4 Ways to Drive Brand Loyalty Through a Great Delivery Experience

The evolution of technology, as well as the growth in consumer-facing brands such as Amazon and Apple, has resulted in customers across all industries (whether B2B or B2C) now expecting an on-demand, seamless and superior customer experience (CX). Any friction in the customer journey can significantly affect how a buyer of your company’s products sees your business; and a bad experience ultimately results in lost sales, the inability to build a loyal customer base, and a decrease in profits.

The Importance of Shipping

This renewed importance on the customer experience is leading companies to compete for market share and stand out from their competitors through a range of new techniques – and shipping logistics plays a large role in that.

When it comes to delivering your company’s products, businesses and consumers care about a huge range of shipping variables which all add to the quality of the experience. These can include everything from how fast you can ship their item, the ability to accurately track the delivery, how convenient and pleasant the receiving experience is, how much the delivery costs, and the overall unpacking experience.

Customer Loyalty

A good customer experience helps create loyal customers, and loyal customers result in higher profits and the growth of your business. In fact, according to a study from American Express, 58 per cent of consumers are willing to spend more on companies that provide excellent customer service.

That’s incredibly important for any business – especially when considering the statistic that, on average, loyal customers are worth as much as 10 times the amount of their first purchase.

To help ensure you offer your customers the best delivery experience possible, Freightcom has four tips below that will help your business create a seamless shipping CX and a loyal customer base:

4 Tips to Improve Shipping CX

1 – Empower customers to track their delivery

Sometimes shipping delays occur and they are unavoidable. Part of a great customer experience is being able to be honest with your customers and provide them with regular updates on where their delivery is.

By partnering with a courier company that communicates well with your customers and sends frequent updates on their package and delivery status, you are already winning the customer experience battle – even if an issue does occur. If there is a problem you can be notified and you can reset customer expectations accordingly.

Setting delivery dates upfront and keeping consumers regularly updated will put your business in a position to manage customer expectations, meaning they aren’t disappointed in the overall experience.

Freightcom can help you with shipping best practices, identify the differences between each shipper, and help you select a courier who will be able to deliver the customer experience you demand.

2 – Be clear from the outset which carrier is delivering an item

For one reason or another, many consumers prefer a particular courier over another. Ensure you make them aware of which courier is delivering their package before they order a product so they know exactly what to expect.

In some cases, a consumer can select from a choice of couriers at the checkout stage. So consider offering a choice during your shopping cart process. This will help prevent them from being disappointed after they have made their purchase.

3 – Offer convenient pick-up locations for B2C

For B2C shipping, many customers will want their items delivered directly to their home or perhaps even their workplace, but for some, who live in apartment buildings, for example, this simply isn’t feasible. It’s possible some may want their item delivered to a pick-up location such as a carrier’s distribution location, or local post office.

Offering your customers a variety of options will ensure they are satisfied no matter what their preferred delivery or pick-up method is.

4 – Give customers a choice between fast delivery and saving money

Some customers want to receive their items as soon as possible and are willing to spend more money for fast delivery. While, other customers would rather save money and wait a little longer for their delivery, but still want a quality shipping service.

The more you can adapt to the wishes of each customer, the more satisfying and enjoyable their shipping experience will be.

Remember, receiving the order from your company is the most anticipated part of a customer’s journey with your brand. If you falter at this step, it’s likely they will move on to your competitor.

If you succeed, however, you will have created an experience that goes a long way towards ensuring a second order or word-of-mouth referrals.

Need help implementing a shipping system you can trust for the best shipping rates? Contact the Freightcom team of experts today and find out how we can help your business deliver.

Help Prevent Shipping Damage With These Tips For eCommerce Shippers

Package Shipping

Are you the owner or logistics manager of an ecommerce business? If so, you’ll know just how important shipping is to the success of your business.

Whether you’re shipping products around the world, or shipping them across Canada or the US, one of the biggest concerns you should have is keeping your products safe. Damaged and spoiled products will end up getting returned – wasting your company money, time, and resulting in lost profits and lost customers.

To avoid unexpected returns and disappointed customers, your business must ensure that it takes the necessary steps to prevent products from damage in the shipping process.

Don’t know where to start? Freightcom has listed four tips that will help get your products where they need to go, while reducing the risk of damage along the way.

1 – Choose the right shipping box / packaging

It sounds obvious, but choosing the right shipping packaging really is the key to preventing your product from being damaged in transit. Fragile items should be stored in a packing box with snug protective internal padding, while non-breakable products may be fine with a lighter loose material. Depending on your product packaging you may need to think about whether a box or unpackaged product could get scuffed or dented within your shipping box.

There are three main types of shipping packaging:

  1. Corrugated box: Corrugated boxes come in varying levels of protection, known as either single, double or triple-wall. Single-wall boxes are best suited for non-fragile items while double-wall or triple-wall boxes should be used with heavier orders. Box manufacturers provide ECT (edge crush test) ratings, dimensions, and burst or gross weight ratings to help select the right shipping box.
  2. Jiffy bag: Best suited for smaller and non-fragile items. Jiffy bags are padded envelopes used for packaging products for shipment. Choices include rigid mailers and other bubble lined and padded packaging.
  3. Polybag: Offering a similar level of protection to jiffy bags, polybags offer excellent water resistance, but no structural strength. They are often used to protect items that are already boxed.

2 – Do you need inner protection?

Packages are often damaged when they are dropped, from the vibration of conveyor belts and trucks, or because of temperature and humidity changes. This is why it’s always a good idea to use inner protection inside your packages.

Materials such as bubble wrap, brown paper and single-ply corrugated roll can all offer varying levels of impact protection, while other items such as air cushions will help fill space voids and prevent your items from rolling around.

3 – Make sure your boxes / packages are sealed correctly

By using a higher-quality of tape and making sure you seal up your boxes correctly, you can create a further layer of protection for your products while they are being shipped. Shipping tape uses what is called ‘hot-melt’ adhesive, and ranges in mil dimensions: the higher the number the stronger the tape.

Filament or strapping tape can contain fibreglass strands and also comes in a variety of grades based on the weight they are rated for; 100-lbs is considered general-purpose while 380 lb strapping tape is for must hold heavy shipping containers.

Another option is water-activated gummed paper tape, which requires it to be applied wet with a dispenser or sponge. This creates a permanent bond with the box that actually strengthens the box. It’s great for heavier items but it is potentially messier to apply.

4 – Stay clear from oversized boxes

Just as important as choosing the right shipping box, it’s incredibly crucial that you don’t select a box that is too large for your product. Having too much room around your product can leave it susceptible to damage or moving around during shipping.

Ideally, you want your product to fill the space within the box avoiding as much air-space as possible – but remember to allow extra room for cushioning if it’s needed for fragile objects.

If your business sells multiple products, it’s important to have a variety of different sized boxes available in your logistics department. This will ensure that you always have an appropriate box for any product or product combinations.

Ideally you are looking for the minimum box size that provides low risk for shipping damage.

The next step is to choose the right courier service

Once you have successfully packaged your item, finding the right courier service will be your next step – and Freightcom can help.

Through the use of game-changing technology, we can help your business to choose from select carriers that are perfectly suited to your needs while helping you to receive beneficial rate structures at the same time.

Ready to learn more? Contact Freightcom today for more information.

5 Courier Shipping Tips For Small Business Startups

Are you a new small business owner with an ecommerce website, taking advantage of the growing trend for online retail? Congratulations! Owning a business is exciting and can be highly profitable.

While you focus on building your online brand, with packaging, website content, and customer interactions, don’t forget a vital part of your customer’s buying cycle, shipping!

“How you distribute your products and deliver your services can significantly affect your costs and your clients’ satisfaction.” Government of Canada, Business & Industry

Getting your business off the ground is one giant step, but as successful small business owners know, implementing the best tools can make all the difference for smooth processes and optimization.

Most small business owners wear all the office hats in the beginning. It’s a steep learning curve to set up bookkeeping, a website, and configure shipping. If you’re new to shipping and using our Freightcom platform, we’d like to share a few tips to save you valuable time and reduce courier shipping issues.

 

5 Courier Shipping Tips For Small Business Startups

1 – Package your products properly

If you are sending important documents or products to a consumer, it’s important that your items arrive safely and undamaged. From the moment the package arrives your customer is judging your brand, and the quality of delivery. Professional packaging such as boxes, packaging tape, fillers, will not only ensure a positive brand experience but will protect contents from handling damage.

 

2 – Avoid extra charges by having the correct measurements

As new shippers soon learn, shipping rates depend on a number of factors: weight, dimensions (volume), distance, time, quantity, type of product, courier.

When obtaining a shipping quote, it’s essential to put in accurate dimensions and weights, so that the billed shipping charge matches the quoted pricing you received. To avoid any surprise charges, any dimensions or weight with decimals need to be rounded up to the next whole number; for example, 2.5 should be entered as 3. Couriers will verify your data and adjust your invoice accordingly if the weight and dimensions are incorrect, resulting in extra charges.

 

3 – Double check shipping information

We know it sounds obvious, but when sending shipments it’s worthwhile to double check that you’ve entered the correct information on the shipping label – including the apartment number, suite, postal code, unit number, and/or buzzer number (two things that are commonly forgotten).

Correctly entering this information will prevent any delays in the transit of your package, and will help your business avoid any address correction charges by the carrier.

 

4 – Consider insurance

Have you thought about insurance? While it hopefully doesn’t happen often, accidents can occur and it’s possible that even the most careful courier could lose your package. The couriers we use offer a basic coverage for up to $100, so if the value of your shipment is above that cap you should consider using Freightcom insurance which provides coverage for higher amounts. If a shipment does go missing or arrives damaged you can easily file a claim directly on your Freightcom account.

 

5 – Schedule a pick up for your location

Your product is properly packaged, labelled and insured, so now it’s time to get it in the hands of the courier. When booking a courier shipment we recommend you schedule a pickup location and time. This delivery option will notify the driver to come and pick up the shipment from your business so that you don’t have to drop-off your packages. Different couriers have different cut-off times for same-day pickup. For example, shipments booked with Canpar or Dicom before 12 pm will generally be picked-up the same day.

Ready to find out more ways you can save time and reduce costs when sending packages with Freightcom? Contact the Freightcom team of experts today. We are more than willing to help.

6 Tips and Tricks On How to Get the Best from Your Courier Service

Couriers can be expensive, especially if you are sending something overseas or if you have a large/heavy package. Sending merchandise and other documents regularly can add up to considerable costs for your business.

At FreightCom we believe in giving our customers value for their money. So, here is a handy guide on how you can manage you courier costs without breaking the bank:

1. Be clever about your packing

You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference you can make by packing in the right manner. This is because weight and dimensions have a major bearing on the cost. Keep your parcel as small as possible. Get the right sized box or packet when packing up merchandise. Avoid excessive padding unless it is delicate and the padding cannot be avoided.

Similarly, weight is also an important criteria. Since you cannot compromise on the weight of the merchandise, be clever with your packing. Use lightweight packing options, like bubblewrap. Instead of plastic cartons, use sturdy cardboard. It’s not just lighter, it can actually withstand more damage than plastic. If you use courier services regularly, buy your packing material in bulk. You can get discounts from wholesalers.

2. Give accurate measurements 

Courier services manage their shipments on the basis of the dimensions and weight of the packages. So, be specific in your measurements when placing an order. While this does not apply for small and light packages, large packages should be measured carefully. It could be worthwhile to buy a weighing scale if you use a courier service frequently.

3. Go for pickup services

When calculating courier cost, you have to also factor in cost of taking the package to the courier service. This is why pick-up services make more sense. This is a door-to-door delivery where the package is picked up from home and delivered to the specified address.

4. Get full coverage

Understand that accidents can happen even with the most careful courier service. Courier services usually offer some coverage for lost or damaged items, but this would be capped at a certain limit. For instance, Freightcom carriers cover up to $100 for any damaged or lost items. So, if you are transporting valuable merchandise, it is recommended to insure your package.

5. Time it right

If you are planning a pick-up, try to schedule it in the most efficient manner possible. Every courier service has a cut-off time for pick-ups. Any order after this time may get picked-up, but there would be on guarantees on the same. Orders after the cut-off time are usually picked up the next day. If you need urgent pick-up services after the cut-off time, contact your courier service to see if such facilities are offered.

6. Look for additional costs

Even if you have a proper cost tab, look for any additional charges that may apply. Details like taxes or pick-up services can add to the overall costs. This is especially applicable when you are looking for international shipments. Similarly, expressed deliveries are bound to cost more.

The Perfect Combination for Shipping

Global logistics services & supply chain management

Transporation and Technology

The logistics industry is going through a time of rapid and exceptional transformation. The future of logistics is paved by innovation and technology. When fully leveraged in the marketplace it empowers companies to compete and thrive in today’s new world of business, opening endless new possibilities. Many companies within the transportation industry are beginning to adapt and embrace this change by updating the way they currently operate. Freightcom has revolutionized the LTL and small Parcel booking process, instead of calling multiple carriers, waiting to hear back with quotes, rate compare etc.  You can now act as your own broker all from our cloud-based platform that requires no software, just a computer with an internet connection.

Freightcom has taken the supply chain model and with the use of technology has gone through and automated the entire shipping process!

How does it work?                

Freightcom’s network extends its reach using agreements with carriers and courier companies to offer access to a wide array of services, lanes, and volume discounted rates to customers. With the flexibility to connect and collaborate in unique ways, companies can effectively leverage Freightcom’s connections to their benefit allowing them to ship their products domestically, cross-border and internationally at a discounted price!

Think of this as the Expedia for freight!  

Through the Freightcom website (www.freightcom.com) you can instantly quote shipments, by simply entering in the pick-up and destination postal code (or zip code), the dimensions, weight and additional services your shipment will need. Instantly you will get live quotes you can rate compare with a variety of carriers, services and transit times.

Just like quoting, booking shipments are just as easy! Simply enter the pick-up and destination complete address, dimensions, weight and the additional services you would need. After selecting the carrier and rate you would like to go ahead with, you can submit your order. That’s it! The carrier will come to your location, pick-up the shipment and you are now good to go!

From the Freightcom website, you are also able to track all of your shipments with daily updates. Shipping pallets and packages just became a quick and painless process!

What’s the catch?

There are none! Creating an account with Freightcom is absolutely free! It is as easy as signing up for an email address.  There are no hidden fees, contracts or volume commitments – you only pay when you ship!

So what are you waiting for? Give us a call toll-free at 1-877-335-8740 ext 147 to learn more or go to www.freightcom.com to create a free account today! Saving time and money on your next shipment is only a click away!

2017 Year- End Holiday Schedule!

Freightcom Santa

holiday schedule 2017

How to tackle the holiday season like a pro?

Simple! Plan, prepare and most importantly… know your deadlines!

We made a list (and checked it twice) with all of Freightcom’s courier partners for their closures and deadlines this holiday season.

Please be advised that due to the significant increase in shipment volumes, our courier
partners have temporarily suspended their guaranteed service delivery until further notice. If a shipment is picked up the day before the holiday, it may not leave the origin terminal until after the holiday weekend. We strongly recommend pick-ups to be entered 1-2 days in advance of holiday closures.

Freightcom and all carriers will be closed Monday, December 25th, and Monday, January 1st, 2018. All Canadian carriers will also be closed on Tuesday, December 26th, however, Freightcom will be open with limited operations. Please note, all carriers will be running with limited operations on Friday, December 22nd and Friday, December 29th. Keep in mind delays may occur during this time.

Please see below to view each courier company’s holiday shipping schedules and deadlines:

FedEx

UPS

Purolator

Canpar

Dicom

DHL

On behalf of the entire Freightcom Team, we wish you a Happy Holiday Season!

 

Need a Lift?

Delivery truck

To liftgate or not to liftgate, that is the question.

You’ve seen the option but may or may not have chosen it. Or – your customer may have requested it upon delivery and you only found out once you were invoiced. It’s important to understand what it is and why it’s important for your shipments.

What is a liftgate?

A liftgate (or tailgate) is a hydraulic lift attached to the rear of the truck that allows you to load and unload pallets with only a handpump truck.

When is a liftgate required?

It’s a crucial part of a pick up or delivery when either (or both) parties do not have loading docks or forklifts capable of loading or unloading the back of the trailer.

How does a liftgate work?

Liftgate’s use a hydraulic system that powers them up and down. When required, they will lower to the ground and provide you the ability to push the pallet onto the platform with a handpump which either you or the driver supplies. Once loaded, the driver lifts the gate so it’s parallel to the back of the truck, which will allow him to then load the skid inside the trailer.

Are there limitations to the liftgate?

Absolutely. You’ll need to understand that liftgates are designed to work with your typical standard size pallets. The gate has a maximum width as well as height and weight limitation. Let me explain;

  • Depending on the style of truck picking up or dropping off, it may come equipped with roller doors or barn doors. Where barn doors swing open and roller will turn inside the truck. If it’s a roller-style, it’s going to limit the height of the skid fitting inside through the door. While the height maximum doesn’t necessarily mean much with a liftgate, it’s still important to know as a roller door may be a more common truck dispatched.
  • It’s typical for the liftgate not to be equal to the maximum width of the trailer. It probably won’t be too important as many skids won’t exceed 50” but it’s still important to consider.
  • Being mindful of the skid length is very important. If your skid is longer than the platform for the gate, you’ll end up with the skid’s back end lifting in the air once the gate is lowered. Common sense will probably let you know that it’s not going to work without potential for damage if the driver even allows it to happen
  • The weight of your pallet(s) is something you must also be mindful of. While some lifts may allow 3500lbs, the most you may be looking at is 2000lbs to be safe.

truck

So there you have it. If ever in doubt between who will dispatch what truck or what the maximum length or weight might be, especially when utilizing Freightcom’s system when we offer such a wide variety of options, reaching out to our experts to get the answer before shipping is extremely important. Nobody expects you to memorize each carrier’s limits, and that’s why we have a team that handles these things exclusively.

No account with Freightcom? What are you waiting for? Sign up today free, and browse our selection of carriers and service offerings.

Take The Fear Out Of Shipping Pallets!

Halloween scene with truck

Don’t let the fear of freight shipping rates drive you away from expanding your business. Many small/ medium size business owners often dream of taking their business to newer heights, but getting it there is always the issue…an expensive one as well! What if I told you there was an automated process for handling your shipments. You heard right! You can have less stress when you ship Less- Than-Truckload (LTL) freight shipping! Yes, that’s a thing… with Freightcom!

But what is LTL shipping you may ask? Let’s go over some of the basics!

Less than truckload, LTL Freight these are all terms used to describe palletized or large parcel freight shipments that do not require the full freight carrier’s truck. Typically this type of shipment ranges anywhere from 1-6 pallets, crates or oversized parcels. LTL shipping is a great method for companies that do not ship high volume as they would not require a full or partial truck and a more cost effective shipping method then to ship with most courier companies.

How is LTL freight priced?

There a six key factors that determine the rates:iStock_000006399715XSmall-300x208

  • The total weight of your shipment
  • The dimensions of your shipment
  • The distance it is traveling
  • Additional Services
  • The service type
  • The freight class

Total weight

When shipping a pallet, crate, or a box it is very important that you input the correct information to avoid any additional charges. It is always better to round up the weight, for example if a shipment is 115.5 pounds then round up to at least 116 pounds. In the event to where you list the incorrect weight and it is much lower than what the carrier had weighed it to be then you will be charged an additional reweigh fee. So to avoid any extra charges it’s always better to round up and if the shipment is palletized then the total weight should also include the weight of the pallet as well.

Total Size

box_dimensions_1The total size of your shipment must include the length x width x height. Again, if your shipment is palletized, then it is important to include the pallet’s dimensions in the total size. If the dimensions provided are incorrect, this will result in additional charges based on the new dimensions. Just as the weight with the shipment, the correct dimensions are very crucial and an important fact to note is to always round up!

Distance

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but plays a key role when determining the rate of a shipment. It is important to have accurate Postal/zip codes from and to, to achieve an accurate rates.

Additional Services

Additional services also plays a significant role in determining the rate of a shipment as well as ensuring the execution for delivery is successful. For example, if you have a shipment going to or picking up from a residential area, needs a tailgate, or set an appointment delivery, these are all important factors to include when booking your shipment. It is better to list all of this information on the BOL when booking the shipment to avoid any further delays for delivery and additional charges later on.

Service Type

Standard Freight

This is the ground service/ transit time for the LTL freight. It is important to note that when getting a freight quote online with a standard shipping option the estimated time of arrival (ETA) is not guaranteed. This service is great for when you’re not in any rush for the shipment delivery and you’re not limited to any specific carrier- not to mention it is also a cost effective method.

Expedited/ Express Freightfast delivery

If you are looking for a shorter transit time then expedited delivery would be a great option! With this type of service, your shipment will reach its destination quicker than a standard delivery service.

Guaranteed Freight

This service type cost more, but if you need your shipment to be delivered to a certain destination on a specific day then guaranteed freight is the way to go. If time is also a crucial factor then you can even schedule an appointment delivery.

Freight Class

Now, things can get a bit complicated here- so let’s go down to the basics. Here are a couple of factors you need to know about freight classes:

  • There are a total of 18 classes numbered anywhere from freight class 50 to freight class 500
  • The freight cost depends on a freight class (in USA and trans-border shipments)
  • Freight class is determined by either the goods being shipped or by shipment weight and dimensions

Commodity based class

National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) are assigned to different types of goods. Based on the commodity of what you are shipping, the weight and the dimensions that is how you determine the NMFC code.  When shipping cross border to the U.S. or intra U.S. it is very important to have the correct freight class to avoid any re-class fees.

Density based classing

If you are shipping anywhere domestic Canada, then density based classing is the way to go. Unlike goods based classing, density based classing is just based on the dimensions and weight of the shipment.

How can Freightcom help?

We here at Freightcom are focused on providing businesses the best possible solution when it comes to shipping. Our goal is to help companies save time and money by automating the entire shipping process online and providing aggressive rates. On our shipping platform you can easily compare rates with top-tier carriers, book shipments in minutes, receive daily updates on your shipments and pay your invoices online as well! It’s the clear one- stop-shop for shipping LTL!

Let’s get started!

Just like the shipping process, creating an account with Freightcom is simple! Just go to www.freightcom.com and select “Create a Free Account”. Remember with Freightcom, there are no monthly fees, contracts, or volume commitments! You only pay when you ship! So don’t delay, start saving on shipping today!