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End-To-End Logistics: How to Choose the Right Partner for Every Stage in Your Small Business Growth

SEPTEMBER 10, 2021



Every small business owner has big dreams — the ambition to grow, scale and take the brand to the global arena. Every small business owner also knows that creating stellar products is one thing but taking it to the hands of the customer is quite another. The path to world domination is riddled with struggles and challenges that you have little control over.

To scale a small business efficiently and seamlessly, you need robust shipping and logistics that limits your struggles and helps overcome challenges. In this blog post, we offer you a checklist of things to look for while choosing a logistics partner at every step of your journey to scale.

#1 Inter-city fulfilment services

Most small businesses begin by hand-delivering packages locally. When online business comes from other cities, they typically use a regular courier company to send packages. However, this can’t scale. As the number of orders grow, you need a fulfilment partner who can do end-to-end shipping, taking care of all processes from your doorstep to your customer’s.

While choosing a fulfilment partner, here are the qualities you must look for:

Do they offer pickup services, or do you need to go to their location to drop your products off? You can save a lot of time and money by finding a partner who can pick up products.

Do they cover the entire country? You need a single partner who can handle all your orders instead of having a dozen courier partners for each region. So, country-wide reach is important.

Can they handle packaging too? As you scale, you need the option to outsource your packaging for efficiency.

Do they have a wide network of fulfilment centres? A service that ensures last-mile delivery can help you have better control over your customer experience.

Do they have a solid warehouse management system ? A digital and real-time management solution can make it easy to monitor and track your products in transit.

Do they offer no-contact delivery? Customers are looking for services they can trust. So, you need a delivery partner who cares for your safety as well as your customers.

Do they support cash on delivery? This is critical if you wish you acquire more customers for your brand.

Do they have a hassle-free returns management system in place? Returns play an important role in building trust in e-commerce. The easier you make it, the more reliable customers will see you as.

#2 Express shipping

Once you have built a solid fulfilment partnership, the next challenge is to meet the growing demands and provide exceptional service. You also need to offer value-added services like same-day delivery, next-day delivery etc., to meet the urgency of the customer. In logistics, this is called express shipping.

Choose a partner who can:

  • Facilitate on-demand time-defined/slot-based delivery
  • Provide same-day/next-day delivery services
  • Enable product replacement and exchange services

#3 Long-distance freight shipping logistics

Small businesses find various kinds of growth paths. The direct-to-consumer approach through digital channels is just one of the many ways. Most small businesses also use local stores, distribution partners etc., to take their products to a larger customer base. To take your inventory to distributors or resellers across the country, you need a cost-effective and reliable freight solutions partner.

Ensure that they offer:

  • Both Full-Truckload (FTL) and Partial-Truckload (PTL) services to choose from based on your need
  • An extensive network of fleet partners to provide pan-India coverage
  • Standardised protocol to transport high-value/delicate or even HAZMAT packages
  • Damage and loss policy

#4 International shipping logistics

No small business must restrict its market to any small geography. With the advent of digital channels, markets across the globe are open to anyone with a good product and a strong logistics partner. But remember that international shipping can be complex — with packaging, shipping, labelling, customs, and other regulations that govern cross-border trade. Be especially careful while choosing a global logistics partner.

Check whether they have:

  • A global alliance network to cover all major cities across the world
  • Local expertise to ensure last-mile delivery
  • Fulfilment and consolidation centres outside the country
  • Expertise in shipment clearance and forwarding
  • Both air and sea cargo options
  • Reverse logistics system

Delhivery SME: Your End-to-end Logistics Partner

At Delhivery, we believe that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the Indian economy. We want to bring the strengths of e-commerce grade technology and fulfilment services to the hands of every small business owner.

Delhivery is one of India’s fastest-growing networks covering 19,400+ pin codes across 2,825+ cities, with 67+ fulfilment centres across the country.

Delhivery Express is our exemplary express parcel transportation network that also offers fully integrated pickup and last-mile delivery, serving 30 households every second across the country.

Delhivery works with 6000+ truck partners across the country. These partners are empanelled onto the Delhivery platform for their fleet’s due diligence and years of experience in the industry. This helps us ensure that we can provide our customers with reliable pan-India coverage.

Delhivery Cross-Border enables businesses to buy and sell inventory across borders. Delhivery is a part of Starfleet – a global alliance of logistics companies and clearance agents and offers expert international shipping services.

With Delhivery SME, we bring all the above services and advanced technology solutions to power your small business from inception to a global scale. To see how Delhivery SME can help you where you are today, speak to a consultant now.

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