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With the e-commerce boom, particularly amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, shipping has become the backbone of many businesses, especially in the MSME sector. According to recent data, e-commerce in India is expected to reach USD 200 billion by 2026. For Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that have shifted part or all of their business online, shipping has become more critical than ever.
With such rapid growth comes the need for efficient, fast, and reliable shipping or logistics services. One term you might have frequently come across is “expedited shipping.” Let us help you better understand the meaning of expedited shipping, how it affects your shipping times and tracking capabilities.
What does expedited shipping mean?
Expedited shipping is a logistics term that refers to a faster-than-standard transportation service. It ensures that your package gets from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible. Unlike standard shipping, which can take days or even weeks depending on the distance. Further, it aims to get your package to the destination in the minimum time possible.
Ship time: What to expect?
Expedited shipping doesn’t have a “one-size-fits-all” timeframe. However, it is notably faster than standard shipping methods. Here’s a general idea:
- Domestic shipments: 1-3 days
- International shipments: 3-5 days
Note: It is important to consider that weekends, holidays, and unforeseen circumstances such as weather conditions may affect the shipping times.
Expedited shipping vs. other fulfilment options
It’s important to weigh your options when it comes to shipping. Here’s a quick look at how it stacks up against other fulfilment methods:
- Standard shipping
Time: Usually, 5-10 days
Best for: Non-urgent shipments
- Same day Delivery
Time: Within 24 hours
Cost: Premium rates
Best for: Extremely urgent shipments
- Drop shipping
Cost: No storage cost
Best for: Businesses that don’t want to hold inventory
- Expedited shipping
Time: 1-3 days domestically, 3-5 internationally
Cost: Higher than standard but less than same day delivery
Best for: Time-sensitive but not extremely urgent shipments
How to track an expedited shipment
Tracking expedited shipment is same as tracking other shipments. And most shipping providers offer robust tracking systems that can be accessed via their website or a dedicated mobile app.
Usually, these are the steps to follow for shipment tracking:
- When you book an expedited shipment with a courier service such as Delhivery, Blue Dart, DTDC, Gati, FedEx India, or any other provider, you will be given a tracking number. Make sure to keep it safe.
- Navigate to the website of the courier service you’re using or download their mobile app as per your convenience. Mostly all the courier services have a ‘Track’ or ‘Track Your Shipment’ option prominently displayed on their homepage.
- Enter the tracking number that you received in the designated field and click on ‘Submit.’
- Now you’ll be redirected to a page that shows the current status of your shipment, along with other details such as the shipment’s point of origin, its estimated time of arrival, and its last known location.
Besides, some companies also offer the option of receiving tracking updates via SMS or email. That is particularly useful for expedited shipments that need to reach their destination in a short time frame.
Advantages of expedited shipping to MSME owners in India
If you’re in the business of selling products, whether B2B or B2C, expedited shipping can be a significant advantage. So, you must consider offering this type of shipping as an option, even if at a higher price, to meet the demands of different customer segments.
Some of its advantages include:
- Customer satisfaction
Speedy and reliable delivery can significantly enhance customer satisfaction, leading to repeat business and positive reviews.
- Competitive advantage
Offering his type of shipping can set you apart from competitors who only provide standard shipping options.
- Adapting to market conditions
In these uncertain times, flexibility in logistics can be your safety net. And providing this shipping allows you to adapt quickly to market changes and customer preferences.
- Reduces inventory cost
Faster shipping times can help reduce inventory carrying costs, as goods spend less time in storage before reaching their destination.
- Just-in-time manufacturing
For MSMEs involved in manufacturing, it allows for just-in-time manufacturing strategies, reducing the need for large inventories and leading to more efficient operations.
Final thoughts: Is expedited shipping for you?
Expedited shipping is more than just a buzzword in the logistics industry; it’s a crucial service that can significantly impact your business and customer satisfaction. Therefore, understanding the ins and outs of this type of shipping can give your business a competitive edge. And deciding whether it is the right choice for your MSME involves weighing its advantages against the cost and considering how it aligns with your business objectives. It involves various factors—urgency, budget, and customer expectations.