9 Ways To Decrease Shipping Costs
For small businesses, shipping costs are one of the biggest expenses. Smart entrepreneurs are looking to find ways to trim those costs so they have less impact on the bottom line. To achieve savings and decrease your small business shipping costs, keep reading to learn nine options that could help you save money.
1. Have Suppliers Use Your Shipping Account Number
If you have regular suppliers, you can ask them to ship products on your company’s account number. This will increase your business’ shipping volume, which in and of itself will help you to obtain cheaper rates, but it also helps stop your suppliers from padding their shipping costs. The best way to do this is to include this shipping requirement in your purchase order.
2. Compare Courier Rates Before You Ship
All shipping companies set pricing schedules based on the amount you ship. The more you ship, the lower the rate you will pay. What you might not realize, however, is that you have some power. You can use a service that will compare prices and choose the lowest rate that works best for you.
3. Use Packaging Provided by the Carrier
If you use your own boxes, you could have to pay extra fees if your box is bigger than the size rules set by the carrier. To avoid these extra “dimensional fees,” you can use the packaging offered by the carrier, which is guaranteed to comply with their size regulations. u might even be able to switch from a box to a padded envelope, and cut even more costs.
4. Invest in Prepaid Shipping
There’s the opportunity to sign up for prepaid shipping, which can offer you a discount of up to 20 percent. You will buy a certain number of shipping labels upfront and attach them to each package as you go rather than pay for each package individually when you ship it out. Prepaid works the best if you know you will be sending the same weight packages repeatedly and can figure out the shipping cost ahead of time.
5. Buy Third-Party Insurance
Carriers typically charge between $0.80 and $1.10 for every $100 of insurance, whereas third-party companies charge about half that amount. This can add up to some pretty substantial savings, especially if you tend to ship expensive items.
6. Include All Shipping Fees When Billing Customers
Carriers have over 75 special charges they can tack on to your shipment, like a fee to require a signature from the recipient, Saturday delivery fees, sand fuel surcharges. If your customers pay for shipping, make sure you include the cost of all the shipping fees when you calculate their bills. Otherwise, you will end up paying shipping fees yourself, and that’s not right.
7. Ask About Association Discounts
If you belong to a professional association for your industry, find out if they have a partnership with a carrier who offers member discounts. This could result in your being eligible for discounted rates of up to 50 percent on some services, depending of the size of the association.
8. Consider Online Shipping
Another way to save shipping companies is to pay for it online. You can save money on priority mail orders and express mail. You’ll also get free pick-up service in some locations, shipping supplies, and priority mail delivery confirmation when you pay online with your post office.
9. Use a Regional Carrier
Some regional carriers offer the same services as the big name carriers but at a much lower cost. The only drawback is that their delivery networks are limited.