Finding a partner to ship your business’s goods is not a choice that should be taken lightly. You should do a thorough background check, read their terms and conditions, what services they provide, and find out what goods they specialize in.
If your business regularly delivers, the shipping company you hire will likely be your partner for the foreseeable future. You should know what to look for in a reliable partner, so here are the factors to consider when partnering with a shipping company.
Look for a Shipping Company with Experience
The first step should be finding out how long the company has been in business. While experience does not necessarily equate to good services, it is a good indicator. When you hire a logistics company with over a decade of experience, like UNIVAL Logistics, you can be reasonably sure of the quality of the services you are getting.
If the company you are interested in partnering with has been in operation for less than a year, you are taking a chance. Your partnership may be successful, but it will be hard to determine beforehand.
You want to look for competitive shipping rates to lower your expenses. However, hiring the cheapest logistics services does not mean more profit for your business. Your profit margins are impacted by all of the expenses you have.
A cheap logistics company with bad services can negatively impact your budget, more so than if you hired a more expensive one. Unfavorable insurance coverage or packages getting lost, damaged, or delayed will hurt your business’s reputation and your bottom line. The aim is to find a balance between competitive rates and professional services.
Check Their Insurance Policy
The insurance your partner company is willing to offer is another important factor. Depending on the type of goods you deal in, good insurance can be easy or hard to find. If you are shipping low-value packages, you should have no trouble getting them insured for their full value.
However, it is harder to find good insurance for high-value items. Most logistics companies provide insurance of up to $5000 per package. If your business deals in antiques, jewelry, gemstones, or other precious goods, normal insurance will not cover a significant amount of the full value of your items.
Conversely, taking out private full-value insurance can be extremely costly. However, you can partner with logistics companies that specialize in high-value goods. They can offer much higher insurance coverage at reasonable rates.
Speed of Delivery
Part of your company’s reputation is built on fulfilling orders on time. When you partner with a logistics company, you are entrusting them with keeping your business’s reputation intact. The first step is to look for a company that provides clear time frames for the delivery of goods.
The time frame may vary for local, domestic, and international delivery, but it should always be clear. Delivery within 24 to 48 hours is much more reasonable than delivery within 24 hours to a week. Your customers’ weekly plan should not revolve around package delivery.
Once you find a company that provides reasonable time frames, you can look at their track record. Are their other customers satisfied with the services? Do they offer tracking for your packages? Do they have experience in dealing with complications, such as a surge in business or severe weather conditions? These factors should influence your choice.
Area of Expertise
Not all logistics companies deal with the same type of goods on the regular. Some are generalist companies that ship all kinds of items. Conversely, some specialize in specific types of items that require special procedures and processes to be delivered securely.
Look for a company that specializes in the items you are selling. For instance, if your company sells collectibles, good insurance and package tracking are a must. Not all logistics companies offer this, but the ones that specialize in your business’ particular goods do.
No business can completely avoid accidents and mishaps. It is not a question of if, but when. Consequently, you should look for a company that you can establish good relations with and communicate with easily. Good communication between you and your partner company will facilitate effective problem-solving and make finding solutions quicker.
Finally, your logistics partner needs to cover the area where you wish to ship your goods. There is not much to deliberate on here – even if all of their other services perfectly align with what you are looking for, you simply cannot partner with them if they are unable to deliver the items to your customers.
A Good Partner Is Willing to Work With You
At the end of the day, you are not looking for a one-term service, but a reliable long-term partner. Somebody you can trust to take care of the logistics for your entire business. You need to find a company that provides professional services on agreeable terms, but also a company that is easy to work with.
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