Shipping and distribution are essential elements of any business handling tangible products. Shipping is even part of the customer experience, which means taking shipping seriously is a must. The last thing you want is for your customer experience to be disrupted by shipping mistakes and bad handling.
On the other hand, shipping is a cost element that also needs to be managed meticulously. Through some clever approaches and good management, you can actually save big on shipping. We are going to review the tips and tricks you can use to save your business a lot of money in this article.
Work with a Specialist
Whether you are using service providers like UPS and FedEx, working with freight brokers to handle bigger shipments, or laying out your own distribution network, fine-tuning the shipping solution based on your specific requirements is a must. This is a step that will help reduce shipping fees by a substantial margin.
Companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL have specialists that work with small businesses in setting up a shipping solution to match their specific requirements. This means you can adjust the expected delivery time, the preferred mode of transport, and the network or mapping itself to find ways to reduce shipping fees further.
Minimize Shipping Errors
For small businesses, shipping errors are costly mistakes that could seriously hurt the bottom line. Shipping products to the wrong customers, mishandling items and breaking them during shipping, and other similar mistakes are worth avoiding for the savings you make in return.
Investing in better packaging is a great way to avoid breakage and mishandling. With bigger shipments, opting for sturdy plastic shipping pallets and implementing better, more secure shipping policies are how you avoid this type of problems.
It is also possible to set up layers of error-checking together with the shipping service provider. Every shipment will be checked and double-checked before it gets delivered, allowing mistakes to be discovered as early as possible and corrected accordingly.
Learn to Consolidate
Larger corporations consolidate their shipments all the time. While it used to be difficult to consolidate shipments when you have a relatively small operation, the approach is now available to more small businesses thanks to service providers and the solutions they offer.
Consolidating shipments requires another look at your customer experience. For example, extending the expected delivery time by one day gives you more opportunity to consolidate multiple shipments and save money. At the same time, you also get the opportunity to surprise customers with faster-than-promised shipping when consolidation isn’t possible, improving the overall customer experience in the process.
For bigger shipments and distribution projects, consolidation is a lot easier to do. You now have more options at your disposal, including less than truckload or LTL for delivering goods of up to 20,000 pounds in weight. In this case, consolidation actually saves you time and money at the same time.
With shipping being an essential part of your small business, these tips are certainly worth implementing, especially when you consider how they help you save a lot of money. The more efficient your shipping workflow is, the more you can save in the long run.