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Finding the right shipping partner for your business: Tips on what to look out for when looking for a shipping and logistics partner

JULY 16, 2021



The why & the who

The key to any business whether big or small consistently growing in terms of profits depends on how well it can churn out finished products on time, and ensure that it is delivered to the end-user/customer on time by a shipping and logistic company. That too in a condition that is stipulated as required by the end-user. Businesses need to ensure that every end product reaches the end-user on time. It is the responsibility of a business to develop a delivery schedule and make sure that it is adhered to strictly.

This can be done if an SME business can bring onboard its delivery schedule a reputed and trustworthy shipping and logistic company as a shipping partner. The shipping partner needs to have the maximum reach, particularly in all the geographical areas served by the business, or at least have to tie up with local logistics service providers for last-mile delivery. This is to ensure that all finished products of the business reach the end-user on time.

The schedule & the adherence

The assured and on-time last-mile delivery schedule with one- or two-day turnaround time helps e-commerce businesses dealing in food, cloth, handicraft, artefacts, electronic goods, and more to expand their reach and customer base. Other businesses dealing in white goods, furniture, wooden products, automotive products can also benefit from such a delivery schedule. Adherence to the delivery schedule is important as it helps them win more customers and ultimately grow their business.

Delhivery, with its world-class infrastructure, adheres to all protocols to ensure an unhindered delivery of products to the end-user. An essential aspect of selecting the right kind of shipping partner for a business is to ensure that it is capable of refining and streamlining its delivery processes as per the requirement. As a shipping partner, Delhivery delivers goods on time through its fleet of trucks operating 24/7.

The experience

Selecting one company as a shipping partner with a nationwide presence and regional center’s in all major cities across India is a simple solution for a business’s entire logistical operation requirement. Delhivery covers 18,700+ pin codes in India, accounting for more than 99% of India’s e-commerce volume potential, thus ensuring small businesses can access consumers in the high growth T3/T4 markets. Another factor for selecting a shipping and logistic company as shipping partners is end-user experience, and Delhivery, with over 10 years of experience, has been delivering stellar customer service.

Tips to select

The following are essential tips to be considered by an SME business when looking for a shipping and logistic company as a shipping partner.

1. Coverage: If the business needs to supply products all over the country, then choose a shipping partner that has a presence in either the whole country or in maximum areas of one particular region with tie-ups with smaller logistics service providers for the last mile delivery in areas with no presence.

2. Cost: The cost incurred to deliver a product by a company from its production facility to the end-user destination depends on two factors: package weight and distance covered. A business should select a shipping company that can handle packages across weight categories and deliver them to the end-user at reasonable rates.

3. Trust: A business needs to select a shipping partner with several years of experience in delivering products to the end-user and has gained their trust as a reliable service provider. This trust is bolstered by the fact how a shipping and logistics company packages the products to ensure they are not stolen, misplaced, broken, or contaminated.

4. Support: A business should select a shipping partner based on the fact as to how it supports its operations, by giving clarity to end-users about the delivery status, trace shipment, provide answers and solutions for their query through phone or email, or app or website or social media platform.

5. Flexibility: An SME business can choose a shipping partner based on its ability to provide flexible services. How the company manages uncertain occurrences that might delay the delivery of products to the end-user, handling unforeseen events like strikes, curfew, floods, or accidents, and whether they have other options to ensure the end-use customer is not kept waiting can be a deciding factor. Delhivery has remained operational through the pandemic and was among the first to kick start its network across 15,000+ pin codes within 5 days of the 1st Junta Curfew in March 2020, a true display of its network's resilience.

6. Up to date: A business needs to select a shipping partner based on its ability to stay up to date with the latest technological advances. Delhivery’s ability to use technology to quicken delivery schedule, material handling, and dispatch, invoicing, and other things and train the last mile delivery man in the use of technology makes it an ideal choice. Network update information is shared daily with all clients of Delhivery for complete transparency.

7. Problem solving: A business must select a shipping partner based on its ability to follow through on its delivery to ensure the product is safely delivered to the end-user. In case it is not delivered for whatever reason, what are the contingencies that the shipping and logistic company follow to solve such problems? A consistency in follow-up approach like what is followed by Delhivery may well decide whether a logistics and shipping company can become a shipping partner of an SME business.

Conclusion

For selecting a technology-driven shipping and logistic company like Delhivery as a shipping partner, SME businesses must prioritize the requirements for each product and evaluate the time taken for delivery by the logistics services provider. Also, businesses must figure out how well the shipping partner adapts to technology changes, responds to a query from the end-user, and what the resolution time is. In emergency scenarios like COVID-19, what protocols are being followed by the shipping partners is also an important factor.

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