Shipping is one of the most important aspects of an online business. Shipping is not just about delivering packages to customers. It also shows how dedicated a company is to providing the best experience for its customers. Making sure to avoid some of the most common shipping mistakes can put you miles ahead of your competition. These mistakes, though not too big, can have a very large impact on your company that would be devastating. Knowing and understanding these mistakes can save you a lot of time and money that you would be unnecessarily spending.
COMMON SHIPPING MISTAKES
Packaging should be talked about early in the development process of your business. Without planning that out, it can lead to multiple problems down the road. Things like branded packaging can be a really good way to promote and increase brand loyalty. In theory, it will help achieve the goal to keep your customer happy. Even that can add considerable costs to the fulfillment process and reduce the overall margin. You need to make sure that the packaging you choose will guarantee your product gets to your customers undamaged. If you have heavier products you want to be sure that each package is reinforced to ensure your product will reach your customers in the condition you sent it in. If your product arrives damaged, the customer is not at fault. It is either the shipping carrier or you who must pay that price. That price can be pretty steep and very unnecessary. If you take the time to reinforce your boxes, it will ultimately save you time and all the additional cost.
Estimated Weight of the Shipment
When selling heavier products, it is common to estimate the weight of your package. The reason behind it is that most business owners don’t own the right equipment to successfully weight the package. So that brings the owners to estimate because it seems like the best option. Ultimately this is one of the biggest mistakes made while shipping. The shipping carriers weight the packages before shipping them out and if the weight of the package is different than what the label says they will definitely be charging you extra. The shipping label needs to be accurate, or it will cost your company far too much in both time and money.
Incorrect Shipping Address
Having the correct information on a shipping label is vital to a successful shipment. Along with the label itself, the address put on that label is vital as well. A small mistake in the State Code, ZIP Code, Country Code, etc. would not be caught until its already too late, unless you keep an eye on those addresses. Make sure they are correct before sending them out. Better to double or even triple-check than lose a large amount of money trying to recover packages sent to the wrong place. Not only do you now have a dissatisfied customer, but it takes time and money to find the missing package. And if the package isn’t found, it will cost you in either losing a sale/customer or having to send out another product.
When choosing a shipping carrier make sure you are taking things like scale, geographical areas covered, and expertise into account. But you also don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure that you are paying attention to all the carriers and know when its cheapest to use each one. Using local shipping carriers might be a better option when shipping things close by. While shipping carriers like UPS, FedEx, USPS, Stamps, and DHL would be the better option for across the country or international. Fulfillment companies and experienced sellers know that working with only one carrier can be a little shortsighted. Not sticking to just one will help you avoid disruption in the long term and ultimately save you time and money.
Misunderstanding Shipping Costs
It is necessary to understand all shipping cost to avoid wasting money. Shipping carriers often show a flat rate for the shipping services or are shown as discounted to make it more enticing for sellers. The upfront rates are not always the only fee. There are surcharges that are added to the upfront rates. These charges include things like fuel surcharges, residential fees and peak surcharges. Fuel surcharges are carrier fees that change as the global fuel prices change. These can be from 3 to 6 percent of the total price of the shipping cost. Residential fees are added for some residential deliveries. Peak surcharges are during those peak seasons. Seasonal fees are primarily added during the holidays. During the coronavirus pandemic, “COVID” surcharges were added by many shipping carriers. There are a lot of fees and costs that you must be aware of to fully understand how much your shipping cost will really be.
These mistakes can seem very overwhelming and tedious. There are so many things you have to keep an eye on and extra costs you have to make sure you don’t get charged for. A good 3PL can help take care of these aspects of logistics for you. It doesn’t matter the size of your company, if you find a company that is well-matched with you and your business, they will be able to save you on costs, the headache of shipping and help your business grow. Here at Launch Fulfillment, we want to see if we can be that match for you and your company. Feel free to contact us so we can help you avoid all these mistakes.