With over 84% of consumers saying that they are less likely to shop with a brand after a bad shipping experience, it's vital that you are extra cautious of the courier partner you choose for your business.
Do you have a business and looking for a courier partner you can work together? There are plenty of things you can look out for to make your decision. These things include:
You need to ask whether a courier company can service your customers. In a 2011 report published by the Council For Supply Chain Management Professionals, the economy has been declining, and companies are cutting their capacities—including logistics companies.
In the 2011 report titled "The state of Logistics Report," the council showed that since 2006, courier companies have cut their truck capacity by over 16%.
Despite these changes, you must ensure that the company you hire has enough fleet sizes to service your customers.
The company should have a fleet of trucks and trailers that provide reliable service. The company should also have large and stable warehouse spaces for your goods.
Although safety regulations have been tightened, especially after the 2010 incident where two packages from Yemen were found to contain bombs, it's still important to consider how secure a company is so you can have peace of mind that your goods will safely reach your intended location.
The safety levels of the company are even more important if you are transporting hazardous chemicals. Besides the company being safe, you also need to ensure that the courier company maintains the highest levels of compliance when transporting these chemicals.
To increase the safety levels of your products and be able to tell if someone has tampered with them, if possible, use tamper-evident seals that will automatically tell you that the product's security has been compromised.
Your bottom line keeps your business afloat. For you to stay competitive in a tough economy and still grow in a competitive environment, focus on increasing your profitability.
Writers of the Supply Chain Digest Letter note that one of the principal areas in which business people want to cut costs and increase profitability is transportation.
As much as you want a cheap service provider to increase your bottom line, you shouldn't base your entire decision-making process on price alone—you also should consider the quality of service that the courier service provider provides.
The perfect company is one that can balance quality service with affordable cost.
According to Deliveree, Southeast Asia's Leading Logistics Company for Road Freight & Cargo Delivery, you can always cut down your transport costs by trimming the packaging of your products.
Eighty percent of online shoppers report that the key incentive that would prompt them to buy more from an online store is free shipping, so if you have an eCommerce business, consider offering free shipping.
Offering free shipping on all your sales may be expensive, especially if you are a small business owner, but you can be strategic about it. An excellent way to go about it is by building shipping into your product prices.
You can limit free delivery to your loyal customers, specific regions or products, or even orders above a given value. By doing this, you encourage your customers to be more loyal and, increase your sales value.
The delivery company's area of specialization is important when shipping certain specialized items, such as perishable products or hazardous chemicals.
In such situations, the smallest errors would lead to grave consequences, so it's vital that you work with a shipping company that specializes in transporting your products of interest.
Some things to pay attention to when choosing the shipping company for your specialized products include:
Packaging: Plenty of packaging options vary depending on the insulation and refrigeration you need. For example, if you are shipping frozen and cold food, you will need a company that provides insulated containers such as foam packages and a refrigerant such as gel packs or dry ice.
If transporting baked goods, you need a company providing airtight wrapping and, with foods that bruise easily, you need good padding.
Temperature: Do your goods need to be transported at specific temperatures? You should shop for a company that will provide you with this. Work with the company representatives, explore the options available, and ensure that the company can support this.
Shipping times: How long can a company take to get your products to the desired destination? Factor this and ensure it can deliver the goods before they go bad.
Pricing: Specialized transportation often attracts higher costs, so you should expect to pay a higher fee than someone transporting regular cargo, but this doesn't mean that the amount should be astronomical.
To find the right company, shop around and find a reputable company with a proven track record charging an affordable fee.
Does the carrier company try to nurture a relationship with you and your business? This is important as you don't want to be too transactional.
The business environment is highly volatile, and you don't need a company that you pay to deliver your goods—you need a partner that you can discuss issues, and you can even negotiate the terms of your agreement when the market gets volatile.
There is no doubt that you need to be cautious when choosing a courier service provider for your business, as no two companies are the same.
Take time and do background checks before you engage with a delivery company. A good way to tell whether a company is reputable is by checking online review sites and forums. Read what other users say about the company and make your decision.
It also doesn't hurt to call the company and see how easy they are to reach, how friendly, and helpful they are.
Plenty of things can go wrong as the goods are being transported, so ask the shipping company about the insurance options available. You don't want to leave your expensive products to fate, do you?