How to Optimize Your Shipping Strategy: Top 16 Pro Tips Revealed
Do you have a business that mostly relies on shipping products?
Well, then you will agree that whenever we ship packages, there are always three things we must ensure — that the shipments arrive in one piece, at the right place, and on time.
Why? Simple. To avoid unnecessary expenses and customer complaints! You wouldn’t want tons of bad reviews to come knocking on your door, right?
But hey, making these three things happen is sometimes easier said than done.
As a business, you have to learn how to optimize your shipping processes to give your company maximum profitability and customer satisfaction.
It’s crucial for business owners and managers to have a full grasp of their shipment operations to avoid fulfillment delays and countless shipping issues.
So, how exactly do you do that? Ah, don’t worry. As always, we’ve got you covered!
Recently, we had this golden opportunity to chat with an insider from one of Canada’s major carriers. The result? A handful of professional tips and tricks to help you optimize shipping.
Now, are you ready? Let’s dive deeper into the Top 16 Tips to help you save time, money, and energy in shipping products!
1. Packaging Size Matters
If you’re thinking — ‘Eh. It’s just a box. It’s not a big deal at all!’ Then think again, because choosing the right size for your packaging can make or break your business!
Why? Because choosing the wrong-sized box can ultimately lead to poor customer experience, breakages, and higher shipping costs.
So when deciding on what packaging to use, beware of these three common pitfalls:
- Too Small: This is a no-no. Picking a box that’s too tight won’t be able to protect your package at all. It will even lead to breakages and damages which your customers will definitely hate!
- Too Big: Nope, a box that’s too loose won’t work either! Aside from potentially damaging your package, it would also lead to unnecessary surcharges. Did you know? Leaving a space of two to three centimeters around your product, even with infills, could increase your shipping costs by 6% to 8%
- Oversized: Oversized packages can also cause oversized expenses. And that’s something you wouldn’t want! You should know that if your package is oversized, carriers assume that it’s at least 90 pounds. For example, let’s say that your package weighs around 82 pounds. Carriers would still charge you for a 90-pound package plus an oversized fee!
Here’s a real-life example to give you an idea — we once had a client shipping guitars for his business. What he did that slashed the shipping costs from $34 to $17 was to simply reduce the size of the box by 2 centimeters.
Simple solution, right? But it drastically improved his savings from shipping costs!
2. Check the Box Code for Sturdiness
Do you see that little code on your box right there?
That’s not just some random logo or useless icon that you can overlook, no. It’s a code that represents how much weight your box can carry!
The weight-bearing capacity of your box should correspond to the weight of the packages you plan to ship.
So make sure to always check this code. Understanding the maximum weight that your box can safely hold can help you choose the perfect packaging for your products.
Hey, the last thing you would want is for your boxes to tear open and spill their contents all over the carrier’s warehouse!
3. Be Careful of Using Old Boxes
Don’t get us wrong. We understand that reusing boxes is an eco-friendly practice that helps reduce waste in the environment.
But if you’re not careful, it might cause more harm than good! How? Two words. Routing problems.
If you used an old box and forgot to remove or cover up the old address properly, then you’re risking your shipment getting delivered to the wrong place.
And what happens next? Disaster. It will lead to unexpected delays, additional costs, and of course, bad customer experience.
But do you know what makes it worse? Misrouted packages can sometimes void your carrier’s delivery guarantee and even increase your shipping costs trifold. Yes, you read that right. Three times the original price!
4. Secure Your Shipment with the “H” Taping Method
Another pro tip is to use the “H” Taping Method!
This proven and tested taping method is a simple yet effective way to secure your boxes. Especially for larger boxes because it offers added protection at the bottom.
It’s very easy to do the “H” Taping Method. Just follow these three simple steps:
- Tape the left and right sides of the box's top part.
- Tape along the opening line in the center part.
- Together, these tapes form an "H" shape.
5. The Right Tape Makes a Difference
According to Forbes, 60% to 80% of consumers won’t buy again from a brand after a poor packaging experience.
This only amplifies the importance of your brand’s packaging. So I suggest you take it seriously!
Well, one way to ensure that your packaging is strong and reliable is by using the right tape.
Why? Because it keeps the package intact during transit and prevents unfortunate accidents like boxes tearing apart or contents spilling onto the floor.
So, you might be asking — what kind of tape should I use?
Well, if you’re using clear tape right now, then you have to be careful. Of all the kinds of tape, clear tape generally has the weakest hold.
Therefore, if you’re using larger boxes or shipping heavier items, I suggest that you start upgrading to Kraft paper tapes. These are much more solid and can secure heavier packages better.
6. Accurate Weight Reporting
It’s best practice to always declare the accurate weight of your package. It doesn’t have to be perfect but the more accurate it is, the better!
Just consider this scenario — Let’s say that you randomly claimed that your parcel weighs 10 lbs. But when the carrier processed it, they found out that it only weighed 5 lbs.
Do you think they’ll just let it pass and charge you less? A big no. They will still charge you for a 10-lb package!
See? Overestimating can cost you more, so try to be as precise as possible at all times.
Need more help? Here’s a guide from UPS to help you accurately measure your package.
7. Print Clearly: Your Guarantee Depends On It
Just think of it as an investment!
A high-quality printer with proper cartridges can save you from the hassle of dealing with delayed deliveries and voided guarantees because of unreadable labels.
Ensuring that your packages are always accompanied by clear and concise labels saves your business a lot of time and money. And also provides peace of mind!
8. Address Verification
This might seem like a very minor detail to verify but once it’s overlooked, a lot of unwanted consequences can come raining down on you!
So make sure that your customer's address is always complete and accurate.
Simple mistakes like missing apartment numbers, wrong postal codes, and misspelled street names often lead to bad news for businesses like yours.
Why? Because it usually means delayed deliveries, extra charges, and voided guarantees!
But hey, beware of the other carriers because they might try and use this problem to press additional charges to your account!
9. Avoid Cutting Corners
Ah, have you been trying to use one shipping label for multiple boxes to save money? If your answer is yes, then better stop now.
Believe me, it’s a bad idea. Hey, it’s even considered attempted fraud! Instead of giving your business a competitive advantage, this practice actually harms you more.
Why — you ask? Carriers can quickly detect these bad habits. The worst part? They will hold your packages in the warehouse until you come and provide the correct labels. Sometimes, this takes more than a month!
Naturally, this problem causes much bigger problems in the long run. Such as delayed deliveries, extra charges, and frustrated customers.
So if you ask me — absolutely not worth it!
10. Documentation is Key
Hey, ‘better be safe than sorry’, right?
It’s a good practice for your business to always come prepared with relevant documentation. Especially if you’re dealing with international shipments like those in the United States!
Missing or incomplete documentation often leads to delivery delays, product returns, extra costs, and ultimately, unhappy customers.
11. Reassess the Need for Express Shipping
At Buster Fetcher, we've highlighted the perks of express shipping. Especially the advantage of having a delivery guarantee!
Well, who wouldn’t want to always be entitled to a late-delivered package refund, right? And at the same time, your customers are also guaranteed to receive their packages on the promised date!
Sounds like a win-win situation for your business! But unfortunately, not all the time.
Just put yourself in the shoes of your customer — let’s say you ordered a product from ABC Company on August 1st. Then, you’ve been informed that your order will be delivered on August 5th.
Since you’re expecting to receive the package on August 5th, you made plans to go out of town until August 4th.
But then, since ABC Company uses express shipping, the package unexpectedly arrived earlier than promised at your house on August 3rd!
The bad news? No one is at home to receive your package, therefore, it will be tagged as a return. The consequence? ABC Company could be at risk to pay unnecessary charges.
The bottom line here is that you should always understand your customer’s expectations and make sure to inform or notify them of the estimated delivery date of their packages.
12. Efficient Return Management
It’s also essential for your business to have a clear and effective return policy. Unfortunately, several shippers don’t have one!
You can also check with your shipping carrier if they are offering free return label prints. Some have this option and only charge you when a customer comes to return the package.
And when customers make returns, it counts towards your shipping volume, giving you the chance to negotiate better rates in the future.
13. Always Claim Service Failure Refunds
Whenever you ship a package with your chosen carrier, they always make a certain promise, right? Yes, a promise of delivering your package safely at a certain date and time.
However, this promise is eventually broken most of the time. And when that happens, when the shipping carrier fails to honor their commitment, you’re now entitled to a refund.
But do you know what’s surprising? A lot of businesses fail to claim these refunds! Missing the chance to save as much as 20-25% of their shipping expenses.
Now this is where Buster Fetcher comes to save the day!
We actually have a client who successfully saved 57% worth of shipping expenses for 30 days of shipment. And hey, that is a record we’d love for you to surpass!
Our streamlined process is designed to help you set up your account effortlessly! After doing that, all that’s left to do is to sit back, relax, and enjoy what’s rightfully yours.
- Set Up Once: It only takes 5 minutes to create your account. One time!
- Automated Monitoring: We continuously track your shipments to identify and grab every refund opportunity that comes.
- Hassle-Free Claims: We don’t like paperwork and never-ending calls either. So don’t worry, we’ll handle the claim process for you.
- Watch the Refunds Roll In: All you need to do is to watch the refunds go in. The best part? We won’t charge you anything unless you successfully get a refund.
14. Unused Labels? Cancel Them!
Believe it or not, a vast majority of businesses tend to generate shipping labels and ultimately forget to cancel them when not being used.
The result? Tons of unnecessary shipping expenses. It’s like you paid a carrier to ship your package without shipping anything at all!
So keep in mind that you must cancel these shipping labels within the carrier's specified timeframe if you have no plans on using them.
For instance, UPS gives you 90 days to cancel your unused shipping label. So make sure to cancel or void the shipment before the 90th day!
Buster Fetcher also offers to cancel your unused shipping labels for you. What we do is that we act as the final contingency plan.
If you haven’t canceled your unused shipping labels by the 70th day, we’ll automatically do it for you! But hey, we still encourage everyone to cancel their unused labels on their own, alright?
15. Monitor Your Refunds
It’s also important to know how you can receive potential refunds from your carriers! After all, they have different ways of doing it:
- Canada Post: Can come as a cheque, a credit card reimbursement, or a credit visible on your bill.
- UPS: You'll receive the credit directly on your billing statement.
- FedEx: The credit can be found within your customer interface, though it might be a bit hidden.
- Purolator: Expect credit notes to land in your email inbox.
But here’s something you may not be aware of — claiming and applying for a refund are two separate steps.
A lot of businesses don’t know this. This results in our alarming data that roughly 20% of credit notes are not applied.
Remember, a claimed refund that isn’t applied is essentially money thrown away. So stay vigilant so you can maximize your savings!
At Buster Fetcher, we ensure that the refund process is not only taken care of, but streamlined as well.
We also confirm that you receive your credit notes directly, so you won’t have any problems applying them right away.
16. Use a Generic Email for Business Transactions
As a business owner, you should always think long-term. Why? Because your top priority is the growth and well-being of your business!
Here’s an example of a fatal mistake that businesses make — let’s just say that your company’s website name is abc.com.
Then, you hired and assigned Matt to handle the company’s invoices. So now, Matt used his personal email firstname.lastname@example.org to primarily receive these said invoices.
But after a few years, Matt decides to leave the company. Along with him is his personal email address.
Do you see the problem here? Now that Matt’s personal email is deactivated, your company is at risk of missing crucial bills. Which then results in delays, extra charges, and credit issues.
Now, the simple solution for this issue would be to just stick to using generic email addresses. Using email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com is much better!
Even if the point person leaves or changes, you can easily reroute the emails to the new employee without causing any problems with your company’s procedures.
People come and go, and you’ll never know when they decide to leave. So always make future-proof decisions for your business!
Optimize Your Shipping Game with Buster Fetcher
And there you have it. 16 remarkable tips to help you optimize your shipping procedures and potentially save lots of time, money, and energy for your business!
But do you know what’s the best way to optimize your shipping? Easy. It’s none other than subscribing to Buster Fetcher’s services!
We pride ourselves on helping thousands of Canadian and US businesses optimize their shipping costs and manage their refunds, creating a win-win scenario for everyone.
Did you know? One of our customers who shipped around 1600 packages last month secured $4188 worth of refunds. Corresponding to 25% of late deliveries!
Here’s another — our new customer who just signed up 10 days ago already got a refund worth $490.91. He only shipped 164 packages last month so that corresponds to 15% of late deliveries!
See? It doesn’t matter if you ship millions of packages a month or just a couple of parcels a day. As long as your business is shipping products, Buster Fetcher is here to help you save major shipping expenses!
So, are you ready to bring your shipping experience to the next level? Contact us now at BusterFetcher.com or call 1-844-311-3088!
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