How online freight services can assist with e-commerce logistics challenges.

December 20, 2017

E-commerce is becoming the preferred way to shop for the majority of Americans. In fact, looking at 2017 industry statistics, it was estimated that 51 percent of Americans prefer to shop online and that e-commerce is growing 23 percent year-over-year. While these numbers are great news for both large and small e-commerce organizations, the growing popularity also presents a few logistical challenges that businesses have to address in order to remain successful.

Let’s walk through a few of these challenges and explore how online freight services can help. 


Providing shipping rates.

Depending on the item that needs to be shipped, it can be a logistical challenge to provide a customer with an accurate shipping rate. Factors like weight, size, destination, shipping origin and more impact rates. Some online freight services solve this challenge by offering their customers a freight calculator to embed on their websites and internal applications. This improves the efficiency of your internal teams when they go to prepare shipments. Additionally, customers looking to make a purchase will be able to calculate how much it will cost them to have items shipped. 

Having a calculator directly on your website can also improve your conversion rates and improve the customer’s overall shopping experience. The reason being, a customer can immediately get an idea of how much it will cost them to have something shipped, making them more likely to go through with the shipment.


Tracking shipments.

A conversation that many businesses are having is on the subject of transparency and how to keep their customers informed as to the status of their orders. Providing a tracking number is simple enough, but tracking a multitude of shipments at once can become complicated and time-consuming. Online freight providers should be able to offer the technology you need to easily track each shipment in real-time. Having automated tracking solutions in place will save you valuable time so you can focus on other important areas of the supply chain.

Additionally, a study showed that 78 percent of consumers demanded tracking capabilities despite only 31 percent of companies offering daily email updates. A quality service provider will make it easy to track a shipment with an online portal that you and your customer can access. They will also make it possible to receive details regarding the whereabouts of an order or when it will be delivered.


Managing shipping documentation.

Accurate shipping documentation is crucial to successfully ship an order. However, managing documents like bills of lading (BOLs) or if you’re shipping to Canada, a Canadian Commercial Invoice, can be difficult and time-consuming. One mistake in paperwork can result in surcharges, delays or customs holds when shipping internationally. The bottom line is, having all of the right documents in order ahead of time can save you time and money.

E-commerce organizations can avoid managing all of these items themselves by working with online shipping experts that assist with documentation. They can also assist in the creation of the documents themselves and advise you about best practices. 


Final thoughts. 

As your e-commerce business continues to grow, online freight services can assist with your questions and meet your shipping needs. At Freightquote by C.H. Robinson, our industry experts are able to help you overcome your shipping logistics challenges and are knowledgeable about a variety of shipping topics. Business owners have to wear multiple hats, but they don’t have to do everything alone. Online services can make an impact in your e-commerce business.

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