In Short, Blind Shipping is a kind of shipments where a shipper send the goods from a supplier to the customer and hide the supplier information from the customer. Let’s look at a scenario where your customer has ordered some items from you, you being a reseller. The supplier from whom you get your goods receives the order from you and ships the product to the customer. The final shipped products will be accompanied by the original invoice, disclosing your supplier’s details and the price the supplier has charged from you.
This price is lower than what the customer has paid you. So next time, your customer might order directly from the supplier, cutting you out. How to avoid this scenario? The answer is – blind shipping.
How Does Blind Shipping Work?
Blind shipping is a method whereby the manufacturer ships to the customer directly, but the name and other details of your supplier and the other terms of the trade are kept concealed from the end customer. This way, the customer would assume that it’s you who has shipped the goods and not your supplier. The supplier’s brand image, label, trademark, or any related information is not disclosed anywhere. So, it protects the identity of the supplier.
This type of shipment would always be prepaid. And you would have to put in the request to make the shipment blind prior to the cargo getting dispatched. From the Bill of Lading (B/L), the supplier’s details are struck off. Then, it accompanies the cargo for the final shipment. It might also happen that your – the distributor’s – name will be mentioned in place of “shipper” in the Bill of Lading. In this case as well, the customer will assume that it’s you who has done the shipment. Your supplier’s name stays hidden.
Usually, two B/Ls are created in a blind shipment process. The shipper uses the first one when it picks up the cargo for shipment. And the transporter will use the second one during delivering the cargo. In case the shipper is the “blind” entity, the B/L used by the shipper will be the blind B/L and the one used by the transporter will be the real B/L. However, in case the consignee is the designated “blind” entity, then the first B/L becomes the real one and the second one is the “blind” B/L. When the shipment is on the way to the destination, the transporter will switch the B/Ls. This will ensure that the shipment reaches the intended destination.
When to Use Blind Shipping?
As a retailer, you would be keen to protect your business interests and sources of revenue. And one way of doing this is to keep your supplier concealed from your customers. Under such circumstances, your customers will keep ordering from you, without knowing the identity of the actual shipper and striking a better deal with that shipper (your supplier). So, you can continue to be the middleman and maintain your earnings. Even your competitors won’t be able to find out the entity of the organization that supplies the products to you.
Advantages of Blind Shipping
- Protects your competitive advantage
- The supply chain management process remains safe & secure
- You don’t need to bother about stocking the products; your supplier will take care of it, while your customers will assume that it’s you who is doing the actual stocking and shipping