A shipping company or service is so vital to a company that making the wrong choice can lead to a massive loss of customers and, therefore, profits. Because of this, it is absolutely essential to make the right choice; here are a few factors to consider when choosing a shipping company.
Budget & Costs
Firstly, you need to understand all of the costs involved in using a particular company. While this may seem obvious, if you are new to the business and this is your first time choosing a shipping company, there may be a few things you overlook.
Do they use trucks or vans? Do they ship overseas? Do they use shipping containers or shipping boxes? All of these factors will change how much you will have to pay for their services and will therefore change how much your customer will need to pay for shipping, too.
While not necessarily something that is advertised, you should inquire about discounts. Depending on the company, there is a good chance that they will give you very good rates if your company ships regularly or ships large amounts of stock.
Companies that use aircraft and container ships, in particular, don’t want to fly or travel with empty space, as that will eat into their profits. Instead, they may offer a discount if you choose to fill said aircraft or shipping.
Speaking of your customer, it is vital that you think that far ahead when you are choosing your shipping company. It is all well and good to find a company that can ship anywhere in record time, but if it’s going to cost your customer $400 to get their $20 product, there will be problems.
You will need to find a balance between the cost to you, shipping options and speed, and the cost to your customer.
Even if you are a small business, consistent success will lead to more sales, more customers, and, therefore, more shipping. This is especially true if you are a local business that expands into shipping internationally, as now, the entire world is your customer base.
You will need to find a shipping company that can grow with you or, at the very least, already have the infrastructure in place to handle the increase in orders. A shipping company that only has ten employees and a couple of vans will struggle to ship your product across the globe.
Shipping Speed & Locations
“International shipping” is not a catch-all term for a company being able to ship anywhere. While it is true in some instances, there can be limitations. Africa is a good example of this, as a company with multiple trucks can ship internationally, as they just need to stay on the road, but they won’t be able to ship anywhere over water.
Shipping speed is also another factor that needs to be considered. It is often not enough to just ship internationally, especially if it takes several weeks or even months.
As alluded to already, a shipping company that can offer multiple shipping solutions tends to be a winner. Massive, worldwide shipping companies, such as DHL for example, have vans, trucks, aircraft, and everything in between.
All these options can be combined to give the most efficient and effective shipping solutions and can also drastically cut down on costs.
Dedicated Support System
No matter what services you use in business, whether it be for shipping or payroll, having a dedicated support team available is a must. This support team will be your go-to contact for everything related to your shipping.
Whether you have a query or a shipment goes missing or is late, you need a support service that runs like a well-oiled machine that can get you answers or solutions as fast as possible.
Considering all your shipping information and data will be online, you want to ensure you can integrate the company’s system into your system. This is especially true if you are an e-commerce store that uses a platform like Shopify or Woocommerce.
Integration is one of the best ways to streamline your shipping and keep all of the necessary data, for both you and your customer, in one place.
Depending on your needs and budget, you may need to choose a hybrid shipping option. This means shipping with more than one company; for example, there may be a very affordable local courier that you can use to keep costs down, which means you can spend the money saved on an international courier.
You may also be in a situation where you don’t ship overseas regularly but still need the option available. You don’t want to pay a high fee for an international shipping company when you will only use the international option once or twice or month.
Picking a shipping company can take time, and you will need to have patience, but it will always be better to wait for the best option instead of taking one that fulfills your needs immediately. Never underestimate the power the perfect shipping company will have on your profits and customer satisfaction.