Dec 15, 2015

In a perfect world, your shipping schedule would remain consistent and planned out far in advance. Changes would happen slowly, and you’d see them coming before they happen.

But the world isn’t perfect and try as you might to set up an infallible supply chain things are going to change. Often, very quickly. The market will fluctuate. A customer’s needs will evolve. A deadline will shift. A shipment will get damaged and you’ll have to send a new one.

Sometimes, you’re given a very short window of delivery time to begin with.

For these moments and more, expedited shipping is often needed.

There are many advantages to expedited shipping
Used correctly, expedited shipping can be a wonderful thing. You get a dedicated carrier that brings your goods straight from point A to B, resulting in shipments that are more reliable, accurate, and secure. There’s less risk of damage because there’s less handling.

Expedited shipping can keep your business moving and your inventory lower.

Of course, all of these great advantages come with a price. Expedited shipping can get very costly very fast. But it doesn’t have to ruin your margins. You just need to use it correctly.

Do you need it?
The best way to avoid expensive expedited shipping costs is to avoid it as much as you can. Do you actually need it on specific shipments, or are you being overzealous? There are still plenty of people who prefer slow and affordable over fast and expensive.

But let’s say you have a shipment that’s going to arrive a little late unless you expedite it. At this point, it becomes a question of what’s more costly: the expedited shipping charges? Or the damage your relationship will take if the shipment is late?

It’s not always one or the other.

How fast does it need to be?
Not all expedited shipping modes are created equal. Like any shipping method, there are still faster, slower, and cheaper variants. Don’t choose overnight air shipping if a dedicated truck will get your delivery to its location on time.

With standard shipping and efficient supply chain management, a common practice includes operating with some padding and wiggle-room. If a shipment runs late or cargo is damaged, there is time to rebound. Expedited shippers, however, operate on the promise of precision. It’s their mission to get your shipments to their location no later than the appointed time. If you need a shipment somewhere no later than 7am, and they say they’ll have it there by 6am, you need to trust that they will instead of spending excess money to get it there hours earlier.

When it comes to expedited shipping, the matter of a few hours can come with a serious price tag. Padding, therefore, comes at a high cost. Instead, trim the fat.

Accurate details are critical
If you’re expecting your shippers to be ready and accurate, you need to do the same. Expedited shippers are planning around the fact that they’re moving exactly what you told them. This includes weight, size, shape, securement, etc.

If they arrive at your docks and one of those variables is different or things aren’t ready, that can result in some hefty charges. Be accurate and deliver what you promised, and you can expect the same from your expedited shipping.

Plan ahead
Just because you don’t need expedited shipping right now doesn’t mean you won’t in the near future. It’s one of those things that come on very fast and unexpected. Scrambling for fast shipping in a moment of desperation will result in higher premiums and greater risk of poor service.

Have a few options in your pocket ahead of time. That way, when the world changes and your perfectly plotted logistics plans come undone, you’ll still be ready.

If you’re ready to start planning, we’re ready to start talking. Contact us today, and start preparing for expedited shipping.

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