If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably delivered products to customers in the past. Maybe you’ve even used your own car or truck for the task—and realized that shipping isn’t always easy, particularly if you’re trying to get a shipment across the country.
That’s why many businesses rely on a domestic shipping service instead of doing it themselves. But how do you know which company is right for your needs?
In this article, we’ll discuss some things you should know before making your decision for a seamless delivery process.
What is domestic shipping?
As you might’ve guessed, domestic shipping is the process of transporting goods within a country. Since they’re not going overseas, these deliveries are generally less expensive than international shipping, as well as faster and more convenient for consumers.
Domestic shipping services can include:
- Air freight (for large items)
- Automobile transportation (for vehicles)
- Courier services (for small items)
In general, any business that plans on expanding its operations or offering more products will need to look into a domestic shipping partner at some point—especially as delivery becomes one of the most important factors in a customer’s buying decision. There’s good news, though: Finding a great provider is easier than you might think.
But before you sign any contracts, here are a few considerations to keep in mind.
1. Consider the type and weight of items you want to ship
The first thing you should do is determine the type of goods you’re transporting. For instance, if they need to be specially packaged and handled (such as for fragile or hazardous materials), then you’ll already know to look for a shipper that specializes in those types of shipments.
Similarly, if you are shipping heavy items like furniture or appliances, you might need to use a courier service that has large vehicles in its fleets. This will help prevent damage during transit and ensure that your shipment arrives safely at its destination.
2. Check rates
It’s always tempting to choose the cheapest option when it comes to shipping, but you have to remember that price is just one factor in determining which delivery provider to choose.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it at all, however. Like any service, it’s a good idea to shop around and see what the different companies have to offer. You might find that one company’s rates are lower than its competitors’, but they have lower standards when it comes to service. On the other hand, another delivery provider might charge more than its competitors but offer a better level of customer service.
3. Know how far your items need to travel
Before you get too far down the road (pun intended), it’s also worth double-checking the courier services’ coverage for domestic delivery. While most companies will offer nationwide coverage, there are some that only provide local deliveries—which could be a problem if you need to ship something from one end of the country to another.
So, don’t forget to peek at the company’s website or send them an email to ensure they can get your package where it needs to go.
5. Look at transit times
This factor refers to the amount of time between when your package leaves the shipping provider’s facility and when it arrives at its destination. It’s especially important to look at transit times when shipping something that’s time sensitive, like perishable foods or medical supplies.
Keep in mind transit times can also be affected by holidays and weekends, so if you need a fast turnaround, choose a courier with guaranteed delivery dates or one that offers same-day delivery options.
6. Determine the level of service you need
Sometimes, you might end up paying for more than you need (though this shouldn’t happen if you’re working with a trustworthy courier service). Other times, your partner falls short of your delivery needs.
Before you sign on with a courier, make sure you know what level of service they’ll provide and how much it will cost, including delivery options like:
- Same-day delivery: If you need your package to arrive within hours, make sure your courier lists this on their service page.
- Next-flight-out delivery: If you’re sending a package using a plane, make sure your courier has a specific service to get it on the next available flight—and can take care of all the logistics associated with air travel.
- 2-day delivery: If speed isn’t an issue but price is, look for a courier that offers two-day delivery at a lower price than overnight or same-day delivery options.
- Supplies collection and delivery: From trade shows to office appliances, you might need your courier to pick up and deliver supplies from one location to another.
- Live tracking: When it comes to shipping, you want to know where your package is at all times. A courier with live tracking can show you exactly where your package is located and when it will arrive.
7. Pick a courier service with a good reputation
Finally, when you are choosing a domestic shipping partner, it’s important to look for one that is known for providing reliable service. If you’ve found a provider who nails all the points listed above, they should also have a great reputation among their customers, which you can determine by looking at:
- The company’s reviews on Google, Yelp and other review sites
- The number of years they have been in business
- Whether they have complaints filed against them on the Better Business Bureau website
- The quality of their website and customer service
Though domestic delivery is more of a necessity than ever, it’s no longer so complicated to find a reliable, affordable provider who can help you make the most of your national business coverage.
If you’re ready to get started with Milano Courier Services’ domestic shipping services, contact us today for a quick quote!