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Are shipping zones easy to configure? Understanding the shipping zones will make your ship better and economically. Even though it might be a little confusing, once you get a better knowledge about it, shipping zones make your work much easier. Properly using these shipping zones in your day-to-day shipping will help you find cheaper and faster shipping solutions.
You can implement cost-effective strategies when it comes to shipping and finds the best shipping carriers to help you ship easily and at a better rate. If you notice, each courier company has its own shipping zones and shipping rates based on the zones. Let’s get to understand a bit more regarding the shipping zones and how they help to ship better.
What Are Shipping Zones?
When you consider shipping, you need to look into various factors like the origin and the destination, the items you are sending, and much more. In such cases, the shipping distance does play a vital role in terms of the cost of shipping. This is why shipping carriers break down the countries into various zones. For example, if you see, the US has 8 zones. With a shipping zone map, it becomes easy to decide the cost for shipping with respect to the origin and destination zones.
The best part of depending on these shipping zones is that they have the most affordable options when it comes to shipping. The shipping zones can help you reduce the shipping cost by helping you choose better offers in terms of the shipping rates.
Shipping Zones by Shipping Carriers
As said above, each shipping carrier has designed and broken down the countries into various shipping zones. Since each shipping carrier has its own ways to get things done and operate the shipping. The shipping rates also differ with the shipping zones. If you are looking for international shipping, each shipping service charges different rates depending on the zone they are categorizing that part of the country.
USPS Shipping Zones
USPS shipping zone prices are mostly based on the mail class you want to use and where you want to send the package. USPS ships to more than 190 international destinations using its Priority Mail International service. USPS also has a multi-tier pricing system based on the destination and the shipping class being used.
UPS Shipping Zones
UPS ships to over 220 countries around the world and it offers best-in-class services. You have to first find the UPS shipping zone that you fall into before you get your shipping rates with UPS. To find the relevant zones, you will have to enter your zip code on the UPS website and you will be provided with the shipping rates.
FedEx Shipping Zones
FedEx shipping zones are considered the same way as UPS shipping zones. You have to use the destination zip code to fetch a quote. The zones locator is a PDF that holds all the relevant details for FedEx shipping.
These will help you find the correct shipping rate for your package. These rates are applicable for both services like FedEx Freight Priority and FedEx Freight Economy services, but you may also have to pay certain surcharges for fuel and other extra services like last-mile delivery, etc.
How Do Shipping Zones Affect Fulfillment?
The shipping zones affect order fulfillment in various ways. They are:
Cost: The shipping rates completely depend on the distance you are shipping your item. On top of it, the shipping carriers also have various shipping rates based on the mail class. You might also see that certain shipping zones are not covered by certain shipping carriers. Also, the weight and dimension, together with the shipping cost, do affect the overall cost of shipping.
Transit Time: The time the package is en route to the destination is the transit time. If the package has to travel a longer distance, it means that the transit time will be longer. So if the package is delivered to a nearby zone, then your transit time will be lesser and if the zone is farther away, then the transit time will be much longer.
Delivery Speed: The speed of delivery is indeed a factor to consider. No customer enjoys a slow delivery pace. Each and everyone is looking for quick delivery options and hence going for express or expedited shipping options. Again, if the delivery zone is nearby, your delivery speed is going to be quicker than expected.
Shipping costs: When you are dividing the zones, it becomes easy to calculate the cost of shipping. The shipping zones make the pricing much more organized when it comes to cost calculation. You can also make use of a shipping calculator plugin to calculate shipping costs and decide which shipping method to choose for shipping the item.
Fulfillment Process: If you are depending on zones for shipping, you can see that they even have an order fulfillment process that will streamline the processes quickly. With the proper fulfillment processes, you get a better understanding of the destination, mail class, the packaging costs and all this shall help to solve the shipping issues easily.
3 Strategies to Effectively Reduce Shipping Cost
Reduce the shipping cost on unwanted expenses by getting a clear understanding of shipping zones. But the question is how you can reduce the shipping cost with respect to the zone? Yet another important question that comes to mind is how can you reduce the zones when you have to reach a certain destination?
For example, a package sent to zone 3 will be delivered faster than one sent to zone 7. So, to accomplish this you should make small hops across the shipping zone map to reach your desired destination.
For example, if you are shipping to zone 7 and your package has to pass zones 2, 3, and 5. You should first send your package to zone 2, which will be quicker. Then, send it from 2 to 3, from 3 to 5, and finally from 5 to 8. This way you will not only cut the transit time but also the shipping cost for shipping the item.
You need to work strategically to reduce the shipping cost. Let’s see a few strategies.
More Fulfillment centers
If you have strategically placed fulfillment centers, you are almost free from the hassles of shipping. The more number of fulfillment centers means that you have better options to ship to other places where the customer density is higher.
Offer Free Shipping options
The best way to attract more customers is by offering free shipping. It does increase the customer volume. Various strategies like adding up the shipping cost to the product price, offering free shipping when they spend a certain amount or purchase in bulk, free shipping for products of a certain weight, and offering free shipping to the nearest zone can catch the interest of the customer.
Figuring out the Shipping Zones to Ship Better is indeed a value add
Most of the shipping carriers offer shipping zones, to ensure that the shipping is less cumbersome. You can see that USPS, UPS, and FedEx break larger countries into various shipping zones. This does help in the long run like when the shipment destinations need to be identified or might be confusing to calculate the cost of shipping depending on the origin and the destination, etc.
Understanding the shipping zones is important for any eCommerce business. It saves a lot of time. You can also offer cheaper shipping rates and faster shipping.
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