In our day and age, shipping is an indispensable part of doing business successfully. From small to medium and large organizations, shipping to your customers in the most cost-effective and convenient way will earn you customer loyalty and boost the bottom line. If this is an area that you’ve just started to explore and you are looking at the different shipping methods for small businesses, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different types of shipping methods and share some tips on which shipping method you should choose and how. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look.
Types of international shipping methods
If the world of shipping is like wading through murky waters for you, fear not. We’re here to help you gain some clarity on the topic. This is why below we share some of the most common or frequently encountered different shipping method examples so that you can make more informed decisions. Here is our comprehensive list:
1. Expedited shipping
Although this is an umbrella term and is used differently by different carriers and service providers, it essentially refers to shopping that is faster than the standard or average shipping time. Every provider will offer this faster form of delivery at a different cost. And irrespective of what term they label it, it still means that your parcel will be delivered to its destination within a shorter period of time.
2. Overnight shipping
Much like the name suggests, overnight delivery or shipping literally takes place overnight. You hand the package over to your carrier and the next day, the parcel will have arrived.
3. Flat rate shipping
In many cases when you are shipping a parcel, its size, shape, weight and even volume will be considered when determining the final price. However, with flat rate shipping, you pay one fixed rate whenever you send parcels that are in the same-sized box. The weight is irrelevant in this cost determination. For example, you can place as many items in the box as will fit into it. You’ll still pay the same price as a box with one item that weighs less.
4. Local delivery or pick-up
Local delivery or pick-up is a term that is used for packages that are within the perimeter of your customer’s area or address. This means that they can either pick up the item from your store or warehouse themselves (and in this case, it’s not really a delivery option) or you can use local courier services to get the item to them. The latter option is usually used by local businesses with local customers and it can be done quickly, affordably and conveniently.
5. International shipping
As opposed to local deliveries, international shipping goes across borders and delivers packages from one country to another. This process can be a bit more complicated for businesses because they have numerous factors to consider. For example, you will need to think about customs declarations and forms, the applicable taxes and fees and more.
6. Freight shipping
If you’ve heard of the word freight but didn’t know what exactly it refers to, here’s your chance to find out. In essence, freight shipping refers to the transportation and delivery of goods that are in large quantities. Usually, they are sent on pallets within shipping containers. In standard cases, although there are exceptions to the rule, an item is considered freight for shipping purposes if it weighs more than 150 pounds or is larger than 30x30x30 inches. Although we alluded to containers, which immediately signals the use of ocean ships for transportation, there are also ari freight, ground freight and multimodal freight options for you to choose from as well.
Which shipping method should you choose?
And now, as promised, we reach the question: what is the most effective shipping method? Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this question because every business has different needs and priorities. However, what we can say is that to choose the most effective shipping method, you need to consider some or all of the following factors in conjunction with each other to make the best decision for your business.
- Pricing: this is a big one because costs can and do add up. It needs to fall within your budget.
- International shipping: if this is a service you require, check that your service provider offers this option or consider looking for alternatives.
- Experience: it’s important to ask your service provider how much experience they have with shipping parcels locally and abroad. This should let you know whether you are dealing with a trusted brand in the industry or a fly-by-night operation.
Weight limits: also important to check with your provider is if they place any restrictions on the weight of your parcels in addition to size and volume restrictions.
- Insurance: insurance is an invaluable back-up plan. Make sure your provider offers it for greater satisfaction and more peace of mind.
- Packaging: although this may be the last thing on your mind, it’s a small but highly important detail to consider. Check whether your provider offers professional and competent packaging options.
- Speed of delivery: you will also need to consider how quickly you want your items to arrive at their destination. With this in mind, check that your provider offers the right shipping options to suit your time frames.
In this article, we covered some of the most frequently encountered shipping methods as well as looked at the criteria you should consider when it comes to selecting the best shipping method. If you are looking for professional international delivery services, let DRG Solutions help you. We are perfectly positioned to help you with any international courier services from Barcelona to practically any point in the world. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to see how we can be of assistance.