It’s no secret that Amazon’s one-day delivery has created an expectation for customers that is difficult for small businesses to compete with.
With its nationwide warehouses and massive logistics operation, it’s relatively easy for Amazon to deliver a package next-day to about anywhere in the country. Further complicating the problem for small business is the fact that most consumers expect shipping to be quick and free.
How can a small or medium-sized business offer its customers expedited shipping that’s also affordable?
Check out this guide to learn not only, “What does expedited shipping mean?” but also, “How can it help my business?”
1. What’s the Difference Between Standard and Expedited Shipping?
By definition, expediting something means to make it happen faster. So what does expedited shipping do to make it faster than standard shipping?
In short, it depends.
For instance, if a package is going a relatively short distance, expediting it might only require delivering directly to the final destination, instead of making stops in other cities along the way. For longer drives, a shipping service might use two drivers. This ensures that the package isn’t delayed due to a driver’s need to take breaks.
If a package is going even farther, it could be expedited by sending it via air transportation rather than ground transportation. In many cases, the package will travel part of the way by air and the rest by ground.
Another way that companies expedite shipping is by working 24/7, 365 days a year. Rather than waiting for business hours to get your packages moving, these companies like Need it Now work day and night to get deliveries done quickly.
2. How Fast is Expedited Shipping?
The answer is the same as above: it depends.
Clearly, how fast something can be shipped is dependent on how far you are shipping it. For local deliveries in the same city or the same state, expedited shipping can deliver goods as quickly as the same day.
Of course, no matter how good a company is, there are limitations of time and space that determine how fast a package can get from New York to Paris. That said, a good company will have the ability to ship at any time of day to ensure your goods arrive as soon as possible.
That’s why, when it comes to expedited shipping, you want a company that has a track record of providing high-quality services. Experience in the field ensures that the shipping company is familiar with navigating routes, dealing with weather events, and handling other circumstances that could impact when a package arrives.
3. Is Expedited Shipping Worth the Extra Cost?
Once again, it depends. What does your business need? What does the end consumer want?
If you need materials delivered in a certain time frame to get a job done or to meet a contractual obligation, expedited shipping is certainly worth it. The same is true if your business delivers directly to consumers and you want a competitive edge.
Expedited shipping also offers order tracking. This allows you to monitor your materials throughout their entire journey, and to ensure they reach their destination safely.
You also have to consider the old adage that “Time is money.” While choosing standard shipping might save some many, that extra time has a value attached to it as well. In many cases, the extra cost associated with expedited shipping is outweighed by the economic advantages of having your goods delivered sooner.
4. How Will Expedited Shipping Help My Business?
Whether your business does mostly business to business transactions or delivers directly to consumers, there are various ways that expedited shipping can help you succeed.
For example, say your business provides raw materials to manufacturers. By using expedited shipping, you can develop a reputation for having your materials always arriving on time and in good condition. This will help you edge out your competition and become a favorite for your end consumers.
Expedited shipping is also useful for companies that ship sensitive or fragile goods. Packages and freight that are expedited typically stay in the same vehicle the whole trip, rather than transferring from one to another. This reduces the number of people handling the item, which in turn reduces the opportunities for the item to be misplaced or damaged.
5. What Else Should I Know About Expedited Shipping?
What many business owners don’t realize is that expedited shipping can also be useful when things don’t go according to plan. That’s because expedited shipping can be used as a solution when problems occur.
For instance, say you have a client that has an immediate need and puts in an emergency order. Providing expedited shipping can help ensure the client gets what they need in time, and can elevate your relationship with that client.
Expedited shipping can help your business during natural disasters. While storms like hurricanes and tornadoes can be devastating, business still needs to take place. Standard shipping usually stalls during these events, but expedited shipping is often able to continue. This is because expedited shippers often use a combination of smaller vehicles and air freight that can navigate these areas.
What Does Expedited Shipping Mean? It Means Success for Your Business
Now that we’ve answered the question, “What does expedited shipping mean?” the next step is to take advantage of this option to help grow your business.
Want to stay up to date on all the latest in shipping news and trends? Follow our blog to learn more!