1964 is the year Marshall McLuhan came up with the term “global village,” which means it started 58 years from now. However, online business platforms have taken the essence of this term to a whole new level.
You may be sitting in a small, not-so-noticeable country on the world map and still be doing business with someone from an extremely successful economy on the other side of the world.
The above expansion in the business world has increased the importance of the shipment business, and many firms/companies are entering this business daily. However, you cannot trust everyone with the delivery of your products.
Finding the right shipment options can save you time, cost, and energy. It may also improve your business’s reputation and your customers’ trust. The cost of shipments generally depends on cargo size, weight, shipping distance, delivery times, taxes and duties, etc.
Checkout 7 Prime Steps To Save Time And Money On Shipments
If you are also doing business across borders or are planning to do so, here are seven ways to save time and money on the shipment process:-
1. Choose An Efficient Shipping Partner:-
Choosing the right person/entity to do the job is one of the key factors in every kind of business. This is why every business decision should be backed by strong research, appropriate background checks, client feedback, and much more. The same is the case with shipping organizations that offer customs brokerage services.
These firms work for their clients in facilitating the shipment of goods across borders.
Factors to be considered while deciding the right partner for your business needs include the following:-
- Easy accessibility
- Software and technology used
- History of custom compliance
- Industry-related information
- Locations they are working at
- Required licenses etc.
When selecting a customs brokerage firm, always opt for a reputable and experienced organization that can easily manage international shipping for you.
2. Find The Right Mode Of Shipment As Per Your Business Needs:-
Gone are the days when the only option to ship products across borders was through weeks or months-long trips made by ocean vessels. Now you can choose from several options depending on the nature of the goods to be delivered, the distance involved, time constraints, and cost-effectiveness. The different ways of shipment include delivery by road, rail, ocean, and air.
Every business has unique needs and can opt for any mode of shipment that suits it best. For instance, small businesses cannot afford expensive air shipments. On the other hand, businesses dealing in perishable goods cannot opt for any mode of shipment that does not guarantee quick and safe delivery.
Analyze and evaluate your business needs carefully and then choose the mode of shipment which serves your purpose most efficiently.
3. Decide What Method Of Shipment Serves You Well:-
The variety of options relating to the shipment of your products is not limited to modes of shipment and the number of firms offering such services. Rather, several shipping methods are available based on the cost of services, time and location of delivery, nature of services offered, etc.
It is the job of your shipping partner to guide you about the pros and cons of each method, the applicability of relevant laws, etc., enabling the business owner/manager to make an informed decision.
Some of the methods are listed below:-
- Methods of Shipping based on Rate:-
- Flat-rate Shipping
- Real-time carrier shipping
- Methods of Shipping based on location:-
- Domestic/local shipping
- International shipping
- Methods of Shipping based on time of delivery:-
- Same day delivery
- Overnight delivery
- Expedited shipping
4. Make Timely Decisions:-
A lot of costs involved in the shipping process are affected by time. The time when a shipment was ordered, when it is scheduled to be delivered, how long it takes to travel, the extent of urgency, etc. For instance, if you need to ship a consignment immediately, you may have to go for more expensive options. However, if you can wait for a sufficient amount of time to deliver your consignment, the cost of services may be comparatively lower.
Keeping in view the above factors, always try to decide before time. Schedule your consignments properly, and give your customers realistic and manageable timelines. If a customer wants urgent delivery, you may shift the additional shipping cost to them. However, this cannot be done unless you have devised and communicated such policies to the customers beforehand.
5. Do Not Put Each Foot In A Different Boat:-
Do not hire a new firm for every new shipment. Always stick to reliable and proven ones. Avoid sending multiple shipments destined for one location through different consignments or shippers. Rather, consolidate your shipments to minimize the cost and time required to deliver goods.
Furthermore, do not hire the services of multiple shippers or customs brokerage firms at the same time. Engage such firms which can cater to a variety of your requirements in terms of services, locations, budget, etc. Try to build long-term business relationships with both shippers and customs brokerage firms.
Such long-term relationships create an atmosphere of trust, which facilitates not only the business owner but also the customer. In addition to trust, long-term relationships may result in discounted packages, a better understanding of the nature of your business, and the quality of services expected by both the business and the client.
6. Keep Yourself Up-To-Date With International Custom Laws
Understanding the relevant laws pertaining to the shipment of your products is as important as understanding the trade practices of the business you are dealing in. Due to frequently changing political and economic conditions worldwide, countries keep amending their customs laws accordingly.
Being a business owner or manager, you should keep yourself up to date with such amendments. This may avoid the hassle of shipping goods to a country that does not allow the import of such goods. You may charge an additional price to a customer who needs shipment in a country that takes a long time in the clearing process, etc. These are just a few examples of how keeping an eye on relevant laws may facilitate you in managing the cost and time involved in the shipment of your goods.
7. Get Your Shipment Insured:-
Risk is not something related to human life only. Every business person knows that almost every risk is quantifiable in monetary terms when it comes to business. One of the perks of the modern world is that you can hire the services of an insurance company to cover expected losses rather than just relying upon or blaming your fate.
During the shipment process, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. For example, the shipment may be delayed, which can result in the cancellation of an order by the customer. The goods may be damaged in transit. Your consignment may be lost or stolen, etc.
To avoid or minimize financial loss by any of the above circumstances, ensure your shipments are insured. The insurance companies offer different kinds of insurance coverage plans depending upon the client’s requirement and the amount of premium involved. You can surely find a plan which works for you.
In an era where a business starting with a minimum budget has equal opportunities to find clients from all around the world same as an established business, the shipment of goods plays a key role. The good news is that many shipping firms are working for almost every industry now, and with a bit of research, you can find the one which caters to your needs in the best possible manner.