If you have been asked by your boss, or you’re the boss and need to pick a good courier company to work with, here are some tips to ensure that you end up with a reliable and trusted courier company.
Step 1: Research and see who they’ve served before. Do they have any reviews on their websites or Facebook page or anything like that? Do they have a portfolio of past clients on their website e.t.c.? It’ll be good if they have and that will help you out a fair bit. In the event that they don’t, move on to step 2.
Step 2: Email them or call them. Are they responsive? The best courier firms in Singapore and the world are those which are very responsive to customers and potential customers like you. A good and reliable courier company will always have a prompt customer service support channel. Make sure that whichever company you’re thinking of working with has that. The worse thing that can ever happen when working with a courier company for your courier needs is an unresponsive company. Good luck dealing with that. Make sure that customer service support is at their priority, not driving prices down only for you!
Step 3: Most often, items which are couriered are important and urgent ones, otherwise, you might as well simply wait for your friend or colleague to pick up the items or mail it to them via snail mail. This is why you must work with a trusted courier company which is highly accountable and responsible. How do you know this? By checking step 2 and making sure that the courier firm is always transparent in their work with you. Even if a mess up happens, which may happen in certain circumstances, you need to know an honest answer from them, and not a lie. Lying is a big no-no when it comes to business relationships, or any relationships for that matter alone.
Step 4: Try them out. You never know if a courier company is good or bad until you try them out. Some sounds cheap on paper, but are terrible in service. Others sound reasonable in prices but are great in service like PCA Masters (eg https://www.facebook.com/pcamasterspteltd/). Whatever it is, do not commit to huge amounts of regular deliveries unless they’ve proven themselves (e.g. either through reviews and/or strong brand and/or performed deliveries satisfactorily for you before).
Hopefully with the above tips, you would find picking the right courier company for your company a much easier decision.
Although I seriously recommend you to plan out all your deliveries at least one week in advance so that you can arrange your internal company’s logistics as well as re-ordering, invoicing e.t.c., there may just be accidental occasions where you would need that last minute delivery to be made. In such a situation, feel free to contact PCAMasters… one of the rare few companies which offer deliveries last minute also.. quite useful, do check them out if you need a last minute delivery in Singapore.
Here are however notes you must have:
- When it comes to last minute deliveries, even top companies like Regent and PCA Masters also have their limit.. You can’t expect a person to deliver your goods in less than 30 minutes unless they happen to be on the way and the recipient is nearby. This is because if you were to deliver your goods across Singapore, the courier or otherwise rider / driver will need to travel to your place to have the item picked up. After which, they would then need to navigate in traffic to reach the destination. If your pick up and drop off points are far apart locations e.g. Changi Airport to Tuas, then it would take closer to 1-2 hours – that is also the reason why last minute deliveries are classified as between 1-2 hours in virtually every single case…
- Some companies have cut-off deliveries for last minute or urgent delivery. This is normal and usually the case is approximately around 2 or 4pm. Of course, you can always last minute deliver at 6pm if you are prepared to fork out a lot more money. This is also because night deliveries (usually classified as anything that can only be collected/received after 6pm and to be delivered during the night) is usually much more expensive with a surcharge. But that’s reasonable.
Here are some of the most important things that you must note down when it comes to getting courier services for your business.
- Always work with a reliable courier firm that is responsive to your enquiries and anything related to deliveries or troubleshooting. The sheer importance of this cannot be overstated. This is because as a business, there will definitely be many times where you would be experiencing urgent deliveries for your customers and you want your courier to pick up their phone or at least reply your messages when you contact them so that you know what is the status and just so in case there needs to be any last minute changes as well. I have worked with slow courier companies (in terms of response rate) and it was super frustrating to say the least.
- Try to pick services from companies who have a website. Why is this the case? This is the year 2015 and if the courier company doesn’t even have a basic website, that probably shows that the company doesn’t care about updating itself and its processes. Tells a lot of bad things about their couriers too! (They probably don’t bother upgrading their efficiency e.t.c…. remember.. values carry over to many parts of their lives and businesses).
- Work with a company that actually wants to share and be transparent with you. If a company is not transparent with you, chances are, they will cheat you later on any way. It is important to establish an open relationship built on trust and contracts (if required) so that there would be long term synergies and no doubts between both companies / parties in the long-term. The last thing you want is to work with a shady company whose practices e.t.c. is so unclear.
- Ensure that the couriers always bring a friendly / amiable attitude with them. Doesn’t really matter, but at least it helps give your customers a potential smile on the face when they collect your product(s) from a friendly guy or girl!
As a business who needs to get goods or letters delivered to your customers on a frequent basis, you must have considered hiring deliverymen of some sort (either in house or outsourced) or you would be unable to indefinitely grow your business as you only have 24 hours in a day and you need to spend some of your time working on marketing and growing your business rather than just delivering your goods.
However, in Singapore, there are many choices for you and some of you business owners may be spoilt for choice – should you pick private courier companies or should you pick the state-owned SingPost.
Let me list out the pros and cons of each of them.
Pros of private couriers:
– Generally cheaper
– Able to customize to your requirements (e.g. they are much more flexible when it comes to pick up timings e.t.c.)
– Offer lots of variety in levels of services (e.g. weekends, public holidays e.t.c. as long as you can work out a suitable deal with them)
– If there is anything, you can easily liaise with their boss as they generally have less than 50 admin staff.
– They can pick stuff up from your company.
Cons of private couriers:
– Not all of them are as efficient and effective. You need to know how to look for one with a good track record in business.
– Some of them do not have transparency in their pricing!
Pros of SingPost:
– Everyone has heard of it.
– Easy to contact as there are many branches in Singapore.
Cons of SingPost:
– Very strict rules and they are not willing to bend for any business owner – you either take their rates and terms and conditions or you leave.
– Need to go down to a branch to deliver your goods (usually the case).
As you can tell, working with SingPost if good for your business if you have very straightforward deliveries with no hassles. In fact, I would recommend you to go with SingPost if that’s the situation with your company. However, if you are an E-commerce company or you simply prefer freedom, then certainly pick private courier companies in Singapore instead.
If you have not already known, it is the age of the Internet! Therefore, there are lots of businesses in Singapore (other than yours) which are also constantly selling without a physical retail location – for example through an E-commerce website.
For these E-commerce businesses, because there is usually only a warehouse (or some businesses may even be operated from their homes), they offer deliveries to their customers for their goods. However, for the people who are first time entrepreneurs or whom have been delivering their own goods thus far until the E-commerce delivery volumes are now too high, here are some tips to help you get good dispatch services for e-commerce deliveries in Singapore.
There is always discount for bulk deliveries. However, there are many ways in which different courier companies in Singapore will define this.
First of all, a courier company may define bulk deliveries as a high volume of deliveries in generally no matter where the pick up and receiving end is.
Secondly, another courier company may define bulk deliveries as picking up a large amount of goods all in one day and then delivering at other timings.
You want to make sure that for your business, you go for courier companies which define high volume deliveries as the second one and gives you discount based on that one. This is because as a E-commerce business owner, by working with a courier company like the second one, you would be able to reap many benefits and much more discounts. In the long term, these discounts will add up to give you a much higher profit margin!
Also, do note that for E-commerce deliveries, do not be too excited or lured wrongly by cheap prices based on letter deliveries. E-commerce deliveries are almost always classified under parcels and hence you would be quoted a different price. If you don’t tell this to your intended future service provider, they may quote you the wrong prices and give you unnecessary false hope.
Here are some of the most important things you might want to note down if you need to get your parcel(s) delivered within Singapore. Some of them have to do with the different levels of services that couriers usually provide for local deliveries within the island of Singapore and the other points got to do with the prices.
First of all, most courier companies charge different pricing levels when it comes to parcels or boxes. This is because they are definitely considered bulky, and are not suited for motorcycles to transport around. Hence, only car drivers or van deliverymen are able to transport these goods. Because these drivers’ costs are also higher, they demand for more salary and thus the courier companies would need to pass you some costs too or they may not even break-even.
However, did you also know that even for parcel deliveries, there are different costs for different sizes and weight? Yes, they differentiate into weight and dimensions.
So basically, if your parcel is really bulky, e.g. the height + width + breadth is more than 1.5m, you generally need to pay a lot more – because sometimes even a car cannot fit that in.
Also, if your goods / parcel is relatively small or normal sized but extremely heavy (e.g. you may be delivering weights), then it can cost you quite a lot but that is just what you need to accept to deliver these goods. This is also the case with international courier companies like Fedex and DHL.
Another special thing you may want to note when it comes to parcel deliveries is that for business owners who sell or need to deliver such goods on a regular basis, you should instead go for a long-term contract with a reliable courier company instead. This is because doing so would be able to help you lower your costs truly significantly. Sometimes, courier companies like PCA Masters will waive your inner and outer outskirts fees and that is potentially a lot of good and decent sized savings which will go a long way in improving your profit margins for your business.
With globalization, came rapid advancement of technology. As such, technology has quickly permeated into every part of our daily lives. This means that technology has also disrupted many business industries worldwide, even in tiny cities like Singapore.
This means that if you are not leveraging on technology for your business operations, then what are you doing? You’re living in the 21st freaking century! Not the 19th! Stop living and acting like it was 10 years ago or 20 years ago. It is the technology and Internet age and will be so for the long foreseeable future. Technology has improved lives of people, and if you leverage it right, it will help your logistics too!
Here’s how tech can save your business from oblivion.
There are many businesses which actually rely on paper and pen for many things – including purchases e.t.c. Bad idea. If you only rely on that, you’ll never make it for the next 10 years. Your business is doomed. Start integrating tech into your business. For instance, invest in a good accounting software – there are many affordable ones with great capabilities and functions.
Likewise, when it comes to logistics and deliveries, either make use of technology such as mobile applications or smartphones to communicate with each other. If you can’t use that, your costs will remain sky high, your prices sky high, fewer customers buy from you and your profit margins lower too. You either need to integrate tech into your business right away or outsource it to a delivery company which is capable of using that. PCA Masters and other such top courier companies in Singapore are very good at utilizing tech for their business and that is also the reason why they are able to lower their costs and provide you (E-commerce or delivery businesses) great prices which you can then pass forward as savings to your customers and / or enjoy as profits. Isn’t that a wondrous idea? Always leverage what you have to your advantage – don’t look down on the new things. It’s change that’s constant – adapt to it or risk losing your business overnight.
Profit margins are always something which is on the minds of business owners in Singapore and worldwide.
One of the biggest issues when it comes to profit margins (especially if the business owners wish to absorb the cost of deliveries) is for E-commerce businesses. It is already not easy to make a lot of money through E-commerce (it may sound easy but competition is truly tough for most niches in Singapore).
Therefore, most business owners would gladly prefer not having the need to worry about their profit margins getting eaten away by greedy logistics or delivery companies!
Here is a good way to significantly lower your E-commerce business deliveries costs. First of all, you must definitely work with a good Singapore courier company. That is essential and an absolute given.
Next, you should try to incorporate free delivery or absorb the cost of the delivery only if the customer orders above a certain amount of items. This will allow you to have more than enough profit margins to absorb these costs. If you try to give them free deliveries no matter what, unless you have sufficient cash in the bank to burn through, you would not be able to sustain such growth for long (the exception being unless your customers all order many items each time or your profit margin per item is huge).
Next of all, for your long term benefit, you should not only look at the current charges of a courier company. You should instead know and focus on growing your business and hence amount of deliveries. This is because with higher volumes, delivery charges per item is usually significantly cheaper. Hence, always work with a company which allows for you to scale easily rather than one which charges cheaply now, but whose prices are pretty much the same / constant regardless of volume!