How To Maintain Good Shipping Speeds at a Low Cost
1. Introduction to Competitive Shipping operations
Shipping constitutes a significant part of any e-commerce venture, and customers demand high shipping speeds at low costs. With e-commerce platforms like Amazon providing express speeds and free shipping, the competition is relatively high today.
Online companies that deliver high shipping speeds at low costs will have a competitive edge to attract more customers and maintain a solid reputation. Especially start-up businesses and SMEs that are looking to upscale their operations. But it is easier said than done. Many factors need to be accounted for when it comes to managing competitive and dynamic shipping. So here is an extensively researched list of 7 tips to help you keep shipping speeds high and costs low.
2. 7 Tips to Help you Keep Shipping Speeds High and Costs Low
When your shipping operations run smoothly, it can mean the difference between success and failure. Here are seven tips to help you keep shipping speeds high and costs low.
I. Utilizing Multiple Carriers
When you want to expand your online business’s web, it is crucial to look beyond just partnering with a few carriers. Many companies tend to get stuck at the threshold of shipping capacity and reachability. Because they employ one or a very few carriers and pay exorbitant costs for many of their limited logistics services.
In that case, multiple carrier partnerships and multi-carrier shipping softwares can solve a bulk of your problems, including shipping prices, delivery speeds, efficient order tracking and control over SLA breaches. With more carriers, your business will be able to service any kind of volume to more regions, be it remote or international.
However, access to multiple carriers means your online company can utilize a wide array of their premium features. Some of the features include super express delivery speeds, cost-effective packaging, and shipping. They can be pre-negotiated for costs to suit the requirements of your operations.
II. Optimized Packaging
Did you know that optimized packaging is one of the most effective ways to reduce your shipping costs?
It’s a little-known fact, but it definitely shouldn’t be underestimated. Packaging is an essential component of the shipping process, but it can also majorly contribute to the overall cost.
By optimizing your packaging, you can reduce shipping costs and ensure that your products arrive in perfect condition. Some of the ways to optimize packaging include:
- Using lighter package materials for reducing final weight
- Reusing package materials
- Excellent and sturdy product design needs simple packing
- Packaging materials relevant to environment and supply chain
- Using the proper protection material to suit the product
III. Choose Slower Delivery Speeds when Possible
Contrary to the importance we place on faster shipping speeds; we need to understand the advantages of standard or slower shipping. Generally, products will be delivered within a range of 4-7 days, as part of regular shipping speeds. When expedited delivery is not required, you may always resort to standard shipping, cutting costs.
Sometimes regular shipping can also be offered free of charge, making it an attractive feature for customers. A lot of market reports suggest that a high percentage of customers prefer a 4-7 day free shipping option.
In many cases, customers also purchase enough to qualify for free shipping. So make use of slower delivery speeds whenever possible. However, when it comes to fast-tracked delivery services, they can be provided at an additional price.
IV. Efficient Returns Management
Management of reverse logistics operations for the returned product is called returns management. It is a critical piece of the logistics puzzle that has a major impact on your ability to manage shipping costs.
When a lot of products are sent back into the supply chain, costs can escalate quickly. So it’s vital to have a returns system in place that minimizes cost and maximizes efficiency.
One great way is to enable the customer to initiate returns and optimize pick-up services for return products. This way, the pick-up can be handled according to the customer’s convenience, avoiding any pick-up exceptions. This process can be further improved with a returns management software that automates and streamlines reverse pick-ups with different carriers.
More importantly, a quality check during pick-up of the returned product will ensure the integrity of the product is maintained. As a result, with quality checks for the returns process, the customers can be held responsible for any damage to the product and avoid unnecessary return operations, thereby saving shipping costs.
V. Utilizing Unique features of Different Carriers
E-commerce businesses must adapt to changes in the economy and consumer demands. They must also be agile when it comes to shipping and logistics. It can be challenging to determine which will best suit your needs with so many carriers available.
Every carrier has unique features that can be advantageous for different types of businesses. Whether you’re looking for fast delivery or cost-effective shipping, there’s a carrier out there that can help you meet your goals. Some features to look out for are:
- Recommendation engines for best carrier-price combinations
- Optimization of pick-up and delivery services
- Package optimization for reducing dimensions and weight
- Delivery exceptions management
- Reverse logistics system
- Expedited delivery service options
- Specialized packaging and transportation
VI. Multiple Warehouses and Distribution Centers
Is your business considering expanding its operations? It can be done by adding a new warehouse or distribution center. If so, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons. Having multiple warehouses and fulfillment centers can be costly. But it can also be a very effective way to reduce shipping costs and improve customer service.
A recent study found that businesses that use multiple warehouses and distribution centers can save up to 30% on shipping costs. More distribution centers help expedite delivery services at lower prices.
Furthermore, numerous warehouses mean a dense inventory, so you will never miss a beat in the supply chain operations, maintaining high shipping speeds at low costs.
VII. Monitor and Analyze Shipping Data
It’s no secret that e-commerce businesses need to keep a close eye on shipping costs and speeds in order to remain competitive. Did you know that there are free and paid analytical tools that can help you monitor your shipping data?
By tracking and analyzing shipping data, you can pinpoint areas where improvements can be made on shipping operations. With many logistics intelligence software up for grabs in the market, you have access to a wide range of data analytical tools.
Therefore select the right tool to monitor and analyze shipping data consistently, ultimately saving costs on your shipping operations.
If you’re not able to keep shipping speeds high and costs low, it will dent your profit margins. It can also cause customer service issues if there are delays with deliveries or returns.
This blog post has given you seven tips to help keep your shipping speed high and costs low. Whether it’s about starting up, scaling up, supply chain management, returns management, etc., make use of this article to optimize your business operations accordingly.
We hope you found this blog post 7 Tips to Keep Shipping Speeds High and Costs Low useful. Be sure to check out our post 5 Expert Tips for Better Logistics Management for more great tips!
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