Top 5 Shipping Tips for Small Businesses
Does your business have a growing online retail presence, or is your business expanding from shipping parcels to shipping pallets? No matter where you are in your growth cycle, if shipping is an essential part of your business, this is an article you should read.
As any successful entrepreneur knows, you want to focus your limited energy on the most important things for your business – such as generating sales or long-term planning, and outsource the rest – such as shipping or bookkeeping – to other people or tools. In many cases, implementing the right tools can make all the difference in your operational efficiency. One of our partners – Freightcom – has nailed shipping down to science, so we asked them to share a few tips and tricks to simplify your shipping process, in order to save your time and headache.
1. Package your shipments properly
Whether you’re shipping parcels or pallets, packaging your shipments properly is key, to protect the goods you’re shipping and to ensure your brand identity is communicated effectively.
Here are some tips for packaging your shipments like a pro:
- Use professional packaging such as boxes, packaging tape and fillers. They not only protect your products but also represent a professional brand image for your business.
- Select the right box and packaging material. This includes using internal protection (fillers) to keep your goods secure.
- If you’re shipping a pallet, make sure the pallet itself is not damaged. If your pallet is already damaged, even proper palletization of your shipment will be in vain.
- To help prevent any loss or damage, it is essential to pack your goods as tightly as possible on the pallet to avoid extra space and the risk of your goods moving around while in transit.
- If you are shipping a pallet, make sure you wrap your pallets sufficiently. It is always better to over protect than under protect.
2. Avoid extra charges by having the correct measurements
Shipping rates depend on several factors: weight, dimensions (volume), distance, quantity and type of product.
When obtaining a shipping quote, it is essential to enter accurate dimensions and weights so that the billed shipping charge matches the initial quote you received. Couriers will verify your data and adjust your invoice accordingly if the weight and dimensions are incorrect and it will result in extra charges.
This same approach goes for shipping pallets. Ensure you have the right address, shipping hours, dimensions and weight of the shipment. Keep in mind if there is a problem in transit or with delivery (i.e. if a customer receives the wrong package or a damaged one), the onus falls on the shipper to provide proof that the shipment was not sent in that condition. So it is highly recommended to take pictures of your package or pallet prior to shipping it out.
3. Double check shipping information
We know it sounds obvious but when sending shipments, it is important to double check that you’ve entered the correct information on the shipping label – including the address, unit number, postal code, and/or buzzer code.
Entering this information correctly will prevent any delay in transit and will help your business avoid address correction charges from the carrier.
4. Consider insurance
Insurance and damage in shipping freight or packages is a subject that most new shippers are not aware of, however, it is important to understand what to do when dealing with a damaged package.
Accidents can occur and it’s possible that even the most careful courier could lose or damage your package. Standard carrier liabilities can range from 10 cents to $2/lb and only cover a maximum of $100 per shipment which may not be sufficient coverage for what you are shipping. If you are shipping high value goods, consider purchasing additional insurance for peace of mind.
5. Use a shipping solution to automate your courier or LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) shipping process
Traditional shipping and order fulfilment processes are time-consuming and take you away from focusing on other areas of your business. This is exactly why Freightcom was founded. By leveraging technology to simplify the entire shipping process for both B2B and B2C companies, Freightcom allows businesses to seamlessly manage and fulfill orders in real time.
With Freightcom, businesses could automate the entire shipping process from customer data, shipping rates, finding the best-value couriers, packing your products and much more – helping to ensure your customers get their orders safely and timely.
Finding an efficient shipping process for your products will go a long way in preventing losses and in improving your customer’s experience. Shipping is one of the last interactions you have with your customer and is arguably the most important for leaving a lasting impression. For more information about shipping, check out Freightcom.