Whatever you sell, it’s crucial to utilize a shipping logistics company that gets your products to consumers quickly.
There are plenty of companies out there offering a variety of services and price points, so how do you know which one to choose?
Read on for some helpful tips and tricks so you can secure shipping solutions that meet the needs of your customers and your business.
Find a Shipping Logistics Company in Your Niche
If you sell large exercise equipment, you may need different services than a business selling clothing or small accessories. To secure a great shipping company, find one that works in the right area of expertise to match your business model. You can search online to find bid on shipments and choose the most suitable option for you.
Some logistics providers do more than just ship products. Other services like warehousing, distribution, and even handling customer returns may also be included.
Not all companies offer a wide scope of services, so make a list of your priorities before you start shopping around.
If you’re just starting out, you may want to hire a company that offers a broad range of services that can help you meet your long-term goals in the future. Just because you start out small, it doesn’t mean that you won’t need more logistics services in the future as you grow and thrive.
A Broad Global Network
If your goal is the global expansion of your products, you’ll need to find a shipping logistics company that has a wide reach. Some shipping solutions only offer US services, while others have locations all over the world.
The network of locations that the company has can determine how much you’re able to expand. The more locations they have, the better you’ll be able to reach customers in locations other than the United States alone.
Do your research and find out how many locations the service has, and where they are. Ask about how they operate internationally and make sure they offer these services for customers who need worldwide distribution.
Just because a company has a global presence, it doesn’t always mean that each location is linked together. Make sure you find out about how the company works across all of their locations in case you need to ship or store things overseas.
Instant Access to Information
A quality logistics service will give you access to their shipping logistics software. This software should allow you to track and monitor your shipments, keep up with inventory levels, place orders for new products, and more. Make sure that this software is doing all of this in real-time to ensure you’re on top of things quickly.
Determine whether or not you’re getting an accurate view of what’s happening with your merchandise at all times. You should know how to track shipments, place orders, and monitor delivery all from one easy-to-use interface.
As a business owner, it’s important to know what is going on with your inventory. Through the use of software, you can see how much product is being packed, shipped, and delivered.
If you choose a logistics company that warehouses your products, the software should also include your current inventory levels. This way, if you start getting low on certain items, you can place an order to replenish them quickly.
Find out what features the logistics shipping company software includes. If it has everything you need all in one log-in and on a simple dashboard, it’s probably a good choice.
Selling physical goods comes with a cost, so it’s important to know what those are before you delve into the business. Make sure that the logistics company you’re interested in provides you with pricing that’s easy and clear to understand.
Avoid companies that have hidden charges and fees that can creep up on your later. Some will charge a flat monthly fee, while others could charge a per-order price to ship and a per-pallet price to store your inventory.
Get several estimates to ensure that you have a clear picture of what you can expect your costs to be. Most services include things like transportation costs, warehousing fees, pick-and-pack fees, return fees, and receiving costs. Figure out what the price per delivery is to help you determine if you’re getting a good deal.
Some logistics services may also expect you to sign a long-term contract. Others will let you pay as you go, so it’s up to you to decide which option works best for you.
The cost to enroll in and use the provider’s software should be “baked into” the price as well. If you’re being charged a separate fee to use the software, you may want to look elsewhere.
A Positive Customer Experience
As with any service, it’s important to make sure that the logistics shipping company has terrific customer service. They need to be able to respond to your needs quickly in the event of an emergency or when you need to make a quick change.
Your logistics provider should have someone available to you 24/7. Whether it’s through a toll-free number, online chat, or email, it’s crucial to find a company that is always readily available when you need assistance.
Remember that every business out there claims that they have the best customer service. Do some homework and look for customer reviews to find out more details. You can also ask if they offer referrals so you can find out more directly from other customers and hear about their experiences.
Companies that have been around for a long time will likely have a mixture and a larger number of reviews. Providers that are newer or smaller in size will either have fewer reviews or may have a few kinks they still need to work out as they grow.
One good way to ensure a positive customer service experience is to get a good point of contact. This person should be someone you can reach out to when you need something in a pinch. This should also be a person you will get to know and work closely with as time goes on.
It’s important to know more about the longevity and reputation of a logistics company. If they’ve been in business for decades and have a great track record with other customers, you may have found the right fit for you.
Safety and Protection
From warehouse workers to your goods that are in transit, it’s crucial that your logistics company has safety protocols in place. Are their warehouses secure and do they include cameras to monitor for theft? Are employees provided the proper safety equipment and do they undergo safety training?
In order to protect your interests, the logistics provider should also protect their workers. Find out what their safety protocols are and what steps they take to ensure a safe workplace for all.
In addition to worker safety, you need to know that your products are insured and safely kept under lock and key. Logistics companies should have a comprehensive insurance plan that covers the cost of goods that are lost, stolen, or damaged.
Find out what type of insurance the logistics service has and what it covers. If you don’t feel confident about warehousing your goods there, it could be time to look elsewhere.
Many warehousing services have surveillance cameras, security equipment, and a strict entrance policy that only allows employees inside the facility. This is for your protection since it keeps unscrupulous criminals out and your products protected from theft.
Aside from protecting your inventory from theft or damage, make sure the company has a good driver safety policy. If your items are being trucked across the country, you need to know that they’re in good hands.
Make Logistics Work for You
With the right shipping logistics company, you’ll know that your products are in good hands. The company should offer you clear pricing, helpful software, and services that give you what you need to ensure happy customers.
Make sure you read customer reviews and do some research before settling on a logistics provider. The more information you have in advance, the more confident you will be about your decision.
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