6 Benefits of Offering Expedited Shipping to Customers
Businesses commonly use many types of shipping services in order to deliver their products to retail stores and directly to customers. Expedited shipping is one type of shipping service that allows businesses to send products to their destinations quickly. Learning about expedited shipping can help you decide if it's the right shipment service for your team. In this article, we define expedited shipping, compare it with traditional order fulfillment methods and list some of the common benefits of offering expedited shipping.
What is expedited shipping?
Expedited shipping is when an organization ships products or other goods to their destinations faster than normal. Many organizations offer expedited shipping to their customers to help decrease the time between purchasing and receiving an item. Businesses may also use this type of shipping to send perishable or time-sensitive goods, such as frozen food and important government documents.
Expedited shipping vs. traditional fulfillment methods
Here's a list of the differences between expedited shipping and traditional fulfillment methods:
Traditional fulfillment methods, like standard ground delivery, can be the most cost-effective way for companies to deliver products to customers. This means delivery organizations usually charge less for traditional shipping. For example, a freight company may load more shipments onto a truck if they're using standard ground delivery. The truck might stop in several metropolitan areas to deliver packages to local pickup centers. This allows shipping organizations to reduce fuel costs and pay drivers a fair wage.
When companies use expedited shipping, it often costs them more to deliver products to customers. Shipping organizations charge companies more for expedited shipping because they often use more expensive modes of transportation, such as airplanes, to improve efficiency and decrease the total time shipments are in transit.
Traditional fulfillment methods often have a slower transit speed, meaning shipments take longer to reach their final destinations. Depending on where a package originates and its ultimate destination, standard shipping within the United States takes an average of three to seven days. These reduced transit speeds result from slower transportation methods and more stops. Standard shipped packages often visit several shipment centers where companies unload, process, organize and reload packages onto new forms of transportation.
Expedited fulfillment methods have a higher transit speed, meaning products arrive more quickly at their destinations. Based on the origin location and final destination of a package, expedited shipping within the U.S. commonly takes two to three days. These improved transit speeds are due to faster transportation methods and fewer stops while in transit. Packages in expedited shipping may only visit one or two shipment centers on the way to their destinations.
Related: Benefits of Drop Shipping
Some shipping organizations only offer traditional methods of delivery. They may have established routes and shipment organization processes that only allow for standard shipping times. Alternatively, some shipping organizations specialize in expedited shipping and provide it to all of their customers.
What are the benefits of offering expedited shipping?
Here's a list of the benefits of offering expedited shipping:
Shipping perishable goods
Expedited shipping allows businesses to ensure that perishable goods arrive at their ultimate destinations while still viable. Many perishable goods, like frozen food, fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and dairy products, may expire while in transit if a company uses traditional shipping methods. Expedited shipping allows businesses to increase their customer base by offering perishable products. It can also help companies ship these products across the country and export them to distributors in other countries.
Shipping government documents
Government institutions often use expedited shipping to ship important documents, such as passports, driver's licenses, car registrations and voting ballots. All of these documents benefit from lower transit times because people often use them immediately after receiving them. For example, a person may receive their passport in the mail, then use it to travel outside of the country. Additionally, voting ballots often must arrive at a vote tallying facility before a certain date, so decreased transit times can increase the number of ballots that reach their destination on time.
Maintaining lean inventory
Expedited shipping may allow businesses to maintain lean inventory by reducing the number of products they store within their facilities. As soon as customers purchase a product, the company may use expedited shipping to restock quickly. Lowering the amount of inventory businesses have within their facilities can reduce inventory costs, saving them money.
Reducing touch points
Touch points are instances where individuals pick up or move objects, which increases the possibility of damage during transit. Expedited shipping allows packages to stop at fewer places along the way to their destinations, reducing the number of touch points for those packages. For example, if a company is shipping a fragile item, it may use expedited shipping to ensure that only one or two shipment centers handle the package, which increases the chance that the item arrives at its destination intact.
Enhancing tracking capabilities
Many expedited shipping services offer customers increased abilities to track their shipments. This may include the current location of a shipment that's in transit, information about arrivals and departures from shipment centers and approximate arrival times. Many customers like to track important shipments to ensure are available to pick them up when they arrive and to plan for their arrival. For these reasons, expedited shipping may help businesses increase their revenue and gain loyal customers.
Improving customer service
Expedited shipping may create an improved customer service experience through decreased transit times and the transparency of delivery processes. If a company uses expedited shipping, a customer may simply contact a customer service representative to inquire about the location of a package. This may also help businesses to learn about what their customers expect during the shipping process, which can help them increase customer satisfaction.
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