of more trips through connecting terminals as well.
- More time on the truck usually equates to both “visible” and “hidden” freight damage.
- The shipments become harder to track, and with fewer people at the trucking companies doing more work, shipments can and will get lost entirely.
Because the freight process is at the very end of the OEM replacement coil buying cycle, Capital Coil & Air has developed some simple strategies for the entire buying process that should help in avoiding many of the annoyances listed above. We’ve also added a very useful “hint” to counter longer freight delivery times.
- Getting a price, delivery & accurate proposal from your vendor: Capital Coil responds to every quote request quicker than any of our competitors, and we are always willing to put that claim to the test. A (2) day delay in receiving your quote is the same as a (2) day freight delay on the back end.
- Receiving your submittal drawings in a timely fashion: You need to approve these drawings, so once again, how is a (2) day delay in receiving approval drawings any different than receiving your order (2) days late?
- Quick-Ships: As you’ve probably experienced numerous times in the past and/or present, other coil manufacturers seem to be consistently shutting down their quick-ship programs with little to zero notice for the customer. Why is this? Many manufacturers take on a glut of OEM replacement coil business, or other large projects with small profit margins. In many cases they do this simply to keep the factory running during the slower periods of the year. This has the effect of delaying standard lead times, and in many cases, cancelling quick-ships altogether. It is very hard to do business with companies that make themselves unavailable when you need them the most.
Capital Coil NEVER shuts down our quick-ship programs, and we emphasize NEVER! Over the last (2) years, CCA has hit approximately 99% of all quick-ship orders.
- Crating equipment to minimize freight damage.
- Shipping on time: Simply put, we consistently ship when we say we’re going to ship.
- Select a freight carrier that delivers to your area without interlining or stopping at several terminals: This is when freight damage is most likely to occur!
- Pay the carrier fee for a guaranteed delivery date: Although seemingly not well-known, most carriers offer a guaranteed delivery date for a fee of $50-$100. Paying the fee will ensure that your order is now a “priority”, and most freight companies schedule deliveries based on these “priorities” first. If both your order and delivery are critical and time-sensitive, Capital Coil can help you with exploring these delivery options.
Capital Coil & Air will work with you throughout the entire buying and shipping process because you as the customer, deserve to work with a hands on manufacturer that will not turn its back on you once the order has been placed. Please give Capital Coil a try on your next project!