Date : 2020-10-27
Finding insurance for your freight is a sure way to protect your business from losses in the event of damage or loss. With cargo insurance, you receive the amount for which you are covered in case the insured event happens. It is more important when you supply highly-valued goods because you do not want to imagine what would happen when you lose them without any compensation. Depending on the kind of business you are involved in, you need to consider several factors when looking for such insurance. It would be best if you were sure that you are getting the services from a reputable insurer too. Always take into consideration the following factors.
When to Look for Insurance for your Freight
Before arriving at its destination, your cargo is likely to go through different roads and ports. It is also likely to be handled by different professionals. Because of that, the magnitude of the risks that it is exposed to is always immense. Even where the law does not make it mandatory top have an insurance, you have to consider a cover for the cargo to be sure of cushioning your business from losses. You should also be thinking about external factors such as traffic and weather because when they are not favorable, the possibility of your goods being stolen or lost will be higher.
The Importance of Land Cargo Insurance
Are you transporting your goods using trucks, vans, and smaller vehicles? In this case, you never know when there will be a collision or any other accident. You also never know where it will happen, and therefore, you may want to protect your goods. It becomes even more critical when you transport cargo across the border and are not sure about security. If the driver gets ambushed and the shipment is stolen, the losses will be too huge to bear. However, there will be nothing to worry about when you have insured it against theft.
Marine and Air Cargo Insurance
Most international supplies are transported through the oceans and the air. They are mostly bulky and may take a long time to deliver, especially when using the sea. Because of that, you need an assurance that the goods will be safe. The biggest concern is when they are being loaded and unloaded from the vessels because they can be damaged easily. In addition to that, a little carelessness can lead to the loss of goods during these processes. The piracy threat also faces planes and ships, the more reason you should get an insurance cover.
If you talk to any leading logistics company, near you, you will notice that they do not take insurance lightly. Some will provide open coverage for a specific period, and it may be renewable. Whether you are looking for a specific coverage policy or insurance against all risks, you must start by finding a trusted freight company. You can contact BEST Inc. to know about various insurances and their vast array of logistics services.
Date : 2020-10-27
Entrusting your business’ order fulfillment needs to another party requires a lot of caution because it affects the quality of services rendered to customers. It would be best to work with a fulfillment partner who wants your business to succeed the same way you do. In addition to that, you have to be sure of the quality of services they provide. That is the reason you cannot entrust such processes to someone whose ability you do not know. However, once you understand the most important factors to consider, everything will be fine. Consider the following tips.
The Order Volume
Knowing their order volume minimum will help you know if they can transport your goods and deliver them on time. If you are going to ship large volumes of goods, you may also want to know if there is a cap to the load size that they can transport at a time. This is because some companies may not have the capacity to deliver the volume that you expect from them, resulting in delays. Since you want to deliver products to your clients on time, it is good to discuss with the order fulfillment partner and find out what they can do.
How much are you willing to pay to the third-party logistics company for order fulfillment? Different businesses have different budgets, and so, you have to be sure of how much you can afford. Everyone wants to work with a company that allows them to enjoy high-quality services at affordable rates. However, you are also likely to find companies that allow you to negotiate the rates. When it comes to pricing, the kinds of goods that want to ship and the distance are likely to determine how much you pay.
The Shipping Process
How does the company transport goods? Check on their storage facilities and the kinds of vessels that they use to transport the products. First, you want to make sure that the goods are transported in the best condition. You do not want to end up with damaged goods because you did not take the time to assess the fulfillment partner’s ability to take care of them. If they are going to transport them by road, you should ensure that they have the right vans, trucks, or other vehicles. You should also find out if they insure the goods against damage and other risks, and find out who will be paying for the insurance costs. The best companies often include insurance in the quote to not have to worry about it.
Finding the best order fulfillment partner should not be a difficult task once you know what your company needs. The main focus should be on finding a company that understands your business’ needs. At BEST Inc., you are sure to find a partner that not only cares about the safety of your products but the success of your business too. Contact Best Inc. today and enjoy a seamless order fulfillment process.
Date : 2020-10-27
Various studies show that most customers use multiple channels when shopping because they are looking for different experiences. With omni-channel commerce, a company can ensure that all the customers’ needs are addressed by using the channel that makes the shopping process seamless. Thus, every retailer needs to know how to incorporate all these channels in their points of sale systems. They should also allow customers to make their choices. The most important thing is to focus not on the individual experiences at different levels but the entire customer experience. Here are a few things you need to know.
Omni-Channel vs Multichannel commerce
There are a lot of similarities between multichannel and omni-channel commerce. Unlike single-channel, the two allow customers to use various channels when shopping. However, an omni-channel approach provides a more seamless experience because it connects all the channels. For example, a customer may be at your brick and mortar store and choose to switch to buying on their phone or online. They will not have any problems switching between the channels, and that is why various successful businesses have adopted this approach.
A Unified Experience
One of the biggest advantages of using an omni-channel approach is the possibility of providing a better customer experience. To provide better customer experience, you need to provide a unified experience. Therefore, by connecting all the channels they use for shopping, you give them the flexibility and freedom to use whatever method suits them. In addition to that, companies that have embraced this kind of commerce have recorded increased sales and traffic. It is because customers can find your business information and access your goods and services from various platforms. With a unified experience, you will not have to struggle too much serving your customers.
Increasing Customer Loyalty
With these commerce solutions, you are like to attract repeat customers because of the experiences that they go through when shopping at your store. Unlike when you are using a single channel approach, these clients will recommend you to their friends and family. Therefore, it is one way to grow your business without using complex or expensive means. You may also notice that this is one way to tell your brand story so that you no longer have to use traditional marketing strategies to attract customers. Even when you stop issuing coupons midway through the marketing campaigns, your customers will spread the word on your behalf, and the product will keep moving.
To enjoy the best omni-channel commerce solutions, you have to work with the right third-party ecommerce fulfillment partners. It would help if you link up with companies that provide solutions that guarantee the growth of your business. In addition to that, the best companies for such services are those that understand the unique needs of your customers. By working with BEST Inc., you get an opportunity to provide the best experiences to your customers while growing your business too. Contact BEST Inc. today to get commerce solutions that ensure your customers keep coming to you for more.
Date : 2020-10-27
Modern consumers are increasingly demanding eco-friendly business practices, and companies that do not keep up will soon fall off the radar. A simple way you can make your e-commerce business more environmentally friendly is to opt for eco-friendly packaging – not only are you doing your part for mother nature, you will attract a wider base of customers who care for the environment as well!
The Need For Eco-Friendly Packaging
With the advent of e-commerce businesses, more packaging is involved in the consumer process than ever before. Whereas in physical shops, customers can simply pick up their item and go – even more so if they have brought along their own reusable bags – this is simply not possible with e-commerce. The business will have to provide an extra layer of packaging not necessary in physical shops simply to get the item shipped out.
Every year, landfills pile up with waste from homes and businesses, but did you know that only 30% of recyclable waste is actually recycled? The rest is thrown away without any thought to the negative environmental impacts. By switching to eco-friendly packaging for your business, you are making a huge difference.
Ways You Can Switch to Eco-Friendly Packaging
If you are keen to make the switch but need some advice, read on for some tips.
- Only use the necessary materials: Anyone who has made an online purchase knows that sometimes the product comes packaged in lots of unnecessary bubble wrap, air bags and packing peanuts. If those are not needed to ensure your product goes undamaged, ditch them!
- Choose environmentally friendly materials for your packaging: These days, there are more and more eco-friendly packaging solutions on the market. For instance, packaging made from bamboo has been gaining popularity, and new ideas such as mushroom-based packaging have been popping up as well. There are also several biodegradable and compostable options that perform an extra function for the environment instead of being marked as waste.
- Use the right sized box or mailer: Always choose the smallest possible box or mailer for the item you are shipping. Not only are you using less materials, you are also freeing up space in the transportation vehicle for more parcels, reducing the number of required journeys and consequently your carbon footprint.
- Make use of recycled materials: Some businesses haven taken things a step farther and do not procure any new materials for their packaging at all! Instead, they make use of materials they already have such as cardboard boxes and newspaper to ship their items in. if you have any spare materials lying around, why not make good use of them instead of confining them to the landfill?
Shipping Solutions for Your E-Commerce Business
If you are an e-commerce business looking for effective shipping solutions, look no further than Best Inc. We operate on the strong belief that happy customers are repeat customers and strive to deliver all products timely and in good condition. When you engage Best Inc., you can be sure that you are working with a team of supply chain and technology experts. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or would like a custom fulfilment quote.
Date : 2020-10-27
If you are ready to expand your e-commerce business, one major factor to consider is international shipments. When you offer international shipping, your consumer base is instantly multiplied, growing your business to heights you never could have imagined previously. However, many small business owners can get intimidated by the numerous terms involved in international shipments. Let us lay out the most common ones as well as explain what they mean below.
Simply put, customs duty refers to a tax that is payable for products that have crossed international borders. Besides being a way of regulating restricted products, customs duties are imposed in the interests of a country’s economy and environment, amongst many others. While the amount payable varies, it is dependent on certain factors.
- Country of origin: This refers to the country in which the product was manufactured, not the country in which it was purchased or shipped from.
- Declared value: The value that is reported to the carrier, which becomes the maximum amount they are liable for in the event of loss or damage.
- Harmonized system code (HS code): A 6 to 10 digit identification code required for all international shipments, used to determine the taxes payable.
Bill of Landing (BOL)
A BOL is a must-have document for every international shipment, and your product may not be able to cross borders without one! Containing all relevant information about the shipment as well as seller instructions, a BOL is important for the following reasons: acknowledging receipt of a shipment, verifying its origin and destination, documenting the goods contained within it as well as regulating terms of payment.
Short for a set of commercial terms defined by the International Chamber of Commerce, “Incoterms” help to communicate the costs, risks as well as responsibilities undertaken by both the buyer and seller in an international shipment. As they are recognized globally, Incoterms apply to every international shipment you make. Here are what some of the common ones stand for:
- CIP: Carriage and Insurance Paid.
- CPT: Carriage Paid To by seller.
- FCA: Free Carrier. Seller pays for shipment from warehouse to transport hub.
- ExW: ExWorks. Seller is only responsible for packaging product and transporting it to the shipment hub.
- DAP: Delivery At Place.
- DAT: Delivered At Terminal.
- DDP: Delivery Duty Paid.
- DDU: Delivery Duty Unpaid.
- CFR: Cost and Freight, limited to shipping by sea.
- CIF: Cost, Insurance and Freight, limited to shipping by sea.
- FAS: Free Alongside Ship, limited to shipping by sea.
- FOB: Free On Board.
International Shipment Solutions for Your Business
If your business is looking for effective international shipment solutions, look no further than Best Inc. Regardless of the destination, we can get your shipment there in the fastest possible time or the most budget-friendly prices, depending on your requirements. When you engage us at Best Inc., you benefit from the knowledge of experienced supply chain and technology experts. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or would like a custom fulfilment quote.
Date : 2020-10-27
The shopping experience has evolved so much over the years that young people today have completely different expectations from their parents and grandparents. In fact, a Facebook study on shopping preferences has revealed that only 9.6% of Gen Z respondents report buying something in store, a huge difference from the older generations!
While young people are increasingly turning to e-commerce where brand name and social media coverage are bigger pull factors, the older generation tend to value being able to touch and try out a product before purchasing. Hence, savvy retailers are turning to omni-channel retailing to reap the best of both worlds: having both a physical and online presence to cater to all walks of customers.
About Omni-Channel Retailing
As compared to multi-channel retailing – where retailers sell their products across multiple online platforms – omni-channel retailing involves both a physical store and an online platform. Integrating the shopping experience between the two, omni-channel retailing aims to bridge a connection between these platforms to increase the number of sites where customers can convert.
Besides that, when one platform is facing problems, the other can always be relied upon to ensure that the business is still bringing in profits, albeit reduced. For instance, when the COVID-19 pandemic sent various countries into lockdown, businesses with an online presence were still able to continue operations and bring in some profits. This highlights the importance of bringing products to where consumers are spending their time in order to increase sales and engagement.
A New Shopping Experience
What is omni-channel retailing all about, then? More than just a place where customers can purchase products and services, omni-channel retailing is about the shopping experience. Instead of being two separate places where you can get the same product, the magic of omni-market retailing is the ability to integrate these two experiences into a seamless, unique way of shopping.
Ask yourself this: have you ever looked up a product online, only to head down to the nearest physical store to try it out for yourself? If you answered yes, you have already been sucked into the overwhelming pull of omni-channel retailing.
Keeping the brand fresh in the customer’s mind with the understanding that no one shops exclusively online or in store, omni-channel retailing ensures that profit flows in from different sources. By positioning themselves to give the customer what they want, when they want it, businesses looking to become game changers can definitely benefit from omni-channel retailing.
Omni-Channel Distribution Solutions for Your Business
If you are an omni-channel retailer looking for distribution solutions, Best Inc., is your best bet. With extensive experience in handling large stock movement, we handle every step of the process from fulfilment to cross-docking. When you engage us at Best Inc., you instantly have a whole team of supply chain and technology experts behind you, propelling your business to greater heights. If you have any queries or would like a custom fulfilment quote, please do not hesitate to contact us today.
Date : 2020-10-27
Customer returns add up to so much every year that they could constitute a market of their own! Costing American companies millions of dollars every year, customer returns may be part and parcel of running a business but nevertheless can affect profit margins negatively. While it may be tempting to cut out a returns policy altogether, developing a customer-first approach can actually give your business a competitive edge. Read on to find out why.
With the advent of e-commerce, more consumers are buying with the mindset that they can always return an item if it doesn’t fit, and that’s exactly what happens a lot of the time. In order to combat this, many businesses have adopted a cost-first approach, attempting to limit purchases with high possibilities of a return.
However, an increasing number of companies are starting to embrace returns as a natural part of the shopping experience instead of trying to combat it. What can be learned from this customer-first approach, and why is it necessary?
The Rise of Social Commerce
Much like e-commerce, the rise of social commerce is anticipated to disrupt the retail market, paving the way for an entirely new shopping experience. Boosting sales through social media results in more customers making impulse purchases and as a result, more customer returns for businesses. Although consumers are more likely to make some genuine purchases, inevitably there will be returns as they find that some of their purchased goods do not fit.
Adopting A Customer-First Approach
Some retailers have gone ahead of the game and extended the customary 28-day return period. Giving customers more time to decide whether they would like to keep an item, this reduces the urgency in which an item has to be dispatched which can influence customers’ decisions. In the digital age, it is time to accept that trying on and returning items is embedded in the shopping experience and working against it will soon become an outdated strategy.
With a customer-first approach of handling returns, businesses can better work out what generates impulse purchases to improve their reverse logistics operations. Items will need to be processed and quality assurance checks carried out in order to ensure that that returned items are back on the market as soon as possible. This will aid in the visibility of stock movement, benefiting both businesses and customers alike: customers know where the returned item is at every stage of the process, whereas businesses can keep track of stock numbers and conditions.
Returns and Reverse Logistics Solutions for Your Business
If you are looking to revamp your business’s returns policy and reverse logistics operations, Best Inc., can help. An effective strategy can make a big difference in the shopping experience and improve the way your business runs. At Best Inc., we pride ourselves on being transparent throughout every stage of the returns process, keeping you up to date on the relevant information you need to manage your stock. If you have any queries or would like a custom fulfilment quote, please do not hesitate to contact us today.
Date : 2020-10-27
Here\'s a scenario for you to consider: An awesome product was just ordered by one of your customers. Let\'s say, for the sake of argument in fact, that they\'ve ordered a number of those items. Unfortunately, they are international. Well, that might not seem like a particularly troublesome aspect… or is it? When the consumer gets hit with \"duties\", they\'re not going to be happy. Duties can complicate what would have and should have been a simple transaction. But, when you\'re dealing with international e-commerce, it\'s just one of the intricacies.
Thanks to DDP, this doesn\'t have to be a problem. If you are involved in e-commerce, you\'ve likely heard of DDP – delivered duty paid. If not, it\'s high time you become familiar with it and see that it is a much-needed aspect of businesses that participate in and revolve around e-commerce. Let\'s take a look at DDP.
DDU Versus DDP
Delivered duty unpaid – DDU – splits responsibility between the buyer and the seller.
- Assumes costs and risks associated with the shipment.
- Ensures delivery of the goods to the customs office of the destination’s country.
The buyer, at checkout:
- Pays for shipping.
- Pays for the cost of their order.
- Before they can receive their package, once it reaches customs, the responsibility of paying any additional transportation costs or import duties is up to the buyer. Now let\'s look at DDP.
As already stated, delivered duty paid can be abbreviated DDP. Some people substitute the word \"duties\" for \"duty\". But what does it mean? It means that for every buying process aspect, the seller is responsible. Included in this are the following:
- Paying delivery costs, transportation costs, and all other associated fees.
- Proof of delivery arrangement.
- Customs requirements fulfillment.
- Arranging all export clearance and export packaging.
- Documents and sales contracts drafting.
- Providing the product(s).
When this route is chosen, at checkout, the buyer is charged for the following:
- The cost of the order
- Other shipment/delivery-incurring fees
What does that mean for you as a seller? In order to factor them into the final cost, in advance, you\'re going to have to estimate the fees as accurately as possible.
Now that you\'re aware of the differences between DDP and DDU, let\'s take a closer look at the specific reasons to use delivered duty paid:
- Rest assured, your competition is using DDP. If you don\'t, you could be left in the dust.
- The checkout experience is optimized with DDP.
- The use of DDP can help increase sales dramatically.
- Best of all, there is just no reason to avoid the use of DDP when it\'s so very simple.
That leads us to who you can depend on to assist with your DDP order fulfillment.
Rely on Best Inc. As Your Fulfillment Provider
Whether you ship your products over long distances or short distances, if you\'re crossing borders or bodies of water, we can be of assistance. Offering a comprehensive selection of shipping options, we are the perfect operations partner. Are you searching for a low cost delivery method? Are you trying to achieve fast delivery times? Maybe a little of both? To manage your transportation needs across borders and oceans, we offer indispensable results.
Contact Best Inc. for quotes and to find out how we can best support your business.
Date : 2020-10-27
If you are involved in e-commerce, you may already know what USMCA stands for. In case you don\'t, however, it is an acronym for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. If your business relies even in part on e-commerce, this is something you should be acquainted with.
As of July 1, 2020, the USMCA entered into force. That means that on July 1, 2020 or afterward, preferential NAFTA treatment cannot be claimed. So, NAFTA rules continued to apply for any merchandise entered into commerce before the above stated date. This has actually been in the works for some time – an agreement was being worked on in September 2018, in fact.
But what does it all mean?
The USMCA Agreement – What Is It?
Simply put and in a nutshell, looking at the almost 25-year-old NAFTA, a $1 trillion North American agreement on free trade, USMCA could be considered an updated version. So what\'s new? It contains new policies and major changes regarding the following:
- Some digital trade provisions
- Intellectual property protections
- Environmental standards
- Labor, etc.
How should the United States benefit from this agreement? It is thought that it will mutually support beneficial trade leading to the following in North America:
- Robust economic growth
- Fairer trade
- Freer markets
So who benefits from the agreement?
For American ranchers and farmers, this agreement is a monumental win. To export their goods, it will improve access to both Mexican and Canadian markets. Under USMCA, an expected $2.2 billion increase for American agricultural exports should secure an amazing deal for American farmers.
USMCA E-Commerce Impact
When it comes to e-commerce, this trade agreement (the USMCA) will have several areas of impact.
- Lower costs for data storage – Data is everything nowadays! As e-commerce businesses use it to make data driven decisions and personalize customer services, it becomes even more crucial. The cost of storing data can be exorbitant, however. But now, within their country of operation, this agreement will make it easier (and less expensive) for countries to house their clients’ data.
- For SMEs in e-commerce, simplified shipping procedures – Agreements and commitments to issuing custom formalities on a lesser basis were made by all three countries. Though it highly benefits e-commerce SMEs, it\'s actually beneficial to the entire e-commerce industry as a whole. The reason? More rigorous custom formalities are usually undergone by retailers in e-commerce with shipments of $2500-worth or less. With USMCA, however, those types of shipments will no longer require an EIN because they will be considered express shipments.
- Sales increases – Without stressing out about taxes and customs duties, on goods up to $150, Canadian shoppers can now purchase online US products. On products worth $100 and under, tax and duty-free shopping can be done by Mexican shoppers. Because the United States’ products are now more affordable, the reach to Mexican and Canadian markets can be expanded by e-commerce businesses in the US.
Theoretically, for many years to come, the benefits realized through the USMCA will be enjoyed by e-commerce retailers. Every six years, however, it is subject to review. Regardless, between the three nations, e-commerce relations should be aided significantly by this agreement. Particularly where midsized and small online retailers are concerned, it will be beneficial.
Who Can You Turn to for Clarity? Best, Inc.
Are you having a hard time understanding any or all of the benefits of the USMCA? We can help.
Contact Best Inc. for quotes and to find out how we can best support your e-commerce business.
Date : 2020-10-27
Are you involved in shipping solutions or e-commerce? If so, here\'s a quick question for you: What is the mortal enemy of every shipping carrier? Do you know the answer?
Let\'s take a look at a few scenarios:
- A case of perfume bottles made from glass.
- A cross-country shipping project involving a pet reptile.
- A massive load of bricks.
Now, what do all of these have in common as far as shipping goes? They are nuisances, yes. But, the answer to the first question we posed is what we are going for here. Spelling bad news for both carriers and sellers alike is… DIM weight, or dimensional weight. To help you diminish the confused head scratching process of shipping and e-commerce, we are going to take a closer look at some dimensional weight basics.
First Things First…
What, exactly, is dimensional weight? DIM weight, volumetric weight, or dimensional weight is used by shipping companies as a pricing technique. They utilize it in an attempt to avoid losing money on lightweight, large shipments. What that means for the person or company wanting something shipped is that two weights now are being dealt with: dimensional and physical.
For example, if you want to ship your beloved grandmother a pillow, it will likely be of a decent size, fluffy, and soft. No problem, right? Here\'s the thing – carriers are a lot like individuals trying to transport their groceries from the store, to the car, to their residence. Into each bag, they try to cram as much as possible. The same goes for shipping containers and transporters. So, valuable real estate will be taken up by your thoughtful gift to grandma. That means that other packages might have to be shipped on another vehicle, and that doesn\'t bode well with carriers.
Dimensional Weight Calculation
There are three steps when determining/calculating a package’s dimensional weight:
- Using the longest point for each side, measure your package’s height, width, and length.
- To get the cubic size of your package, multiply the measurements.
- Now, by the DIM factor, divide the cubic size.
What, you may ask, is a DIM factor? To represent a package’s cubic inch per pound, it\'s set up by the postal carriers. It\'s just a number. To help you out, here are some of the most used DIM factor numbers:
- USPS and DHL e-commerce: 166
- DHL Express, UPS, and FedEx: 139
How to Avoid Dimensional Weight… Can It Be Done?
The easiest answer to that question would be, \"Yes… Sort of.\" In reality, using the following advice, you can, at the very least, reduce DIM:
- A more advantageous formula may be available with some alternative services. Not all dimensional divisors are alike. Explore what, for your business, is the best fit by examining various available shipping options.
- As much as possible, make your package smaller. You can reduce shipping costs by maximizing space.
The \"Best\" Way to Deal with Dimensional Weight
Using the services provided by Best, Inc. is one sure way to make the absolute most of the shipping process, at the lowest price/rate possible. We know all the ins and outs of e-commerce and can be an indispensable partner for your business.
Contact Best Inc. for quotes and to find out how we can best support your e-commerce business.