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Shipping Food or Beverages Direct to Consumer? 2 Things You Must Know.

by Mike DeFabis on 2015-02-11 11:41:48

Shipping perishable products such as food and beverage items direct to consumer can be tricky, but if done correctly, it can lead to a very profitable business.  The ultimate goal is to be able to ship your product to the customer quickly without the product spoiling and at a cost that the customer is willing to pay.  This blog will give you some tips and tricks on how to lower your transit times and interesting packaging ideas to help prevent your perishable product from arriving to the customer spoiled.

perishable_foodTransit Time

One of the most important factors when shipping an item that is perishable is the transit time.  Depending on how quickly the product might spoil or melt will determine how quickly you will need to ship the product.  The easy answer is to ship your product via an expedited service such as next day or 2 day, but this can become extremely costly and discourage many consumers from purchasing.  Look at different options and formulate shipping metrics that will optimize how quickly the product arrives.  For orders that are within a 1 to 2 day ground transit time, avoid shipping those via an expedited service.  USPS Priority Mail, which is not necessarily an expedited service, will fly packages to higher zones with the promise of a 3 day transit anywhere in the continental US.

Companies like Candy Club, utilizes multiple ecommerce order fulfillment warehouses throughout the US to get closer to the customer.  While having multiple distibution centers can seem complicated on the overall supply chain, especially while having increased inventory levels, if done correctly, it will help you avoid having to send expedited shipments.

Knowing how to ship your products during certain times of the year can also be helpful.  Companies like Dove Chocolate ship expedited during the warmer months. Then, during the winter months, will ship via a standard ground service. dove-chocolate-discoveries

Packaging

Designing the appropriate packaging can help food last longer and avoid spoiling.  For Blue Apron, they are insulating the box with a cooler to help the product last longer and stay colder longer during transit.  Another great option is to insert frozen gel packets to help keep the product cool. Designing the right box and lining can get rather pricy, so make sure you get several quotes and talk with other companies in similar industries to see how they are keeping costs down.  Customizing the package to keep food longer will ultimately help keep your customers happy and allow you a couple more days of transit time.

Getting your perishable product to your customer as cost-effectively as possible, in the shortest transit time possible, along with proper packaging of your product, will get you to your ultimate goal of providing the best service to your customer, allowing you to continue growing your business.

To learn more about IDS’ multiple distribution point strategy and customized kitting and packaging capabilities, contact us today!

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