Seamless deliveries are the key to your business’s success – and the types of shipping methods you offer, the fuel. But navigating the intricate shipping process can be challenging and costly for many companies. Factors such as data management, warehousing, security, packaging, handling materials, and inventory management all play a part in ensuring a smooth delivery. Moreover, customers expect lightning-fast shipping at minimal cost without sacrificing product quality. Thankfully, partnering with a top-tier shipping company can make all the difference.
Every business has unique shipping requirements, and understanding the various options available is vital. Explore these eight essential shipping types to determine the ideal solution for your online business and deliver exceptional customer experiences every time.
Table of Contents
Local Delivery or Pick-up
Flat Rate Shipping
Multiple Addresses Shipping
Types of Shipping Every Online Business Owner Should Know
Discover the must-know shipping types that will help you meet customer expectations and boost your success in the digital marketplace.
1. Freight Shipping
Freight shipping involves the transportation of large quantities of goods, usually weighing more than 150 pounds, and typically sent in shipping containers and pallets.
Freight shipping is ideal for medium to large businesses with multiple locations. Many businesses use it for shipping freight in large quantities to the distributor or fulfillment center. After which, it is distributed by local shipping methods to reach their customers.
There are four types of freight shipping methods you can choose from. These are:
- Ground freight—trucks
- Air freight—planes for international shipments
- Ocean freight—ships
- Intermodal freight— train
2. Expedited Shipping
Expedited shipping services refer to shipping that is faster than other types of shipping. The shipping containers move from the pick-up point to the customer directly without any stops, ensuring much faster delivery. This type of shipping is a good strategy for reducing shopping cart abandonment. It also ensures customer satisfaction as they can deliver faster at an extra fee or wait for the standard delivery time at less cost.
Research your local shipping companies to determine their shipping times and rates. Below is a hint of the shipping times of some of the top shipping companies.
- UPS Expedited Shipping
- Canada domestic packages: 2 days
- U.S. domestic packages: 2 days for 2-day delivery and 3 days for 3-day delivery
- Worldwide Expedited: 2 to 5 business days
- USPS Expedited Shipping (Priority Mail/Priority Mail Express)
- Priority Mail: 1 to 3 business days in the U.S.
- Priority Mail Express: 1 to 2 days in the U.S.
- USPS First-Class Mail (small and lightweight packages):
- Regular mail: 1 to 5 business days
- Small packages: 2 to 5 business days
3. Priority Mail
Priority Mail® is a brand name introduced by USPS; thus, it is only offered by USPS. However, it functions the same way as expedited and overnight shipping. The shipping timelines for Priority Mail is usually 1 to 3 days depending on the destination and origin.
You can get the same service with Priority Mail Express. This shipping service delivers supplies within 2 days or a day after shipping. The next-day delivery is done by 6; Otherwise, you’ll get your cashback. For individuals shipping internationally, you can opt for Priority Mail Express International or Priority Mail International.
4. Overnight Shipping
For overnight shipping, the package is delivered one day after shipment. However, different shipping companies use different terms to refer to overnight shipping.
For instance, UPS refers to it as next-day air or next day air saver. The rates are compounded daily per pound and can add up fast. However, you can save some shipping fees if you partner with a platform that offers pre-negotiated discounts.
5. Local Delivery or Pick-Up
Local delivery or pick-up is domestic shipping designed for local businesses selling to customers within a designated area.
But consider your team’s bandwidth when setting up local delivery details or if you will deliver them yourself.
As an alternative, your customers can come to your warehouse or store to pick up their products. This option shifts the delivery fee from you to your customers. Fortunately, many customers are willing and happy to pick up their items themselves.
6. Flat Rate Shipping
Flat-rate shipping provides a standardized shipping service at a standard rate without considering package weight, size, or shape. The carrier issues a specific-size box in which you can put as many supplies as possible and pay a flat rate every time you ship.
This shipping method can save you much money in the long run—especially if you ship mass quantities or have many items in one box. However, it is inconvenient for light shipments—you’ll pay more for transporting less. The pricing model for carriers with this shipping method is designed for heavier items.
7. Multiple Addresses Shipping
Multiple addresses refer to shipping different items in a single order, each with a different destination address. For instance, a customer can purchase two sets of products from your site under the same order—one for themselves and the other for their friend. Such products will be shipped through multiple addresses.
Many people also opt for multiple addresses when combining different fulfillment methods to collect their items. This may include local delivery, standard shipping, digital delivery, and in-store pick-up. This type of shipping adds logistical complexity to rider fulfillment and may be challenging if not handled with care. If you find it challenging, focus on other convenient shipping methods.
8. International Shipping
International shipping is shipping from one country to a different one. Unlike other shipping methods, this one requires you to consider a few more things.
First, you must consider applicable taxes, duties, and tariffs. Luckily, your customers will be responsible for extra custom fees, but you should alert them on your website.
Besides, you must have custom declarations and forms giving your package details, including cost/value and whether they are gifts or merchandise.
Don’t let the complexity of carriers and shipping processes slow you down. Take the time to research and compare shipping options before making a decision for your business. Plus, there’s good news – certain carriers offer discounted shipping rates that can save you some big money. Sign up with ShipSimple.ca for FREE and with no strings attached to see just how much you could be saving today!