In business logistics, the warehouse has several functions. In addition to the storage of goods, he also takes care of their shipment. Since the validation of the order until the reception of the articles by the customer, there is a whole process which is divided into several stages to be respected.
In this article, learn how to successfully ship goods. Also find some tips to optimize your logistics and operations at the same time.
What is the shipment of goods ?
The transport of goods is a central point of a company’s logistics. This operation corresponds to all the techniques and processes the purpose of which is to transport the products from the warehouse to the final recipient. Shipping is characterized by a transfer of ownership between a supplier and its customer.
A shipment is successful when the customer receives his article as he ordered it, well packaged and within the delivery deadlines respected. Moreover, for a commercial enterprise, the satisfaction of its customers guarantees the growth of its turnover. Indeed, it allows consumer loyalty and provides a good brand image. Hence the importance of an organizational approach.
There are several shipping methods for orders. The choice depends on, among other things:
- The type of product to be sent,
- Of its weight and volume,
- delivery terms,
- From the place of deposit,
The key steps in shipping goods
To ensure the shipment of the goods to the recipients, here is how you must proceed:
1. Preparation of commands
It all starts with the validation of the customer’s order which is materialized by the payment. On average, a small business specializing in e-commerce ships around fifty goods in a day.
To avoid errors, you need to plan the operation. First, you need to list the orders to be prepared.
Afterwards, group the goods. In this step, you will need to collect all customer orders for delivery in one place.
2. Control and conditioning
Obviously, each customer must receive the correct item. In order to avoid shipping errors, it is essential to go through the verification of orders. To do this, consult the invoice first. You can also complete the information by referring to shipping documents such as the bill of lading or waybill. In addition, using management software is very practical.
Thereafter, you must precede the conditioning. Here, you guarantee that the characteristics of the product between its exit from the production line and its shipment are identical. Then you do the packaging and labeling. Packaging also adds value to the product. Finally, you put each order in a container (cardboard, crate, etc.) before sealing them.
3. Loading of goods by the carrier
Transportation is outsourced in most cases. Providing transport yourself requires substantial resources and high availability.
Indeed, it is necessary to take into account the geographical area to be covered and the specificities of the products. The delivery of perishable products, for example, requires the use of a refrigerated vehicle.
Once your carrier has been identified, check that the volume and weight of the packages comply with the carrier’s conditions. You must also assign the various instructions and documents related to the delivery. Depending on the method offered by the company, a delivery can be express, at home, at a drop-off point, etc.
The expedition ends after the signing of a delivery note by the customer which certifies the good reception of the order.
Some strategies to optimize the shipment of goods?
Optimizing the shipment of goods involves improving all logistics. Moreover, this approach offers several advantages. First, it increases profitability by avoiding waste of time and resources.
Subsequently, it strengthens the competitiveness of the company in the face of competition by improving the quality of services provided to customers.
Go digital and automatic
Digitization and automation remain the best ways to optimize the shipping of goods. Indeed, they:
- Facilitate the planning of expeditions,
- Simplify document management,
- Accelerate data processing,
- Ensure inventory management,
- Manage transport routes,
- Coordinate the distribution of goods.
There currently exists several WMS software (warehouse management system) developed to manage a warehouse. These devices facilitate the management of the shipment of goods by managing all aspects relating to logistics, administration, finance, etc.
You can also equip yourself with dynamic roller conveyors and mobile carriers to speed up the handling, sorting and loading of goods. These tools make it possible to meet the requirements of a modern supply chain.
Think about transport-related parameters
First, you are required to ensure that the package is not exposed to the risk of leakage or breakage and that it does not damage the rest of the cargo during loading.
During its delivery, it is possible that one of your parcels is damaged or lost. Indeed, although the probability that these incidents occur is low, their occurrence generates losses. The financial consequences are all the more obvious when the company does not provide any insurance.
In this case, you can choose between taking out an insurance policy contract or negotiating risk coverage with the carrier.
Another detail also: notify your customers about the status of the delivery. Indeed, it is not only a way of reassuring them, but also of building their loyalty. You are free to choose when the recipient should be notified.
According to the Consumer Code, your customer has a right of withdrawal obliging you to accept returns within 14 days of the delivery date. Moreover, you must arrange the devices related to returns. Indeed, their good treatment allows the loyalty of customers.
In short, in order to put all the chances on your side in your activity and particularly during the shipping of goods, go digital and automatic. Then, take out insurance and facilitate returns. The challenge is to provide a positive customer experience.