No matter the growth rate of the shipping sector, the immediate challenges of inflationary pressures are hard to ignore. And while it’s clear that the pandemic and war in Ukraine have profoundly affected the global supply chain, the shipping industry continues to face a multitude of challenges not related to these events.
This article discusses the three most significant shipping challenges facing eCommerce businesses everywhere and how to overcome them.
1. Rising Shipping Costs
Of course, all customers want low shipping costs. But, the shipping cost continues to rise for big and small businesses. So, instead of passing these costs on to the customers, they subtract them from their total profits. Big companies can afford to do this, but this is not sustainable for smaller enterprises.
Fortunately, there are some strategies businesses can implement to lower shipping costs. They include:
· Consolidating shipping
· Comparing costs between carriers
· Negotiating and asking about discounts
· Packing items in smaller boxes
· Using carrier-provider packaging
Most importantly, businesses can factor shipping fees into product pricing. If more companies implement this practice, customers will understand their need to contribute to rising shipping costs.
Returns for any business are inevitable. Although companies can take steps to limit returns, they will never eliminate all customers who are dissatisfied with their purchases. Yet, if businesses track returns, they can manage them more effectively in the future.
First, your business needs to have a clear return policy.
Unfortunately, many new companies forget to create a channel for customers to send back defective items or items with damage to the packages.
A well-communicated return policy alone can reduce returns. Some other tips for managing returns include:
· Collect reasons for returns
· Inspect items upon return
· Implement a restocking system
· Refund customers properly and promptly
· Integrate multi-carrier management systems with built-in returns management
You’ll see your e-commerce business growth soar faster by following these tips and lessening the number of returns.
For businesses shipping internationally, customs is another problem. Each country has rules and regulations for goods entering and exiting the country. Likewise, items in transit also have rules to follow.
Shipping internationally isn’t going to get easier soon as more companies expand their operations overseas and ship globally. Thus, it’s vital to have a shipping partner who understands the necessary international shipping forms. This includes:
· Bill of Landing (BOL)
· Certificate of Origin
· Commercial Invoice
· Duties Declarations
· Packing List
· Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI)
When all the documentation is in order, your business works toward preventing lost shipments and tracking packages and deliveries more easily.
Businesses’ three most pressing shipping challenges are rising shipping costs, customer returns, and customs regulations. However, there are many more not discussed here.
If you’re ready to overcome your shipping woes, contact us at SmartConsign. Our software is proven to support the delivery of parcels faster at a lower cost. So why not learn about our shipping integrations?
Simply request a free demo from one of our team members.