How to Choose the Right Shipping Method for e-Commerce Fulfillment

Fast and dependable fulfillment is critical to the success of your online business. Your top priorities are getting your orders to your customers quickly and accurately, but at the same time choose a cost-effective shipping method.

This article gives you a detailed overview so you are prepared to select the right shipping methods for your fulfillment business.

Shipping Options: Choose from the widest range of shipping options to make sure you get the most reliable methods for your orders. The choice of shipping companies and shipping methods depends on some criteria:

You have two choices here-

  • Services Offered by USPS or
  • Services Offered by private carrier such as UPS/FedEx.

USPS is one of the best and most reliable shipping methods for delivering to consumer for home delivery. USPS service is by far the cheapest. There are many shipping choices available. First Class, Media, Priority and Express Mail. USPS also offers Flat Rate Package mailing for one standard price to any part of the USA.

The interesting part of USPS is that it is the only choice to deliver package to PO Box and APO locations.

UPS/FedEx usually charge high rates. These two carries are a good choice if you want dependable service. If your products have high value and you want an insured delivery then it is OK to justify the high cost.

These carriers are a good fit for heavier package items. Both offer ground and air services. The cost and time to deliver a package based on the zone. Packages shipped to the closest zone gets delivered next day via ground and cost less compared to farther zone which could take up to 5 business days via ground service. But USPS takes only 1 to 3 days to deliver anywhere in the USA.

Delivery Confirmation and Tracking:

 Delivery Confirmation will usually acknowledge that the package arrived at the destination. It will also note if delivery was attempted but not successful. However, the details are often fuzzy after that.

 If "delivered", was the package left at the doorstep?

Did the postal worker leave it at the neighbor's house?

Delivery Confirmation often will not help you in those situations. It is possible to have a lost package with "delivery confirmation" showing "delivered" at the same time.

Another drawback of Delivery Confirmation is that it is often not scanned. There have been reported instances when the package was never scanned, either on the pickup side or the delivery side or both.

When you try to look up the "delivery confirmation" number on web, it simply says Label Printed.

Other things to note about delivery confirmation: USPS Delivery Confirmation on first class mail is restricted to items which are at least 3 by 4 inch thick. If the item is less than 3 by 4 inch thick, you must go with priority mail to use Delivery Confirmation.

Shipping Merchandise to the Fulfillment Center:

To Select the right shipping for outbound shipping; you need to ship merchandise to the fulfillment center. Most centers have negotiated rates for freight shipment via Less-Than-Truckload or using other shipping methods and you should compare the shipping cost for inbound shipment from your fulfillment company.

Depending on the nature of your merchandise, and pickup site, there could be a huge cost difference between various freight companies, your fulfillment center should be able to guide in advising the best option.



Posted on August 16, 2018