The management of your small business’s shipping processes, fulfillment, and returns can have an impact on your organization. Customers nowadays have high expectations of the product itself and the “unboxing” experience once they have the package.
While you’re not fully responsible for damages or dents that may occur during shipping, customers will associate them with your brand, so make sure to improve your shipping system to protect your products and your business’s reputation.
Secure Your Shipment
One of the first things you have to consider in avoiding shipping mishaps is to choose the right kind of vehicle for your business needs. If your small business deals with sensitive goods, you can invest in pre-owned commercial vans as they’re not only cost-effective, they’re also reliable, versatile, and efficient. They’re also perfect for rapid deliveries as they can deliver goods right to your customer’s doors.
For additional security, make sure to use durable tape on the packages to prevent any contact with moisture. Cover all the seams and make sure to avoid taping over the label’s barcode as it can make the item unscannable, delaying the shipment process.
Ensure a Good Packaging
Sturdy shipping boxes are essential to protect your items. It’s recommended to use corrugated cardboard as it’s one of the most durable shipping box materials, especially when dealing with fragile items. Stabilize the items using old newspapers, packing peanuts, or corrugated wrap. When packing less delicate items, you can use ornamental fillings such as confetti, paper shreds, or tissue paper.
Bubble mailers and mailing envelopes are good options for light and flexible items. They are cheaper than rigid boxes, so your profits can be higher if you use these types of outer packaging. Additionally, they don’t require added supplies such as tape because most shipping envelopes come with attached peel-and-seal closures.
If you’re going for sustainability and reusing boxes, make sure they are in good physical condition. Rundown boxes are prone to open or break during the shipping process and can result in damaged, lost, or delayed items.
When it comes to choosing packaging sizes, remember to go a little larger than the product so there’s room for cushioning materials. But don’t go too large to avoid spending much on shipping costs. Avoid going too small, either, as the items can be susceptible to bumps that may occur during shipment.
Lastly, consider the weight of your products. Heavier items need stronger packaging materials, and you may consider double or triple layers of corrugated boxes for added security. Lighter items can be packed in polyurethane bags to maintain both durability and cost-effectiveness.
Always Label Your Shipments
Labeling your parcel is a crucial step as it contains the sender and recipient’s information, tracking number, barcode, and other important shipping details. Shipping labels are essential to avoid item mix-ups and to make it easier to trace missing items, so make sure that they are printed clearly and there are no smears especially on the barcode.
They also contribute to your company’s branding as there are various styles and designs available to help distinguish your package from others. Also, make sure to place the labels properly on the package for the carrier to easily see and scan, and it should be large enough to stick on a flat space without extending over the package edges.
Invest in Shipment Tracking Systems
Any inefficiency in your shipping system can affect your customer service and can lead to higher costs and lost sales. Invest in shipment tracking systems to make reporting and tracking efficient and cost-effective. This system features real-time access to the current whereabouts of the packages, details on environmental conditions like temperature and humidity, and real-time alerts on the packages’ condition.
Consistent monitoring of your shipment process is vital as it can increase your company’s productivity and eventually boost its success. Here are other benefits of having a top-notch shipment tracking tool:
- It shows you and your clients exactly where the vehicle is, its speed, and how long it will take to reach its destination
- Sends handy alerts that are related to the shipment process
- Notifies the clients if the deliveries will be delayed or something else happens during shipping
- The system provides a digital receipt as clear evidence that the customer’s package has been delivered.
- The communication process with your clients is enhanced, leading to customer satisfaction
Shipping is one of the most challenging aspects of any product-based business. You may encounter various challenges, but you can definitely overcome those problems by making sure that you maintain good packaging techniques and acquire efficient shipping solutions. Continuously improve your shipping system to provide the best possible service to your customers.