Guest Blog written by Jake Rheude – Director of Business Development & Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment , a US-based e-commerce fulfillment provider focused primarily on serving eCommerce businesses shipping heavy, large, or valuable products to customers all around the world. Jake can be reached at 800-815-7824, by email at email@example.com or visit the website at http://redstagfulfillment.com/. If you own a shipping company, take a look at these 40′ storage containers for sale.
The impact of the product size and weight on e-fulfillment
There’s a myriad of factors that retailers and manufacturers are looking to check off their list when shopping for a provider. They range from the financial stability of the provider, to accuracy of inventory, fulfillment and shipping, client retention, experience, technology, service, and costs – among other common factors. But, oftentimes they forget to take a careful look at themselves and how their product – namely the size and weight – will fit into their fulfilment partners checklist – and this is just as important.
Why some e-fulfillment providers focus on certain sized products
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E-commerce fulfilment providers are looking to fill a niche just like you have. This is a business afterall – so there’s a good chance that your e-fulfilment company has decided to focus on a certain type of product, or physical characteristic to capitalize on synergies. There’s a lot of value in specializing – one of the main values being in reduced costs. If an e-fulfilment company is solely focusing on a specific set of product characteristics, then systems, warehouse layout, staff training, freight carrier shipping discounts, and other factors are going to help them operate at a lower overall cost than their traditional, non-specialized competitors. Plus, this translates into a lower fee structure offered to customers.
Then there’s the added benefit in that filling a niche usually means you become an expert on the product at hand. This allows the e-fulfilment company to offer far superior knowledge, advice, packaging, and shipping dynamics – to name a few. For this reason, partnering with an e-fulfillment company that is highly knowledgeable about your shared niche can translate to better service, and money saved.
Examples of fulfillment specialization by product size in action
Some e-commerce fulfillment providers choose to focus on smaller and lighter weight products. One example is companies that focus on shipping vitamins and supplements. In this case, e-fulfillment providers can learn and master all of the potential licensing requirements (such as potential FDA approval), lowest cost packaging, most effective shipping services to use, and even other considerations outside of fulfillment that might benefit this niche – such as marketing considerations.
Another example of companies that focus on smaller products are CD/DVD/Media fulfillment companies that are masters of USPS media mail and other factors that help book, CD, and DVD producers become more efficient and effective. Companies that focus on smaller products may also operate out of a smaller sized warehouse to help reduce the impact of warehouse lease on overall fulfillment costs.
On the flip side, there are e-fulfilment companies that solely focus on bigger, heavier, and bulkier products. For example, one company might take on weight lifting equipment – and in doing so they’ve built an entire facility and system that will accommodate handling these large, and heavy products. Besides having set up the proper infrastructure, an e-fulfilment company like this has also most likely negotiated shipping discounts with the big carriers to accommodate their products. This savings is almost always directly passed down to their customers who can expect better rates than an e-fulfillment company that is more generalized.
The impact of changes in dimensional weight
Recently, the freight carriers have been moving to dimensional weight calculations for all shipments. This can have a negative impact on costs – depending on your product – by increasing the shipping costs for packages that would not have hit higher dimensional weights before the changes. Now, if you’re shipping something smaller and lighter – this might not affect you so much. But if your product is big and bulky – you need to get educated on the costs involved, and the company that’s going to help you best tackle this issue so it doesn’t hit your bottom line. When shipping your products, you need to be confident in the company you’ve used. As they will be transporting your products, you need to ensure they are a reputable company, otherwise, your customers may not be happy when they receive the products. Be sure to do some research into the best shipping companies beforehand. For those shipping from the UK, you might want to look at these shipping agents in Hull, for example. They should be able to transport your products safely, however, the company you choose is up to you. Make sure you find the best one for you.
In the end, the specific physical characteristics of your product play an important role in which e-commerce fulfillment provider you end up choosing to run your logistics. By paying close attention to any potential company’s specialization in this area, you will benefit greatly from more knowledgeable providers, enhanced service, and lower overall costs. Red Stag Fulfillment impartial questionnaire provides a list of interview questions you can use to ensure you’re asking the right questions as you evaluate various potential fulfillment partners.