If you want to reduce your shipping costs using a fulfilment services partner, then look for an independent one. Independent fulfilment services have access to all the courier and freight companies – from the big to the small, specialty ones. They can provide the widest choice for any given delivery requirement – and of course more choice is equivalent to a better chance of finding the costs you need.
Commonly, shipping costs are reduced by adding time to the transfer or sharing pallets and loads with other customers. If your fulfilment services partner is tied to a specific corner of the industry though, associated only with one of the big companies and whatever satellite companies that larger business has access to, your options are slimmed down. An independent service can shop around to get you the best price for every delivery.
In some cases, the difference is one of simple connection. A fulfilment services company that has been in business for years is likely to have a healthy contacts book full of companies that know it; small couriers that have agreed pricing structures with it; and other independent providers whose services may cost less than the larger entities. Simply speaking, a fulfilment provider of long standing is more likely to have the goodwill of the industry, to enjoy price breaks you can’t find on your own – and to have contacts with the companies whose pricing structures are right for your needs.
A fulfilment services company is also able to drive down operational costs related to stock movement – for example by making warehousing practices more streamlined or efficient. In this way, the overall cost to your company of moving freight begins to drop – meaning that even if you still pay the same for the actual delivery, your overall expenditure to get your product from origin to receiver has fallen.
In actual fact, you are likely to make some saving in both areas. When you start using a professional independent fulfilment services partner, you tend to pay less money to get more quality. This is because the fulfilment company is better at running a warehouse than you are. Your business is really the creation of ideas and of stock – you design, you source suppliers, you market your brand’s proposition to your end users and your consumers. When you have to take on pricing and packing for yourself, you’ll get it done – but you have neither the knowledge nor the equipment to do it as quickly and as effectively as your fulfilment partner.
So by paying a fulfilment services provider to handle your supply chain for you, you get use of state of the art storage and delivery systems, which you would never be able to afford to buy for yourself. You get access to a wealth of knowledge and experience, which can be used with specific application to your own market sector. You even get staffing levels that can be swollen and diminished in line with seasonal demand (where predictable) for your goods.
Fulfilment services help to drive down the costs of all aspects of the delivery chain – from storing to shipping.