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6 Tips For Managing Business Shipping Problems

by Uneeb Khan

Whether you own an ecommerce venture or a brick-and-mortar store that offers delivery, you will experience shipping problems. Your responsibilities as a business owner do not end in conceptualizing, marketing, and selling your products. You must also ensure that the goods get to your customers in excellent condition and in the shortest time possible.

This is where organizing shipping and fulfillment procedures come in handy. 

As your product travels from point A to B, it might get damaged, encounter delays, or get lost. These issues can turn off consumers and affect their trust in your business, which can generate bad reviews. It can also lower the chance of repeat orders. As such, it’s crucial to manage shipping issues before they get out of hand.

Shipping can be a complex process. It involves a lot of paperwork, logistical considerations, and unfamiliar shipping terms. It can be a headache, especially if you factor in taxes, custom requirements, and hidden fees. Fortunately, there are ways to handle these issues to provide a pleasant customer experience. 

To help you provide excellent customer service that can propel business growth, here are six common shipping problems and ways to address them. 

6 Common Shipping Problems And How to Deal With Them

Long shipping times

Before, customers were willing to wait up to a week to receive their orders. However, today’s consumers thrive on convenience and fast service, especially with the rise of ecommerce. A survey reveals that the acceptable waiting time for 63% of shoppers is three days. Many customers already consider going beyond three days a long shipping period. 

Here’s what you can do to expedite your shipments:

  • Use ecommerce automation tools that allow you to track orders and anticipate delays.
  • Assign specific roles to each staff member to streamline the fulfillment process.
  • Choose a reputable freight forwarder with a proven track record to prove it.
  • Anticipate holidays, possible weather disturbances, and the forwarder’s pick-up schedule when planning your deliveries.  

Poor inventory

When customers hit the “buy now” button, they are already counting the days until they receive their parcel. It’s your task to act immediately. If your warehouse and inventory are in disarray, it might be challenging to locate products for delivery. Additionally, poor communication with suppliers and your staff can also cause delays. 

Here’s what you can do to keep your inventory in check:

  • Hire a warehouse staff you can trust and train them to handle inventory efficiently.
  • Use inventory management software to keep track of your products.
  • Organize your items into proper bins or boxes, then label them accordingly for a smoother workflow. 

Expensive shipping fees

Shipping costs can get exorbitant, and most of the time, business owners cover most of them. Your customers might shift to another seller if you charge them high shipping fees. On the other hand, if you take responsibility for it, your profit margins may suffer. 

Here’s what you can do to minimize shipping fees:

  • Negotiate with your forwarder for lower fees. A reliable company will try to work within your budget.
  • Try to ship in bulk or consolidate supplier shipping using your account.
  • Compare prices among all carrier options. 
  • Consider using lightweight packaging. Pack your products using small and lightweight packaging to reduce costs.

Lost products

One of the most frustrating issues that heavily impact businesses and their customers is lost products during transit. While sometimes this situation is beyond your control, it’s best to be proactive. Part of the fulfillment process is knowing what to do if a parcel is stolen or lost. 

Here’s what you can do to ensure the delivery of your items:

  • Offer shipping insurance to your customers. Ensure that you explain the terms and conditions to them. 
  • Write a clear policy on refunds and lost parcels. Place them on an easily readable spot on your website. 
  • Monitor your packages and contact the delivery provider for updates. If a parcel stays too long in a specific area, contact the forwarder, ask for updates, and then relay the information to your customers.

Damaged parcels

Most of the time, customers are excited to receive their orders. So, imagine their dismay if they receive their parcels in lousy condition. Packages sometimes take a beating during handling and transit. You have no control over what will happen during the delivery process when it leaves your warehouse, but you can always try and prevent damages from occurring.

Here’s what you can do to ensure the quality of your items:

  • Use durable packaging materials. These materials must endure the total weight of other packages placed on top of them. Secure the parcels with high-quality tape. It would also be best to fill the boxes with bubble wrap or packing peanuts to prevent your package from moving around inside the box. 
  • Choose the right pallet. Plastic or wooden pallets are the best options since they can withstand hauling and lifting. Observe weight restrictions and the required packing procedures.
  • Keep the boxes flat on top. If your product is too big for the container, choose a bigger package instead of forcing it closed. 

International shipping

Selling your products to international buyers allows you to get ahead of competitors. However, shipping abroad is more complex than domestic deliveries. International buyers know that their products won’t arrive quickly, but they won’t want to wait too long. 

Here’s what you can do to speed up international shipments:

  • Offer your international customers a range of shipping options. Some would be willing to pay an additional fee to get their parcels earlier. 
  • Choose a forwarding company that has years of experience shipping internationally. It would be best if they could also process documentary requirements so you won’t have to worry about them.
  • If you’re shipping in large volumes, negotiate a bulk shipping rate with the freight company. 

Deal With Shipping Problems Proactively

Aside from product planning, financial management, and marketing, a business owner has to organize shipping, order management and fulfillment. These tasks can significantly impact a venture’s growth, especially for product-based businesses. The key to managing these areas is to prepare and plan accordingly.

Due to the complex nature of shipping and delivery, there may be times when problems may arise. Some common issues entrepreneurs face are high shipping fees, long delivery times, and lost or damaged parcels. While there are ways to remedy them, likely, they have already affected your business’ reputation. 

The key is to treat these problems proactively, like hiring a reliable forwarding company that knows the ins and outs of the freight industry. It will also help if you have a game plan to implement when issues occur. Utilizing automated systems and best warehouse practices can be an excellent foundation for hassle-free shipping.

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