The vast amounts of products and services being sold worldwide on the Internet nowadays requires a globalized supply chain. A major part of any supply chain is logistics and distribution, which are more often than not outsourced by businesses.
Logistics can be a nightmare for a company if done in-house due to inefficiencies and errors. Most companies make the right choice to use the services of a logistics company to ensure orders are shipped and delivered safely and on time. Another benefit of outsourcing logistics is that a company can focus on the key aspects of their business which will likely result in better financial outcomes.
Hiring a logistics company can yield many advantages for businesses aiming to expand their market coverage, these include:
Lower costs related to distribution, transportation and warehousing as logistics companies can achieve economies of scale.
Better customer service due to faster delivery times.
Monitoring and tracking of shipments.
Time and manpower savings, which allow for the company to focus on its core business.
A reduction of environmental impacts related to shipping goods as logistic firms must adhere to best practices and regulations.
The task of logistics is more than just moving goods from one place to another within certain time constraints, it also involves dealing with customs clearances, and tracking shipments over long distances and multiple international borders. Bearing that in mind many businesses outsource distribution to a logistics company to streamline the process.
Although there are many benefits to hiring a logistics company, there are also a few things to consider when selecting which one will be responsible for getting your products to your customers. There are several things to do and areas to research before signing a contract with a logistics company, here is a guide to help you choose a shipping firm that best suits your business.
It is the job of management to analyze the logistical needs and requirements of the company and record them in detail. This list of needs can then be used as a criterion when selecting a logistics company. Depending on the products you are shipping, your shipments may only require small but regular packages or larger shipping crates or containers.
There are a wide variety of shipping options that provide flexibility for companies offering different size products or delivering consignments. One option is to ship using compact single pallets, thousands of which are delivered worldwide by logistics firms like LTS Global every single day. Shipping pallets are a cost-effective method of shipping compared to sending duplicate products separately or spending money on a whole container.
If your company is a high-frequency shipper then an important thing to check is the capacity constraints of a logistics company. This is how many shipments a company can process and deliver in a single day. This is determined by the number of trucks, plane or train containers the shipping company has access to and how efficient the warehousing and dispatching processes are.
Company management may want to carry out some due diligence before committing to a long term logistics contract. Research into the background of a logistics company will provide you with a good idea of how the company will respond to any issues in the future.
To avoid problems with your shipping company in the future, it is well worth investigating the background and reputation of a potential logistics service. Things to check include a company’s relationships with employees and customers, online reviews and if they deliver what they promise in their marketing. Furthermore, it is worth looking up a logistic company’s prices, standard delivery times and error rates.
Due to the sheer volume of shipments passing through warehouses, distribution centres, ports and airports a lot of equipment, transportation and manpower is required. Warehouses are particularly busy places that can indeed pose considerable risks to the health and safety of staff as well as the security and integrity of your shipments. Competent logistics companies will mitigate these risks by ensuring all warehouse staff are trained, especially order pickers who require forklift truck training before starting work in a warehouse.
Records and reviews will unveil any problems related to damaged goods, as the last thing you want is your customer to receive a broken or faulty product.
One sign of a good quality logistics provider is a dedication to responsive customer service which prides itself in fast and effective problem-solving. There are plenty of online reviews for companies in every sector detailing reviews from existing and past customers. Finding a reliable, responsive and trustworthy logistics firm early on will provide cost savings later, and improve service and delivery for your customers.
For e-commerce businesses with sales coming from marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon, the shipping requirements can be quite stringent. So it is important to check if your logistics partner understands the packaging and delivery rules to successfully manage your fulfillment needs.
Incorrect orders can cause real damage to a company’s bottom line and reputation, that is why a logistics company must use a digital tracking system.
Effective tracking systems label shipments with barcodes to be scanned at each stage of the shipment process to provide the selling company and end customer with information of where the shipment is and delivery time. A proficient tracking system will also spot issues early and decrease the likelihood of shipments getting lost.
When choosing a logistics partner, one of the deciding factors will be the costs. Although using a shipping company often makes financial sense, it is worth noting external factors such as regulations and tariffs that can drive up fulfillment costs. Ideally, the logistics service provided should be cost-effective and value for money, for example, if you are distributing large quantities then it may be possible to work out lower shipping rates with your logistics partner.
The money and time savings resulting from hiring a logistics company to take care of your order fulfillment are quite apparent, however, there are many things an online seller should consider when deciding on a long-term shipping partner.
Disclaimer. The legislative information contained on this web site is my interpretation of the law based on many years in the health and safety business. A definitive interpretation can only be given by the courts. I will therefore not be held responsible for any accident/incident/prosecution arising as a consequence of anyone using any information obtained from this web site.
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