3 Ways to Save Money on Shipping

With the globalization of the world’s economies, shipping products has become not just another part of daily business operations, but one of the main driving factors of growth. Shipping and delivery of merchandise, however, can be one of the most complicated and expensive processes for many businesses. While large companies generally have access to large shipping fleets and command enough market share to regulate and set their own prices to a certain degree, small businesses often find themselves at a disadvantage if they aren’t sending large shipments. With a bit of planning and a solid strategy for working with shippers, however, even small businesses can find consistent and cost-effective methods for delivering parcels to their clients.

Consolidate Shipping Whenever Possible

One of the big reasons large scale shipments are more cost-effective is consolidation of parcels. Even though smaller businesses don’t have the option all the time, it’s important to know when it’s possible to consolidate. When filling and shipping orders that fall between 150 and 20,000 pounds, says Jason Fell in Entrepreneur, a less-than-truckload (LTL) size shipment, companies should consider using freight consolidation services to combine their shipments with other companies’, thus passing on savings to all parties involved. Consolidating shipments can be a huge saver, especially on international shipping where the savings can be especially significant.

Work with the Carrier

Small businesses should take the time to carefully research and select a carrier for their shipping services. Regardless of which shipping service provider they go with, however, they should have an open line of communication with its small-business specialists that have the proper freight broker training. This can help companies reduce their shipping fees by allowing them to match delivery requirements and fees for any type of shipping they might be doing. The specialist will work with the individual business to iron out details about the mode of transportation and delivery timing, amongst other things. It may seem like a tedious extra step, but according to research by the Tompkins Associates, the businesses that neglect to work with the carrier and lay out clear shipping criteria end up paying as much as 40 percent more in fees than those that do. It’s a significant amount that no business can afford to ignore.

Track Carrier Performance

Just because a company has chosen or been working with a specific carrier doesn’t mean they shouldn’t shop around. Trying out several different carriers and tracking their performance to compare against the cost is an effective way to see if there is room for improvement in the business’s Same-Day Shipping strategy. Keeping a sort of scorecard on how each carrier handles services like pickup, delivery, and responds to customer inquiries, as well as other important factors like access to online tracking, the accuracy of their data, and the whether the company is meeting the scheduled pickup or delivery appointment times will allow executives and financial advisers to find the best option.

There are also online tracking services for shipping available that provide simple ways for companies to manage their shipping and save money in the process. Some of the factors that usually drive the costs of shipments up include weight and distance and how quickly the delivery needs to be made. Tracking the carriers’ performance will allow businesses to find any lapses in these areas and either work with the company to resolve them or choose a different carrier that doesn’t have the same issues.


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