As the cost of your products climb and your customers demand ever deeper discounts, it may seem like there’s no room left for you to make a living after you’ve paid for packing materials and shipping.
Traditional fulfillment services may leave you at the mercy of your competition, but a 3PL that offers smart shipping can be a total game changer. Not only can smart shipping save you money, it can help you get your packages to your customers faster than ever.
Smart Shipping Starts with Smart Software
Instead of forming an alliance with just one or two shippers, 3rd party logistics companies that are using smart shipping have access to a variety of local, national and international shippers at any given time. Their systems already know what size packages and envelopes are available for mailing and fulfillment services, as well as the weight and dimensions of each item in inventory
Using geometrical calculations that consider each item in an order, a smart 3PL system will determine the optimal package size for the customer’s invoice. The software can then send requests for shipping quotes that include the package dimensions plus the package weight to all relevant shippers at once — and receive bids almost instantly!
Depending on how your shopping cart is configured, this information can be used to provide your customers with faster shipping options, to help them find the cheapest shipping provider or to give them a choice of shippers. Instead of showing these options to your customers, you can also choose to use them on the backend to increase your bottom line or help offset the cost of free shipping.
Smart Shipping Saves Money
Smart shipping can be used to provide your customers with options that make their shipping cheaper, but that’s not the only way it can save money. In fact, one aspect of smart shipping, cartonization, saves both money and cardboard packaging waste.
When your 3PL calculates the properly sized box for your package, it isn’t looking to create a lot of extra room for packing materials unless absolutely necessary. This is because shippers are increasingly charging by both the pound and the volume that packages occupy, so it pays to keep packages as compact as possible.
As green supply chains are coming into vogue, cartonization will also help you stay ahead of the game. The smaller your box, the less cardboard you’re sending out into the world and the less paper waste you create. It’s really all about saving money, saving waste and saving space in the long-run.
Smart shipping and cartonization are tools that are going to work hand-in-hand to lead your eCommerce business into the future. Customers will appreciate your thrift and interest in eliminating waste, and you’ll love the cost savings these smart tools can provide.