Shipping is an essential part of every business. It significantly contributes to customer experience, and most importantly, it’s often the last point of contact you have with your customers. Therefore, a positive, long-lasting impression is paramount.
Moreover, when your customers enjoy seamless delivery, it builds consumer trust, and they’re most likely to purchase from you next time. Good shipment services also make your business efficient, and in the long run, your brand can gain a competitive advantage with transparent, fast, efficient, and reliable delivery services.
Related Post: 7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Shipping Company
The shipping process involves various supply chain management tasks such as warehousing, transportation, distribution, and delivery. Running these tasks on your own is time-consuming, and it’ll eat into your time and energy to run your actual business. That’s why there are freight forwarding companies, such as those on load boards, to help you with all your freight shipping services.
That said, shipping for your customers doesn’t end with outsourcing the work to a freight company. Before you do that, you have to be sure that the company is reliable and efficient so that their shipment services favor your business and your customers’ experience.
Here are five factors you should consider when choosing freight shipping services:
1. Selection of Services Offered
Before looking into the kind of freight company you want for your shipping services, you have to know the type of services your business requires. Although ideally, freight companies should offer warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution services, not all companies do. Some just specialize in distribution. Therefore, if your business model requires an ideal freight company’s full package, you may have to set that as a non-negotiable.
Experts recommend that you use freight companies that have a range of services and preferably that can meet most, if not all, of your business needs, under one roof. Alternatively, you may outsource different shipping needs to various shipping suppliers. Should you choose this path, note that having multiple shippers means that your deliveries will take longer, and the shipping cost is likely to be more expensive.
2. The Cost Of Shipping
Your customers will always bear the cost of shipping services. When the shipping cost is high, you’ll have to spread those costs to your customers to ensure that your business stays profitable. However, customers may cancel the transaction and look for more affordable service alternatives when these costs are deemed too high.
According to research done in 2018, 60% of the customers who abandoned their cart said it was because of the high shipping cost. Therefore, when looking for freight services, you must consider their pricing. Have a budget and make sure the company works within your budget.
However, don’t compromise on other essential freight shipping features such as reliability, shipment tracking, and the company’s experience to save on expenses. A good shipping service should meet all the other four factors discussed in this article while remaining pocket-friendly.
When looking for a reliable freight company, consider these two things:
- Time Of Delivery– A good freight company should always ensure timely deliveries. In case of unforeseen events or situations, they should be able to provide an alternative solution to deliver the goods despite the delays.
- Safety Of The Goods– Safety is essential to your business and customers. Depending on your business policy, you or your customers may incur the cost of your goods getting lost during shipment. These circumstances should be avoided as they negatively impact your brand and your company’s bottom line.
In addition, the concept of safety should also cover their consideration of transportation routes to prevent theft, damage, and breakage of your items.
A company that does timely deliveries and guarantees safety is reliable. You shouldn’t compromise the reliability of a company just because it’s affordable.
4. Shipment Tracking
Shipment tracking allows your customers to track where their parcels are and how long they’ll take until delivery. By doing so, the customers can stay informed, knowing that their packages will arrive. It also creates a sense of transparency between you and your customers, especially if your communication and the final result of the shipment tracking match.
As companies like Amazon continue to offer state-of-the-art shipping services, customers increasingly demand more detailed shipment tracking. Therefore, when choosing a freight company, go for one with the most recent tracking technology to track the parcel to the most specific level of details required by the customer.
Shipment tracking also goes hand in hand with customer communication. It is necessary for the freight company you choose to have proper communication methods to keep all parties informed. They should be able to give you and your customers daily updates on the status of your shipment. Additionally, if the shipment process experiences any delays, the company should communicate promptly while reassuring the customers of the safety of their goods.
5. The Company’s Experience
Before hiring a shipping company, look into their history in the industry. For how long has their company been in operation? Do they own a fleet of trucks or trailers for transportation? You can find this information on the company’s website or in article reviews.
Another way to find out the company’s history is through customer reviews. If the reviews are excellent and consistent, that’s a good sign that you can outsource your shipping needs to them. You should also conder seeking recommendations from people who also use shipping services for the business. A referral is more likely to give a detailed, unbiased review of a company based on their experience.
Bottom line, it helps when you use the shipping services of a company with a good reputation. Best to also leave your shipping needs to experienced professionals rather than newcomers, even when the cost is affordable.
Wrapping It Up
If you have been wondering where to start outsourcing your freight shipment needs, these five steps will help you. Shipping is a vital part of your business, so you must ensure it’s done right.