Transport: not a perfect science

Today we’re going to chat about the transport industry in general and what can sometimes go wrong.

The industry says “there are no guarantees in transport”.  I’m going to explore some of the reasons why.

There is a lot of distress from customers when a pickup driver arrives outside the a requested pickup window or worse doesn’t turn up at all on the requested day.

There can be many reasons why a driver is delayed: weather and traffic conditions, breakdown, accidents, roadwork delays, seasonally high parcel volumes, illness and driver fatigue are just a few of the issues a driver has to deal with on any given day. They do really try their best to meet the time lines but it often isn’t possible. Generally the driver is simply trying to cover as many pickups and deliveries as possible and can’t stop to let every pickup request know he is running late, doing this would simply delay the driver further.

If you’re booking via Smart Send and this situation arises, please let us know in a timely manner so we can re-arrange and monitor for the following or suitable business day for you.

The driver also has to have the goods back at the transport depot to meet the truck departures for intrastate/interstate deliveries; all his freight needs to be scanned, weighed and measured (via automated machinery), consolidated and loaded on to the trailer ready for departure generally by 7pm.  If the truck leaves the depot late then this can have a follow on effect causing delays with deliveries.

In general the industry is a manual process and humans make mistakes. This can mean your goods are sent accidentally to a wrong depot and need to be sent back to the correct depot.  In the case of a misdirection to Tasmania or Perth this can cause major delays. This is simply a mistake by the depot hand and it happens occasionally, however generally it’s not a huge issue. If you have any concerns after checking tracking, simply let Smart Send know and we can advise or rectify accordingly.

As a sender it is important you follow the carriers despatching instructions. It is vital the labels are printed and firmly stuck to the packed goods using wide clear tape. The barcode on the label is how your goods are tracked in transit and this must not be covered or hidden on the package.  If you are the receiver completing the booking you need to ensure the sender follows and understands what is required.

Where possible print the label using a laser printer and ensure it is clear and easy to read and scan.  Just following simple instructions can minimise delays and will provide clear tracking data in the system.

Not all carriers scan at all points between the pickup and the receiving depot, this can mean you won’t see a tracking scan after the pickup scan until the goods arrive into the delivery depot several days later.  Sometimes checking to ensure the goods are in transit and using the estimated transit time (provided by Smart Send upon booking) can save the receiver and yourself needless stress.

It is important to also ensure goods are weighed and measured correctly prior to booking. Each carrier has a freight profile to ensure they only carry goods that meet their individual requirements, under declaring can cause major delays with goods being booked with carriers who can not and should not be handling your goods.  This often means your goods need to be returned to you and a refund may not be possible due to costs already incurred. Under-declaring the weight/dimensions of your goods will also incur additional costs/Admin fees down the track, no one likes this.

A couple of simple rules to remember are; ensure the label is taped down flatly on all sides, there are no bulges in the carton, any tape or outer packaging is also snug and tight with no pieces of tape sitting out.  It is also not a bad idea to take photos with a tape measure to keep on file with the rest of the booking information in case the carrier does make a mistake when verifying weight/dimensions of goods (although this is rare).

Declaring the item’s weight and dimensions correctly means your goods will be transported by the correct carrier providing you with the best possible outcome.

You’ll find packaging and despatching tips at or simply ask us at


Following the guidelines above will minimise delays, however sometimes things go wrong and when it does our staff at Smart Send are here to help you sort out the issues promptly.


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