CouriersPlease Chief Commercial Officer Paul Roper.
With the online shopping boom barely slowing down, shipping costs will continue to be an important business decision for retailers, especially before the busiest two months of the year.
CouriersPlease (CP) recently received four stars for "value for money" in its winning position in the Canstar Blue 2021 ranking of the happiest customers for small business couriers – and shares its insights into how retailers keep budgets and good value. For money, their shipping can achieve.
Chief Commercial Officer Paul Roper recommends retailers work closely with their courier partner from the start to set a shipping budget.
“The three most important factors that determine shipping costs are the geographical distribution of the shipment, the weight of the shipments, and the shipping locations. At CP, we create a “profile” for each of our retail customers that includes these factors to create the most cost-effective contract. It is important for retailers to share accurate forecasts with their courier partners so that they in turn can accurately calculate costs. "
Additionally, there are many packaging and shipping tactics that retailers can use to continually reduce their shipping costs.
Roper adds, “When evaluating the value for money of a delivery company, retailers should also consider the flexibility and breadth of services. Does the provider offer flexible deliveries or a collection point network to increase the success rate for first-time deliveries? Cost transparency is also important, and we encourage retailers to understand from the start any hidden charges that might be added to their final invoice. "
Seven tips for retailers to manage and minimize their shipping costs
- Consider picking up bulk deliveries or dropping them onto your courier company via dropship. There are three options retailers can choose when arranging a delivery through their carrier: driver pickup for low volume shipments, bulk pickup for larger quantities, or dropship to the courier's depot using either pallets or ULDs (unit loaders, such as z package cages).
- If possible, reduce the use of large cardboard boxes. Retailers can save money by packing orders more compactly into smaller boxes or, even better, into satchels. The cost of shipping goods is determined by dimensional weight, with weight calculated based on the length, width and height of the package. For example, shipping small items in a large, volumetric box ends up being more expensive than shipping a small bag or box.
- Large retailers could use “cross-docking”. Negotiated during the development phase of the courier contract, retailers can cut costs by pre-sorting their packages by state so their carriers can cross shipments through their main distribution centers. This reduces costs, minimizes double handling and enables faster delivery times.
- Work with couriers who offer inclusive insurance. Merchants can avoid the costs of replacing lost or damaged goods in transit by taking out inclusive insurance cover from their courier partner. For example, CP automatically offers its business customers insurance up to $ 1,000. If a retailer's courier partner does not offer this insurance, the retailer may consider asking customers to add a small additional fee to orders for insurance coverage.
- Note the fuel surcharges. When gasoline prices rise, it is common for courier companies to add fuel surcharges to their dealer bills. CP adds fuel surcharges for interstate and regional shipping, not subway-to-subway deliveries. This provides a cost-saving opportunity for retailers with actual stores in subway locations to use those stores as shipping locations.
- Pack the items tightly to minimize the cost of replacing damaged goods. Packing orders tightly and securely helps retailers cut costs on the way. Retailers might consider training warehouse workers to sensibly package fragile items in tight cardboard boxes to ensure there is no air or movement in transit. This results in less damaged goods and helps retailers avoid the cost of replacing items.
- Ship high quality orders more safely. For retailers selling high quality goods, it is important to work with a courier who can provide options to secure deliveries. Many couriers, including CP, allow retailers shipping high quality items to add a signature on delivery. CP recommends retailers alternatively seek out a courier service that can deliver packages to a secure pickup location such as a gas station, pharmacy, or grocery store. For additional security, CP drivers have the option of taking a photo of the delivery on their scanners for all items for which consumers have selected "Authorization to leave". Additional security measures reduce the risk of theft and the cost for the retailer to replace items.
About Paul Roper
With 28 years of experience in logistics and transportation, Paul offers expertise in global business development, sales management and designing efficient supply chain models to maximize customer value. Paul has been with CouriersPlease for over 4 years, initially as Victorian State Manager and most recently as Chief Commercial Officer responsible for the joint sales and marketing functions across the CouriersPlease business. Before that, he worked for DHL Express for 19 years with stations in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Malaysia and Singapore in various functions, including National Sales Manager (New Zealand & Malaysia), General Manager South Pacific and Global Multinational Customer Director Japan, North Asia, Southeast Asia & Oceania. Paul previously worked as Network Manager of Global Operations at Toll and International General Manager at TNT Express.
Via couriers, please
CouriersPlease (CP) is a leading courier and freight service that delivers tens of millions of packages every year. CP offers a network of pick-up and drop-off points with more than 2000, often around the clock, parcel pick-up points, including secure parcel lockers. Owned by Singapore Post (SingPost), a leader in e-commerce logistics providing innovative postal and logistics solutions in Singapore and around the world and operating in 19 markets.
Please visit couriersplease.com.au for more information.