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Managing the cost of logistics requires a smart and organized effort. With the addition of new online vendors, mistakes in the packing of shipments have become quite a common phenomena. And these vendors unknowingly spend extra on the things that they can easily avoid. Two main reasons for the extra expenses for shipping are less experience and the use of offline methods of shipping. 25% of workers choose wrong boxes affecting the overall quality of packing. This leads to waste of materials and lowers the customer’s trust towards a brand. This also diminishes the chances of future trade with the particular customer. But these errors are as less as 3% of all packages that hit the shipping vehicles. Still, this can account for a larger percentage of losses in form of refunds, reshipping, or returns.
As the package represents your store and the product, it is important that the package reaches your customer well in time and in the best condition. A durable packing help in the safe delivery of products. But an extremely strong box may not always fit your budget. Also if you use an excess of packaging materials it impacts the environment. If small packages are used, it may lead to damage of the products and thus refunds. On the other hand, the use of an eco-friendly packing adds to the values of your company.
So with an automated process, pocket and eco-friendly packing material, using third-party carriers and a few other factors can help you perfect your shipping. Let’s discuss some of them.
Fortifying the Internal Process of Packing
The internal process of packing essentially means the packing of shipments and the coordination of different departments of your company. When you receive an order, the admin should choose the most efficient shipping service to ship the package. He/she should never go for random estimates of dimensions, weights, and the shipping rates. The accounts department should have a clear analytics of the shipping expenses. It should provide relevant insights that make packing economically viable. Packing team needs to choose the best match of packing materials to impart enough strength to packages with the minimum use of materials. Finally, the delivery of packages to the courier services should cost you a minimum amount. An easily available free pickup facility can be the answer to this.
Free Packing Supplies
All major shipping carriers have an online store for packing supplies that you can order and get them delivered to any address of your choosing. You get most of these packing supplies free of cost. The available boxes are designed strong enough to carry the maximum allowed weights. USPS flat rate boxes are one of the most used supplies in the US. Apart from boxes, you can order shipping accessories like tapes, stamp, label pouches, satchels, etc.
To order these free supplies you are required to register for the respective carrier and login to your account. Once you log in, find the nearest store and enter an address to receive the supplies. Supplies from UPS are limited to genuine users only. FedEx supplies are relatively easier to get and lesser restrictions are imposed on the number of supplies you can order.
Similarly, you can order supplies form the respective online postal stores.
These free supplies save a huge amount of money for all types of users. Other than the carrier, you can also benefit from the online vendors which are known for discounted postage rates and small extra charges. Two premier online postage vendors are:
- Offers Discounted USPS Postage rates and you can start with as low as 1 shipment per week too.
- An additional monthly fee of $15.99, which is negotiable at high postage usage volume.
- You get a free trial period
- $100 off for a digital balance and a label printer
- Use hidden postage feature to hide the amount you pay to Satmap.com
- Offers discounted USP Postage rates and you can start with as low as 1 shipment per week too.
- An additional charge is 1 cent per package and you can ship an unlimited number of packages at the same rate.
- Add existing accounts of FedEx and UPS.
- Free address validation for assured delivery
- Offer refund for all shipments
Packing options refer to the way you or a software packs an item/items to a box. If you are not using an automated packing system/plugin, you’ll need a high level of analytical study to figure out a suitable packing algorithm. And that can vary with different product types. If you find out a useful algorithm, it’ll save you from extra expenses for shipping.
Or else you can use shipping plugin, which has built-in advanced algorithms for packing and gives most accurate approximations packing. This is based on the product weight and dimensions. A plugin usually has multiple algorithms and you can switch between them using single clicks.
Also, be careful about the weight and dimensions of the empty boxes and the products. As the carrier services weigh the packages before shipping them, an accurate weight and dimension entered for the boxes and the products will help you stay under the estimated cost. Few useful packing options are:
- Stack First Algorithm– Available with ELEX Stamps.com Shipping Plugin with USPS Label for WooCommerce.
- Box Packing
- Weight-Based Packing
- Individual Packing
Other Advantages of Using a Shipping Plugin
If you are spending more on shipping then not utilizing a plugin can be a big factor. If you are still going offline, it’s time to have a shipping plugin because:
- You get commercial based pricing with a plugin, which is lesser than offline rates.
- You save fund by avoiding unnecessary travel charges and time consumed during moving to and fro the post-offices.
- Unreliable packing algorithm while packing offline.
- Online Printing of labels saves you time and money.
- Get accurate shipping rates using a plugin, rather than falling for unreliable mathematical calculations.
When your shipping partner collects the packages created using their services form your warehouse, it is called pickup. With the rise of e-commerce, shipping services have started supporting small-medium in more than one ways. They provide special packing guide for shipments and provide a business-specific shipping rate to these businesses. Further, these shipping services now offer free pickup for all packages forms your warehouse. So, before you choose you to choose your next shipping partner, ensure that you get a free pickup scheduling.
Insurance and Refund
This feature is available as the cover for any loss or damage to the product. The shipping partner provides cover up to the declared values of the packages. Online vendors are more customer friendly when it comes to claims. EasyPost offers one of the fastest settlement of claims. And this is independent of the carriers. So it does not matter if the shipment was prepared through FedEx or UPS, EasyPost settles the claims in case of any damage. So offering the option of insurance can save you from any extra expenses for shipping.
EasyPost offers refunds for any shipment created with or without it. So you can use the plugin to offer refunds to your customers on the carrier’s costs.
You can have the return shipment feature for your customers. So that each time they are required to return a product they don’t have to spend form their pocket. Return labels are pre-paid labels sent along with the regular package. This is used by the customers to return products without paying any charges. This reduces the distribution and storage costs of the package. Moreover, this leads to a great customer experience and add to their loyalty. ELEX WooCommerce DHL Shiping Plugin with Print Label has a flexible return label feature in the plugin.
Have Multiple Carriers
Multiple carriers mean the use of different shipping services for your logistics requirements. For instance, you can use USPS shipping services for domestic and international shipping for customers who wish to pay a lesser price for shipping. And at the same time, you can use DHL service to ship a same-day delivery to a restaurant in the other state of the US. This, of course, should be based on the requirement or the choice of the customer. It can also depend on the product you are selling. For instance, if you are selling crabs, sometimes you can’t take more than 2 days to deliver it. So using the right shipping service becomes your choice in those situations.
Our ELEX EasyPost Shipping Method Plugin for WooCommerce is a perfect fit when you want to have multiple carriers. It integrates the services of USPS, UPS and, FedEx to your WooCommerce store. The plugin fetches live shipping rates from these carriers based on the product attributes and the location of your customer. Your customers get to choose from the list of services from USPS, UPS, and FedEx at the same time on the cart/checkout.
As the store owner, you get to offer insurance powered by EasyPost and claim is absolutely independent of the carriers. Claims remain between you and EasyPost. In addition, EasyPost provides the most accurate address validation ensuring correct delivery. You can print shipping labels, enable automatic tracking and pay only 1 cent per label you create. Other facilities come without any extra charges.
Use Reward Based Credit Cards
You are anyway going to pay for the shipping charges. And your credit card company is charged automatically by your carrier partners. In this scenario, you can save while you pay for the shipping service. You can go for cash back offers provided by the credit card companies. This will certainly reduce some burden form the total shipping expenses.
You can use these features and avoid small errors in shipping, that often leads to extra expenses for shipping. Train your workers responsible for packing activities. Offer insurance and refunds to your customers, make use of benefits from the payment partners, use free supplies and many more. You should also focus on factors like a better return policy, durable yet eco-friendly packing and use of an advanced plugin to automate all these processes from within WooCommerce. Visit our shipping plugins section for more features of our plugins. Or contact our online support for any technical help or pre-sales inquiries. You can also share your experiences with packing through the comments section below.