Many sellers and retailers are finding themselves increasingly in need of small package shipping solutions. With hundreds of couriers, and the ecommerce industry booming, you may find yourself wondering how to make the most bang for your buck.
There are lots of options on the market, and many shippers means many options, rates, and speeds. Here is some advice to help optimize your shipping costs and find the right provider for your business.
Be specific about your shipping needs.
Before you even consider the different services providers have to offer you, you must know what it is that you need.
Are you shipping internationally or domestically? Are you looking for freight insurance? What is your return policy? There are so many questions you need to answer for your business.
What will be the average weight of your parcels? The dimensions of your parcels have a significant impact on the cost and speed of service. They can also determine whether you want to use a freight solution like Full Truckload (FT) or Less Than Truckload (LT).
Are you shipping internationally or domestically? Certain couriers fare better in specific countries and regions.
Are you looking for a postal courier or express courier? There are several differences between governmental couriers like the United States Postal Service and a private company like FedEx. The former tends to be more cost effective, the latter, speedier and more reliable. Is cost or speed your priority?
Are you handling dangerous materials? Cargo with certain materials, like batteries for example, are considered hazardous, and require specific certification to transport. As such, shippers will often charge more for this cargo.
Knowing all the details of what you’re looking for is important when choosing a provider. Take the time to tailor your research of possible couriers to your specific needs. Look for a shipper who offers these services, as well as several other crucial qualities.
Once you place your product in the hands of a transporter, you want to make sure it arrives where it needs to go, and that you have some measure of recourse if it does not. Look for shippers that have delivery guarantees, and which do not have a history of reneging on them.
Look for what other customers have to say. Is the shipper known for inaccurate invoices? Damaged packages?
With the global demands of ecommerce, your business needs to be partnering with a shipper who uses all the latest technology available.
One such example is a transportation management system (TMS). TMSs use real-time data to automate the quoting and scheduling process for orders made after hours. This prevents delays and errors and ensures you can best serve customers all around the world.
Audit your shipping expenses.
Worried you’re being overcharged, or could be saving money in some of your shipping expenses? Look into setting up an audit, either internally or by an objective third party.