The Canadian shipping industry may have seen numerous ups and downs, but it continues to be a crucial driver of the country’s economic growth. According to the marketing statistics website Statista, the trucking industry alone made 64 million shipments in 2018, which lead to a whopping $40 million CAD in revenue. While certain realities have caused disruptions to traditional shipping processes, Canadian businesses will continue to depend on shipments to propel their sales.
At the same time, multiple companies in Canada continue to be dissatisfied with their shipping processes, either because their shipping costs are over the roof or they have subpar courier experiences. Therefore, it is crucial to find the right strategy for complete shipping solutions and ensure that you can streamline your shipments smoothly.
This article is a quick walkthrough into shipping solutions for businesses that operate in Canada. What are shipping solutions, and why are they essential for a company’s success? Is there a strategy for finding the right shipping company, and at what cost? All these questions will be answered to help you make the right business decisions from the beginning and fully optimize your shipping operation.
Canadian Shipping Solutions Explained
The term ‘shipping solutions’ generally refers to any third-party provider that offers standard shipping services for clients. There are hundreds of shipping services in Canada with these resources, and most of them can orchestrate the shipment of Canadian products to other countries. Others even took it to another level by offering multi-platform shipping services, and as a result, the term ‘complete shipping solutions’ was introduced.
Complete shipping solutions have benefited Canadian business companies in multiple ways. These include the following:
- Convenience. It might be a no-brainer, but an effective shipping solution provides businesses with the comfort they need. They act as middlemen between the business and its customers, and as a result, entrepreneurs have more time to focus on other parts of their businesses.
- Wider customer reach. Shipping companies that provide air, sea, and truck freight forwarding services allow businesses to reach a variety of customers, even outside Canada.
- Tracking services. Most shipping providers also have software programs dedicated to tracking shipments and ensuring they arrive in their expected destinations. Companies are given status reports and alerts on whether there are any shipping problems.
- Customer service concerns. Efficient courier service providers know that their clients will ask questions at some point, so they have shipping specialists that are ready to respond to their concerns.
Finding the right shipping solution for your business can be tedious, but knowing that your shipping process is taken care of by professionals is well worth the investment.
Shipping in Canada: The Cost Variables
As a business with potential shipping ventures in the future, one of your primary goals is to pinpoint which shipping service is cheapest. However, going for the most affordable shipping option might not be a good investment at all. By putting all your money on cheap shipping service, you run the risk of having multiple problems in the future— shipments may be delayed, damaged, or lost, which inevitably leads to bad customer experience.
At the same time, shipping in Canada is naturally expensive. After all, the country’s landmass is not proportionate to its population size. Outside of Canada’s major cities, people are significantly less in numbers, and their locations are considered remote. These factors contribute heavily to the spike in shipping costs, and it may be detrimental to a company’s profits if they don’t manage their processes effectively.
Shipping companies usually don’t have fixed costs for their deliveries. Instead, they look at the following variables and give a ballpark figure using a cost calculator:
- Product size and weight;
- Product quantity, and
- Country of origin and country of destination (for international shipments).
If you keep these things in mind, you will generally have an idea of how much your shipping costs will be.
Strategies to Find Your Ideal Shipping Solution
Any business can hire a shipping company and not plan at all. After all, courier services are abundant in Canada, and anyone can hire any company at any given time.
However, smart businesses know that there are ways to achieve the best shipping solutions. By having a great attention to detail, you can strategize and see if a shipping solution can undoubtedly benefit your company. Below are some tips to help you get started:
Tip 1: Ask about their coverage.
The first thing you should ask a shipping company is how far they can go with their services. The logic is simple: If a courier can’t reach your customers, it’s not the right one. This factor will depend on where your customer base is located, so you better choose wisely.
Small business shipping Canada services might not be too difficult, since local shipments are more comfortable processing and delivering. However, companies with an international presence need extra assurance that couriers will adjust to their specific needs.
One safe way to know this is to ask if the courier covers all shipments and if there are branch offices in your shipping destination to process and deliver your products.
Tip 2: Ask about their pricing structure and tariff policies.
Pricing is a crucial part of your decision-making process, so it’s essential to ask about a shipping company’s pricing structure and subsequent tariff policies before saying yes. Companies tend to overcharge their shipping costs to a point where it’s almost equal to the price of your product. You might lose customers when they see that they have to pay significantly more for shipping, so you have to choose wisely.
A recent survey by Accent showed that 88% of customers are likely to make a purchase if they were guaranteed free shipping. It might be useful to formulate a strategy where you promise free shipping, but only if a customer buys a fixed quantity of your products. This way, you can end up making enough money to cover shipping costs and make a decent profit at the same time.
Tip 3: Ask about complementary services, including integrated logistics services and customer services.
Complementary services make shipping companies ahead of their competitors, no doubt about it. A smart move would be to do your homework and read up on them.
They might look irrelevant at first glance, but these small services are key indicators that a courier service is dedicated to its craft and prioritizes customer satisfaction. For instance, a company that offers integrated logistics services (e.g., warehouse/stock management, product receipt management, and packaging assistance) can surely make your shipping experience as seamless as it can be. It will also be helpful to have a customer service representative or a shipping specialist that may handle any product damages or returns instantly.
There is no doubt that complete shipping solutions are essential for any Canadian business to thrive in commerce and trade. If you take the time to strategize and invest in the right shipping company, you are well on your way to organizing your shipping process. In the end, your goal is to make sure your customers get their products on time and have the best shopping experience with you.
If you are interested in hiring a group of shipping professionals, we at Stallion Express are more than happy to provide high-quality shipping services in Canada for a fair price. Book an appointment today!