Freight Charges: The Difference Between Winning or Losing a Sale

Written by Paul Forand
     

charging-freight-costShipping makes the global economy go 'round.  Are you making your freight charges attractive to your clients?

It's something more businesses should probably be thinking about.  With so many materials being sourced online, shipping charges / transit times can make or break a deal.  It's true that fuel prices and other externalities will affect costs, but at the same time, a smart company should be looking to absorb or mitigate as much of that as possible, rather than passing it along to their own clients.

If someone else in your field starts to offer better rates, you may risk losing the sale.  Freight is now a major selling point.

Ways To Bring Better Shipping To Your Customers

1 - Integrated shipping prices on your website.

Simply being clear and upfront about your charges online can go a long way towards boosting your trustworthiness, especially when so many companies try to keep their rates as opaque as possible. 

Besides, people are accustomed to simple shipping processes on sites like Amazon, and are increasingly looking for them in enterprise purchasing.  There’s no good reason for large-scale buys to be significantly more difficult than any other transaction.

If your website can accurately display charges up-front, you'll be getting a two-for-one deal on giving customers more of what they want.

2 - Better carrier collaboration.

In most cases, it's smart to partner with only one company if they can provide all your shipping needs, because giving them your exclusive business can leverage significant discounts.  This also eases a number of manpower burdens, by having a single go-to source.   Plus, direct collaboration is also usually one of the easiest ways of integrating freight pricing into your website.

This can result in significant across-the-board savings, which can be passed along to your customer or go directly to your bottom line. Get a good enough deal with the carrier, and you might even look at offering free freight, at least on sufficiently expensive orders.  That's always an effective bonus offer.

3 - Know your customers better.freight-handling

Do you know what their receiving area looks like, or what equipment they have on-hand?  Very often, knowing details about the situation on your customer's end can inspire new cost-cutting ideas.  It also helps minimize delay when the carriers know in advance what loading or unloading equipment is needed.

Saving your customers a hassle at the receiving end will sometimes avoid unnecessary expenses, and will always inspire more goodwill.

If you have a Transportation Manager, this is a perfect assignment for them.  It helps your clients feel like clients.  If you don't have a TM, it may be time to think of hiring one. 

4 - A third-party logistics firm.

The other alternative, which incorporates all of the above, is a 3PL.  Dedicated logistics specialists can find across-the-board cost savings, and can also quickly improve and help automate your processes for further convenience.

Plus, the biggest 3PLs in the industry can leverage huge buying power of the sort only mega-corporations usually see, bringing significantly lower rates and faster service than a smaller operation could negotiate on their own.

All of this creates an ideal environment for giving your customers a shipping experience that's easier, more personalized and, most importantly, more affordable. 

For more information, contact ReTrans Freight today for a free cost-savings analysis