Being in the business of building larger goods, people often ask how we ship our products. While we have regional distributors in Northern Canada who stock our products and sell to their communities, the remainder of our sales are to our customers who contact us and buy direct from the shop. For many individuals looking to navigate the options of shipping to Southern Canada or in the US it can be daunting and usually expensive. Most attentively we have been at it for nearly 20 years and we have established great relationships with our shippers to make the experience cost efficient and convenient for our clients!
For our smaller items we can ship to the customer with FedEx Ground or UPS. We also have had to get creative for overseas sales, which is an entirely different process that we won’t outline in today’s thread. However, most of the larger toboggans and sleds have to be shipped by LTL truck (less than truckload) throughout Southern Canada and the US. This can be quite expensive and daunting for someone who has never done it before, and especially without some kind of “in” or arrangements within the shipping industry. What are the measurements? Weight? Are you able to complete the Bill of Lading and make the arrangements for the goods to be picked up? Etc… Like anything, if you’re not familiar it can be a lot.
It is part of the process to serve our customer to establish a good working arrangement with the shippers. We use two trucking companies, one in Canada and the other in the US. Considering the size of our company I believe we have achieved some solid discounts with each of these shippers and pass these on to our customers. Without these discounts shipping costs would greatly discourage sales to the individual customer.
PROCESS AND COMMUNICATION:
It would certainly be less effort for us to come up with a flat shipping rate schedule, however in every study that we’ve done the cost of shipping to the customer would be higher. What has worked the best for the larger goods is with the personal touch of communicating with our customer by phone or email. Once the goods are selected and the destination or destination options are learned, we have programs with the trucking companies to quickly run the options for the particular shipment and get firm rate quotes. We then communicate with the customer again and their preferences are selected.
Logistics can certainly seem a bit cumbersome at face value, but experience and relationships ensure that things go smoothly and the communications most often are enjoyable and quite positive. I believe this process has personalized our business with our customers as much as anything we do. We have enjoyed remarkable success shipping our products in both countries at what we feel are the lowest possible costs. These rates would not be possible in most cases without our commitment to customer service.