So, you’ve made the decision to outsource your shipping to a shipping partner. But now comes the question of which one?
You’ve probably started searching around online for shipping partners near you and have visited a few of their websites.
The internet has a lot of information, but it might not have all of your answers. Or, it might just present you with even more questions if the answers aren’t quite clear.
Before you start making calls to the ones you’ve narrowed it down to, it is important to have a list of questions you want answered.
Here are a few you should consider adding to your list:
Where does the buck stop?
Murphy’s Law is always at play in shipping – something can always go wrong. The question is how your partner handle delays, re-bills, lost or damaged shipments. Do they leave you dangling in the wind or do they take responsibility to help resolve the issue? Find out what your partner is willing to do on your behalf.
Another indication that your shipping partner has skin in the game, is the amount of time and energy they put into making sure you understand all the options, advantages and disadvantages of your options. Make sure they will share with you everything that can be done on the front end to minimize the chances of anything going wrong.
Can quoted rates change?
Have you ever rented a moving truck? Or, maybe you’ve seen an infomercial advertising a great rate on a product. Well, usually listed somewhere in the fine print is that the quoted rate is only good for a certain number of days.
If you were to request a rate on a moving truck but then didn’t go back and actually book it for 3 months, the rate would most likely be different than your previous quote.
The same thing generally goes for shipping rates, too. Most shipping companies will send a quote that is valid for 7 days, but this varies depending upon the carrier. And there might also be instances where an exact quote can’t be provided until the job is done.
It is important to know up front just how much price fluctuation is possible so your bottom line isn’t negatively impacted by surprise.
How long should I expect the shipping process to take?
There’s a lot that goes into the supply chain process including account setup, pickup, transit, delivery appointments and billing. And you may not always be able to get an exact time frame. But your partner should be able to give you an estimate based on previous examples or provide quote options based on certain scenarios like ground vs air, ocean vs air and regular vs. expedited options.
How do you handle billing adjustments?
Things happen. Weight, dimensions or even specific needs at the place of origin or the destination can impact the price. All carriers have the right to make billing adjustments on the back end if any of these criteria changed the price. Sometimes these adjustments are accurate but people are human and billing sometimes includes mistakes.
How will your partner handle billing adjustments? If the carrier made a mistake, your shipping partner should dispute it on your behalf. Prior to choosing a partner, ensure they are willing to do things like fight for a carrier resolution or even comp any mistakes that they made.
Do you offer a service guarantee?
Service guarantees are starting to become an industry standard. This is the agreement that outlines the answers to some of the questions we recommend asking – how long the process takes and how they handle an error.
This gives you something to fall back on in the event that you need to. Check references and reviews first. This will give you a glimpse into their service orientation.
Let Us Be Your Chosen Shipping Partner!
Do you need all of these questions answered? Do you have more questions?
We’re happy to answer them all!
Finding the right shipping partner is like finding the right shoe – it has to be the perfect fit
Although most shipping companies are professional, reliable, and capable, it is important to find one that can fully meet all your requirements without any hassle to you.
And asking the right questions upfront is one of the only ways to ensure you select the right one.
If you’re looking for the right shipping partner, reach out to donnasglobalshipping.com today and let us answer all your questions and more!