One of the most important aspects that will make or break your e-commerce is logistics. It’s the first physical experience between your product and your buyer. Word-of-mouth goes around and it will truly affect your brand. Either you will win it, or lose it.
Since logistics is important, then the next question is, how do you choose the right courier service for your brand?
Generally, there are three types of courier services:
- Domestic shipping
- International shipping
In Malaysia, majority domestic delivery within Malaysia uses Poslaju (National Courier), GDex, ABX Express, Ninjavan, Citylink, Nationwide. There are many other foreign courier companies that support Malaysia domestic, including DHL and Fedex. Typically, these express courier services offer 1-3 working days delivery within West Malaysia and 2-5 working days from West Malaysia to East Malaysia.
This refers to the shipping from Malaysia to another country. The most common courier companies that support international shipping are DHL, Fedex, Pos Malaysia (many different services) and Aramex. Within these recent years, domestic shipping companies like ABX Express and Ninjavan have started to also pick up the trend to support international shipping too.
Generally, each of the courier company have a different focus and strength, depends on which country are you shipping too, choose wisely and it will save you tons of shipping cost. For international shipping, always also study on the duty and taxation issue as it can be higher than 40% for some countries.
On-Demand (Same Day) Shipping
Expectation is growing everyday. And now, there are times that buyers need a product so urgently that they can only wait for several hours. For now, the most common use case is for food and grocery delivery. Buyers are experiencing it from popular apps, including GrabFood, FoodPanda and DeliverEat.
Apart from food delivery, there are several on-demand shipping companies, including GoGet and Pickupp that can support same-day delivery, as fast as 4 hours. The drawback is that it depends on jobs pick up from individuals and/or riders, which is not guaranteed.
When choosing the right one for your business, there are a few things you need to consider:
You might have different strategy for your e-commerce venture at different times. Hence, it’s important to choose a courier service that has a a sufficient geographical coverage that support your needs. As different courier services have a different strength in different shipping destination, always go through the options thoroughly. The followings are some recommendations:
- Malaysia – Klang Valley (Same Day): GoGet and Pickupp
- Malaysia – Domestically: Poslaju, Gdex, Ninjavan, SkyNet, ABX, DHL
- Malaysia – Singapore: Ninjavan
- Malaysia – Australia, United States, Middle East: Aramex
- Malaysia – South East Asia (neighboring countries), lightweight (below 2KG), non-dangerous, non-prohibited: Flexipack (POS Malaysia)
- Malaysia – worldwide, lightweight (below 2KG), non-dangerous, non-prohibited: Flexipack (POS Malaysia)
- Malaysia – worldwide, heavyweight: DHL
For all delivery, speed is always crucial. If you intend to send an item within a few hours or the same day, on demand delivery is certainly the one for you. However, apart from food and grocery that need immediate handling, based on the infrastructure and network in Malaysia, it’s highly recommend that choose next-day delivery instead of same-day delivery. The reason behind is because for majority of on-demand delivery, it’s not 100% guaranteed pick-up and many uncontrollable factors, including distance, weather and traffic. Having the mindset to provide outstanding fast delivery is superb but you do not want to disappoint the buyers too!
For internal shipping, there are multiple approaches too, including express delivery which can be made between 3-7 working days worldwide and slower delivery which can range from 14-60 days of delivery. The faster international delivery is pricy but the slow delivery may be unbearable too.
Size and weight
Different courier services will provide different size and weight limitations. Some may focus on large-sized deliveries while some will focus on more lightweight items. Hence, you need to compare restrictions between different courier services based on the accurate weight and measurement of your items.
There are basically two types of calculations, which are:
- Actual weight (KG): This is the weight whereby you put it on a weighing machine and the shown figure is the actual weight.
- Dimension weight (KG): This is calculated by Width (cm) x Height (cm) x Length (cm) / Divider. The divider can be different for different courier company. The standard divider is usually 5000, there are some competitive courier companies are offering 6000. And, if your volume is promising enough, you can negotiate for divider more than 6000. So, a packed parcel with the following dimension: 40cm x 20cm x 10cm; the dimension weight (KG) is: 40 x 20 x 10 / 5000 = 1.6KG
Note: For courier companies, the chargeable weight is either actual weight or dimension weight, whichever is higher.
These are some facts for parcel size and weight:
- Normally, domestic courier companies can take up to 20KG for per parcel. Some courier companies can also support up to 30KG.
- On-demand delivery is the delivery service which come with high requirement for size dimension, usually must not exceed the size limitation that can be carried by a motorbike rider and a car boot.
- Not recommended to have multiple parcels under the same airway bill. For example, if you have 6 boxes to the same consignee, it’s recommended that you either book a lorry to ship it out or use 6 airway bill with different tracking number for each. Otherwise, it will have a higher chance of lost parcel during the transit.
Service Level and Cost
Careful planning can save you plenty of cost. But also always remember; cheapest does not necessarily mean the best option as it may be compromised the quality. In fact, it all depends to what’s your business needs and how suitable the courier services to your expectations. On-demand same day delivery is the most pricing among domestic shipping and restricted by dimension that each trip can take up.
To serve as a general guidance:
- Domestic shipping, lightweight (below 1KG): Poslaju
- Domestic shipping, heavier weight (below 3KG): Ninjavan and Citylink
- On-demand: Pickupp, GoGet and Zoom, usually calculated by KM (kilometer) that the riders are traveling.
In term of easiness in system integration, Ninjavan, DHL and Zoom are fairly convenient and can be completed within 3 days. Other courier services, it’s safer to set a time buffer from 1 week to 1 months.
AllSome Fulfillment provides cross border e-commerce fulfillment for growing brands. Contact us today to know more how to choose the right courier services for your brand.