There is a high probability that shipping is an integral component of your business operation, and so you want to guarantee not only that you are working with the best shipping partner possible, but that you are also getting top-quality service for the best price.
Unfortunately, for too many firms, this isn’t the case.
You haven’t done enough research on your shipping options.
Generally, companies have larger than necessary shipping costs because they haven’t adequately researched what their options are. If you think your shipping costs could be lower (or if you don’t know, but would like them to cost less), then your first step is to dive headfirst into research.
Take the time to find international freight forwarders that offer low or discounted freight rates or bulk shipping rates, or have distinctive promotions going on.
That being said, you don’t want to work with an unprofessional or unreliable shipping partner just to cut a few costs. As with anyone you decide to bring into your business as a partner, confirm that they have an excellent reputation and are operating professionally.
It is suggested that you only opt to work with a shipping company that has been in business for a number of years as that will mean that they have enough knowledge, insight, and means to handle all shipping issues that will inevitably arise.
You are using too much packaging.
At this point in time, most consumers are horrified by the amount of packaging that accompanies a package. Not only is excess packaging bad for the environment, but it can also significantly increase your shipping costs as it takes up more space. While it may not seem that significant on a per item basis, when you add it all up, it can make for an expensive mistake.
Therefore, you should routinely take a look at your packaging process and see what features you can remove, while still keeping your goods sufficiently safe and protected.
Square boxes are usually the best shape as they can seamlessly be stacked to decrease the amount of wasted cargo space you are paying for, while also reducing the amount of time needed to load and unload the goods.
Just don’t completely strip your products of packaging, as insufficiently packaged freight can easily fall victim to insurance claims due to loss and damage. And that will require a hefty amount of cash to deal with.
You are working with a shipping company that is unreliable and unprofessional.
Often, shipping costs are high not because of your business, but because of who you have chosen to partner with. Working with a shipping company that is unreliable and unprofessional is putting you on the fast track to losing a lot of money as they won’t be doing everything as efficiently as possible.
Not all shipping companies operate in the same manner or specialize in similar areas of shipping; therefore, you need to be sure that your chosen one is the best for your needs and also operates in a manner that helps your business run smoothly when shipping to Europe and elsewhere.
In order to circumvent this conceivably extreme mistake, ensure that you conduct thorough research before choosing a shipping partner (see #1), but also, don’t be afraid to assess how your current one is doing routinely.
If you are having issues with your shipping partner, speak with them firmly to explain the problems and then give them an opportunity to fix the concerns. If they are unable to change, then it is time to move on to finding a new partner.
An excellent way to discern how a company really does (and not just judge their competence based on their own promotional talk) is to review other client references and to read remarks regarding the shipping company’s track record for dependability and answerability.
You aren’t using an online shipping platform.
In this day and age, almost all parts of the business can be improved while decreasing the cost through the use of the Internet. This is also true with shipping.
Now, you can find a variety of online shipment platforms that can organize your shipping in the most efficient way. From receiving a quote to cataloguing your shipment, funding the delivery and following the journey, an online shipment platform is the most reliable means for making your shipping process as cost-effective as possible.
No matter the size of your business, if you are looking to start selling internationally or have a long history of global shipping, your profit and your business can benefit from an online shipment platform. And, you will also see your trade opportunities increase.
Again, before deciding on an online shipping company, it is necessary to inquire about their technology and how they envision their usage of it benefiting your company. Their answers should include the utilization of their infrastructure, application and software, staff and management systems.
Are you looking for ways to reduce your shipping costs? What challenges are you facing? Let us know your thoughts and experiences regarding this matter in the comments below!
Toby Edwards is the CEO of Shipa Freight and is based in Dubai. Shipa Freight is a new online platform powered by Agility that makes it easy to get air and ocean freight quotes, book, pay and track shipments online. Shipa Freight empowers small and medium-size businesses, taking the complexity out of International Freight Forwarding, making it easy to manage legal, regulatory and compliance issues, and offering convenient ways to pay to move their goods.