Shipping is at the core of every business and needs keenness to detail and top-notch plans for safety in transit and timely deliveries. While shipping safety is crucial across the board, it becomes more pertinent when dealing with small packages extremely susceptible to damage or even getting lost. You must not forget that shipping serves two fundamental interests which must be guarded jealously: the customer’s interest to get their orders safely and timely and the interest of the business to make sales and maintain customer satisfaction and a good track record. It is not too much to give it the best consideration.
With the increase in operations of small businesses—standing at 25.7 million versus the 20,139 large businesses according to a 2020 report—arrangements for deliveries of small shipments equally increases, and this demands the employment of smart shipping techniques. With fewer employees and increasingly much more business, small businesses that mostly deal with small packages especially need to up their game and remain profitable and competitive. Here are seven points to consider when shipping small packages.
1. Insist On Appropriate Packaging
Choosing the proper packaging for small package shipping is essential for safety and even shipment costs. When considering costs, it is important to note that size, weight, and volume play an important role. Go for boxes that fit your items well without too much unnecessary space in the parcel unless air and free space is part of your products. In addition, small packages usually contain fragile goods like smartphones, watches, pieces of jewelry, cosmetics, etc., hence the need to package them well.
Choose materials that can withstand multiple handling without getting damaged, like corrugated cardboard boxes, padded mailers(appropriate small flat, and delicate items), and polyurethane shipping bags or plastic envelopes. You can also customize your packages to enhance authenticity. Finally, you can add a protective filler to products susceptible to moisture and then seal your package to be opened only by the final consumer.
2. Carefully Consider What Your Incur In Costs
Apart from packaging costs, there are many other costs you will need to take care of when shipping small packages. While sometimes you can access free and first shipping options, this is not the case always, and you can’t safely budget with that. Some factors that influence shipping costs include the speed of delivery, the shipment’s destination, and the package’s weight and dimension.
If you need to deliver a product after twenty-four hours, it will cost more than if you need to do a few days. If you need to ship across international borders or over a long distance, it will also cost much more than domestic shipping arrangements. Carefully consider your costs and settle for the most favorable and cost-effective options.
3. Take Advantage Of Economies of Scale
Economies of scale are the cost advantages that enterprises obtain due to their scale of operation. In this respect, you can take advantage of purchasing economies of scale by buying packaging in bulk to benefit from a lower unit price of every packaging material you use. Buying in bulk will be appropriate, especially if you are shipping in large volumes and more often. Make a list of all items and accessories you need to fashion your small packages for shipments, make your orders, and have them ready. You will typically need small boxes, labels, bubble wrap, sealing tape, newsprint, and foam. Buying all these in bulk will save you time and costs.
4. Extend Tracking Services
Protecting the customers from anxieties around their products’ safety and the shipment’s progress is vital. You can do this by offering tracking services to keep your customers up-to-date with vital information.
Most large shipping carriers always offer tracking services, and consigning them can relieve you of this burden. But sometimes, you may not access such services and may need to make private arrangements to ensure your customers get notified from time to time on the progress of their shipment. Offering tracking services is worth every dime and will help keep your customers. Excited customers come again and recommend their friends.
5. Outsource Third Party Shipping Services
You can save yourself from shipping dilemmas by hiring the services of a third-party shipping agency to help ship your product to the customer. You will gain from their long-term experience and have more time to focus on enhancing your product quality and dealing with other orders. Outsourcing order fulfillment exposes you to all the accruals of third-party service providers who know the logistics world in and out.
In addition, you can also keep your business structure lean by limiting more space and maintaining fewer employees to handle only the essential services. You can also better manage seasonal and sales fluctuations by only consigning third-party services when needed.
6. Check Around For The Best Shipping Rates
Before settling on shipping solutions, take some time to calculate your shipping costs and compare carriers to find the best rates. As you calculate the potential costs, proactively determine your package’s deadweight and dimensional weight(space it occupies), which are the usual factors used in shipment rate determination. With these two weights and your shipment’s destination, you can work with various carriers to find out their costs and settle for the most appreciated costs. Benefits and other services are also part of the cost. For instance, the same prices can be separated by additional offers like tracking services.
7. Offer Free Shipment When Feasible
You can also deal with shipping issues by offering free shipping services when you can. Free shipment will attract more customers and increase sales volume, but it can be unmanageable if not done carefully. The trick is to tie it to a given value of purchases so that you find ways of internalizing the costs. The customers who meet the threshold, say, sales above $200, get a free shipment of their products. You will make more sales and eventually be able to take care of the costs. But ensure you gain from free shipment services rather than being the net loser.
Shipping small packages is a delicate assignment that requires accuracy and tact. The big issues involved are the products’ safety and shipment costs, apart from other normal shipment concerns. You should put together elaborate plans from packaging to handling to ensure the products reach their destination in time and in the right shape.