If you are running a business that involves shipping products to customers, you will need to identify a shipping service that suits your needs. There are numerous companies out there offering international and domestic shipping. Here are some of the factors you need to consider before signing up with any shipping service.
1. Bonded and licensed
It is very important to work with a shipping company which is both bonded and licensed. When a company is bonded, it means that its claims of excellent customer service are valid. You should also ensure that the company selected is licensed by a recognized body such as a maritime cargo authority. Well known shipping companies such as DHL, USPS, FedEx and UPS are bonded and licensed.
2. Delivery method
Shipping companies offer options such as freight by truck, ship freight and air freight. The delivery method selected will determine how fast your product will reach its destination. While air freight could ensure your products arrive in a matter of days, delivery by truck could take several weeks. Therefore, be sure to choose a delivery method which is appropriate to your needs. For instance, if you are dealing in export of fresh flowers, air freight would be the most appropriate option.
When it comes to shipping, cost is a very crucial consideration. The delivery method selected will have a major influence on the shipping rates. Air freight shipping which is the fastest of them all is also the most costly. Compare different shipping services to find a package that fits your budget and needs. If you intend to ship products to customers frequently, make sure the shipping company chosen is willing to give you a good discount for regular business. This will enable you to make great savings in the long run.
4. Your products
The kind of products you are shipping will also influence your choice of a freight company. For instance, you might be dealing with materials which are hazardous or goods that are fragile. In this case, you will need to find a shipping company which has experience in handling these kinds of products. Carry out some research and find out if they have handled similar products in the past.
At times, goods which are in transit get damaged or lost. Therefore, you need to find a shipping company that has a good cargo insurance policy to cater for the replacement of your goods. This will ensure that you are adequately compensated in event of any loss. This is especially important is you frequently ship expensive items.
Choose a shipping company that can be accessed easily in case any problems arise. Visit their site and find out what contact options are provided. A good company should be able to provide support via email, telephone and live chat. In addition, find out their site has features for online tracking of packages.
Besides all the considerations above, find out if the shipping company offers value-added services. For instance, there are companies which will not only ship your items, but also help with packaging, loading and unloading. This will ensure that your products arrive at their destination in the best condition possible.
Do you have either a good or bad experience choosing a shipping company for your business? What advice would you give? Your thoughts and comments below please…