1) The eCommerce Market in Australia
Australia is home to 27 million people, of which over 5 million households shop online every month in 2023. The diverse consumer base of Australia and many budding startups make it necessary for business owners to pay extra attention to their shipping policy.
eCommerce shipping typically involves receiving orders, picking and packing, printing shipping labels, shipping orders with carriers, and managing returns. eCommerce shipping solutions are the agents that provide, manage and streamline shipping. This involves the concerted efforts of shipping carriers, delivery companies, software tools, and shipping best practices.
The best way to guard against growing competition and offer an excellent delivery experience is to use excellent shipping solutions. This article gives a comprehensive guide for businesses to adopt the best eCommerce shipping solutions in Australia.
2) The need for eCommerce shipping solutions in Australia
There are multiple reasons why you should consider investing in shipping solutions for Australia. The major ones are:
2.1) Rapidly expanding domestic market
eCommerce shipping solutions are the need of the hour, considering the rapidly blooming B2C and B2B businesses across Australia. Marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, and Gumtree are significant sources of eCommerce transactions. Moreover, social media sales channels are gaining popularity among the masses.
These trends call for eCommerce delivery solutions like logistics partners and shipping software that can effectively manage sales across multiple channels.
2.2) Cross-border Commerce
Australia has a significant portion of cross-border trade with multiple countries though the pandemic has slowed it since 2020. However, cross-border trade will undoubtedly pick up with the increasing trade relaxations. This is why eCommerce brands in Australia need international freight forwarders and couriers for efficient global shipping.
2.3) Shipping Needs
eCommerce shipping solutions effectively meet Australian consumers' diverse shipping needs. For managing curbside pick-up and one-hour deliveries, a combination of shipping couriers, aggregators, and shipping software is necessary to keep up with customer demands and delivery needs.
Dropshipping is an emerging business model in Australia where sellers sell products from third-party manufacturers and do not hold inventory with them. This form of eCommerce requires well-structured fulfillment software and logistical partners who can fulfill customer orders and help brands grow.
2.5) Omnichannel Fulfillment
Australian consumers prefer to shop via multiple modes. One popular option is to present your online catalog with products available for in-store picking. Therefore, an effective shipping solution for Australia is using your retail stores as warehouses for easy and fast order fulfillment.
You can pair this method with automated order routing technology to send your orders to the nearest retail store.
3) Top 6 eCommerce shipping companies in Australia
Shipping companies are the carriers that take the load of delivering your products to your customers off your back. They must offer reliable services, fulfill on-time delivery commitments and give some leeway on shipping costs.
Below are the six shipping companies that meet all the requirements and are best suited for Australian businesses.
3.1) Australia Post
Australia Post has been a comprehensive support system for end-to-end shipping services since 1809. They manage everything from sending parcels to managing eCommerce returns. Australia Post is adept in international shipping. Their latest feature includes a carbon-neutral delivery policy.
Australia Post has several shipping and delivery services. But the popular ones include supplying handy packaging materials, direct customer pickups from Post Offices, and secure payment options. It also offers reports on delivery metrics.
Australia Post has its business account suite called MyPost Business, which comes with loads of benefits: discounts on domestic and international postages, access to over 4000 post offices and 15000 street posting boxes, and round-the-clock customer support.
eCommerce brands upload orders online and print their labels. With the Easy Returns portal, you can print return slips and pay for any return postage.
Let’s take a look at the various shipping options it provides for domestic shipping:
- Standard Delivery
Depending on the packaging size and delivery speed, the rates vary between $9.30 (small parcel) and $19.20 (extra-large parcel), excluding packaging. For items exceeding $100, you can add extra cover for safety.
- Express Delivery
- Same Day Delivery
This service is available only in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, and Hobart. It delivers your parcel within 3 hours with a real-time web tracking facility.
- Express Post Parcels
This shipping method is suitable for next-day deliveries for items upto $100 and weights under 5kgs. The flat rate system also applies here. The service comes with compensation in case of damage, tracking, and signature on delivery on request.
3.2) DHL Express
With its comprehensive logistics and fulfillment services, DHL Express is a popular choice for eCommerce businesses for domestic and international shipping.
DHL offers competitive costs based on the DIM weight of the parcels, delivery time frame, and speed. It also has customs clearance for international shipping to Europe. Additional benefits include end-to-end shipment tracking.
DHL offers five primary shipping options for parcels and document shipping:
The time frame for delivery is the next business day, with a maximum parcel weight of 70 kg. This service is valid for both domestic and international shipping.
The time frame for parcel delivery is between three and fourteen days, with parcels weighing upto 20 kg. This option is available for international shipping and regular shipments only.
- International Mail
The delivery time frame is three to fourteen days, and the weight limit is 2 kgs only.
- Parcel International Standard
Parcel transit is three to fourteen days with a maximum weight limit of 2o kgs with parcel insurance.
- Parcel International Direct
The time window is four to six days with a weight limit of 2o kgs. The shipper or receiver can pay the duties and taxes. It also has cash-on delivery options for Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand.
StarTrack works with the Australian Postal Corporation to offer a range of logistics and shipping services. It runs round-the-clock deliveries on all days of the year, making it a popular choice for domestic deliveries within Australia for 11.9 million delivery points across the country.
With over 750 air freight fleets, it confers on-time delivery and notifications to customers. eCommerce businesses get live tracking, online booking facilities, and delivery performance reports.
StarTrack has three shipping services based on the time of deliveries requested:
The estimated delivery time is usually three to four hours.
The estimated delivery is between one and three hours from the time of booking.
- Immediate Priority
This service handles immediate deliveries with the urgency you dictate.
StarTrack also hosts API to offer parcel tracking, provide shipping rates, validate addresses, print labels, and handle payments for eCommerce businesses. It also offers parcel packaging and returns management facilities.
3.4) Couriers Please
A subsidiary of Singapore Post, Couriers Please covers domestic and international shipping in Australia. Couriers Please have the following domestic shipping options:
- Domestic Priority
Parcels are shipped overnight for metropolitan cities with door-to-door tracking available. But for the West and East coast, the delivery fluctuates between one and two business days.
- Domestic Saver
It is an affordable service that supports automatic insurance upto $1000, discounts for regular shippers, and convenient delivery options.
Couriers Please give eCommerce brands in Australia access to 220 countries for international shipping and shipping tools on their EzySend portal.
3.5) FedEx (TNT Express)
The famous USA courier company primarily operates as an international courier service in Australia. It began its Aussie journey after acquiring TNT Express, another international delivery company, in 2018, giving eCommerce businesses an effective and fast international shipping service. The domestic shipping service is operated under FedEx Express.
Sendle is ideal for small businesses to arrange door-to-door deliveries across Australia. It is also carbon neutral and offers free pick-up from your garage or warehouse. It also integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, eBay, and ShipStation.
Sendle operates with three accounts with varying price ranges:
- Sendle Standard
Has no minimum order quantity. The minimum price range is $8.65 for 500g and $30.01 for 25 kg deliveries across the country.
- Sendle Premium
Has a limit of a minimum of twenty parcels per month. The minimum price range is $7.65 for 500g and $29.01 for 25 kg deliveries across the country. This service is ideal for budding entrepreneurs.
- Sendle Pro
Has a minimum order quantity of 200 parcels per month. The price range begins at $4.85 for 400 kgs and ends at $23.86 for 25 kg nationwide deliveries. This service is ideal for established businesses.
4) Top 6 eCommerce shipping and fulfillment solutions for Australia
While shipping couriers are a great way to realize the last mile deliveries, the best eCommerce shipping solutions for Australia demand flawless service in order processing, order picking and packing, and fulfillment. Here are some of the best shipping solutions for Australian businesses:
ClickPost is a multi-carrier shipping software having integrations with over 250 global carriers. It is well known for its breakneck integration speed, so businesses can start their operations within 24 hours.
ClickPost’s primary strength lies in its AI-powered courier allocation engine that preconfigures with business rules to automate the process of assigning shipments to couriers. Along these lines, ClickPost handles the generation of shipping labels, returns labels, order manifests, and waybills generation.
Its push-and-pull API infrastructure brings your customers real-time shipment tracking. It creates branded returns portals and manages exceptions arising during delivery or pickups. Furthermore, its newly launched Shopify returns portal can seamlessly automate your Shopify store returns for a better post-purchase customer experience.
4.2) e-Store Logistics
e-Store Logistics is primarily a 3PL service best known for using automatic and robot AIs for order fulfillment. It has loads of services for warehousing and seamless order fulfillment, starting with same-day dispatch and branded packaging. It integrates your shopping carts with its plugins.
As a 3PL, it can reduce delivery costs with its freight partners. It has secured warehouses in Melbourne and Sydney with 24/7 surveillance and a high-quality monitoring system. A dedicated service team tackles all logistics queries, and its competitive pricing is ideal for SMEs.
ShipStation is an eCommerce fulfillment and shipping software with over a hundred integrations with eCommerce platforms and carriers like Amazon, Australia Post, Sendle, and Shopify. ShipStation is known for automating the shipping process for businesses to prioritize scaling.
You can start by importing orders from all your sales channel to a single dashboard, integrating with multiple carriers, and managing orders online. You can sort and filter orders from a single window and combine them into one shipment for easy shipping.
It also has an inventory management system where you can locate and view stock levels, create picking and packing schedules, forecast inventory shortages, etc.
ShipStation automation also allows you to create your customized branded tracking and returns page and create customized alerts for workflows. You can avail of their automated email notifications and packing slips.
4.4) SEKO logistics
Based out of Chicago, SEKO logistics offers an expanded network of eCommerce solutions in Australia. SEKO is adept in international logistics, from transportation to freight forwarding and warehousing. eCommerce retailers in Australia can ship to Canada, Asia, the UK, European Union nations, New Zealand, and the USA.
SEKO is proficient in providing delivery via multiple carriers, parcel track integration with all sales channels, D2C deliveries, and 24/7 customer support.
SEKO has built a comprehensive returns management system favored by Australia's fashion industry. It seamlessly integrates with Shopify to provide multiple refund options, customizable reasons for returns, and free returns vouchers, among others. It also has facilities to seek product images from customers intending to return an item.
4.5) APG eCommerce solutions
APG is a cross-border eCommerce solutions provider for delivery. With APG, you can connect with Asia, Europe, and the USA and offer your customers the best of Australia Post for the best last-mile delivery experience.
APG's unique selling point is its complete parcel tracking system which is streamlined for domestic and international shipping. You can track your parcels at each stage of the shipping route. From the point of origin processing, in transit, customs clearance, out for delivery, to the final delivery to customers.
The tracking system is offered at four levels. The first service tracks parcels traveling for 8-12 days. The second service tracks last-mile deliveries occurring between 4-8 days. The third service tracks fast deliveries within five days limit. And the fourth service tracks return shipments from when they are picked up or dropped off until they reach the warehouse.
Shippit is an inclusive shipping software tailor-made for eCommerce from Sydney. Shippit’s service highlights include multi-carrier allocations, fulfillment automation, end-to-end tracking, and a self-serving returns portal. They also show you real-time shipping rates with transit services.
The API-based system presents a one-click option for printing, creating pick lists, and allocating packaging for faster order fulfillment. For retail deliveries, Shippit’s API chooses the retail store closest to delivery points giving your omnichannel delivery a boost.
It also offers a branded post-purchase experience to your customers with tracking notifications and easy returns. It simplest the returns process in a few clicks and allows your customers to return their orders by choosing their favored returns method and a downloadable returns label.
5) Tips for effective eCommerce shipping in Australia
Minding your packaging is not only crucial to securing your products and reducing shipping costs but is key to delivering your customers an exhilarating “unboxing” experience. You can find various packaging options, but the practical tip is to select high-quality packaging materials that support sustainability.
5.2) Partnering with logistics companies
Partnering with 3PLs and 4PLs is beneficial for effectively controlling the entire supply chain, including warehousing and fulfilling orders daily. Courier companies and shipping aggregators too offer valuable pick-up and delivery services.
5.3) Setting the suitable shipping model
Australian consumers prefer fast shipping, like one-day deliveries with a low carbon footprint. eCommerce businesses have to do thorough market research to decide whether to offer free or expedited shipping so that business remains profitable without compromising their bottom line.
5.4) Finding the right spot for the warehouse
One of Australia's best eCommerce shipping solutions tips is finding the right spot to store your inventory. This can be the key to offering your customers faster and more affordable shipping options and scaling your business.
Setting up your business or warehouse in a location housing other businesses, like the Workit Spaces in Sydney, you can avail of discounted shipping rates and reduce shipping costs.
5.5) Shipping Software
Shipping software is crucial to scaling your business by automating the manual processes of order processing, order fulfillment, and returns. Shipping software takes over the tasks of allocating carriers, notifying customers, allotting orders to carriers, tracking parcels, and managing returns so that you can pay attention to manufacturing and scaling.
eCommerce shipping solutions constitute a significant segment of Australia's eCommerce shipping and logistics industry. They determine how efficiently an eCommerce business can tackle customer orders and remain profitable.
Moreover, they dictate the time frame for scaling a business to move across borders. This is why relying on courier services, shipping software, and fulfillment partners are strategies that will help any eCommerce business gain a firm foothold in the Australian eCommerce market.
7.1)What are the best last-mile carriers in Australia?
The trademark of the best last-mile carriers in Australia includes wide serviceability across the Australian coasts, on-time delivery rate, and affordable shipping rates. On top of these, it is good to look for carriers that offer green logistics solutions, carbon offsetting, and sustainable returns management.
Given these parameters, many national carriers qualify. you can consider Australia Post for its convenience and serviceability and TNT Express for freight and parcel shipping. Small businesses can consider Sendle for its many perks to boost SMB shipping. Similarly, Courier Please, StarTrack, and DHL are best for international and cross-border shipping.
7.2)How to find excellent eCommerce shipping software for an Australian business?
Shipping software is an essential eCommerce solution that holds the capacity to micro-manage a brand's entire shipping process. to find the best eCommerce shipping software, you should first consider if they are integrated with multi-carriers. This will remove your burden to onboard and integrate with every carrier you need and save months in your calendar.
In this case, multi-carrier software solutions like ShipStation, ClickPost, and Shippit. ClickPost also has an AI-driven carrier recommendation engine that automates the shipping process. Next, software solutions should ideally have avenues to manage inventory, track orders, print shipping labels, and notify customers to streamline the shipping process.
They should also have an excellent post-purchase returns management solution that simplifies the customer return experience.