As a small business owner, you are constantly looking for ways to do more with less. One way to keep costs in check is to look at ways to pay less for shipping. What are some tactics that you can use to reduce shipping costs without shortchanging customers or clients?
Get a Bulk or Flat Rate Instead of Paying By the Pound
If you are shipping a single item or a group of items that weight more than 100 or 150 pounds, you may want to look into flat rate shipping options. UPS, FedEx and the U.S Postal Service typically offer flat rates to help meet a company’s unique shipping needs. In the event that no flat rate options are available, you may still be able to get a bulk discount if you need to ship dozens or hundreds of items at once.
How Fast Do Your Items Need to Arrive?
Carriers generally charge more if you ask them to deliver an item overnight or within 24 hours. While it may take an extra day or two for an item to arrive if you choose standard shipping, it is almost always the cheapest option, and your customers may not notice or be too inconvenienced by the slight delay. If customers do need their items in a hurry, it may be possible to ask them to pay the higher shipping costs.
Learn How to Become an Expert Packer
With a flat rate box, you can put as many items that will fit inside of it for the same low price. Therefore, if you can learn how to put 100 pounds into that box as opposed to 80 or 90 pounds, you may be able to keep your shipping price per pound down. This may be done by reducing the amount of paper or other padding needed to keep items safe during shipping.
Consider Working with a LTL Carrier
Less than load carriers consolidate a number of smaller loads and then ship them to their end destinations. Some companies, like Commonwealth Inc., realize that efficiency is everything when it comes to shipping. This allows smaller companies with shipping loads of less than 20,000 pounds to benefit from the economy of scale offered by larger commercial freight options.
Small businesses have to both stick to their budgets while also serving the needs of their customers. Learning more about unique or creative shipping options can help serve those needs while increasing profit margins and leaving money in the budget to reinvest into the business.