So you have started your online business and you just got your first order. Congrates! Now, it is time to ship the products to your previous buyer 🙂
Searching for an affordable and reliable courier can be a real challenge, particularly for small businesses. To run a successful business, providing excellent services is very crucial right from Day one. Not delivering the product on-time may results in a negative review which will drive your sales down immediately.
Hence, it is important that you need to source for the right logistics partners (yes, not one partner). There are many factors to consider, but we will like to walk you through a checklist of 7 factors which can help you make a sound decision on who to work with.
The physical size and weight of a parcel, or the number of items that need to be sent can affect the overall cost.
For smaller parcels, couriers are often able to send in their speedy bike riders to pick it up and deliver faster. Larger items or multiple packages often require a van or lorry, so it will take longer time as the couriers prefer to consolidate the orders in their transit centre before doing the deliveries.
Tips: Try to fit multiple items into a single box, and keep the parcel size and weight so that it is easy for one person to carry with ease. By doing so, the delivery cost is usually lower.
One of the main delivery issues which happen all the time is the recipient is not around, or the address given is wrong. Most couriers offer different options such as re-deliver again, or return the parcels back to you, or request that the buyer/you to come and collect from designated collection points (Most post office offer the last one).
So do check with the couriers on how they handle such cases, and whether is any charge for doing a re-delivery.
Restricted / Remote areas
Offshore islands in Singapore such as Jurong Island or remote areas such as Tuas or Sentosa can take longer for couriers to reach, ultimately increasing the cost. If you need to book regular deliveries to remote place it is ideal to engage with a regular courier whom you can form an arrangement with in order to minimise costs.
Mistakes happen and they are often uncontrollable. So chill. Ultimately, someone has to be accountable for the damage. Most couriers will buy general insurance to protect your goods from getting lost or damaged. Usually, there is a cap to how much they will compensate you.
So if you are delivering high-value items, please ensure the insurance coverage is good. The range is usually from $100 to $500. Bear in mind that the higher the coverage, u can expect the insurance cost to be reflected in the delivery cost.
We have heard stories from couriers which talk about their driver disappeared when they found out that the item they are delivering is an iPhone! While such cases are really rare, we like to recommend that you should wrap your parcel so that the driver who comes to collect do not see whats inside.
Speed of Delivery
There are several delivery speed options to choose from when booking a courier.
- Same day delivery – this is the fastest way of sending your goods, and also subjected to price surge due to lack of available drivers. Nowadays, there are couriers who leverage on the sharing economy concept, and this has bring down the same-day delivery cost significantly.
- Next business day – By far, the most commonly used service by businesses. Most traditional couriers are offering this at very affordable rates.
- E-Commerce – This is usually the cheapest delivery service in the market. Deliveries are typically delivered within 3 working days and usually you can expect your buyer to receive an sms notification before the delivery is made.
Most couriers only do deliveries during office hours. If your delivery is urgent, it is possible to book a courier out of hours and on weekends. Weekend delivery is usually offered by couriers that do eCommerce deliveries.
It is possible to request a certain time-slot from couriers at an additional charge.
Special items Handling
Couriers can specialise in certain deliveries. If you are sending items such as food, perishable items like flowers, or bulky items like large furniture, it is best to book a specialist that has vehicles with cold-storage facilities. Heavy bulky items also means that additional manpower is needed to carry the items around.
So now you are equipped with some knowledge, go deliver your first order now! Just before you pickup the address book and start calling the couriers one-by-one, you can checkout 6Connect. Its a Singapore-based platform that helps you source for couriers and manage them in a single dashboard. It has a free plan which you can manage your deliveries all from your computers.