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How to Choose The Right Shipping Method for Your Store?

It’s important to choose the right shipping method for your store. And it’s a first-impression indicator of what type of service you’re equipped to deliver to your customers.

The most of time, store owners need to choose the shipping method that can offer them the best deal which not only includes cost but also involves prompt timing, location, impressive service quality, etc. Choosing the right shipping method means that you can offer the lowest shipping rates possible, still cover your costs, and offer the options your customers want.

This article will introduce what you should consider when choosing a shipping method. Some of the pros and cons of the most common shipping methods will be listed to instruct you to choose the shipping method that is most suitable for your business.

Factors to Consider

1. Type of Products

The first factor you need to consider is what type of product you will be selling. You should consider the sizing and weight of your products. What’s the difference in size and weight from your smallest, lightest SKUs to your largest, heaviest SKUs? And you should carefully examine the size and weight restrictions, shapes, and offered services when reviewing different shipping methods.

Some shipping methods may not be shipping very expensive or fragile items. And some may have certain restrictions like UPS have a weight limit of 150lbs (68kg) and shipping restrictions for products of certain sizes. Shipping large products that exceed the weight and size limit of certain shipping methods are subject to additional charges or special pricing.

2. Destination

If you plan to ship products both nationally and internationally, your store will need to incorporate both international and local shipping methods. It’s a necessity to combine both international and national shipping methods to ensure your packages can make it to your desired destination on time.

3. Time

It’s important for you to review the expected time of delivery from local and international shipping methods. Humans like specific and certain facts, even some orders can take time to arrive. Your customer needs to know when to expect their package and have it delivered to them fast.

For local shipment, you may include same-day shipping at a slightly more expensive rate to present your customers with the convenience of additional options. And for international shipments, you may be looking at a period of three days to two weeks, depending on the countries and shipping methods involved.

4. Cost

The shipping cost is mainly associated with the destination and the weight and the sizes of products. Product attributes will also influence shipping costs because they share different shipping lines. For the same product to the same destination, the shipping method will have a decisive effect on cost.

If you want to offer free shipping, the shipping cost will be especially crucial for computing profits and potential losses. It is necessary to find the right shipping method that provides services at a favorable price so that you can offer your customers the best shipping rates which will also secure their trust and loyalty.

5. Reputation

You can research the shipping method’s tracking record to see if it has a good reputation and can rely on it. In case you choose a shipping carrier based on their cheap rates alone, but end up in deep waters where an item gets lost or delivery is delayed. Conduct a background check by reading FAQs and user reviews to learn which shipping methods have the least history of losing items and delaying packages. You can also find out additional benefits it offers and what other users think about it.

6. Tracking Services

It’s a remarkable sign to choose a shipping method with remarkable tracking services. Most reputable shipping companies have a website where customers can use the tracking numbers to check on the package’s delivery status including sent out, already delivered, on the way, or have been delayed as well as the current locations of the packages, so then customers can track packages on their own. This will also allow you to monitor the delivery status of your orders and easily coordinate with customers if a shipping or delivery concern arises.

7. Insurance

If insurance is an essential shipping feature for your store and products, take some time to compare shopping methods to find one that offers an affordable rate. The insurance generally doesn’t cost much but will bring peace of mind to both merchants and customers.

8. Resend Service

Many people believe it is compulsory for a logistics company to provide free resend service when parcels get undelivered. However, for most courier companies, resend is just an additional or volunteering service. Because resending orders will not only take an extra labor fee, it is also time-consuming for local shipping stations to process.

Thus, some shipping companies are not willing to provide resend services for the undelivered or wrongly delivered packages. Some shipping companies will only provide resend service after you paid a resend shipping fee.

Since international orders can easily get undelivered because of various address issues, it is advised to check if the shipping method you choose has got resend service available.

The Most Common Shipping Methods

1. ePacket

ePacket was a popular shipping method to ship items that are under 2 kilograms from China conveniently. It can ship to 35 countries in the world and must originate in China. The price for the parcel will depend on the weight of the item and the destination the item shipped to. Usually, the price of ePacket is cheaper than other shipping methods

The shipping time of ePacket was generally faster than most other methods originating from China. However, the service of ePacket has changed a lot in recent years. For now, the shipping time of ePacket varies from 15-50 days all over the world.

The tracking information is available but often not constant. Because it is a Postal Service that can be affected by many political factors such as postal strikes and postal treaties. So there are often variables depending on where the package is sent.

Due to the global pandemic influence in 2022, for now, both Aliexpress and CJ packet have temporarily stopped using ePacket since its shipping time of it has decreased significantly.

2. CJPacket

CJPacket is also a popular shipping method provided by CJ dropshipping. It is good for shipping small items from China, and it can ship to most countries and regions all around the world.

The most of time, CJPacket is economic and fast. Depending on the specific product attribute, you can also choose CJPacket ordinary or CJPacket sensitive accordingly. The shipping time of CJPacket usually varies from 10-18 regular days, sometimes it can achieve 6-12 days shipping time to some countries in the EU.

The logistic tracking information of CJPacket is constant and usually updates 2-3 days after order dispatch from origin. One thing you need to know about CJPacket is it normally has 2 tracking numbers. This is because the tracking number of the origin country and tracking number of the destination country are separated since final delivery is always arranged by local post.

So if you wish to see specific tracking updates, it’s better to pay attention to the local tracking numbers.

3. China Post

China Post is China’s Official Postal Service and is tied in with China EMS. It is a very common delivery service due to the fact that it is often the cheapest for the shipper, especially for companies who offer free shipping.

If you’re in China and speak Mandarin, it might actually be a good solution for you. And you can track packages online and call a help number to speak to a live person.

However, it is bad to ship internationally for it offers no help in English which makes it difficult to inquire about a package. And China Post will switch packages to a different carrier once it leaves China which causes even further confusion about where the package actually is. And it is often incredibly slow that customers receive their packages in 4 weeks, even 8 weeks.

4. AliExpress Standard Shipping 

AliExpress S Service is typically free if you choose AliExpress to ship your order. In some cases, the site may charge customers $1-$5 to use the service. A customer can pay $8-$10 extra to have the package get to their home as quickly as possible. It offers the customer the option to track the package and is fairly accurate.

The problem with AliExpress standard shipping is it often uses several shipping services including Singapore Post,  Posti Finland, Correos, DHL, Direct Link, and SPSR instead of one standard shipment service which makes the shipping time vary significantly.

Sometimes the packages can be delivered in 15 business days, but sometimes can even take 6 weeks. Still, the tracking number of AliExpress standard shipping does have constant tracking updates.

5. DHL

DHL is a unique german logistics company that specializes in international shipping, courier services, and transportation. Compares to other shipping methods, DHL is obviously faster. The current shipping time of DHL is 4-12 days, and it can be even faster if there is no pandemic influence. During the shipping, updates of tracking information is really fast and constant for DHL orders.

Besides, DHL can almost ship everything. Even though the products may have rare attributes that most shipping methods are not available to select, DHL can still ship them.

Along with the fast shipping time and wide applicability, the cost of DHL is also really expensive in the industry. The shipping fee of DHL sometimes can be times higher than CJPacket. So most people just choose this shipping method when they got emergent orders.

In addition, DHL has a more strict oversize policy than other shipping methods. When a parcel is identified as oversized by DHL, the shipping fee will be incredibly higher than you expected.

7. EMS

EMS is one of the classic shipping methods that covers most areas all over the world. The shipping time of EMS varies depending on the specific destination country, it normally varies from 15-35 days.

The shipping fee of EMS is also not considered as cheap and sometimes it’s even higher than DHL for international parcels. However, one good thing about this shipping method is it can carry any large item under 3kg.

So you can choose it when you got large items to ship, EMS also got constant and trustworthy tracking updates. Still, since it’s a company owned by nations, so sometimes we can’t expect it can provide great customer service.

Explore More

In this article, we just listed several most common shipping methods above. There are still many good shipping methods that you can choose from. You can check them on our free shipping calculator to see the real-time shipping fee for all kinds of products from world to world.