Businesses in the e-commerce sector to be successful need to efficiently transport customer product to an overseas or interstate market efficiently. It is important e-commerce brands understand the basics of shipping terms, pricing, marine transit insurance, and documentation to make an informed choice about shipping provider for the benefit of the customer.
Booking agents, shipping lines, custom house brokers, and freight forwarders are some of the players involved in the shipping process flow. Goods are transported between countries for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is increasing the value of the goods. Thus, one of the ways to improve shipping department is to implement international shipping. With the swift growth of e-commerce, a large number of businesses now require international transportation.
Brands shipping internationally may want to expand globally. International shipping can be challenging and costly. Different countries have different tariffs, regulations, taxes, and other requirements – so it is important e-commerce brands find experienced fulfillment partners to help navigate international shipping.
Shipping Process Steps
Shipping partners work hard to ensure speedy delivery in the shipping process steps. Anticipate potential delays in delivery for orders in the holiday season. The following explains shipping process steps:
1. Order is placed
As soon as an order is placed; the customer gets a notification email to confirm receipt. From there; a warehouse will typically process the order in 1-2 business days before sending out the goods for delivery.
2. Processed and En Route
The warehouse has processed the order and it is in the hands of the shipping partner. The customer is provided with a tracking number for up-to-date follow up. The estimated shipping date provided is the date that the good is likely to arrive. Shipping can sometimes be accelerated or delayed. Customers should keep a close eye on tracking numbers for shipping updates. If a customer places an order with different items, he or she may receive each item on different days as each item has can have its own tracking number.
3. Out for delivery
Once shipping partner has order purchased on the way; customer gets an email update. Shipping partner makes a delivery attempt on day of arrival between 9am to 8pm for residential addresses. If delivery is not possible on the same day of arrival, another attempt is made the following business day.
Order purchased has arrived at customer’s delivery address. Now it is time for the customer to go ahead and unbox the purchase!
These are steps to be followed in the shipping procedures manual by e-commerce brands and shipping partners to get customers their purchased orders.
Efficient Shipping Process
A customer is disappointed when he or she receives goods three days after it was due. Ecommerce brands need to acquire efficient shipping process to avoid customer disappointment. Customers expect orders purchased to arrive on time, safe and sound. The need for reputable order delivery is growing – so standard shipping procedures should be efficient.
One of the ways e-commerce brands ensure customers remain satisfied is by working with an efficient standard operating procedure shipping agency, which as well saves money and invaluable time for brands. Consider the following tips to streamline the shipping process:
Build local and international shipping connections
A word for shipping department organization – it’s all about whom you know; not what you know. Brands shipping to destinations outside of where they are based should make connections in countries items will be sent. New connections can tell which services to use, and which to most definitely avoid. This way, brands can be sure their packaging standard operating procedure is safe and sound, and packages arrive on time. This promotes good customer satisfaction.
Choose relevant shipping service
To enhance shipping process, create a list of relevant shipping services. The list depends entirely on how fast you plan to deliver goods. To deliver fast for customers choose standard shipping procedures that guarantee quick delivery. Create a spreadsheet with all relevant shipping services available to your business, including the price to send goods depending on destination and weight. Also, consider the professional appearance of the shipping service.
How to Improve Shipping Process
Shipping can be challenging for an e-commerce company. The retailer – devoted to excellent customer service – has no control over the carrier. Despite this; there are several steps an e-commerce company can take on how to improve shipping process.
Customers are informed at all times
Ensuring customers are informed at all times is one of the ways on how to improve delivery process; even if an e-commerce company’s hands are tied by the shipping process. Time is against the customer when eagerly waiting for the goods ordered to arrive. Hours feel like days and days feel like weeks. When customers are kept up to date on the status of their awaited delivery it helps time to go much faster for them.
Customer segments prefer SMS to email. Having infrastructure-as-a-service company send shopper SMS order and shipping notifications via SMS is one of shipping department ideas e-commerce brand should implement.
Provide variety of shipping options
No two customers are the same. Every customer has a range of time willing to wait for delivery of order purchased. Ecommerce brand that offer a range of delivery time options appeal to a wider range of customers. Providing a number of shipping options and a variety of carriers will increase conversions.
Implement technology that locates items quicker
If shipping department takes time to locate items it can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Ecommerce brands to improve businesses shipping processes should be able to identify the exact location of each item in the warehouse.
International Shipping Process Flow
A company thinking to ship internationally probably is already shipping domestically. That makes sense – shipping domestically is much easier compared to the international shipping process flow. Rules within a country are consistent and packages get to their destinations without hassle of customs and international shipping documents processing. International shipments can be held up at borders of either exporting or importing country for customs inspection of export procedures and documentation pdf.
Shipment procedure export can be confusing, especially since every country is different. They have different rules on taxes, proof of export documentation, and how long goods can be held in customs. Customs can be difficult to navigate; so an e-commerce company shipping internationally should have a good shipping company or freight forwarder to ensure crossing borders doesn’t slow down delivery. For quick and fast delivery internationally use the air export process.
Freight Forwarding Process Flow Chart
Freight forwarding process or ocean freight forwarding process is the flow of shipment and goods from two destinations carried by a freight forwarder. Ecommerce companies that want to grow and expand need to consider shipping internationally. This presents an opportunity to expand the customer base. But the process can become complex. Logistics shipping international can become complicated thus requiring the need for freight forwarders. The following freight forwarding process flow chart explains:
Haulage is the movement of goods from a shipper’s location to a freight forwarder’s warehouse. Goods can be moved via a truck or train.
After the haulage state, freight forwarders receive goods, check, and ensure everything transported has no damage or incidences.
Export customs clearance
Goods before being shipped require clearance from country of origin. Clearance is done by custom brokers
Import customs clearance
Shipment arrives in destination country; authorities check import custom documents.
Destination arrival and handling
Different processes are undertaken once cargo arrives. Freight forwards receive documents for the cargo for processing.
Cargo transported from warehouse to the final destination of customer.
Container Shipping Process Flow Chart
In international shipping, thousands of containers arrive at seaports from around the world. Containers are carried on-board liner ships. Each shipment is a specific supply chain. It can be patio furniture or shoes for customers. In simple summary of container shipping process flow chart; goods are placed into container at retail origin and transported onboard liner ships to customer destination country. Container is locked and sealed so goods remain safe inside to arrive secured at purchaser’s warehouse for distribution to individual customers.
One of the drivers of the economy is the shipping container. Container replaces breakbulk cargo—barrels, crates, pallets—that must be individually loaded and unloaded into ships and trucks. Containers are standardized; allowing to be stacked into large container ships, which can transport thousands of containers.
Standardized shipping containers enable ships, trains, and trailers to be loaded and unloaded efficiently. This makes goods more affordable than if containers were loaded and unloaded at each stop along the route.
Shipping Documentation Process
A frustrated e-commerce company exporting spends a considerable time shipping documentation process. And if dealing with multiple export orders to ship, the time left to do any other part of the shipping job is virtually zero. Typical shipping documents pdf can be five or more including a commercial invoice, a packing list, a shipper’s letter of instruction, a bill of lading, and a certificate of origin. Get organized to save time creating export documents. Have all the paperwork and information at hand. Have an export documentation checklist with checkboxes for each step in the process. A simple checklist guarantees you won’t forget a step while processing a shipment.
Use document templates created in Word, Excel or Google Docs to prepare paperwork. Templates are more efficient than completing paper documents and can be customized with company’s identity.
Shipping Process in Warehouse
Ecommerce brand typically runs a warehouse that contains inventory of products, ready to ship to customers. Warehouse shipping process flow is a broader customer order process that occurs in the context of a warehouse. The order status triggers warehouse delivery procedure, and changes when this process completes. The shipping process in a warehouse takes a customer order and ships physical inventory from a warehouse. Warehouse staff retrieves the order and perform a sequence of tasks before actually shipping the package. Warehouse shipping procedures need also to be efficient. How efficiently goods are picked greatly depends on the put-away process.
Warehouse shipping operations may seem too far off from that of shipping to matter. However, goods location has a great impact on shipping. In the warehouse shipping process flow—if goods are placed appropriately by order of frequency, lead time is shortened effectively. Thus warehouse shipping operations become efficient.