By Savannah Coulsen

If you are part of a company that ships products to clients, you are no stranger to the frustrations of late, lost, or damaged deliveries. You’re not alone. Every company has to find their own method of efficient shipping. Let’s look at a few things that could help your company.

Evaluate your current methods.

Look at your company’s shipping process. Track a product from its packaging to delivery and evaluate every step of the process. Take note of any steps that take a long time to complete. Perform an audit of any complaints customers or other companies have filed when doing business with you, and let them show you where your company has room to improve.

Use the right packaging.

Using a box that is larger than your product not only costs more, but it also wastes materials, space, and labor. If your products have extra room to bounce around in while they are in transit, they are more susceptible to damage. Save money and space by using the right packaging for each product.

If you ship oddly-shaped products, find an establishment like the packaging company in Brampton, Pack-All International, that will customize their packaging to your product.

Compare rates with outside carriers.

Select the most cost-effective shipping options. Sometimes this means hiring an outside carrier to deliver a package off of your company’s normal routes. If you are considering using outside carriers to transport your products, get estimates from a few different companies before making your selection.

When you use outside carriers, consider if it is more cost-effective to use your own packaging or theirs. Using your own packages with your own logo on the boxes will advertise your company en route. If using your own packaging costs significantly more, the extra advertising may not be worth the expense.

Invest in shipping software.

Shipping software can help you structure your company’s shipping processes. Many companies are wisely embracing web-based shipping. Making the move to online shipping methods helps centralize all relevant information. Shipping software programs have many beneficial features, some of which allow you to

  • integrate shipping departments (warehouse, billing, sales, finance, etc.);
  • keep track of all orders;
  • easily access customer information;
  • forecast shipping expectations;
  • manage inventory; and
  • plan efficient routes.
  • Keep everyone informed.

Miscommunication, or lack of communication, can wreak havoc on any shipping process. Train all of your employees on the proper shipping procedures so that everyone knows the right way to do it. Once your employees have been trained on the policies, stick to them. Enforce rules with customers as well as with any packaging or delivery companies you interact with.

Stay up-to-date on taxes, shipping, and tariff rates.

So, you’ve found the most cost-effective way to ship your products. Don’t relax just yet—your work is not done. Shipping rates are always changing, and so are rules about international deliveries. Keep your options open and don’t forget to check rates for both air and ground routes.

Businesses have many reasons to streamline their product shipping. They can save money on materials and labor, ship more products faster, and keep their customers as happy as possible. Evaluate your own company’s shipping methods, write down what works and what needs to be improved, and then create and implement a plan for improvement. Not all company’s shipping needs are the same, so find out what works for your company and stick to it.

Savannah Coulsen is a freelance writer from North Carolina.