Blind Shipping: What It Is & How Can It Help Your Business

Jan 12, 2024 | Blog, Pinnacle Services, Trucking Info


Want to discover the benefits of blind shipping? Find out how blind shipments safeguard supplier confidentiality and your business’s competitive advantage, and learn more about the entire process, from pick-up to delivery.

What Is Blind Shipping?

Blind shipping is a shipping method where the identity and address details of the consignor are hidden from the consignee or vice versa. 

In some cases, a third party may oversee the entire blind shipping operation, keeping the identity of both the shipper and consignee confidential from each other. This process is sometimes referred to as double-blind shipment. 

Benefits Of Using Blind Shipping

Depending on your business transactions and industry, blind-shipping can have several advantages. For instance:

Protects Your Competitive Advantage

Leveraging blind shipping can safeguard your business practices and lead to cost savings. Because the supply chain industry is huge, maintaining supplier or vendor confidentiality is sometimes crucial for the well-being of your business.

Blind shipping helps you secure advantageous prices or negotiate better prices for yourself, enhancing your competitive edge.

Protects Your Suppliers

Suppliers do not deal with just one client. So, sometimes it’s important to protect their identity. 

Your supplier may charge different prices to different clients, or there may be exclusive deals that would be jeopardized if supplier data were open for everyone to see. 

Plus, safeguarding your suppliers’ identity prevents your competitors from finding out who your trusted partners are.

Simplifies Inventory Management

Blindshipping is beneficial for businesses with no warehousing infrastructure. It’s a common practice in the dropshipping industry, where companies actually mask their third-party status.

In such business models, blind shipments keep your customers from going straight to your supplier.

Disadvantages Of Blind Shipping For Businesses

If you choose to blind ship, there are more details to take care of than in a typical shipping process. You are also faced with more restrictions.

More Complicated Paperwork

When hiding shipper/consignee identities, you still want your transportation operations to run smoothly.

This is why blind shipping involves a more complicated documentation process. 

The shipper or 3PL must provide two different bills of lading (BOLs). In double blind shipping, there actually need to be three different BOLs.

The bill of lading used by the “blind” party (i.e., the one with the ‘hidden’ identity) is called the “dummy BOL” or the “blind BOL,” whereas the other one is referred to as the “real BOL.”

Bills Of Lading Blindshipping

1. The first BOL is issued by the shipper at the time of pickup. 

2. The second BOL is used for delivery to the consignee.

3. A proper BOL with the full shipping/delivery information is handled by the freight forwarder or 3PL, and it’s given to the carrier when the shipment is booked.

Special Carrier Restrictions For Blind Shipments

To ensure accurate billing, safety standards and procedural requirements, carriers who handle blind shipments need to apply certain restrictions. For instance, HAZMAT transportation cannot be blind shipped.

In addition, to be covered against legal liabilities due to freight loss or damage in blind shipments, carriers exclude section 7 of the BOL. This section provides specific delivery instructions, like the party authorized to receive the shipment.

Moreover, carriers usually require blind shipping operations to be paid upfront – at the time of booking. There is also an extra flat fee per shipment, besides other accessorial charges (like fuel surcharge).

What’s The Difference Between Blind Shipping And Dropshipping?

Though they have many operational similarities, dropshipping and blindshipping are two distinct processes in the supply chain.

Freight Transport And E-commerce Retail Sales

Blind shipments apply mainly to large-scale freight transport within domestic or international supply chains. They involve the consignor, the consignee and often a middleman who handles the entire operation.

In contrast, blind drop shipping is a popular business model in the e-commerce industry for retailers that do not deal with inventory. 

In other words, in an e-commerce dropshipping business, consumers make a purchase from a vendor’s website, but inventory and order delivery are entirely handled by a different company – the drop-shipper.

How to Prepare For Blind Shipping

Preparing for blind shipping is more challenging than typical shipping. Here are some basic steps.

  1. Contact A Freight Brokerage(3PL)

Freight Brokers who handle blind shipments must be trusted, well-connected, and experienced in risk management.

  1. Do The Paperwork

You must complete all the necessary documentation and provide the shipper/consignee with precise information as needed.

On top of multiple BOL documents, other special documentation may be needed for a blind shipment.

  1. Leave The Rest To Your Carrier

Your freight broker will help you find an efficient and trusted carrier with adequate experience to deliver your blind shipments safely and efficiently.

Are There Other Potential Issues To Watch Out For?

Because blind shipments require multiple BOLs, make sure you confirm with the carrier that they have the right BOL to present to the shipper and the consignee, along with full pick-up/delivery information for their records.

Also, keep in mind that carriers cannot always guarantee the confidentiality of blindshipping transactions and they have limited liability for misrouted freight.

Providing accurate information minimizes such errors significantly.

LTL Or FTL For Blind Shipping?

Blind drop shipping is common in LTL transportation.

However, FTL blind freight deliveries are less complicated as they involve less handling and stops. Thus, the chances of error are reduced.

We Can Help You With Blind Shipments

At Pinnacle Freight Systems Inc., we know the importance of keeping your supply chain confidential. 

Our end-to-end supply chain solutions include blind shipping services for shipments controlled by 3rd parties. 
We facilitate communication and live up to your expectations – always. Plus, we offer a range of warehousing, consolidation, and multi-modal services for all shippers. Join the Pinnacle Family.

Contact Us

Phone: 732.667.5261

Fax: 732.667.5265

Contact Pinnacle

Pinnacle Freight Systems, Inc.
Pinnacle Trucking, LLC
500 Cedar Lane, Florence, NJ 08518

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