Preparing to Reopen Your Small Business? Here’s How to Start Shipping Again

June 1, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we do business in America. As shutdowns and restrictions begin to lift, all business owners are now faced with the latest challenges of reopening their doors post COVID-19. For the small business owner, this means revisiting shipping and supply chain needs.

While your specific plan will depend on state and local orders, Freightquote by C.H. Robinson is here to help you navigate this transition with tips and resources for small business owners. The good news is that we offer shipping services across the entire country, so we can work with you regardless of where you’re located in the U.S.

In this quick guide, we’ll walk you through the steps your small business can take to get back to full operations with shipping and logistics.

Three Steps to Reopening Small Business Shipping During COVID-19

  1. Develop a new plan
  2. Follow safety guidelines
  3. Coordinate with your freight service provider

Step 1: Develop a New Plan

In some ways, reopening a business post pandemic is almost like starting over. For this reason, it's important to create a new business plan that addresses your budget and needs, including your shipping and supply chain requirements.

Are you expecting to ship the same amount of products? Do you have the budget to hire the help you need? Are you coming back from being closed completely or simply preparing for more business as things pick up?

To help you save time and money, we recommend the following small business shipping tools and resources:

  • Save money with proper packaging. Learn the proper way to package and ship your products.
  • Consider using a freight terminal. You can save money by picking up or dropping off your packages at a freight terminal. Here’s how to do it safely during the pandemic.
  • Leave the logistics to us. What is the best, most affordable way to ship your products? Leave that to us. Our online shipping tool determines the best mode of transportation for your products based on your freight characteristics.
  • Get the lowest quotes. Ready to ship? Freightquote has a self-service shipping tool that provides competitive rates from vetted high quality carriers allowing you to save money on shipping.
  • Maximize your resources. We’ve invested in relationships with carriers, so you don’t have to. When you rely on us, you can optimize your resources to more effectively manage your logistics, maintain relationships with carriers and conduct freight audits. As a result you can focus on rebuilding your small business during the pandemic.

Step 2: Follow Safety Guidelines

As you create your new business plan, remember to include safety measures within your budget. The CDC is a great resource for small businesses and offers guidelines for handwashing and respiratory hygiene.

As you prepare your products for shipping, including packaging, pick-ups, and drop-offs, remember to:

  • Follow social distancing guidelines
  • Cover your face
  • Practice proper hand washing hygiene
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

TaskRabbit for Shipping Tasks

If your business is short on help, consider hiring people to help with shipping tasks such as packaging picking up, and dropping off. We recommend TaskRabbit for all your small business packaging needs, and have teamed up with them to help small business owners find affordable staff quickly and safely during the pandemic.

Step 3: Coordinate with Your Freight Services Provider

Whether you're using the same provider or looking for a new one, chances are things have changed about your business. It's important to communicate these changes with all of your vendors and partners, including your freight services provider.

If you're coming back from being shut down, it's time to let them know that you will be operating once again. This is the time to re-establish your relationship, your supply chain, and any support that you might need.

If you've been operating in a limited capacity and have plans to increase shipping, this is another reason to reach out and let them know what might need to change. Business will pick up and it's important to plan for your new inventory needs.

If you're working with us, all you have to do is use our online tool. Fast and easy, our self-service tool simplifies quoting, booking your shipments, and tracking deliveries. As always, Freightquote has a full customer support team of freight experts standing by. If you're in need of support or would like to speak to an expert, please contact us today.