Shipping is the movement of goods. Many people think that shipping only happens by sea, but this isn't the case. When you move one product from one location to another so you can deliver it to the customer, it qualifies as a shipment.
If you are in the e-commerce business where you sell physical goods, you need to understand the different types of shipping available to you and see if there are ways that you can save on the cost of delivering your shipment to your customers.
So, What is shipping?
The Three Types of Shipping
Shipments come in three forms depending on how the products were transported.
This is the cheapest method to ship a product. Companies like DHL and FedEx do this at a local or national level, depending on the size of the country. This is why you see their vans travel across one city to another.
This can take days, but there are offerings where you can expect the product to arrive within 24 hours. The speed of shipment using this method depends on the distance.
This is a shipment where air planes are used. Typically, shipments that belong to this kind are international packages. This can take days or weeks, depending on the volume of the shipment.
Most of the time, companies that ship through air s first have to fill up the air plane’s capacity. This is important so as not to waste fuel. After the arrival, the packages will have to go through the country’s customs department to check if it contains anything illegal.
Big companies like LBC, DHL, and FedEx have special arrangements with governments, so they have their own special line in customs. This is the reason why shipping with these companies takes a shorter period than the government post office.
Ocean shipping involves large ships and carriers. These shipments involve bulk products that are placed inside container vans. Dangerous products are typically the ones shipped here, along with those that are not perishable like electronics.
Only big time companies ship with this method because of the large requirement of products. This is also the cheapest and the slowest method to ship, and it can take months before the shipment arrives.
Like the air freight, all products will go through the customs department so they can be checked if they contain illegal items.
How do You Save Money on Shipping?
There was a time when sellers were stuck to only a few shipping couriers. Today, there are dozens of shipping methods that one can use locally and internationally, so all it takes is to find one that will serve you the best as far as the prices are concerned.
Choose Flat Rate
Many companies now offer flat rate shipping. What happens here is that they offer the same rate for as long as your product fits on a specific pouch or box. The only thing that will change the price is whether the shipment is local or international.
With flat rate shipping, you can expect the same cost for every product you ship, even if the other products are heavier. For as long as they fit in the box, you will pay the same thing.
Choose The Right Shipping Company
If you cannot find a flat rate offering in your city, then you need to weigh your packaged product and then identify which shipper is the best option.
For products less than two pounds, the best option is to use the government postal office. In the US, it is USPS. You can tell the cashier that you want to ship it through First Class Mail so the shipment will take shorter days.
For anything above two ponds, you should use FedEx, UPS, or other private logistics companies. The reason behind this is that many of them offer membership, and you can get a discount if you ship heavier items. Compared to the government postal service, you will pay less to these companies for packages weighing more than two pounds.
Outsource Your Shipping
You will save on shipping cost if you sell your products through programs like Amazon FBA. This is a method where you ship your items to Amazon in bulk, and then Amazon will be the one to take care of warehousing.
The next step to this is to list these products in Amazon, and when a customer orders, Amazon will fulfill the shipment. You will not pay for the shipping fee anymore, but Amazon may charge your customer for it.
The reason it is free is that Amazon, being a large company, has made special arrangements with many shipping companies for big discounts. Since Amazon ships thousands of products every day, the shipping cost is significantly lower than the typical cost.
What Does Shipping Mean?
Shipping is an important part of your e-commerce business. You can lose money if you do not factor this in your pricing. Before you even start selling, you have to go to your local shipping companies and shop for different prices. Add this price into your selling price, plus a handling fee, so you don't lose money.
Shipping means you get a product from 1 location to another!