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Five common pitfalls office shippers should avoid

Learn what can derail even the best intentions for optimizing office shipping

The seemingly simple task of office shipping is, in reality, not so simple. With each of the three major carriers (USPS, FedEx and UPS) presenting a variety of shipping solutions — including time and cost options, convenience, reliable delivery and tracking — the office shipper immediately encounters a confusing landscape.

Balancing all of these options and arriving at the best choice for each envelope or package is the goal. But a number of pitfalls can come between good intentions and getting the office shipping done for the day.

01. Don’t get derailed by personal preference. 

Sender perceptions are strong — and unpredictable — influencers of carrier choice. You may have had a bad experience with delivery of a critical package, or you may simply prefer one carrier’s pick-up drivers. As more individuals in your organization make sending decisions, the likelihood increases that people will make choices based on personal preference rather than best price for the required delivery speed. Over the long run, this can cost your company thousands of dollars.

02. Take a deep breath before sending everything the fastest way possible. 

Office shippers know the importance of what they want to send. Unfortunately, your perception may be very different than the reality. Does every package or letter really need to be delivered first thing the next morning? You may have the leeway to send an envelope on a two-day, 3 p.m. delivery journey rather than an overnight rush for morning delivery. Costs can quickly and haphazardly add up if, indeed, the sender routinely opts for urgent deliveries.

03. Avoid packaging paralysis. 

The packaging materials you have on hand can influence an office sender’s choice of carriers. The lack of shipping materials may automatically exclude one carrier from the other. On the other hand, the quick availability of shipping materials such as a box or envelope may influence you to avoid hassles and simply use one carrier over another regardless of other factors like cost. And remember, you can use a plain box and label for any of the carriers, so don’t let lack of carrier-specific packaging lead you to make a hasty choice.

04. Beware of the tracking maze. 

It takes time and effort to track a package properly. Office shippers, who typically have many other tasks to manage, may default to using a single shipper just for the simplicity of having only one tracking system to check. For this sender, convenience and ease of tracking drive the carrier choice — not cost savings or other alternatives. 

05. Make time to evaluate cost differences.

Reliable delivery and customer satisfaction are critical, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to costs. That’s why it’s important to avoid making assumptions about which shipper is the lowest cost option. The truth is, many factors go into determining the cost of sending an office document or package — location, delivery time, weight and size, and, of course, carrier. Reviewing rates is the only way to make sure you know which carrier offers the lowest cost for your shipment’s unique combination of factors.

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