Implementing the proper shipping procedures for your eCommerce business is essential to improving your logistics strategy and streamlining your expenses. It allows you to focus on essential tasks that save more time and money in the long run, rather than making meticulous and time-consuming fixes. Implementing an automated warehouse management software and partnering with a shipping carrier/3PL are vital steps you can take to move closer to your goals and increase the efficiency of your business. There is no one size fits all approach for shipping procedures, so finding the right mix that works for you is imperative. As a result, let’s dive into some shipping categories and optimization techniques. 

What are warehouse shipping procedures?

Warehouse shipping operations involve ordering and transporting items from a warehouse to the final destination. In most cases, DTC warehouse shipping procedures often fall under two categories — small parcel shipping and freight shipping. 

Many eCommerce retail businesses often rely on freight shipping to receive inventory from foreign suppliers worldwide. Airfreight can be a costly expense, so most brands end up falling back on maritime transport. While maritime shipping and transportation include dry bulk shipping, short sea shipping, and tramp shipping, most brands use container shipping to carry bulk amounts of product across large oceans to merchants placing the order. On the other side, small parcel shipping refers to sending small individual packages through a shipping carrier. In both cases, precise shipping operations involve executing a complex series of processes so that items reach customers in good condition and on time. 

Categories of shipping operations

Generally, warehouse shipping procedures involve the following steps: 

Order Receiving: This first step in the procedure involves receiving merchandise that arrives at a warehouse location. More specially, it requires carefully accepting and logging items by SKU into a warehouse management software, automatically updating product and inventory levels in real-time so that merchants can move on to the next stage of the process ad quickly as possible. 

Order Processing: After an order is received, it moves into the processing stage, where customer information is verified to help increase the accuracy of the fulfillment process. Utilizing automated order processing tools through your eCommerce platform gives you the peace of mind that the correct order is in transit to the right customer with complete transparency along the entire process. 

Order Fulfillment: After receiving and processing comes order fulfillment. This involves a team assigned to pick, pack, and prepare orders for shipping. Each unit or item retrieved is automatically scanned from the inventory container or storage space so inventory counts can be updated. This delivers transparent and accurate stock levels for the business owners, merchants, and customers, all in real-time. 

Order Shipping: The last step in your warehouse shipping procedures involves packing and shipping products to end customers. As each unit is picked and scanned from an inventory container or storage space, total counts automatically update in real-time. A Custom Warehouse Management software that automatically assigns similar orders with inventory in the same warehouse locations can significantly reduce the number of steps required to pick orders. Once updated, products are carefully packaged, either using custom or standard packaging materials. Precise packing and shipping increase the speed and accuracy of order fulfillment while keeping customers happy and in the loop.  

How to optimize your shipping procedures?

Use automated warehouse management software.

Warehouse automation focuses on optimizing or eliminating manual processes or tasks necessary to running an eCommerce store. This can be done using programmed workflows, automated software, and app integrations. At Drive Fulfillment, our new and improved Warehouse Management Software (WMS), Driveline powered by Deposco, helps solve specific logistical challenges, improve processes and create a ripple effect of efficiencies across the entire value chain. A transparent look inside and access to inventory management, receiving/ASN, changes and cancellations to orders, and detailed reports can streamline your shipping and retail procedures and be the key to success in driving a brand experience that you and your customers are happily satisfied with.  

worker scanning product

We believe that a reliable and efficient fulfillment partner can make a world of difference in supporting comprehensive supply chain solutions. Avoiding bulky overhead costs and inventory discrepancies through our improved capabilities is vital in proactively guiding an accurate and transparent fulfillment operation. At Drive Fulfillment, we take the time to listen and understand every one of our client’s needs, giving you the peace of mind that every item and piece of merchandise is meticulously followed and accounted for from A to Z. 

Increase automation

Catering to an onslaught of customer needs can be an extensive and time-consuming process. Replacing costly and time-consuming manual warehouse processes with procedures like automated Kitting and Assembly fulfillment saves you valuable time and money by pairing and packaging product components or items for shipment in the most organized and efficient way possible. This ensures that products and the proper components are all grouped and packed together, quickly delivered in the expected and desired fashion. At Drive Fulfillment, our client engagement specialists work with meticulous care to ensure your items are assembled according to precise specifications. we make it easy to stay ahead of your competitors with decades of eCommerce fulfillment experience, innovative technology, and extensive warehouse automation capabilities.

Find the right shipping carrier and eCommerce platform for you.

As an eCommerce business owner or merchant, it’s vital to understand the intricacies of your supply chain, online marketplace, and shipping courier relationships. Customers have high expectations and expect quick and clear shipping solutions. An expert opinion or partnership with a 3PL or Fulfillment Partner can keep those customers happy and save you time and money spent trying to configure a system that works both efficiently and effectively for you. At Drive, discounted shipping rates with major couriers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL, plus a team of fulfillment and eCommerce specialists help you chase down success at all costs. 

Strategically spread your inventory.

It’s not uncommon to have a global spread of customers, which means strategically placing your inventory in multiple warehouse locations instead of a single to improve efficiency and shipping speeds. Placing products close to your customers lower shipping costs and enhances delivery lead times. At Drive Fulfillment, we have decades of experience shipping to over 106 countries worldwide. No matter where your customers are we are here to help you scale your business globally. 

For more information on fulfillment capabilities, eCommerce shipping procedures, or to explore our Utah-based full-service marketing and fulfillment center, get in touch and contact us today.