Guest Post: 5 Tips Retailers Should Follow to Finding the Right Carrier

Oct 28, 2022

(Image Source: Pixabay)

A lot goes into running a successful retail business. You need great marketing, a competent team, and a desirable product or service. There is also seemingly unlimited graphic design work to be done to keep your website, store, and ads looking great.

But with a lot of shopping and business being done online today, the shipping of products has also become critical for companies to think about. As a result, your retail business needs the right carrier in place. They are in charge of getting your products to customers and clients safely and quickly.

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With so many options out there, all claiming to be the best, how can you truly know who to trust? With that in mind, this article is going to go over some crucial tips to help retail companies of all shapes and sizes find the right carrier for their needs.

Choose a Carrier That is Reliable and Consistent

Perhaps the most important thing to consider when searching for a carrier is their reliability. You put a lot of trust into your carrier, and they are responsible for helping your business look good and deliver goods to customers in a timely manner.

A carrier that is reliable can build trust amongst your customers, and give you a solid reputation that follows you forever. On the other hand, if you trust an unreliable carrier, your deliveries could be marred with delays, misunderstandings, mistakes and other problems. All of this can lead to customer loss and/or a very poor reputation.

There should be no surprises when working with your carrier, and they should always aim to provide a great service and handle all deliveries and shipments with respect. Be sure to learn about the track record of any carrier you may work with, which could involve reaching out to other companies that have used them. Also, take time to consider the consistency of the carrier. The longer a carrier has been delivering solid and reliable services, the more peace of mind you can have when working with them.

Make Sure They Fit Your Budget

Guest Post: 5 Tips Retailers Should Follow to Finding the Right Carrier - Image 1

(Image Source: Pixabay)

Before considering any company, it is important that you evaluate your budget and how much you are able to spend on hiring a carrier. Different carriers will have different prices, and you want to ensure you only reach out to and consider ones you can afford. The last thing you want is to overspend on your shipping and have less money for things like marketing, product development, or wages.

Make sure you know their prices for all of the different types of shipments you make, as well as if they have any deals or discounts for bulk. In some cases, companies may not publicly list their costs, so make sure to reach out and inquire. Don’t only consider the base rates, however, as carriers might have additional pricing surcharges or costs when shipments are over a certain weight.

Of course, on the flip side of cost you also need to think about quality. While saving money is great, you don’t want to choose a lower quality option just to spend less. If you do, you might be stuck with a much worse service that takes a ton more time, and reduces the overall experience that your customers have.

You need to find a good mix of cost and value to ensure that the carrier works not only for you, but also your customers. You may need to consider and try multiple carriers to see how they best fit your business needs.

Ensure The Carrier Offers Great Communication

Another important tip is to make sure that the carrier is a solid communicator. Communication in all businesses and industries is important, and this is no different. The supply chain for any business can be quite complex, so effective communication from all parties ensures that all aspects can operate in the proper manner.

If you have an issue, you want your carrier to reply quickly with a solution to keep everything in order. Effective communication also limits misunderstandings, and helps keep everyone on the same page at all times. Few things are more annoying in business than easily-avoidable issues stemming from poor communication.

When there is a major breakdown in communication, or the response takes too long or isn’t helpful, the entire supply chain can grind to a halt, and cost everyone a lot of time and money. As a result, consider implementing or using a solution that allows everyone to communicate directly with one another, instantly.

Of course, be sure to improve your logistic communication efforts as a whole by being transparent, communicating in real-time when possible, and automating certain responses or procedures to ensure they are always consistent.

It can be tough to judge the communication efforts of a carrier before working with them, but you can consider sending them an email with a few questions about their services and see how quickly they respond, and how detailed the response is.

Work With a Carrier That is Sustainable

Sustainability is at the forefront of business today and all companies need to consider it when running their company. Many customers want to work with companies and retailers that operate a sustainable supply chain, in addition to being sustainable themselves.

People care about the environment and preserving it, and no longer want to support businesses that don’t share these views. If a company continues to disregard sustainability going forward, it will only hurt them and their reputation in the long run.

Choosing a sustainable carrier is all about doing your homework and learning about the sustainable practices they are following, and what they are doing to make their company greener. This could be:

  • Optimizing their shipping routes for more efficiency.

  • Using more fuel-efficient vehicles.

  • Using alternative fuel sources.

  • Investing in sustainable technologies and solutions.

  • Reducing paper usage in favor of digital or online solutions. 

Working with an environmentally-conscious carrier can improve your image as a company, help to increase sales, and generally make your customers proud to work with you.

Of course, you as a retailer also need to make an effort to be sustainable too. Your packaging should be eco-friendly, and you should identify ways to reduce waste, and find ways to consolidate orders to ensure there is less transit required, and you reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible.

Learn About the Services They Offer

Not all shipping carriers are created equally, and many will offer different services than others will. Whether you desire van shipping, the use of a flatbed, shipping by air, or even the use of intermodal containers, you want to ensure the carrier you agree to work with has you covered.

While some may only specialize in one type of transportation, there are also others that can help you out in multiple different areas. Most companies will have their available services on their website, but it can’t hurt to also reach out and ask them to make sure you know what they can help you with.

If your business needs multiple services, it can be valuable to find a company that can assist you with everything. If not, you will need to work with multiple carriers and this can be more expensive and less efficient.

Also, the capacity that a company can offer will also differ from one to the next. You want to ensure that the company you work with has enough available capacity to meet your needs. If not, you may be stuck with delays or may have to rush to secure a carrier at the last second, which can be quite expensive and difficult. Demand is seemingly always growing, and if the supply doesn’t match it, there could end up being a shortage of available capacity for shipping, so make sure to secure yours early.

In conclusion, these tips can ensure that you find the right carrier for your retail business. It can be difficult to navigate the various options, but asking the right questions and doing your homework can make the process much easier.

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