As a fellow small business owner, I know the thrill of selling your innovative products to customers worldwide. I also know the headaches that come when trying to actually deliver those products. Lost packages, shipping delays, exorbitant costs – it‘s enough to sink any thriving ecommerce venture.
But it doesn‘t have to be this way!
The key is partnering with a reliable freight forwarder to eliminate logistics headaches. These behind-the-scenes heroes will be your company‘s shipping saviors.
In this guide, I‘ll share how freight forwarders can be an online retailer‘s secret weapon, especially during the stressful holiday season and peak times. With candid wisdom from my own experience and tips to immediately improve your supply chain operations, let‘s explore how outsourcing shipping can give you peace of mind to focus on growing your business.
The Shipping Struggle is Real
Before we dive into solutions, let‘s break down the major shipping challenges facing small ecommerce businesses. As an owner, you likely resonate with many of these first-hand pains:
Finding Affordable Carriers
- 63% of small businesses struggle to get favorable rates from national postal carriers like USPS, UPS, FedEx or DHL.
- Regional couriers lack the infrastructure for seamless tracking and claims.
- Fluctuating fuel surcharges and seasonal demand impact costs.
Navigating Regulations and Documentation
- ~$60 billion worth of goods fail to ship each year due to shipping documentation errors.
- Regulations differ drastically across borders. It‘s not a simple process.
- For example, a simple inaccurate Harmonized Tariff Code can incur heavy fines from customs authorities.
Resolving Unexpected Issues
- Nearly 30% of small businesses spend 5+ hours per week managing shipping problems.
- 62% of customers will hesitate to order again after one poor delivery experience.
Clearly, the most brilliant online storefront means nothing without the back-end logistics to fulfill orders efficiently.
As your business scales, the chaos will only increase exponentially. You need shipping specialists in your corner.
Why Freight Forwarders Are Small Business Heroes
Freight forwarders provide end-to-end shipping services and empower you to scale faster by allowing you to focus on high-level strategic business needs instead of daily logistical issues.
They leverage aggregated volume across clients to secure you steep discounts with top-tier carriers. Forwarders handle the whole shipping process – from optimized routing to customs paperwork to final delivery.
It‘s like having a global head of supply chain operations without the massive salary!
As one example, forwarder uShip reduced average shipping spend for small retailers by 65% in 2021.
Let‘s explore some specific benefits:
They Save You Up To 80% on Shipping
Forwarders provide discounted rates by:
- Aggregating small shipment volumes into bulk pricing tiers with carriers
- Consolidating shipments across clients for higher weight brackets
- Auto-optimizing parcel characteristics like dimensions and drop-off location
- Utilizing predictive data to adjust transit modes and carriers
They Eliminate Documentation Drudgery
Forwarders handle all complex shipping paperwork, regulations, taxes, and customs filings. Experts at simplifying global logistics, they free you from:
- Deciphering confusing trade agreements like USMCA, CAFTA
- Classifying your products‘ proper HS codes.
- Preparing export licenses, certificates of origin and more.
They Make Shipping Painless
Forwarders give you full visibility from factory to doorstep with tracking software, automated milestone updates and predictive ETAs using AI.
If issues arise, they troubleshoot quickly using in-house logistics veterans. No more panicking whenever a customer asks : "Where‘s my order?"
They Help You Scale Intelligently
You can leverage forwarders‘ proven processes and infrastructure to launch new products, expand to new markets and support sales spikes rather than reinventing the wheel.
As your company grows into an international enterprise, they make global shipping simple.
Key Considerations When Selecting a Forwarder
Prioritize forwarders who provide online visibility, documentation, booking/tracking to eliminate manual processes. API connections allow shipping data to auto-sync with sales channels and ERP software.
Find forwarders with dedicated account reps that offer white-glove support. You need problems solved ASAP without endless call transfers.
Reliable Carrier Networks
Verify forwarders have direct contracts with major postal carriers and relationships with quality regional couriers. This ensures capacity for peak seasons.
Experience Shipping Your Product Types
See if forwarders have shipped similar products before and understand their unique requirements, compliance rules, etc. This specialized expertise gives you confidence during fulfillment.
Ready to Break Free From Shipping Headaches?
I hope this guide has shown that trying to ship products in-house rarely scales well for ecommerce businesses. The logistics arena moves too fast for DIY to be viable long-term.
The solution is finding an adaptable logistics partner who takes the complexity out of shipping.
Outsource to freight forwarders so you can focus on developing innovative products and marketing them to new audiences globally.
Imagine how much faster your small business could advance without shipping eating up bandwidth! Finding an affordable, reliable forwarder lets you get back to doing what you love – running your online store.
So bid a fond farewell to frustrating days battling customs forms and chasing down delayed packages. With your logistics handled round-the-clock by specialists, imagine the business breakthroughs you can achieve this year!