Where You Can Reduce Small Business Shipping Costs
How can your small business reduce its shipping costs? As this question is probably asked as frequently as “How can I get that shipped for free?” by customers, it’s necessary for small businesses to get creative. Here are some tips for identifying and trimming excess spending in shipping.
Packaging: Depending on what you ship, packaging can be a significant cost for small businesses. If you happen to ship things with dimensions that correspond well with the free packaging on an offer from all of the major carriers, then you’re in luck and can request materials as an account holder. There are also cheaper, alternative packaging materials to consider, such as polyurethane mailers, which are also likely to cut down on DIM weight charges. Lastly, though it may seem counterintuitive, investing in custom packaging might save money down the line as it is also an effective means of advertising your brand.
Distance: If you’re shipping a considerable amount to far-off zones, or even internationally, adopting some method of hub and spoke fulfillment might be of service for your business. By partnering with third-party logistics companies, you can store and ship your items much closer to their destination, thereby saving you the time of fulfillment and the repetitive cost of long-distance shipping. Alternately, if many of your customers are fairly local to your business, free local pick-up or looking into smaller, regional delivery companies could potentially cut down on costs.
Weight: There’s not much you can do about how much your product weighs, but there’s a lot you can do about how you package and ship it! If you consistently and predictably send items of a certain weight, flat rate or prepaid shipping from your carrier could be a smart move. No matter what, though, a package’s physical weight is just one aspect of measurement considered by carriers, who also calculate a package’s dimensional or DIM weight. Though major carriers assess this measurement via different formulas, all are attempting to charge for the space a package takes up rather than just its weight. In other words, make sure that your items fit inside their packaging as snugly as is safely possible.
Shipper: Small businesses can have the highest relative shipping costs as their output often doesn’t qualify them for negotiated contracts with major carriers. However, there are still many ways for small businesses to reduce shipping costs! There are a multitude of third-party shipping consolidators to pair with, thereby granting your business the perks known to larger companies. It’s also worthwhile to invest in software that helps streamline the fulfillment process; along with shipping discounts, such software also automates and streamlines the process of getting goods to your customers, saving you valuable time as well.
Accessorials: Finally, it’s important to know that the shipping cost can often be just the beginning. Most carriers charge extra for accessorials, or things like signature confirmation. Make sure that your accessorials are relevant to your business’ shipping strategy and goals.
To learn more about reducing shipping costs in small businesses schedule a call today!