Is shipping the backbone of your business? Then you know it can be a headache, especially if you are hit by unexpected costs from shipping mistakes.

For all online retailers, shipping products quickly and safely to customers with minimum cost is a major concern. But transporting goods domestically and internationally can be a complicated task if you have not done your research.

To make things easy for you, we have made a list of common mistakes and how to avoid them:

  • Last minute shipping


Set rules so that all staff knows when to ship orders to avoid paying high “express delivery” fees. If you have to make a last minute shipment, search for competitive rates to eliminate the guesswork and minimize your costs.

  • Not knowing the regulations for your destination


Shipping internationally? Each country has specific custom requirements. Do your research before you ship your products to understand the duties and taxes at the destination, certificates to prove your products’ country of origin, and other regulatory forms for product declaration. Pay attention to details, and never assume anything when it comes to international shipping as it could lead to holding costs are denial of shipments.

  • Relying on a single carrier for all your shipping needs


Although it is reasonable to build long-lasting business relationship, relying on one single carrier can be risky. What if the carrier experiences a strike or downsizing? What if the carrier does not have dedicated laneways into certain regions? It is a wise business practice to compare and enjoy the competitive rates with several carriers.

  • Incorrect address


Check, and double check your address information before you print your  labels. Incorrect labeling can delay your package, increase shipping fees and can lead to the package being returned to sender. Many online retailers have developed a “double-check buddy” system (i.e. one person checks the shipping details: from weights, to prices, to addresses and someone else checks it again, before signing off).

At last but not least, educate yourself from different channels.

Most online retailers are not interested in becoming shipping experts. You do, however, need to stay in the loop in the world of shipping to be successful in your online business due to the ever-changing environment.

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