Finding a Reliable Shipping Carrier
The key to finding a trustworthy shipping service is identifying the most reputable companies. Since choosing such a company can be a challenge, especially if you’ve never used a shipping carrier, here are a few key points to consider prior to selecting a vendor. Shipping companies wishing to improve their services may also benefit from these points.
- Shipping Cost: One of the most essential elements to evaluate is cost. Since the main goal of a business is profitability, looking for an affordable shipping company fits the business plan. However, make sure the company that offers low shipping fees also provides efficient services. If the company can’t deliver your orders on time and in good condition, you’ll lose customers and money. If you want to reap the best benefits from your shipping carrier, find a combination of good quality shipping services and competitive pricing.
- Packaging: More and more shipping companies provide ingenious packaging options that not only deliver your products in good condition, but also please your customers. While most businesses view packaging as a cost that must be minimized, the top shipping carriers go the extra mile and propose creative packaging options that help businesses up-sell their merchandise. Some of today’s packaging alternatives offer handmade flourishes, eco-friendly materials, added functionality, and unusual shapes that attract customers.
- Customer Return Policy: The e-commerce customer-return terms are important to the company and the customer. Convenient return policies are the key to ensure customer loyalty. Identify a shipping company with a flexible return policy that gives customers enough time to return unwanted products. To make sure that a specific shipping carrier is willing to offer flexible return terms, look for a company that provides extended return periods, makes return policies easy to understand, and gives you access to customer feedback.
- Growing Demand: The importance of reliable shipping carriers also relates to the ability of shipping service providers to meet growing demands. If you intend to expand your business worldwide, you need a shipping company that can handle international orders. If the shipping carrier is unable to sustain your company’s growth, you risk losing the entire market due to negative customer reviews.
- Rules: A responsible shipping service provider always complies with its own rules. If a shipping company promises to offer specific discounts or to respond to any inquiries within 48 hours, it should do that under all circumstances. If a shipping carrier fails to obey its own rules, look for another company that demonstrates its reliability.
- Negotiations: To make its customers happy, a shipping carrier must be willing to negotiate terms. This includes helping your business find the best ways to get more business. Obviously, this point underlines the importance of reliable shipping carriers since only a trustworthy company fully complies with the negotiated agreement.
- Strategies: To develop functional strategies for current and new markets, a reliable shipping company always considers the economic environment, its customers’ goals, and the things it needs to do to ensure customers achieve those goals.
We can’t talk about the importance of reliable shipping carriers without mentioning that container-level and ship-level Key Performance Indicators show a significant 6.4% increase in reliability in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter of 2012, which indicates that an increasing number of shipping carriers understand the importance of offering reliable services to their customers.
Tom Bonine is president of National Metal Fabricators. The Chicago area firm, established in 1944, offers custom sheet metal fabrication, angle rings, welding, and bar milling services.