If getting products shipped to your customers is a vital part of your business, you want to be sure those products get there as fast as possible while minimizing damage and loss. Whether shipping only comes from a small percentage of sales or it's how you primarily handle the delivery of your goods, you'll be glad to know there are a few simple tricks that can protect those goods and ensure their safe delivery, keeping your customers happy and coming back for more.
1. Pack it Right
How you package your products can make all the difference in ensuring your items arrive undamaged. Here are some helpful guidelines.
Size and weight considerations. Add up the three dimensions of your box in inches (length + width + depth). As long as that number is 75 inches or less, your package should not weigh more than 30 pounds. However, if your box happens to be the double-walled kind, you can safely double that weight to 60 pounds.
2 x2 cushion rule. Each item that you're packaging up should be wrapped individually with a minimum of 2 inches of cushioning all the way around. And the items themselves should be at least 2 inches away from the inside walls of the box. That empty space should also contain padding of some kind so that there is no movement at all when you shake the box.
Exterior labels. Some companies caution against using "Fragile" and "This End Up" stickers. Why? Because unfortunately it adds a false sense of security about something that often gets overlooked. According to a test done and reported by Popular Mechanics, boxes with a fragile label almost always took a worse beating in transit than those without the bright orange stickers. Instead, place your mailing label on the side of the box that you want to remain upright. This is the best way to ensure safe delivery of your package.
Using the right tape. No matter what you're shipping, it's generally recommended to use tape that's rated to 60 pounds and is at least 2 inches wide. The tape should also be paper or plastic based because it tends to be much stronger. Another rule of thumb for protecting contents is to tape using the H-method. This is applying tape along both seams on the left and right edges and across the top.
2. Pay Attention to the Destination
This is an often overlooked variable, but suppose your customer wants expedited shipping or live in a rural area. While shipping items to major cities can usually be done pretty fast, bear in mind it may take an extra day or two for the item to arrive if they live in a small town, hours away from civilization. In most cases, communicating with the customer is all it takes to keep them happy.
3. Pick the Right Courier
If you opt to bypass your local post office, the right courier can get the job done. This can be a great investment as couriers have more options to handle your shipping needs. Couriers can also be a steeper investment than The Postal Service, but you shouldn't just settle on the cheapest one. So what do you look for?
A range of delivery options. Your customers are special, and your delivery options should cater to their individual needs. Maybe they want to get their item the same day they order it, or perhaps they need it delivered after hours, later in the evening. Maybe you need someone who can come and collect the goods at your location. Look for a courier who can accommodate those needs so that you can appeal to a wide range of customers.
A written guarantee. Nothing says "You can count on us" like a written guarantee on a delivery date. It's good for you, and it affords you one more benefit to provide your customers.
Online Tracking. This may not seem critical on the surface, but if your customers can track their order with a few clicks of the mouse, it will not only make them feel more connected to the process, but it could save you the time and trouble of having to answer emails and phone calls about where their item is.
Insurance. Sometimes insurance is provided by the courier, but if not, there are private companies that handle just that. Even if you have to pay extra for insurance, it may be worth it in the end. But only you can decide whether or not you need this extra peace of mind.
Learn more about your options by contacting companies like Morningside Courier Systems.Share
19 January 2016
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