6 Speedy Fixes for Your Shipping Pains & Problems!
Shipping…what a nightmare right?
There are so many problems that can occur when dealing with shipping, whether its lost parcels, damaged products or some cheeky hidden fees that no one knows about until it is too late…
Before you even begin the shipping process you might be put off straight away by the awfully long paperwork and the numerous hoops you have to jump through, just to send a small package an hours drive away.
Thankfully, there is always a solution, whether it be a simple one or something you have to out-source…it can always be resolved. You have done the hard part of setting up your business and selling products…and now comes the logistical side, which can sometimes be problematic!! So therefore, below we have listed the most frequently come across issues with shipping and some tactics you can use to fix them (hopefully once and for all!)
Even if you don’t really want to target a market overseas, (even though you should be!) you might end up with customers on the other side of the world without even meaning too. This means you need to be prepared for the event that you have to send a parcel via plane, van or even train. International shipping can seem terrifying and almost impossible. You have to deal with couriers you have never dealt with before, communicate with companies who don’t speak the same language as you and the taxes and duties cost are a whole extra issue which could scare you off completely.
As scary as international shipping is, it’s not as bad as it seems. There are lots of online tools and guides to help you send your products worldwide and it is often not as expensive as you first may think. For example, to send a small parcel within the UK costs £5.10. To send the same parcel to Germany is only £13.80 and this includes tracking and signature requirement! Granted, it is more expensive but definitely affordable!
Most couriers will have an online forum for you to refer to, giving you the basics on international shipping and how each courier ships internationally. If you already know the courier you wish to use then refer to their guides as much as possible as these will be specific to the company.
You need to ensure your customers are aware of any duties and taxes that they may have to pay when the products arrive in their destination country. Maybe have a section on your policy page talking about taxes and duties and maybe even refer to it at checkout, ensuring your customers do not have any nasty surprises when the products arrive. The last thing you want is to put all that effort into shipping internationally to only have an unhappy customer at the other end.
Another way to get around the problem of shipping internationally is to use the thefullworks system. On our system we are able to offer multiple carrier options and along with our extensive database of taxes and duties, we can apply all these costs at checkout. This then allows your valuable customers to see the real and full cost of the product including taxes and shipping. No surprise costs equals a happy customer! We also are able to link our own webstores Shopify and Woocommerce stores, so if you have an existing site that you love why change it! This allows your shipping process to be fully integrated for hassle ( well most of the time!) free shipping.
Filling in the correct paperwork for overseas shipments is incredibly important. If not filled out correctly it can lead to the product not being cleared and never making it to the customer; goods being returned to you at your cost.. Accurate paperwork means the package should sail through customs with no issues. But remember, getting through customs can be a lengthy process so always ensure your estimated shipping time frame reflects this – don’t promise a shipping date that you know is impossible.
Packaging Products Safely
Once you have decided that shipping internationally is a step forward for your business, you then need to start thinking about how to make sure your products make it through the journey in one piece. Depending on your products this may be an easy task, or a very difficult one so we have some handy tips for you to ensure safe delivery.
Packaging requirements for freight shipping is very different in comparison to your standard parcel and mail delivery. It is best to check with your carrier to find out their specific requirements when it comes to packaging but it also is a good idea to check with the destination country – ensuring you are sticking to their guidelines too. However, below are some general tips to ensure everything arrives in one piece:
o Use a proper pallet for larger shipments: the pallet you use for your shipment should be made of either wood or plastic and should be able to stand the stress of being moved around frequently. Check the pallet you are using and make sure you do not exceed the weight limits – all pallets are different!
o Choose strong packaging: even though your box may be strong enough to hold your products, will they be able to withstand the weight of many other boxes being stacked on top of them? Whilst waiting to be shipped boxes are often stored in small spaces meaning boxes and boxes will be stacked on one another – think about this when choosing what you are going to send your products in! Make sure you pack out any empty space with packing peanuts and bubble wrap to further prevent collapse. Double walled cartons are a must as a minimum!
o Secure your shipment: don’t leave boxes hanging over the edge of your pallet – you are asking for a collapse! You also nee