With access to the internet everywhere you look, we have the speed of information at our fingertips. We have come to expect and rely on the speed of this knowledge. The same speed expectations also apply to the retail and shipment businesses. Customers and business owners expect product deliveries faster than ever before. These tips will help you improve your overall business shipping speed.
Choose the right shipping provider
There are many different shipping providers to choose from today. Each of them has their own set of advantages and disadvantages, depending on the type of business and the type of shipping needed. It is important to consider your specific shipping needs and if your current shipping provider is meeting those needs. If they are not, it might be time to find a more efficient and cost friendly method. There are a lot of shipping providers to choose from with LTL shipping and expedited freight companies being just a couple of the available options.
Have realistic expectations
Smaller businesses are going to have a harder time competing with billion dollar retailers. It is important to have realistic expectations when it comes to shipping. You might not qualify for some expedited freight companies because you simply do not have enough volume of business yet. Never promise a shipping speed to your customers that you cannot reach. In fact, it is usually best to under promise and over deliver. Trucking industries are delivering shorter routes and businesses are relying on other shipping methods for international shipments. According to Satish Jindel, president of the SJ Consulting Group, the length of haul has declined. Public truckload carriers report that the average length of haul has decreased 4% between 2011 and 2016.
Know when to pass the cost onto your customer
While offering free shipping is a great way to compete with competitors, it is not always the best financial decision. Only offer free shipping when you are making enough in profit to cover the shipping cost. It is usually best to not offer free shipping to international countries. International shipping can be expensive and it can be difficult to estimate the exact cost to ship there. If you are not yet big enough to qualify for international shipping discounts, it might be best to not yet expand to those countries until you can.
Avoid overweight freight loads
It might seem more efficient to pack as many shipments onto one truck as you can. However, this can cause the truck to move slower and it can increase the overall shipment time. Additionally, when you have overweight expedited shipping services, you are subject to fines and unhappy drivers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, approximately 5.9 million commercial motor vehicle drivers currently operate in the United States. Drivers have many driving opportunities and are more likely to switch businesses if they are not satisfied with their driving conditions. Expedited freight companies with unrealistic expectations and overloaded trucks are considered a poor driving condition.
Hold out for further shipping improvements
The shipping industry has already seen many improvements. Shipments are faster and more efficient than ever. In 2013, for example, trucking transported almost 15 billion tons of cargo. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by 2040, the number is expected to increase to 18.79 billion tons. Even if you are not currently satisfied with your expedited freight companies? options, hold out, as the industry is only expected to improve.
Everyone expects speed in everything they do today. If you order a product online, you expect it to arrive within days. If you are a business owner, you expect your shipment to leave immediately. It is important to keep these time expectations in mind as a business owner that relies on local shipping processes. Keep realistic expectations, understand the best shipping companies, and always be on the lookout for shipping improvements. Learn more about this topic here.