Time to Switch? A Canadian eCommerce Founder’s Guide to the Right Shipping Carrier

Finding the right shipping carrier

Let’s go back to the last time you chose your current shipping carrier. You have made a ton of spreadsheets and PPTs to support your eCommerce logistics decision. You are all aboard the supply chain optimization train and nothing can stop you now. It is an exciting time. Cut to now, several months later and you are not quite thrilled anymore. Your customers have been getting their orders later than expected. More packages are getting lost. The cherry on this cake is that your shipping invoice is full of numbers you don’t understand. This is the time to REVIEW Before RENEW to make sure you are with the right shipping carrier. 

The sales from your business will make up the global retail eCommerce sales that are expected to rise to $7 trillion by 2024 (and Canada is the 11th largest market for eCommerce) Your shipping needs may have evolved since you last signed a carrier contract. To meet these, today, your shipping carrier needs to be accountable, reliable, fast and cheap. If they are not meeting all your needs, the auto-renewal can wait.

Here are a few points to check before you finalise your next shipping carrier or check the performance of the current one.

1. The Need for Hassle-Free Contract Renewals

If comprehending your shipping contract is tough, it is time to consider switching your shipping carrier. The contract renewal process should be hassle-free. Choose a carrier that will not cut your discounts if your shipping volume fluctuates. In other words, has no minimum volume requirement. No business should be penalised for varying volumes.

2. In-Depth Shipping Cost Analysis

small business owner with shipping boxes

Money matters. It matters even more when Free Shipping is eating up all your profits. Compare the rates of different carriers. But don’t just look at the base rates; consider surcharges, fuel charges, and return costs. Sometimes, what seems cheaper on paper can cost more in the long run.

Here’s ShippingChimp vs everybody else

5 LBSShippingChimpCanada PostFedExUPS
ON to Toronto$5.94$27.28CA$56.68CA$39.43
ON to Montreal$7.17$25.35CA$52.67CA$48.65 
ON to Calgary$11.57$35.36CA$62.97CA$60.35
ON to Vancvr$13.02$35.36CA$62.97CA$52.34

3. Evaluating Customer Service and Support

In the event of shipping issues, you need a carrier with responsive and effective customer service. Evaluate their problem-solving capabilities and responsiveness. Remember, the faster an issue is resolved, the happier your customer will be.

4. Reliability and Service Quality: More Than Just Timely Deliveries

Amazon delivery guy delivering orders

Your carrier’s reliability directly affects your brand’s reputation. Investigate their on-time delivery rates and how they handle peak seasons or disruptions. Check out the delivery stats from Valentine’s Day or Black Friday weekend and check. Free pickups are also a great offering that aids in lowering your shipping costs. ShippingChimp offers Free Pickup all across Canada which is a boon for businesses managing high volumes. 

5. Geographical Coverage and Limitations

If your customer base has grown or shifted, ensure your carrier can efficiently service these areas. Some carriers are better equipped to handle deliveries in specific regions. For example, not every carrier is well-equipped to deal with a frosty Canadian winter and this is something that baffles most eCommerce founders shipping from the US to Canada for the very first time. Look into their cross-border eCommerce capabilities and costs. Shipping internationally? Make sure your carrier knows their Paris, France from their Paris, Texas.

6. Technology and Tracking Capabilities

Your carrier’s technology stack is crucial. Efficient parcel tracking systems not only enhance customer experience but also reduce the workload of your customer service team. Automated shipping solutions have flooded the market and rightly so. Evaluate the carrier’s tracking accuracy, frequency of updates, and integration capabilities with your eCommerce platform.

7. Scalability and Flexibility

parking lot full of delivery trucks

As your business grows, your shipping needs will evolve. Ensure your carrier can handle increased volume without a dip in service quality. Check if they offer flexible solutions for peak seasons, special promotions, unexpected surges in orders or high-volume order fulfilment.

8. Insurance and Liability Policies

Remember when ships were stuck on the Suez Canal for months on end? Yeah, that was when the surge in shipping insurance really hit the world. Understanding the carrier’s policies on insurance and liability for lost or damaged goods is critical. This not only impacts your bottom line in case of mishaps but also affects customer trust and satisfaction.

9. Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility

amazon boxes

In today’s world, eco-friendliness is more popular than a moose in a Canadian souvenir shop. One of the most popular eCommerce shipping trends in Canada is eco-friendly packaging. Check if your carrier is doing their part. Also, a carrier’s cost-effective packaging solutions will affect your shipping budget. 

Still confused? Take this short quiz!

  1. How much are you paying for shipping within your province (eg Ontario to Ontario)?

A. Less than $6

B. More than $6

C. More than $10

2. How long does it take to reach Customer Support?

A. 1-4 hrs (right)

B. More than 48 hrs

C. 24 hours

3. Does your carrier provide Free Pickup?

A. Yes

B. Over a certain volume, yes

C. No

4. Can you track your orders at all times?

A. Yes

B. Not every but yes

C. No

5. What percentage of your orders reach your customers on the promised time?

A. 95-100%

B. 80-90%

C. Less than 80%

Score card

Got all A’s? Congratulations! You are perfect for each other.

Got all B’s? Eh, it’s okay but you can do better.

Got all C’s? Run. Switch your carrier now!

Got a mix of A, B and C’s? If there are more C’s than A’s and B’s, it’s a wake-up call.

How ShippingChimp is an ideal choice for eCommerce businesses shipping?

Businesses that ship high volumes require well-supported customer care, warehouses located strategically across their geography, real-time tracking and delivery updates and most importantly shipping costs that start at $5! We have helped businesses like SleepCountry, Amazon Prime Canada, Hatley and MossLED save up to 53% on their shipping costs. 

Compare your current shipping rates against ShippingChimp’s using our Pricing page or get started for Free!

Reviewing your shipping carrier contract is more than a routine check. It’s an opportunity to ensure that your logistics are in line with your business goals and customer expectations. Your business – and your customers – will thank you for it.

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