Ecommerce Order Fulfillment

What does pre-shipment mean? Insights & Expert Tips

Ngoc Lee
What does pre-shipment mean? Insights & Expert Tips
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Understanding the intricacies of pre-shipment is crucial for any merchant or shipper aiming to streamline their logistics and enhance customer satisfaction. "What does pre-shipment mean?" is a common question among those new to the shipping or eCommerce industry.

In this article, we will delve into the definition of pre-shipment, exploring its significance and the processes involved. Additionally, we will address the frequent query, "how long does pre shipment take?" by examining the factors that influence its duration.

To help you optimize this stage, practical tips for reducing pre-shipment time will also be provided, ensuring a smoother and more efficient fulfillment process. Whether you are a seasoned shipper or new to the field, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to navigate and improve your pre-shipment operations effectively.

what does preparing for shipment mean
what does preparing for shipment mean

What does pre-shipment mean exactly?

Pre-shipment is a term used by the United States Postal Service (USPS), specifying the first steps of a package delivery process. During this stage, a shipping label has been created for the package. However, this package has not yet been received or picked up by the carrier for transportation.

In other words, “pre-shipment” can be understood as “prior to transit/delivery.” The carrier has been aware of your pending shipment, and all the crucial cargo details (weight, destination, shipping method, etc.) needed for the package label are entered on their system.

It is worth noting that while a package is in "pre-shipment," it remains under the sender's control. Senders may view this tracking status when they visit the store's branded order tracking website or receive post-purchase notifications. It signifies that their order has been processed but is not yet in transit.

Additionally, keep in mind that the term “pre-shipment” is used specifically by USPS. For UPS, the status is referred to as “Label Created,” while for FedEx, it says “Shipment information sent to FedEx.”

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Package labeling is an indispensable part of pre-shipment
Package labeling is an indispensable part of pre-shipment

How long does pre-shipment take?

After learning what does preparing for shipment mean, merchants now need to determine the pre-shipment duration. The time spent on initial arrangements largely depends on the shippers themselves.

On average, this process can take anywhere from several hours to a few days. The steps involved in the pre-shipment phase typically include:

  • Organizing the item for shipment
  • Packing
  • Labeling
  • Arranging pickup or drop-off

While experienced merchants may have a structured and efficient system, pre-shipment can be challenging for newbies, especially during peak seasons such as holidays, sales events, or when they are handling a significant number of orders.

In some cases, the duration of this initial stage is also influenced by objective factors, such as:

  • The pickup frequency of the carrier
  • The shipper’s schedule and timing of package drop-offs
  • Package stuck in pre-shipment due to force majeure events (weather hazards, major holidays, or other disruptions)
Pre-shipment includes parcel packing activities
Pre-shipment includes parcel packing activities

How can businesses reduce the pre-shipment time?

As a merchant or shipper, you can expedite the pre-shipment process by optimizing your order fulfillment operations. Moving swiftly from order placement to dispatch, along with providing real-time eCommerce tracking updates, will ensure a seamless post-purchase experience.

Here are a few tips recommended by EFEX’s fulfillment experts to minimize the time spent in the pre-shipment phase:

  • Implement a comprehensive inventory management system: Real-time inventory systems facilitate faster order processing as items can be quickly located. Moreover, linking your inventory software with sales channels ensures instant order acknowledgment, speeding up the start of the pre-shipment process.
  • Automate label creation: This not only accelerates the labeling process but also decreases human error, lowering the risk of order delays.
Systemized inventory management facilitates batch processing orders
Systemized inventory management facilitates batch processing orders
  • Batch process orders: ECommerce orders should be handled in batches whenever possible. This allows you to streamline tasks such as picking, packing, and labeling, which ultimately eases the pre-shipment process significantly.
  • Pay attention to timing: As the possibility of delays and packages stuck in pre-shipment surges during peak seasons or holidays, it is crucial that merchants establish a coherent timing strategy and work promptly to tackle this issue. Plus, regular tracking of delivery time is also recommended, as this will ultimately give shippers insights into the pre-shipment duration pattern at different times of the year.
  • Enhance carrier partnerships: Collaborate closely with your carriers to establish mutually beneficial ties. Keep track of pickup schedules to get your shipments into the shipping cycle faster.
Merchants are advised to work closely with trusted carriers
Merchants are advised to work closely with trusted carriers

Optimize your Pre-shipment Process with EFEX Fulfillment Solution in Vietnam

While self-handling every fulfillment step is possible, it can be time-consuming and draining. Instead of investing considerable resources in order handling operations, consider employing end-to-end fulfillment solutions of reliable service providers, such as EFEX.

Fulfillment by EFEX (FBE) allows businesses to store inventory and fulfill orders across various sales channels. EFEX’s experienced fulfillment specialists will promptly pick, pack, and ship the orders while also managing returns efficiently, ensuring quick and effective service.

  • With 4 years of experience, EFEX is now collaborating with multiple eCommerce platforms and third-party logistics partners to develop a comprehensive fulfillment and delivery network.
  • By implementing FBE, customers can expect an increase of approximately 38% in sales revenue.
  • Save up to 70% operating costs and allocate time to focus on scaling your business.
  • Enjoy 24/7 real-time access to EFEX’s proprietary database and đeicated customer support.
  • A strong commitment to transparency, guaranteeing no hidden costs.
With EFEX, every step is done strategically to ensure customer satisfaction
With EFEX, every step is done strategically to ensure customer satisfaction

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Understanding "what does pre-shipment mean" and "how long does pre-shipment take" is crucial for efficient shipping. By systemizing inventory management, automating labels, batch processing orders, and strengthening carrier relationships, you can reduce pre-shipment times and improve customer satisfaction. Simply save your business the hassle of pre-shipment and contact EFEX today for the ultimate fulfillment solution tailored to your needs!

Ngoc LeeNgoc Lee is an Content Creator Manager at EFEX. She wields her long-term expertise in Logistics and Supply Chain, harnessing her top-notch writing and research skills to bring incredibly valuable content. Whether you're a small startup or a well-established enterprise, Ngoc Lee is here to equip you with the essential knowledge of e-commerce, fulfillment, and all things business-related.