One of the challenging areas for small to medium size e-commerce businesses is to streamline the shipping and fulfillment process. From packing an order safely to shipping it on time can be complicated and costly. If not done right, you can seriously end up hurting your company’s reputation and growth. However, with proper management and planning in place, you’ll be able to crack the opportunities that can turn a one-time buyer into a loyal customer.
How to save Shipping and Fulfillment Cost?
Here are 6 tips that have been tried and tested, and have saved me a lot of time and money in shipping and fulfillment. So, let’s get started!
1. Buy packaging material in bulk
You can save a great amount on the packaging material if you choose to buy it in bulk. Don’t just focus on the packaging material. Consider the protective layers that you might be used for packing. Stamps, envelopes, and everything else that is required for packaging can be purchased in bulk and stored at your facility to use for the long term.
2. Consolidate your LTL shipments
If you’re sending small freight that doesn’t take up the entire space inside a truck (i.e. less than a truckload or LTL), you might want to consider a freight consolidation service. This way, your shipment gets shipped along with others to make a full truckload. Since you are sharing the space, you share the cost too. This is another great way to cut costs, especially when your shipment budget is low and shipping time is flexible.
3. Mark the package dimensions
Have you invested in a parcel scale? If not, then it’s high time you do. Weighing your product and packing materials beforehand will help you get an estimate on the shipment charges. Therefore choose the right packing material, ideally something lighter but sturdy enough to protect your goods while in transit.
4. Look for packaging alternatives to save cost
When it comes to packing materials, bubble wrap and foam peanuts are everyone’s first choice. But there are tons of packing materials that provide the same support and also affordable. For example, recycled old newspapers, magazines, wood chip material can work the same, but can save you a lot every month depending upon the size of the shipment.
5. Consider freight services for bulk orders
Freight services are a great choice if you are fulfilling an order in bulk. However, if you’re considering using a freight service, you need to first ensure that your customer won’t be deterred by their shipments arriving on different dates.
6. Have a Reverse Shipping charge policy in place
Make sure you have a reverse shipping charge policy in place. Once you have it, ensure you clearly stated it to your customers as well as your sales and customer service guys who deal directly with customers. The policy should clearly mention that under what circumstances the company will pay for the transit charges (like a standard shipment) and when a customer needs to bear the cost.
7. Outsourcing to a 3PL Company
Outsourcing your order fulfillment to a 3PL company is not only a cost-effective solution, but it also enables you to shoulder off other responsibilities like warehouse and inventory management, labor costs, supply chain management, and claims.
Order Fulfillment Service in Canada
If you run an e-commerce business and looking for an e-commerce order fulfillment solution, check out Tenaxx Logistics. We are a third-party logistics provider (3PL) that offers complete fulfillment services from picking to packing to shipping. Contact us for a free logistics consultation.