What is Shipping Process? The Ultimate Guide on Shipping Process
By FarEye | June 6, 2023
Logistics is a key aspect of any business, and the shipping process is the backbone of the entire supply chain. Implementation of a successful shipping process is vital for ensuring timely delivery of goods and building a strong customer base.
The shipping process encompasses a sequence of tasks like packaging, labeling, loading, and transporting the consignment to its intended destination. With the ever-evolving technologies and changing customer expectations, the logistics industry is under constant pressure to improve and innovate its shipping process while maintaining efficiency.
Efficiency is not only important for meeting customer demands but it also helps to minimize costs and improve profitability. With the high competition in the logistics industry, having an optimized shipping process is non-negotiable. Understanding the nuances of the shipping process in logistics can go a long way in enhancing the overall customer experience and streamlining the supply chain.
What is the Shipping Process?
Shipping process refers to the series of steps involved in moving goods or products from one location to another. It typically involves the physical movement of goods from the seller to the buyer, or from one business to another. The shipping process includes various activities such as packing, labeling, choosing a shipping carrier, tracking packages, and handling returns and exchanges.
What are the stages of the Shipping Process?
The shipping process typically involves the following 3 stages:
- Pre-shipping process: This involves gathering shipping information, packing and labeling products, selecting a shipping method, and preparing necessary documents such as invoices, customs declarations, and bills of lading.
- Shipping process: This involves handing over the package to the shipping carrier, tracking the package as it makes its way to the destination, communicating with the shipping carrier to address any issues, and providing an estimated delivery time to the customer.
- Post-shipping process: This involves confirming delivery with the customer, handling returns and exchanges, dealing with lost or damaged packages, and addressing customer concerns and complaints.
Let’s dive deeper into each of these stages below.
The pre-shipping process is the first step in the shipping process and involves preparing the package for shipment. This step includes several activities that ensure the package is ready for shipment and arrives at its destination in good condition.
Gathering Shipping Information: This involves collecting the necessary information for shipping, such as the recipient's address, contact details, and any specific shipping instructions. It is essential to ensure the accuracy of the shipping information to avoid delays or lost packages.
Packing and Labeling: This involves selecting appropriate packaging materials, such as boxes, bubble wrap, or packing peanuts, to protect the contents of the package during shipment. The package should also be labeled correctly, with the recipient's address, return address, and any special instructions, such as "fragile" or "handle with care."
Selecting Shipping Method: This involves choosing the most suitable shipping method based on factors such as the package size and weight, destination, and delivery time. Shipping options include ground shipping, express shipping, or international shipping.
Preparing Documents: This involves preparing any necessary shipping documents, such as invoices, customs declarations, and bills of lading. Accurate documentation is crucial for international shipments, as it helps to clear customs and avoid any legal issues.
By completing these activities thoroughly, businesses can ensure a smooth shipping process and avoid any delays or issues that may impact customer satisfaction.
Once the package is prepared for shipping, it is handed over to the shipping carrier for delivery. The shipping process involves several activities that ensure the package is delivered to the recipient in a timely and efficient manner.
Handing Over Package to Shipping Carrier: This involves physically delivering the package to the selected shipping carrier, such as FedEx, UPS, or USPS. The package is scanned and entered into the carrier's system for tracking.
Tracking Package: This involves monitoring the package as it makes its way to the destination. Shipping carriers provide tracking information, such as the package's location, delivery status, and estimated delivery date, which can be shared with the customer.
Communication with Shipping Carrier: This involves maintaining communication with the shipping carrier to address any issues that may arise during shipment. For example, if the package is delayed, lost, or damaged, the shipping carrier can be contacted to resolve the issue.
Estimated Delivery Time: This involves providing an estimated delivery time to the customer, based on the selected shipping method and carrier. The estimated delivery time can be shared with the customer through email, text message, or a tracking link.
By efficiently managing the shipping process, businesses can ensure that packages are delivered on time and in good condition, which leads to increased customer satisfaction and repeat business.
Once the package is delivered, the post-shipping process begins. This involves several activities that ensure customer satisfaction and address any issues that may arise during shipment.
Confirming Delivery: This involves confirming that the package has been delivered to the correct recipient and at the correct location. Delivery confirmation can be obtained through the shipping carrier's tracking system, or the customer can be asked to confirm delivery.
Handling Returns and Exchanges: This involves managing any returns or exchanges requested by the customer. The business should have a clear return policy in place and provide instructions for returning products.
Dealing with Lost or Damaged Packages: This involves addressing any issues that may arise during shipment, such as lost or damaged packages. The business should work with the shipping carrier to locate lost packages or file a claim for damaged packages.
Addressing Customer Concerns and Complaints: This involves handling any customer concerns or complaints related to the shipping process. The business should respond promptly to customer inquiries and provide solutions to address their concerns.
By efficiently managing the post-shipping process, businesses can ensure customer satisfaction and build a positive reputation for their brand. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and repeat business.
What does the shipping process in the warehouse involve?
In a warehouse, the shipping process involves the final steps of preparing products for shipment to customers. Here are the key stages involved in the shipping process in a warehouse:
Order picking: Warehouse workers locate and pick the products that have been ordered by customers. The order picking process may involve using handheld scanners, conveyor systems, or other tools to ensure accuracy and efficiency.
Packing: After the products have been picked, they are packed into boxes or other containers to protect them during transport. To safeguard the products from potential damage during shipping, various materials such as bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or other suitable packaging materials are employed.
Labeling: Each package is labeled with the customer's address and other relevant information, such as order numbers, tracking numbers, or shipping method.
Shipping: The packages are then handed over to the shipping carrier, such as a courier or delivery service. The shipping carrier will transport the packages to the customer's destination.
Tracking: By utilizing the tracking number furnished by the shipping carrier, customers gain the ability to monitor the advancement of their shipment. This valuable feature not only informs them about the estimated arrival time of their package but also instills a sense of reassurance and peace of mind throughout the delivery process.
Optimization of Shipping Process with FarEye
FarEye is a logistics management software that can help businesses optimize their shipping processes by implementing efficient processes, automating shipping processes, and gathering customer feedback.
Implementing Efficient Processes: FarEye can analyze the shipping process to identify areas for improvement, such as reducing shipping times, optimizing shipping carrier selection, and streamlining packing processes. The software can then provide recommendations for improving efficiency and reducing costs.
Automation of Shipping Processes: FarEye can automate shipping processes, such as label printing, package tracking, and shipping notifications. This can reduce manual errors, improve speed and accuracy, and free up time for employees to focus on other tasks.
Customer Feedback and Satisfaction: FarEye can gather feedback from customers about their shipping experience and use that feedback to improve the shipping process. Through the software, businesses can proactively collect customer feedback by sending surveys, requesting reviews, and actively seeking input. This valuable data enables them to pinpoint areas for improvement and promptly address any issues that may arise, ensuring an enhanced customer experience.
By using FarEye to optimize the shipping process, businesses can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction. As a result, businesses can experience a boost in sales, foster customer loyalty for repeat business, and cultivate a favorable reputation for their brand.