While your shipping operation is vital throughout the entire year, during the holiday season its importance increases even more, due to the massive boost in the volume of the items that need to be shipped. This is why even the slight edge in your shipping system can make a difference between an utter failure and a complete success. Furthermore, every single cent you get to save on your shipping goes directly to your profit, which can potentially turn your fiscal year around. With this in mind, and without further ado, here are several tips and tricks you should consider.
The first thing you want to do to improve your overall shipping process is standardize your packaging in both format and materials. First of all, by having a standard package size, it becomes much easier to calculate your exact transportation needs and, in this way, become much more efficient in any kind of shipment planning. Additionally, having a standard package set for different products may make the navigation through your inventory significantly easier for people handling these packages, especially the new people on this job. Finally, by choosing an eco-friendly (biodegradable) option you are making the waste management much easier.
One of the greatest problems regarding your shipment is the one revolving around the communication with your customers. The best way to solve this is to explain what is it exactly that your shipping operation entails. Another great practice is to start an FAQ section in order to give your audience an easy access to all the information they may see as vital. At the end of the day, you need to provide an easy way of communication, through which your customers can convey the issues they had with your shipping operations, while these problems can still be remedied.
The next major issue you need to address is the one regarding the type of commute your shipments will have to undergo in order to reach your client. Here, different means of transportation carry their own taxes, hazards and peculiarities. A shipment carried in the back of a truck needs to have a different treatment in your planning process than the one carried by plane or the one taken all the way across the sea on a boat. In the latter situation, you also need to take port taxes, levies and tariffs into consideration, which is definitely not a laughing matter. In other words, sea freight forwarding is a serious matter and should always be taken as such.
Amongst the worst mistakes shipping operatives make is seeing your shipping as an independent unit, instead of considering it as a part of your sales cycle. This can be a cause of many future errors, seeing as how it can prevent you from fully exploiting some important dates like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s day, not to mention Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Needless to say, the optimization of your shipment in this period needs to be planned months, if not a full year in advance.
At the end of the day, you can always turn to a present-day technology to come to your aid. With the notion of fleet management becoming more and more used even by SMBs and startups, you can easily follow your shipments every step of the way. What this means is that there are no more surprising delays or glitches that are reoccurring somewhere along the way without you even noticing them. The best part is that this also makes the process of automating your shipment much easier and more efficient.
At the end of the day, innovating your shipping operations and optimizing them better doesn’t take much work. However, the ROI you get for every single dollar spent in taking it on the next level is simply astounding. Furthermore, following this course of action is not even optional, seeing as how most of your competitors are probably doing it already, which means that failing to do the same in the nearest future may result in you getting left behind. Ahead or behind – that is the difference that a well-optimized shipping system can make.