December 2000 | Commentary | Carriers Corner

Stress-Free Shipping: The Reseller's Way

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Are you the owner of a small- to medium-sized business looking for ways to give your customers better service? Have you encountered stress in your business even as you've searched for something as seemingly simple as an overnight shipping service?

In addition to the cost of transporting a package, perhaps you've had questions of dependability and efficiency. Will you get competitive rates and still get top service? Will your package be tracked and delivered on time? With the myriad overnight carriers in operation, choosing the right one can be overwhelming.

One possible way to eliminate shipping stress is to turn your overnight shipping over to a reseller. By purchasing large volumes of services from suppliers, shipping resellers can sell the same services to their customers at discounted rates. Not only do resellers save companies money, but they also save time spent researching the best rates, and time spent worrying about shipments. Many resellers offer personalized services that include package pickup and tracking. Resellers can also identify the carrier best suited for a particular shipment. Building on available technology further allows resellers to provide good service.

Although many have predicted the Internet would adversely affect the business shipping market, shipping resellers have risen to the challenge and are capitalizing on technological advances by offering services such as telecommunications and Internet document delivery along with basic shipping services.

Some shipping resellers have begun using the Internet to manage the shipment of heavy freight, as well as to audit freight shipments of large carriers. The audits are made by software that identifies billing discrepancies of major carriers, saving businesses additional time and money. Resellers have also partnered with software development companies to offer even more services and to remain ahead of the competition.

Saving Money with Resellers

In addition to utilizing the latest technology, resellers continue to expand on basic shipping services and offer the most competitive rates. The savings that shipping resellers afford is apparent—most users can save up to 40 percent or more on their shipping bills, although services vary with different resellers. Some resellers charge a membership fee or charge for advance services. Benefits from this type of service lie in discounts for businesses that ship only occasionally. Other resellers do not charge membership fees and do not require pre-payment. They rely on their customer base to accrue shipping for the discounted price.

Beyond cost savings, the best reseller will provide extraordinary customer service and will make sure shipping needs are met and exceeded. Not all carriers offer the same services—many carriers have chosen niche markets; some are better than others for large packages and bulk deliveries; others specialize in overnight delivery of documents and small packages. Not all carriers deliver internationally, and not all offer same-day or weekend delivery—the ones who do usually charge more for those services. Shipping services will result in greater customization with a reseller that deals with a variety of carriers.

Your reseller should also be willing to adhere to high expectations regarding personalized customer service and satisfaction. Although resellers must ultimately rely on carriers to do the job efficiently for their customers, they can excel in personalized services offered. An account representative who knows your company and its needs is something you should look for in a reseller. This representative will handle all aspects of your shipment—from the time you put it in the envelope and address it, to the time your package is received and opened. Good resellers provide this full service at no additional charge.

Good resellers answer your call for service as soon as possible, meet delivery times, track your packages, and do whatever it takes to make sure your shipments arrive on time and in the best condition possible.

Ultimately, the more questions you ask of your reseller, the better off you will be. Do a great deal of research so you can make the best choice. A small business can make a wise choice by letting a dependable, highly technical reseller do most of its transportation work. The result? Efficient, cutting-edge shipping services at the best possible price.

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