5 Ways On Time Couriers Can Make A Huge Difference For You

What if your business got a boost and someone else did all the work?

This may sound like a dream for businesses and individuals alike. However, that dream can come true when you start using a courier service.

In a world where time is money, on time couriers can completely transform your business. However, many people don’t know what couriers really do, much less how couriers can make a difference.

Interested in what couriers can do for you? Keep reading to discover our complete guide!

What Is a Courier Service?

We’ve prepared a thorough guide for how a courier service can benefit you and your business. Before we go any further, it’s important to define what, exactly, a courier is.

Strictly speaking, a courier is an individual who transports things from one place to another. A courier service employs multiple couriers to offer an alternative to things like the United States Postal Service.

Why, then, would someone use a private courier instead of the postal service? There are actually many differences between the two that makes courier service the preferred alternative.

How Is It Different From a Postal Service?

At first glance, the United States Postal Service would meet the definition of a courier. What, then, is the difference between these services?

First of all, many couriers pride themselves on making time-sensitive deliveries. While you can pay additional fees for things like Priority Mail from USPS, a courier service typically has speedy delivery as part of its main service. And same-day delivery from a courier is better than USPS delivery within a day or two.

Second, many couriers specialize in deliveries within your city. While the USPS must handle deliveries all around the world, a local courier can handle local matters with additional speed and efficiency.

Finally, many couriers offer international shipping options that are more reliable and affordable than those offered by USPS. This can help provide peace of mind that your package will be safely delivered no matter how far it is traveling.

Now that you know a bit more about what separates a courier service from the postal service, let’s dive into the unique benefits that couriers offer you and your business.

1. Gotta Go Fast

We touched on this earlier, but let’s be really clear: you can’t really match a local courier for speedy deliveries.

Think about all of the steps involved if you simply try to mail something to someone in your own city. They most likely won’t receive that item until the next day, and certain factors may delay that even further.

Local couriers specialize in things like same-day delivery, and they can quickly navigate clogged roads with creative transportation. This means that it’s easier than ever to send time-sensitive documents to colleagues who may be delivering presentations, meeting clients, or handling something else very important.

2. Insured Delivery

No matter how reliable various services are, a small business must constantly ask those “what if” questions. For example, “what if my courier item is lost or damaged during transit?”

This is unlikely to happen because of the enhanced reliability (more on this below). But in the event that the worst happens, you can rely on insured delivery.

Professional courier services are fully insured, and you can get insurance on items regardless of how light they are. This gives you a chance to ship even very fragile items with the peace of mind that you deserve.

3. Reliable Service

Professional courier services are very reliable. Of course, your inner cynic may think that “reliable” is just a buzzword everyone uses. So, what makes a courier more reliable than their competition?

The primary factor is that your item doesn’t change hands very much. When you mail something with the post office, it may encounter countless postal workers and warehouse workers. This causes wear and tear which may damage very sensitive products.

With a courier, you hand an item to one person and that person delivers your item. This creates the kind of reliability that you cannot find anywhere else when you need to ship your items.

4. Accessibility

Have you ever really checked out the various USPS shipping options? It’s easy to get dizzy because there are so many different methods of shipping, prices, and types of packing you must try to figure out.

Courier services, however, are much more user-friendly. In most cases, you can make all of the arrangements for pickup and delivery without leaving your computer.

This ease and accessibility saves you time whenever you make shipping arrangements. But it also saves time that you would have otherwise spent driving to the Post Office, waiting in line, and driving back.

Given a choice, who wouldn’t want the option that is easier to use and saves a ton of time?

5. Affordability

For a small business, budget is everything. Even little costs add up, especially if you incur those costs each week.

As a rule, courier services are competitively-priced and more affordable than alternative services. This is largely because they don’t have to manage fleets of vehicles and an army of employees like USPS does.

Saving money by using a courier service is great for your business in the short-term. But it’s even better in the longterm because it frees up funds that would be better spent on things like marketing and product development.

Compare and Decide

We have spent a lot of time and space comparing courier services and the United States Postal Service. The truth is that only you can determine which service is best for your business.

However, we think the answer is clear. Compare the price, services, and overall quality of each business and you’ll find that couriers will completely change how you approach your various shipping needs.

A chance to save time and money doesn’t come along every day for a small business. We recommend you take advantage of the opportunity right away!

On Time Couriers: Your Bottom Line

Now you know how on time couriers can transform your business. But how can you tell how much money they will help you save?

We specialize in all courier services for you and your business. To see how much money we can put back in your wallet, come request a free quote today!

Ship Like a Boss: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Ecommerce Shipping Solutions

When you run an eCommerce business, keeping your customers happy is critical to your success. While there are a lot of things to think about, shipping belongs at the top of your list.

Not convinced? In a recent survey, a shocking 77 percent of people said they have abandoned their shopping carts due to unsatisfactory shipping options. Offering free shipping can also greatly increase the number of people who place orders and the amount of money they spend.

This makes choosing the right eCommerce shipping solutions a critical part of your business success.

The 6 Most Common Ecommerce Shipping Solutions

To choose the best shipping solutions for your business, you’ll want to start by understanding your options. Here are six of the most common solutions.

1. Overnight Shipping

Thanks, in part, to recent moves by Amazon Prime and other major retailers, overnight shipping is now the preferred method among online shoppers.

It used to be that 2-day shipping was the norm and offering an overnight option was a way to stand out. However, the trends point to a shift. Soon, retailers who don’t offer overnight shipping will find that they’ve been left in the dust.

2. Same-Day Delivery

Some retailers (cough… Amazon) are taking things to the next level by offering same-day delivery. This shipping option requires some serious efforts on the part of the seller. It requires top-notch technology, coordinated operations, and a reliable courier service

However, in most cases, it’s definitely worth it. In fact, 61 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for same-day delivery. Further, 56 percent of shoppers between the ages of 18 and 34 expect this option when shopping online. 

3. 2-Day Shipping

When Amazon Prime first started, 2-day shipping was the “holy grail.” However, it was also relegated mostly to eCommerce behemoths who could handle the logistics behind it.

Now it has become the standard for online shoppers. Any online retailer who wants to remain competitive should figure out how to offer a 2-day shipping option within the next couple of years, if not sooner.

4. Expedited Shipping

The term “expedited shipping” refers to any shipping method that is faster than standard ground shipping. While this doesn’t guarantee the delivery will occur within a specified number of days, it still appeals to shoppers.

Retailers who offer expedited shipping find that it helps to meet customer expectations, reduce cart abandonment, and build customer loyalty.

5. International Shipping

Opening up your business to international customers can be an excellent way to grow your customer base. However, international shipping often poses a challenge, especially to smaller retail businesses.

Not only do you have to handle your own logistics, but you’ll also have to deal with the other country’s regulations, taxes, and tariffs. If you choose to explore international markets, you’ll need a great shipping partner who can help you navigate these issues while still offering affordable services.

6. Freight Delivery

Finally, freight delivery involves the transfer of goods across the globe by air, land, or sea. Generally, if you’re going to ship items that weigh more than 150 pounds or are larger than 30 x 30 x 30 inches, you’ll need a freight shipping provider.

Ecommerce Shipping Options: How to Get Your Pricing Right  

Now that you understand your shipping options, you’ll also need to learn how to price your shipping right. Set your rates too low and you’ll end up losing money, set them too high, and your customers will close their browsers and walk away.

Some of the factors that go into calculating the cost of shipping an item include:

  • Package dimensions
  • Package weight
  • Value of the contents
  • Shipping destination
  • Shipping speed
  • Carrier used

The three most popular ways to price shipping are flat rate, actual carrier rate, and free shipping. Here’s a deeper look into each.

Flat Rate Shipping

Retailers who choose flat-rate shipping charge the same rate for all orders that fall within a certain category. The categories are often divided by the weight of the items, their value, or some other determination.

This is often calculated as a blended average cost across the category, which means that some buyers will pay a bit more than the actual cost to ship their product while others will pay a bit less. The simplicity of this method is one of the major benefits.

Actual Carrier Rate

Another option is to pull the actual carrier rates into your website so you can charge the buyer the true cost for the shipping option they choose. This has the benefit of ensuring that the buyer covers the entire cost of shipping. It also allows the buyer to choose from different shipping options based on what it will cost them.

Free Shipping

Another recent study showed that 88 percent of shoppers are more likely to shop at a site if they know they can get free shipping. While it used to be a nice touch, offering a free shipping option is now expected of most retailers.

While completely free shipping is the holy grail for shoppers, it might not be feasible for your business. Don’t make the mistake of doing this if it will put you at a detriment. Instead, explore some of these other options.

Free Shipping with a Minimum

This is important if you’re selling low-value items. Offering free shipping on a $3 order doesn’t make much sense. Most companies choose thresholds like $25, $30, $50, or $75. The right minimum will depend, in part, on the value of the items you’re selling.

Free Shipping on Certain Items

This is a great way to offer free shipping without cutting too deep into your bottom line. Consider offering it on expensive items, things that are going out of season, or items that aren’t selling well.

Free Shipping to Loyal Customers

It can cost up to five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep a current one. So, it makes sense to reward customer loyalty. One of the best ways to do this is to create a rewards program and offer free shipping once shoppers reach a certain threshold.

Let Us Help You Explore Your Shipping Options

Choosing the best eCommerce shipping solutions can feel like a real challenge. We can help! Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started.

How Fast Is Expedited Shipping And Is It Worth It?

Americans ship millions of packages through the mail every day. 

But there are several different shipping options to choose from, and each one has a different price and speed. So how are you supposed to tell them all apart?

We’ve put together this guide to break down the ins and outs of expedited shipping. Asking yourself, “How fast is expedited shipping?”

Make sure you keep reading below to learn more. 

What is Expedited Shipping?

Expedited shipping is a delivery method that’s faster than the standard shipment process. 

If you choose expedited shipping when you check out online, your package will be placed on a truck that makes little to no stops before it reaches your home. 

While this is a helpful shipping option, there are a few things you should know about expedited shipping before you pay for it. Here’s a quick look at three important questions about expedited shipping. 

How Fast is Expedited Shipping?

Expedited shipping doesn’t have a set speed, like overnight or next day shipping. 

Instead, expedited shipping is simply “faster than standard shipping.”

The exact amount of time expedited shipping will take depends on the company. However, standard shipping often takes between 5 to 10 business days. So expedited shipping might get your package to you in 4 days instead. 

Most expedited shipping takes between 2 to 3 days. This makes it slightly faster than the standard delivery. 

How Much Does It Cost?

It’s important to know expedited shipping is more expensive than standard shipping options. 

And we aren’t just talking about a few bucks. Expedited shipping can be $10 or even $20 higher than the normal cost of shipping. 

But again, it depends on the company. Some companies charge a lot more for expedited shipping than others. 

Can You Track It?

Most companies give you the option to track your package with expedited shipping. This means you can see exactly where it is every step of the delivery process. 

Tracking your package is a helpful feature. 

It keeps you updated on the progress, and it gives you peace of mind that your package is where it’s supposed to be. You should always track your package if you have the option. 

Expedited Shipping isn’t the Same as Express Shipping 

Don’t confuse expedited shipping with express shipping. Though they sound similar, they are two very different things. 

Express shipping is faster than expedited shipping, and because of this, it’s a lot more expensive. For example, Amazon lists its express shipping as next-day delivery. 

Pay careful attention to these two options when you’re shopping online. Each company defines expedited shipping and express shipping in different ways. 

You don’t want to pick the wrong one by mistake and spend more on shipping than you intended. 

Is Expedited Shipping Worth It?

It depends. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. 

If you’re a casual online shopper who’s not in a rush for the items to show up on their doorstep, expedited shipping probably isn’t worth the extra cost. But there are many times paying the extra money is well worth it—even necessary. 

It all comes down to your specific needs and circumstances. 

Times Expedited Shipping Comes in Handy 

There are several times paying extra for expedited comes in handy. If you are shipping one of these items, it’s always a good idea to choose expedited shipping—even if you aren’t in a hurry. 

Perishable Food

Perishable food has to stay below a certain temperature. Otherwise, it will spoil before it reaches its final destination. 

You should always send perishable food through the mail with expedited shipping. It doesn’t matter how many cold packs you use. You don’t want to risk the food gong bad. 

This is even more important if you’re shipping frozen items, such as meat. This food could make someone very sick if it spoils, so always choose the fastest shipping you can. 

Fragile Items

The mail is generally a safe and secure place for your packages. However, it comes with its fair share of bumps and bangs. 

This puts fragile items at risk of breaking. The longer the stay in the mail, the higher their chance of getting damaged. 

If you’re sending something fragile through the mail, you should use expedited shipping. This will protect it from getting any damage. 

Expensive Items

Shipping companies don’t lose packages very often. However, if you’re sending a valuable or expensive item through the mail, you to make its trip as short as possible. 

Expedited shipping can cut your packages time in the mail by half. This will lower the risk of anything happening before it reaches its final destination. 

You Have a Time Limit 

Of course, if you need your package to arrive before a specific time limit, you should choose expedited shipping. This will ensure you get it on time, whereas standard shipping might take too long. 

Understanding the Ins and Outs of Expedited Shipping 

So how fast is expedited shipping?

This type of shipping usually takes between 2 to 3 days, but the only real answer to this question is that it’s faster than standard shipping. 

The question you have to ask yourself is if expedited shipping is worth the extra cost. Many times, spending a bit of extra money is worth the speed and guarantee that your package will arrive on time. 

Looking for a reputable shipping company to handle your important packages?

We can help!

Make sure you click here to get a free quote today!

international shipping

Decoding Shipping Symbols: International Shipping Packaging Symbols and What They Mean

In today’s society, there isn’t one business that’s gone untouched by technological advances. Even in the big business of shipping, technology and time have changed the way people send and receive their goods. 

Shipping goods is one of the oldest businesses in the world. Yet, the way we communicate where our packages need to go has changed over time. From handwritten labels to bar codes and scanners, the packaging symbols we use have evolved along with our language. 

This evolution is a must if we are to continue shipping packages across the globe. As maritime law changes, shipping regulations must change. Yet, there is one thing that’ll always remain the same, to maintain a safe environment, shipping symbols must be used. 

The Language Divide: Shipping Overseas 

When dealing with international shipping, there is often a language barrier between continents. With the number of people that must handle each box, communicating instructions is essential to the package arriving at its destination unscathed. 

As in other industries, there are some guidelines that every shipping company must follow. 

  • If a shipment requires any special handling, it’s visible on the bill of lading. The shipping marks should be identifiable on the box as well. 
  • Keeping the goods inside of the cart safe is also a priority. So to protect the shipment from theft, coded marks should be used in place of trade names. These names should be changed periodically to help prevent theft. 
  • The port and identification marks that tell the destination and transfer points should be placed with waterproof ink on all three sides of the package. The image must be clear and easy to understand. 
  • When labeling a crate for shipping, stencils are a great way to keep all images easy to read.  
  • All shipping marks must be in the same language from the pickup point to the destination. Should those places cross, international lines the package should have instructions in both languages.

If you are shipping internationally, then it’s always a good idea to have all of the instructions on the crate as well as the package, especially if there are special handling instructions. 

Since there is often a language divide between shipping destinations, pictorial images help convey instructions. Similar to hieroglyphics, graphic images can communicate instructions across a language barrier to help keep your package intact. 

UN Packaging Standards

When businesses ship any hazardous chemical, it’s important to remember that the U.N. has strict guidelines on shipping and receiving of dangerous goods. 

Understanding the UN markings that must go into a shipment is no easy feat. You will be able to recognize this symbol by the UN marking that is in front of a string of code. Next comes the package identification code, packaging group level equivalent, then the mass and (or) the gravity of the package. 

Followed directly by the solids or inner packaging, then the year and location of the manufacturer, and finally, the certification of the manufacture. 

Without knowing the meaning, the code would look like a long string of numbers on the side of a box. 

Hazard Classes

For every shipment that contains hazardous materials, there are specific codes that must be present. This classification is vital to the security of the materials and the safety of everyone who handles the package.

Some hazardous materials are not allowed for air transport. This class includes anything that contains any explosive materials. This cargo falls within the following classifications:1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4F, and 1.5. 

Other than explosives, hazard class refers to anything that is either flammable or nonflammable toxic gasses, any flammable liquid, flammable solids. If it can catch on fire or spontaneously combust, it’s considered a hazard. 

There are also oxidizing materials that fall within this class, as well. 

Packaging Symbols

To close the communication gap with vendors around the globe, we had to find a way to speak in a language everyone can understand. This point in history is where a universal guide broken down into pictures was created. Elementary in design, these symbols are simple enough for anyone to grasp its message. 

Here are a few of the most common shipping symbols that you will see on your packages:

To explain that a box must stay dry, a stamp showing a picture of an umbrella with raindrops falling on top of it will be visible.

Indicating that the contents of a package are fragile, there will be a picture of a wine glass with a crack on it.

For instructions to handle the packaging with care, there will be a set of hands holding a box. 

To state that a package contains food products, a picture of a fork and glass will be present.

These are all commonly known throughout the shipping industry, and they rarely change to help maintain continuity. 

These symbols are not only on large shipping crates and containers but also on boxes in your local grocer. From glass bottles to cans of lighter fluid, if you search the packaging, you will see multiple symbols on there, letting you know that a product is recyclable, flammable, or a plethora of other reasons. 

The Importance of Symbols 

Packaging symbols are there to help protect everyone from the chain of events that will happen if mishandled or disposed of improperly. So before you send out your next shipment, take a moment to make sure to take a moment to check out the box and see what the symbols are telling you. 

For more answers to your shipping-related questions, take a moment, and check out our website. If you would like more details on how we can help you with all your shipping needs, give us a call for more information. 

What Documents Are Needed for International Air Freight Shipping and Pick-Up?

Did you know that experts predict that airfreight will reach 63 million metric tons this year?

The popularity of air freight shipping is rising as businesses look to take advantage of its speed and efficiency.

However, air freight has its own list of documentation and terminology. This can be confusing for first-time airfreight customers. 

Why not take a minute to familiarize yourself with the documentation and vocabulary needed to air freight items internationally. You can learn everything you need from the article below.

1. Commercial Invoice

A good shipping company will provide daily services to even international destinations. However, this service is only possible if the documentation is correct and accounted for. 

The first document that a company will need is a Commercial Invoice. This will be a specific document that includes a breakdown of every item that they will ship. Alongside a definition of each item is the value of the item and the total value of the consignment. 

This document will also explain who the shipper and seller are and where they are based. The seller will use this documentation to prove ownership of the shipment. 

2. Consular Invoice

Many countries require a consular invoice as a measure to control and check the goods that are being imported. It allows a country to learn about and control goods before they arrive to an air or seaport. 

A company can obtain this document by purchasing it from the consulate of the country they will be shipping to. Often this document is prepared in the language of the country of the consulate. 

3. Certificate of Origin

Each country will have its own, or be part of, a trade relationship with the other country. This means that before the shipment leaves the ground, a document must be prepared that indicates which country it comes from. It may also show which trade agreements it is subject to. 

This document may be prepared by a non-governmental company. This document may still be requested by customs even though some of the information it contains is found on other documents. 

4. Electronic Export Information Document (EEI)

The US government is currently requiring that shipping companies file a copy of an Electronic Export Information document.

This is required by the US Census office and is used by the government to compile official statistics. This means that it is important for all shipping companies to file this document. It is required for all shipments over the value of $2,500 regardless of export license type or end-user. 

5. Bill of Lading

The bill of lading is the basic contract between the owner of the goods and the company hired to ship them. It contains information regarding the parties and the quantity and types of goods in the shipment. 

Upon arrival in the destination airfreight receiving location, the receiving party will usually need to provide the bill of lading in order to accept the goods. 

6. Export Packing List

There are obviously many details regarding the materials that are in the shipment that may not be required by the government. However, it would be in the best interests of all parties to provide these to handlers.

This could include information regarding the storage requirements for the goods, or the perishability of the goods.

This information is usually provided in the export packing list:

  • Cost of Shipping in US dollars
  • Address of the shipper
  • Company ID
  • Contact details for the consignee
  • Specification of the shipment and its needs
  • Quantity and Weight
  • Location and Origin

The shipper will often make important decisions on the basis of this information including how to manage its weight. 

Custom and border officials may well check the contents of this list against the shipment contents itself.

7. Inspection Certification

In some cases, you may need to arrange for a third party company to independently inspect the goods. They will provide an Inspection Certificate. This will confirm that the goods are really the goods stated on their paperwork.

To obtain this paperwork you will need to learn the destination country’s specific requirements. A testing company will then provide this certificate after inspection. 

8. Destination Control Statement

Since international trade is strictly conducted according to existing trade agreements, a goods certification will need to show compliance. An example of this is the Destination Control Statement. 

This statement indicates to all handlers that the item may only be exported to permitted to certain destinations.  

9. Other Documentation

The requirements of countries around the world may differ from one another. While for most major shipping destinations the above information is sufficient, there may be additional requirements for other locations. 

Examples of some documents that you might need include the following,

  • Dock receipt of handling
  • Warehouse receipt of handling
  • Insurance certificate for the entire journey
  • Export license
  • Certificate of Handling
  • Declaration of dangerous materials

A shipping company will inform you of what is required in advance. In fact, many will handle these steps for you providing you can provide the necessary information. 

Air Freight Shipping and Much More

If you are interested in increasing the efficiency of your supply chain, then we are here to help!

We specialize in affordable and fast shipping of commercial and personal goods. This means you will receive a personal service whether your shipment is tonnes of industrial equipment or a simple envelope. 

We leverage our years of experience in the shipping industry, including air freight shipping, to provide freight services. We are based in the Florida area. Why not get in touch or follow our blog to see how our services can benefit your business.

Why Courier Shipping Services Are More In Demand This Year

Did you know that, among shipping services, couriers specifically have experienced great success over the past few years? We also believe they are one of the least understood modes of shipping.

Courier service is one of the most personalized modes of delivery and, therefore, one of the most reliable. It is also commonly used for local deliveries–especially in larger cities, where a hand-delivery could take up to half a day

You might say that couriers do their work right in front of our eyes without us even noticing. Perhaps that’s one reason for their popularity. And that’s what we’ll discuss in this article.

Shipping Services vs. Courier Services

It might be surprising to learn that UPS and FedEx, common household names, rank highest among those offering courier service, along with the U.S. Postal Service.

This is because all three also offer shipping as well as courier services. This is one reason why there is a fine line between shipping and courier services. We’ll try to sort this out now.

What is Shipping Service?

Shipping is a very encompassing term, referring to the “process of transporting an item, usually through the mail. Shipping is a very basic, common way of getting an item from one place to another, or from one person to another.”

Shipping services deliver both parcels (smaller packages weighing less than 70 pounds) and freight (200-10,000 pounds).

What is Courier Shipping Service?

What is a courier? This is somewhat more complicated. With courier service, an individual delivery person is responsible for carrying out the exchange of items between two or more parties.

Couriers are usually employed by companies that charge a flat rate to the party shipping a given item.

There are two main types of courier service:

Standard Local Courier Service

Commonly used by businesses, local courier service involves the local delivery of an item by an individual courier. This might be, for example, a confidential document of an office machine part needed for a timely repair.

Since this category also includes rush and on-demand services, it is sometimes used by individuals for urgent needs ranging from delivery of documents to emergency medical supplies.

In such situations, items might be handed off to a major carrier for expedited long-distance shipping and then delivered by a different local courier at its destination.

Local couriers also pick up and deliver luggage for airline and other mass transit passengers.

Regional Couriers

Also known as regional parcel carriers or delivery services, are hybrid shipping companies and local courier operations, with services such as overnight delivery and warehousing–sometimes even freight handling.

International Courier Service

Several shipping services deliver both freight and parcels overseas. However, courier services that specialize in international delivery will offer the best rates.

They will pick up the parcel at your location and hand it off to one of their international carrier partners. Then a local courier will deliver it to its destination.

International couriers have special expertise and certain advantages when it comes to international deliveries–for example, better connections with port authorities, ability to acquire permits, and tax discounts.

Regional and local courier services in the U.S. consist of air transit services, ground deliveries and other services including messengers and local deliveries. Couriers specialize in the delivery of envelopes and parcels, not items over 100-150 pounds.

While technically not courier businesses themselves, Federal Express, UPS, DHL, and the USPS all employ couriers to hand-deliver expedited mail and packages.

Recent Demand for Courier Services

Over 50% of online businesses plan on providing same-day delivery in the next 3-5 years. And 18% of consumers say fast delivery is the biggest factor in choosing their favorite store.

Given that last-mile delivery by local couriers has been key to expediting deliveries, this should signal a bright future for that industry if the trend continues.

E-Commerce

It won’t surprise anyone that much of the demand for courier services today can be attributed to the nearly daily supply chain innovations of Amazon.com and e-commerce generally (led by Amazon).

Amazon puts pressure on smaller operations to keep innovating in order to both keep pace with Amazon and serve its competitors.

So, it makes sense that much of today’s demand for courier services involves B2C (business to customer/consumer) orders, which often means the delivery of items purchased locally.

Local Businesses

Small businesses are also finding ways to use courier services to save their own staff time, thereby reducing their overall expenses.

Nearly all small businesses, especially those wishing to remain independent and local, have to find ways to hold their own against Amazon!

Food Delivery

The recent proliferation of food delivery services–a form of courier service if there ever was one–has increased demand for couriers generally, because of requests of traditional couriers to deliver food (in areas not served by others)…

This is also due to the many food-delivery services that have sprung up–including UberEATS, Doordash, Grubhub, and Postmates. And it’s because of the pressure on local restaurants to beef up their own delivery operations as well.

Expanding the Taxi Niche

Uber and Lyft emerged seemingly out of nowhere around 2010 and rapidly took on the long-standing taxi industry.

Now, not only have the new shared ride services expanded their services into areas such as food and package delivery, but they’re also setting a standard for other “ad hoc” courier services. What will we see next?

Regional Carriers

Yet another factor in the flourishing of local couriers has been the growth of regional shipping and transportation companies mentioned previously, such as Winnesota above, Lone Star Overnight, and US Cargo.

Couriers and Innovation

A sort of “dog chasing its tail” scenario has come about due to couriers’ well-established need and motivation to track their deliveries.

After all, they have to both compete and collaborate with logistics “giants like UPS, FedEx, and the USPS–not to mention Amazon. So they have entered the pursuit of innovating to create even more demand for innovation.

The investment advising company Market Realist reminds us how much these technologies and the increased reach of the Internet have led to greater transparency and advanced methodologies for online tracking.

Shipments can now be tracked online from the moment of ordering through the actual delivery. It has only grown more sophisticated.

Delivered on Time!

Shipping services, including courier services, seem to have played a significant role in defining and reinforcing 21st-century needs regarding shipping logistics and consumers’ parcel-delivery expectations.

This will be an interesting industry (or group of industries) to watch over the coming years. Time will tell whether or not their current role in accelerating other businesses’ innovations will continue.

Of course, we have a stake in all this ourselves. In fact, our services span a few of the areas discussed here. Keep an eye on where and our industry generally are going by reading our blog–which we believe is a great information source!

Just E-Commerce Things: Everything You Need to Know About 3PL Companies

Have you checked out that 3PL provider? Or what about this 3PL warehouse?

If you’re drowning in e-commerce terminology for third-party logistics companies, no worries. You’re not the only one.

Whether you’re operating in a small business or a mammoth of a corporation, 3PL services can really smooth down a lot of rough business edges.

But knowing that the 3PL market is projected to grow on a global scale by 7.1% from 2018 to 2025, you can’t stay in the shipping dark ages anymore.

So keep on reading for the ultimate guide about everything 3PL.

What Is a 3PL Exactly?

Basically, a 3PL is a third-party logistics provider that offers a variety of outsources logistics services.

These services span a wide spectrum of categories, from the management of procurement to fulfillment processes.

Overall, it’s a catch-all term for services that involve —in one way or another — the storing and shipping of items.

3PL providers come in all shapes and sizes as well, starting from warehousing services to refrigerated shipping services.

3PL vs. 4PL: Which Is Which?

You might have stumbled upon 4PL whilst looking for 3PL providers, so here’s how they differ.

For example, you’re in the shirt-making business and you are using the services of a 3PL provider to take care of your shirt storage in a fulfillment center.  

Your 3PL provider goes ahead and outsources their process of putting your shirts in specialized boxes before getting to their fulfillment center. This makes them into a 4PL provider.

Another case would be when the 3PL provider becomes your company’s only point of contact throughout the supply chain process. Once put in charge of multiple 3PL activities, it is a 4PL or a lead logistics provider (LLP).  

Benefits of 3PL

Now that you know what is what in the logistics world, here’s how a 3PL can take your business to the next level.

By virtue of handling a variety of logistics functions; like distribution, warehousing, packaging, you get the opportunity to tremendously cut your costs of operations.

In addition, 3PL providers will be able to do these services way better than if you decide to do them in-house. They can make use of the economies of scale and the simple fact that it’s their core business. 

3PL Services: What Can They Do for My Business?

Instead of waxing poetic about the benefits that 3PL providers can bring to your business, let’s take a deep dive into the services they offer and you can judge for yourself.

1. Procurement: The Lost Art of Streamlining Sourcing and Manufacturing

In a nutshell, procurement is the process of getting the finalized product that you sell. 

It applies to products that people make in their garages to full-blown manufactured products.

All of the steps taken in this process falls under the procurement umbrella.

To save time and money, 3PL companies come in to streamline the process through a variety of services.

Examples of 3PL services are raw materials sourcing, scouting for the perfect factory for your business. As well as, setting up a schedule for your manufacturing, as well as product development.

2. Transportation Galore

This section is were 3PL providers tend to shine.

Whether you limit your product transportation domestically, or you ship internationally, 3PL services can take care of the whole operation.

From selecting the perfect carriers to taking care of the paperwork, all in a time-controlled manner with the lowest costs possible.

Usually, the distribution services available are divided into the following categories:

  • Import/Export: If you’re in the business of international buying and selling, freight brokers — air freight or otherwise — can cut through the noise and paperwork, then offer you the best deals available.
  • Overseas Shipping: Not only can 3PLs help with securing the lowest of freight rates, but they can also manage the ship and air schedules with an iron fist.
  • Domestic Shipping: 3PLs acting as freight brokers can also secure the cheapest US rail and truck freight deals, as well as keeping a close eye on the most time-efficient pickup times.

3. Fulfillment: The E-Commerce Edition

E-commerce companies have special needs that are tailored to the fast-paced e-market, so the 3PL industry is all caught up to speed via their fulfillment services.

With many startups and small businesses experiencing growth, 3PL providers have developed a quick response in their fulfillment scales.

Nowadays, they usually provide these services at a lower cost than operating an independent warehouse.

These 3PL fulfillment services come in different shapes and sizes. It usually depends on whether your business is a B2B or a B2C, however, they all tend to offer these services:

  • Order Processing and Packaging: Two-in-one deal where the 3PL handle customer orders online, package it accordingly, and perform quality control on both the processing details and packaging.
  • Warehousing and Inventory: Full-fledged inventory management which includes receiving, storing, and tracking capabilities. In addition, it also offers specialized processes for high-value items or climate-sensitive products.
  • Returns Management: Nothing can clog up your business pipelines like managing returns. But with 3PL services in returns management, you have options like having the returns sent to your 3PL for handling and restocking.
  • Stock Forecasting: Some 3PL providers offer stock level forecasting services. This can be essential to meeting order demand on time.

4. Growth Services: For Your Sales and Customer Reach

There are a few 3PL providers who offer front-end sales services. These can help you with increasing your client base as well as your marketing efforts.

In addition, there are some services specifically designed for e-commerce businesses. They are composed of strategies set for tackling online markets.

From brand development, online store management, to social media multichannel management, you can delegate all of these functions to professionals.

Use the saved time and money to focus on your business core, especially if you’re a startup or a small business owner.

However, make sure to choose the right 3PL provider. The right one can tap into intelligent procurement. This will transform the supply chain logistics into a well-oiled supply-to-sale logistics machine.

Ready to Take Your Business Logistics to the Next Level?

Now you know all about 3PL providers and what third party logistics entail. So, you can pick and choose thorough a variety of providers for the services that your business needs.

So how about you start checking the services available for you?

And if you have any questions, contact us and we’ll put you —and your business— on the right track!

Everything Consumers and Business Owners Need to Know About Expedited Freight

Today’s global economy is moving at a breakneck pace. Getting reliable freight services is crucial. Pressing deliveries that are sensitive on time can mean the difference between business success and failure.

The freight industry is undergoing many different changes. With many groundbreaking disruptions in it, here’s the thing. The value of time-sensitive freight is becoming higher as time goes by.

Expedited freight is the future norm of delivery. Even then, there are many things that we still don’t understand about it.

In this guide, we’ll list everything that you need to know about expediting services.

From the meaning of expedited delivery to expedited freight tracking, this is a guide for you.

1. Expedited Freight Shipping: Meaning and Role

Before we try to go deeper, here’s the thing. We need to first understand freight shipping meaning and how expediting works.

The role of expediting services is to cut as much time as possible. Moving your goods from point A to point B takes time. Some customers need their goods in a time-sensitive manner.

When expediting, the logistics provider takes care of everything that slows delivery. This comes from several methods.

One of them is paying extra for the delivery vehicle to not wait before filling up. Methods like full truckload and less than truckload need the delivery vehicle full. The vehicle will start traveling as soon as they get your cargo.

There’s also the in-between resting for the drivers. Most forms of shipping allow the driver to drive between 12 – 14 hours, depending on the contract. This means they only drive up to half a day’s worth of work.

If you’re doing expedited freight tracking, you will see the travel is nonstop. Expediting services uses two drivers working in shifts to take care of your freight. This means it’s twice as fast as well.

Shippers use their best resources in freight shipping, meaning your cargo goes faster. This can be anywhere from land, air, and sea.

2. Who Need Expediting Services?

Those who need expediting services are people with products that have a deadline. Time sensitivity is an issue that needs a good freight company to take care of. Losing hours can mean the difference of a successful transaction.

Freight sent this way can range in sizes. This can be anything from a few stacks of documents to pallets upon pallets of cargo.

Companies who need such delivery options, including expedited freight tracking, include:

  • Medical companies for emergency supplies
  • Businesses with vital equipment parts
  • Factories that need raw materials

Freight shipping, meaning expediting deliveries, means measuring up to business demands. Every business would need freight sent in a short time at some point. Knowing that a company can provide expediting services is vital.

3. Why Expedited Freight Tracking Is Crucial

The value of logistics is key to helping a shipper to expedite their freight. When it comes to companies who provide such a service, here’s the thing. Expedited freight tracking can give them peace of mind.

Proper tracking gives the shipper an insight into how their product is coming. Instead of simple but vague information, giving exact logistic points to shippers provide peace of mind. Companies let you track the shipment’s progress and status through optimized logistics.

A fantastic company will make sure of superior logistics in freight shipping, meaning fewer touch points, shorter routes, and more up-to-date information in expedited freight tracking.

4. Is Expedited Limited To Small Shipments?

There are no limits to distance when it comes to expediting services. Even then, you need to be realistic. National level shippers still need realistic deadlines. The meaning of expedited boils down to “as fast as possible.”

Before you even check your shipment in, expert logistics providers will inform you of the realistic delivery time they can provide.

As delivery times go, many will give you times that will not put you in trouble but enough to give them leeway as well. This is where a superior understanding of logistics comes to play again.

There are different factors that your shipping company needs to know. These are crucial to give you the shortest time possible. Long distance freight deliveries need to streamline such factors to prevent any delays.

Expedited freight tracking gives shippers power to make the shipping companies accountable. This also means that it’s best to work with national shipping teams instead.

This should not be their first hurrah in expediting services. They should make sure that they get as little handling as possible to shorten delivery times.

If there’s any incentive to expediting services, here it is. Trusting a reputed shipper to do the job makes the difference.

5. Myth: Only Big Businesses Need Expedited Freight Shipping

Businesses big or small will get the best out of freight shipping, meaning it will work for anyone. Any business who needs to meet a certain time with their shipment can and should afford expediting services if they need it. Any experienced company with expedited freight tracking can do a full delivery whatever size it may be.

Urgent shipping means you need to provide peace of mind to your customer.

Why You Need Expedited Freight

When it comes to expedited freight, shippers will provide realistic times even before shipping. Understanding the level of logistics and supply chain needed to expediting services can provide you better peace of mind.

If you’re looking for a shipping company, you need someone who can deliver nationally. You need someone with expedited freight tracking. Hire us at Need It Now.

We deliver from many locations, some as fast as same day deliveries. With access to over 50 metro areas and experience in national level deliveries, you can have the peace of mind you deserve. Use their expedited freight tracking so you never miss a detail.

Check out Need It Now and deliver it today. Our logistics experts, all at your service now.

Going the Extra Mile: Why Your Final Mile Services Provider Matters

Are you an online retail business looking for easier ways to deliver your products right to your customers? Are your goods too big to fit the requirements of postal or carrier services? Are they, however, too small for freight delivery services?

Final mile delivery is what you may be looking for. Right now, it’s booming with the e-commerce industry. There’s even an expectation that the first- and last-mile delivery industry will exceed $1,100 million by 2026.

If you want to know more about final mile services, keep reading our guide below.

1. What Are Final Mile Services?

A final mile delivery or service is the delivery of a product to a customer’s home. It’s what comes after the freight delivery from your company to a city or state. It includes the planning and execution of the last delivery leg. 

This often pertains to the delivery of items bought online. It also refers to the delivery of big and bulky products. Often, a final mile service delivers goods that a parcel carrier or postal service can’t deliver.

These may include furniture, appliances, mattresses, and more. It’s also worth noting that e-commerce has been booming in the last few years. Thus, retailers are going online and are selling their products through the internet.

More e-commerce retailers provide an easier and more convenient shopping experience. Members of younger generations even prefer e-commerce retailers to traditional mortar-and-brick stores. This then causes a growing demand for better delivery services.

The standard service is the delivery of your goods to the door. Some services offer delivery to the client’s room of choice. Other services even help with unpacking and clearing debris from the package. 

2. Why Is Final Mile Delivery Important?

Now that you know about what it is, it’s time to talk about why you need a final mile service provider. 

Today’s delivery services are evolving. As we mentioned above, the internet is a primary catalyst for it. The competition is always growing with online retailers popping up left and right.

To have an edge, great customer service is one of the best things you can offer your clients. This is where final mile delivery services are good at. They handle your goods and customers with care.

If you sell specialized products, they can help your customer set it up. Most final mile services have personnel who are knowledgeable of certain products. This is especially important if you sell items or appliances that are confusing to set up. 

This is also important if you sell one-of-a-kind items like antiques. You want a final mile delivery service that guarantees the best handling for your goods.

A final mile carrier leaves a lasting impression on your customers. Remember, they are the ones who your customers have direct interaction with. They go beyond delivering your products at the door or the curb.

Also, the delivery service of your retail business has an impact on customer behavior. A survey of delivery expectations says that 43% of consumers demand faster delivery times. 74% of customers who received same-day delivery also stated they’d purchase from the same company in the future.

3. Benefits of Choosing the High-Quality Final Mile Delivery

Let’s say you offer great customer support and services on your e-commerce site. Now, wouldn’t you want to offer the same quality of customer service in the delivery stage? If you do, then you understand what builds up your customers’ loyalty. 

Shopping from your site isn’t the entirety of your relationship with your customer. Receiving the item is still part of the customer experience. In some way, the final mile delivery services you choose to represent your business.

The better the final mile service treats your customers, the better your reputation.

Another benefit is the many distribution centers. Final mile services should have various distribution centers in an area or state. If they do, you know you can launch products and fulfill deliveries in a jiffy.

Having many distribution centers is a good sign for retailers who want scalability. This assures you that they can handle many deliveries in one area. With it, you know all your goods will reach their destinations.

4. Trends in the Final Mile Delivery Industry

Before, the last mile transportation network included traditional trucks and similar vehicles. With the breakthroughs in technology, automated carriers are available now. Companies are using drones, self-driving cars, and other automated solutions.

It’s not the drone-filled skies some of us may have hoped for. However, it’s efficient and safe at the least. 

In line with new technological breakthroughs, another trend is real-time customer feedback. Sending feedback requests after delivery is so yesterday. Now, your clients can choose among the options for giving real-time feedback.

They can do it with their mobile phone or computer. Do you want them to share with you how the ridesharing experience was? Allow them to tell you through an app or your site. 

5. Finding the Best Final Mile Service Provider

Now, you know you want a final mile delivery service. The question is, how do you choose the best one for your business? Allow us to share the crucial elements for choosing among the many last-mile delivery companies in the market. 

For the first one, you want a service that handles the packages with care and is on time. If possible, they might even shorten the time it takes to deliver. This is a sure guarantee for customer satisfaction and positive reviews.

Another element is expertise with home delivery. For example, delivering complicated appliances to the customer’s doorstep isn’t enough. The personnel also need some experience with setting up and handling the appliance.

Get the Goods Home

That’s it for our guide on final mile services. It matters that you choose the right final mile service. After all, they will have direct communication with your customers. 

But why stop here? We’ve got more to offer. If you want to check out our services, feel free to sign up today.

5 Advantages of Automation in Logistics

In today’s ever-expanding Digital Era, we’re relying on technology more than ever. Businesses in all industries have started to take advantage of automated processes on every level. When it comes to shipping an logistics, there’s no exception. 

If your business relies on shipping merchandise across the country, you’re in luck. You’ve come to the right place by reading this article. Detailed below are the top five advantages of automation in the world of logistics and distribution. 

After all, making the most of these technological developments are in your best interest. You want to do everything you can to stay ahead of competitors in your niche market. 

Consider the following statistic regarding the logistics industry throughout the United States. Already in the year 2019, it’s generated $3 billion in revenue. In other words, this vast industry has a lot of ins and outs to navigate if you want to stay on top. 

1. The Efficiency of Automation Enhances Your Business’s Customer Service

When you invest in automated solutions for your business’s logistics, your customers will be grateful. The truth is, they have busy schedules and expect the delivery of their purchases to be efficient and secure. They want to feel as though your value their time and energy. 

That’s why automated logistics processes can be so beneficial for your company. By using these efficient services, you’ll establish your business as a reliable one when it comes to shipping.

In fact, if your delivery service takes too long in the eyes of customers, the consequences can be severe. These days, it’s too easy for customers to post online reviews about businesses they have experience with. These reviews can paint the business in either a positive or negative light. 

If you want to establish – and maintain – a reputation as a reliable business, you won’t take this lightly. After all, even experts recognize that customer service expectations are rising throughout the country.

Consider your investment in automated logistics as an investment in your company’s consumer loyalty. That loyalty to your brand, in the long run, is an invaluable asset. Then, they’ll be more likely to recommend your services to their friends and family members. 

2. Don’t Underestimate the Financial Advantages of Automation

Another great advantage of automation is an obvious one. You’ll save a ton of time and, therefore, money. 

For one thing, relying on paper communication is too outdated and expensive. Save the environment by digitally operating your business’s shipping and distribution, instead. 

In addition, automation simply makes business operations faster than they were in the past. That means you’ll be saving your business plenty of time on a regular basis. Since time is money, your business will experience an increase in productivity as a result. 

3. It’s Simple: Saving Time Increases Productivity

Speaking of an increase in productivity, don’t underestimate the vast difference you’ll notice with proper automation of your logistics processes. Even your employees will notice the difference with an updated solution to shipping.

After all, your employees deserve to be recognized for all of their hard work. If automated processes make their working lives easier, they’ll be grateful. Happy employees, by the way, are more productive employees. 

Plus, using the top automation means you’ll be free to worry about other responsibilities on your plate. That additional focus will allow you to strategize other areas of your business to increase profits on every level. In other words, automated logistics systems increase overall productivity in a variety of ways. 

4. Use Analytic Data To Optimize Your Operational Strategies

One of the best things about automated solutions, though, is the availability of analytical data. When you use software solutions for any part of your business, this will remain to be true. 

This is of particular usefulness, though, concerning your business’s logistics and shipping. Over time, the analytic component of automated logistics software will gather a ton of data. Then, you can evaluate that data and make more strategic decisions about the future of your business. 

For example, you can determine what products are not as popular amongst your consumer base. Perhaps, even, you can see what times of the year your business is more successful. No matter how you use that analytic data, the logistics software solution will be worth your investment. 

5. You Can Rely on Automated Proof of Delivery

The last thing to consider when it comes to automated logistics is the fact that you’ll always receive proof of delivery. Gone are the days when only priority shipments provide this feature in the form of a paper slip. Instead, your business will profit from knowing your customers are receiving their goods with electronic notifications. 

For more detailed specifics, check out this article on the benefits of electronic proof of delivery. Now, you can feel more confident that every single one of your customers is receiving the item that he or she ordered. 

Continue Investing in Your Business’s Logistics and Distribution

After reading this article, you should feel more comfortable about automating your business’s logistics processes. There are plenty of notable advantages of automation in this industry. It’s up to you, though, to make the most of these technological advancements available. 

After all, as a responsible business owner, your top priority is your company’s bottom line. You deserve the peace of mind that comes from knowing your business is optimizing its investments. This is true, in particular, when it comes to its investments in operational resources. 

That’s one reason it’s so crucial to only work with the best logistics services on the market. You don’t want to rely on a courier service that isn’t dependable, do you?

Well, that’s where we can come into play. We prioritize shipping merchandise for our clients in an efficient, reliable manner. 

For that reason, we encourage you to browse through the rest of our website to see how our experienced courier service can benefit your business and its shipping needs.

To start, check out more information about the courier and logistics services we offer on our website today. Then, keep investing in your business and its financial future with reliable shipping strategies.