We are entering the third year of a global pandemic, so it is safe to say that people’s shopping and delivering habits have changed, in a way that has become a lot more demanding for shipping companies.
Online buyers are drawn to cheap and especially free shipping, no matter the price of a bought item, and companies are under pressure to find a way and make that happen without jeopardizing their businesses.
Package carriers have not yet discovered a golden rule that guarantees safe and quick delivery, that is cheap at the same time. The price will vary depending on your needs, such as the weight and size of your package, as well as the expected speed of the shipment. Here are some things that can help you when deciding on your shipping options.
When it comes to the cost of a shipment, the distance that your parcel has to travel plays an important role in pricing. You want to choose a company that has innovative plans for shipping routes. There are more than a few hundred ways, paths, and roads that a package carrier can take while delivering your shipment, but there are only a few efficient ones.
Whether you are sending domestically or internationally, you want a company that can optimize the time and space of the delivery. For example, Unival Logistics is a multi-modal shipping company, with a team of logistic professionals creating route options for each shipment, and giving the client multiple choices. Optimizing shipping routes and having the options to choose from you should work can give you a sense of control and relief, and of course, it cuts the cost of the shipment.
When you send off your parcel into the world, there used to be no way of knowing what happens to it until it reaches its final destination. Nowadays, there are package tracking technologies that enable both the sender and the receiver to pinpoint where the shipment is.
Different companies use different technologies for the visibility of your package’s journey. You need to check if the company you are picking as your courier does not spare on the quality of the technology.
Because, if that is the case, and you lose track of your parcel, you are looking at a few extra unplanned costs, or, in the worst-case scenario, you can lose your package. Reporting a missing shipment can also be impossible if you don’t do it early enough, and tracking it regularly reduces the chances of that happening.
Most shipping companies work with a barcode system, that tracks the package at every point in the process via the given barcode. This ensures updates at each touchpoint in transit and can prevent losing track of an item. Some companies, however, offer to track the entire route of the package’s journey, although, that makes economic sense only if you are shipping higher-value items.
Most companies provide shipping insurance, but up to a certain amount. It is your responsibility as a shipper to calculate if that is more or less than the value that your parcel holds. If your shipment is more valuable than the automatic insurance provided to you by your carrier, you should consider paying for additional shipping insurance.
Although it may seem like an extra cost, additional insurance can cover more items than the automatic one, has a higher limit for value, and guarantees accountability in case something happens to your package.
As always, you should work with a company you can trust, but if you haven’t found one yet, the best piece of advice you can get is – understand your insurance coverage and calculate if the additional fee can be considered a saving in the long run.
4. Watch How You Package
When shipping an item to a customer, you don’t want to save money on packaging it securely. But, there are ways to package a secure shipment, without spending a lot of money on boxes, bags, and bubble wraps.
The eco-friendly way is always recycling. You can recycle the materials if those materials are of high quality. Every time you get a package, store the shipping materials and save them for your shipments. Take into consideration that bigger and heavier packages will need more security, so save the used up boxes for smaller and lighter items.
There are also carrier companies that provide free shipping boxes; that way, you only need to be equipped with bubble wrap and bags. Make sure that whatever it is you are sending is wrapped and boxed tightly, so the recipient does not get it in pieces.
5. Additional Charges and Problems
When you pick a carrier based solely on the price tag, you have to be prepared that they are not being upfront about everything in the beginning. They intend to lure you in with affordability, and then add costs along the way.
You should know that there are additional handling charges, the cost of an Adult Signature Required delivery, as well as a charge in case of an address correction. Not only that, but some companies will not disclose that the affordable price goes on your expense in terms of customer service, quality of tracking service, insurance coverage, and general handling of your shipment.
Instead of going with the cheapest price you find online, you could compare the offers, taking into consideration both the prices and services the companies offer. There is a lot of online software that can help you pick the best option for your package, but don’t think that you are off the hook if it shows you an affordable price.
All in all, if you are not working with a company you already trust, the only thing that can help you save money is doing your research about the shipping properties of a specific carrier. After that, only insurance guarantees that the company will take care of your items, and reimburse you in case of destruction or disappearance of your package.