How to send your goods to Europe inexpensively
There are various shipping options, for example as a freight consignment, as an express courier consignment or by post.
The shipping option depends primarily on the nature of the goods. How big are they? And how heavy? In addition, customer requirements play a major role.
Is delivery urgent? If yes, a courier service is suitable for this. The latter clears the shipment privately and delivers within one to two days. But beware: This shipping option can be expensive and is often unjustifiable in relation to the goods.
For very heavy cross-border e-commerce consignments (over 30 kg), a freight consignment is best. It uses favourable channels such as sea freight.
Shipping by post: inexpensive, reliable and individual
E-commerce consignments account for a large part of postal export shipments – and these are constantly increasing. The reasons lie in the many advantages of shipping by post.
Among other things, it is inexpensive and reliable. In addition, the majority of global e-commerce consignments are delivered through local postal companies. As a result, postal companies – like Swiss Post – have developed further worldwide. They offer an all-round top service.
But what if a customer is not satisfied with the ordered product or simply does not like it? There is also a solution for this. This is one in which all PUDOs (pick-ups and drop-offs) can be used very simply and practically. Find out more about your returns management here.
You decide how to send your consignments
With its large network and sophisticated infrastructure, Swiss Post is an attractive shipping channel in cross border e-commerce. Use it!
Meanwhile, fewer and fewer letters are being processed in the inexpensive and fast letter channel, but all the more small goods. The focus on e-commerce is clear, which is why postal companies jointly offer inexpensive delivery prices and innovative solutions.
A quick look at Optimizer 4.0 and you know what your mailing costs.
With standard shipping, you decide how fast and at what price your consignments will be forwarded.
If you need to mail fast, select the Priority channel. Most deliveries within Europe can be delivered within two to three working days – this also applies to parcels.
If it is not so urgent, the Economy channel is the right solution for you. This is less expensive than Priority, with delivery times averaging five to seven working days in Europe.
On the following graphic you can see the delivery time expectations of European consumers:
Source: IPC Shopper Survey 2018
Optimize your export costs
The cheapest way to send is clearly via the letter channel. It is used in e-commerce, whether for importing or exporting. You won't find such good value for shipping anywhere else!
To use it, the first thing to do is to distinguish between a letter and a parcel. Nothing simpler than that: small goods up to 2 kg are sent via the letter channel; if heavier, they are sent via the parcel channel.
But when is a small goods consignment considered a letter?
- Dimensions of small goods consignments:
- length+width+height = max. 90 cm, no dimension to exceed 60 cm
- Roles: length+twice diameter = max. 104 cm, length max. 90 cm
- weight in any case max. 2 kg
Important for you: As soon as you send goods, you must know which customs declaration to use. Keep in mind that in the letter channel, consignments are not automatically sent by registered mail.
If you choose standard delivery of the mail, you can send your consignments for CHF 6.00 by registered mail. This ensures that your goods are traceable and insured for up to CHF 150.00.
If your consignments weigh more than 2 kg, they will be shipped as parcels. This is possible worldwide up to a weight of 30 kg. These parcels are automatically insured for up to CHF 1,000.00 and always carry an international consignment number.
These can be tracked in the Track & Trace. The experts are waiting for you here.
Choosing the right and inexpensive packaging when shipping abroad
It is clear that, in contrast to many courier and freight shipments, the weight in the postal channel primarily determines the price. Here’s another tip to save on costs, so you can ship abroad at the best price:
If your shipment weighs less than 2 kg, you can select the packaging so that it does not exceed the maximum dimensions of the maxi letter. Please make sure that you adapt the packaging to the content. Did you know that there are also ecological packaging alternatives? You can find more information on this in our blog about sustainable packaging for your e-commerce operation
Using inner and outer packaging with a seal is ideal. It should be robust and protect the content from impacts and pressure. Care is the mother of china!
The new Packaging Act (VerpackG) has been in force in Germany since 1 January 2019.
Swiss online retailers must therefore register in a packaging register for shipment to Germany. Here’s how it works:
- Activate login
- Register in the packaging register (select industry and product group)
- Register on a dual system
- Data reporting to the central office
Track and trace is a matter of course
If an e-commerce order is sent, it always gets a consignment number which you send to the customer. Customers want to be sure that the order has been processed and the shipment is on its way.
They want to know which carrier it was handed over to, where the parcel is and when it arrived in the country of destination. According to IPC’s Shopper Survey (2018), the “consignment in delivery” scan is the most important for the end customer.
Posting and the time between order and posting are also important factors and can be decisive for customer satisfaction. Tip: consignments are often badly tracked, and customers rightly complain.
The choice of carrier is as important as the chosen shipping option. Swiss Post consignments can of course be tracked via Track & Trace on the Swiss Post website.
Return management is a key factor – no one buys a pig in a poke
Customers who do not have the option to return the ordered goods if they are not satisfied usually cancel the order process Therefore, a simple and convenient return option is essential.
According to the IPC’s Shopper Survey study, most shoppers expect to be able to return products free of charge with a prepared label.
However, if you send your consignment by courier, the handling of returns can quickly become complicated. With the Swiss Post return solution, returns can be handed in at any Swiss Post acceptance point worldwide.
Generally you decide what you want for yourself and your customers. Swiss Post will help you find the perfect solution for you. One that also gives you satisfied customers.