When you run a product-based business, figuring out logistics can be a nightmare. The task is often best outsourced to the shipping company who will be handling your goods and getting them from point A to point B.
Whenever possible, working with the same shipping company for the majority of your shipping needs is optimum. So how do you decide which one is best? Here’s how to choose the right shipping company for your business to ensure your products get to their destination in a timely, safe manner.
One of the main things to consider when selecting a shipping company is pricing. You may think that all shipping companies will be on par with pricing, as they are virtually traveling the same distance to make your delivery– that could not be further from the truth. The size of the company, the fleet options available, supply and demand, and capacity all make a difference.
For example, if you are only filling half a container with products, you may pay more per pound than you would on a full container. Some shipping companies will organize their shipments to benefit both your budget and their bottom line. Compare pricing options before moving forward.
Third Party Options
As a subset to pricing, you may have better luck going through a third party logistics provider than you would negotiating yourself. Companies like Irish Parcels (visit them at IrishParcels.ie) spend their time building a rapport and networking with couriers. As they drive a lot of business to the shippers, they are offered deals and discounts that aren’t readily available to the average consumer, which then gets passed on to you.
Being able to know where your items are when they’re in transit is a huge relief for those on a time crunch or sending valuable goods. In logistics, if there is a delay in transport it has a domino effect on other areas of the supply chain. Being able to identify a delay issue and contact someone about it immediately can help mitigate the risk of customer dissatisfaction and costly rerouting scenarios.
Most courier services now offer online tracking. This service is especially important for businesses who ship directly to customers around the holiday season, as that’s the busiest time of year for shipping and revenue.
As with any business, the quality of service often outranks the pricing implications. As a business, you want to know that your products are in good hands so that your customers come back and purchase more goods. The same mentality should apply to the shipping business, who wants you to continue to use their service.
When you work with a shipping company, you should feel comfortable picking up the phone and addressing any questions or concerns you may have. Your customer service experience should leave you feeling taken care of, as you know you have knowledgeable, caring people looking out for your assets.
When choosing a shipping company, look at the area they cover. Will they get your product to the final destination or will you have to coordinate a pick up from a depot? Will they pick up your product from your warehouse or will you have to coordinate transportation there?
Depending on the mode of transportation you’re using, and the location of the final drop-off, it’s not uncommon to have multiple modes of transportation in the shipping process. However, having a clear idea of what’s expected can help you decide what company to use. Keep in mind that the more your product is handled, the more likely it is that damage will occur.
Taking your time to build a rapport with a shipping company will ensure you get the best pricing and service for handling your goods. Research, ask questions, and get recommendations from other businesses to make the right choice.