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A lot of work goes into launching any business, during the first few phases you’ll deal with the fun stuff like creating your website, designing your logo, and uploading pictures of your product. Once that’s done you’ll need to handle the not-so-fun stuff like selecting a shipping company.

The good news is that you don’t need to limit your options to using just one shipping carrier. Customers enjoy having different options at their disposal and depending on your store type and the kind of products you’re going to transport; your store may need two product shipping services.

Product Type

One of the initial factors you'll need to think about in your research is choosing the correct carrier for the kind of product/s you will be transporting to clients. When evaluating various carriers, properly examine, shapes, sizes, and services on offer to make a better determination of a product shipping service that will cater to your needs.

You may come across specified measures that can act as limitations, as well as policies that won’t suit your product types, like if you sell perfumes and food supplements. In your research, you may come across service providers that don’t transport fragile items or products that are too expensive like diamonds and gold. For this reason, it’s important to be mindful of these matters when talking to different carriers you want to consider.

Location

Think about whether you’re going to ship to international clients or you’re going to ship goods to local customers only. If you plan to provide both, then your store will need to integrate both local and international shipping carriers and assess how they can inculcate the methods they use into the operation of their business. 

Reputation

When selecting your shipping carrier reputation is a significant factor to consider. If you

make your choice based on the cheap rates a carrier offers, you might end up in deep trouble if a delivery is late or worse, if delivery gets lost in transit. To prevent the possibility of these eventualities, take time to do your research, and check if the carrier you want to use has a good reputation.

Speed

Customers who shop online, for example, expect to get the products they buy as fast as possible. To cater to your client's expectations and requirements, it's important to examine how fast delivery will be from international and local carriers. You could decide that it's better to use local carriers that provide same-day delivery at a shipping cost that’s a bit more expensive, or you can add this option to give your clients additional alternatives to serve their convenience.

Tracking Services

Generally speaking, it's always a good idea to select a carrier with an outstanding tracking service. Most shipping companies that are credible have a website that clients can use to track how far away from their packages is. Tracking allows clients to have information about the whereabouts of their package, and also know if their package is in transit, has been delivered or if some kind of delay has occurred. It also makes it easier to monitor deliveries and quickly communicate with customers if there happens to be a delivery or shipping problem.

Convenience

If you have to balance a hectic schedule, it's a good idea to choose a shipping company that offers to pick up packages from your office, warehouse, house, or storeroom. Taking this direction will permit you to save money, time, and the effort you put when traveling to transport your goods. 

Insurance

It’s also important to bear in mind that not all shipping carriers offer insurance. If this is a critical attribute for your products and business, do a basic analysis and compare different carriers that provide a rate that you can afford. Finding a carrier that offers insurance will help you get peace of mind that most clients are looking for. 

Live Rates

As a customer or merchant, you’re probably aware of the automatic computation that comes with calculating shipping rates. You know that this rate is based on the destination, products, and other given details. This form of calculation is known as live rates and it’s a feature most contemporary shoppers ask for in particular when buying from online stores. If the shipping carrier you are considering does not have live rates on offer, rather look elsewhere for a more credible service.

Pricing

Pricing will certainly aid in helping you decide which shipping carrier is best to use. If for instance, you plan to provide free shipping for your clients you’ll need to be mindful of how you will compute your potential losses and profits. 

Giving your clients the best shipping rates will help you build a loyal and trustworthy customer base. In your research, you may find that other carriers charge a huge sum of money for specific services and offer a cheaper rate when other services are concerned. As a result, doing research can cause your business/store to offer many services from different carriers. This will create a good balance, allowing you and your customers to get more value for the money put in. 

In addition, the pricing issue is also dependent on the kind of shipping method used. Airfreight shipping is by far the quickest and most expensive shipping method. So, if your target market is predominantly global or located in distant areas within your country, then you’ll need to look for a shipping carrier that offers air freight.

If your e-commerce establishment for instance, sells FMCG goods and you plan to ship these products often to your clients, you need to ensure the shipping company you select grants you a great discount for the regular business you will bring to them.  

Conclusion

If you happen to be new to the industry and don’t know how things operate don’t let the factors listed above overwhelm you. Take your time to read into these services and features in more depth. 

In particular, look for shipping companies with a good reputation and make your final selection based on the attributes listed in this article, if you want to avoid paying unfair rates, relook the priorities and needs of your business, that way you will never go wrong.