Shipping supplies are often a “hidden” cost for a company or business, but they shouldn’t be. If a business isn’t paying attention, they can wind up hemorrhaging precious resources in this department. For companies that do a lot of shipping, and large shipments at that, hiring a logistics provide for to manage the ins and outs is definitely the best option. Poor planning will waste so much time and money.
But for those of you who only do some smaller shipments some of the time, there are some tips that can help you save on your shipping costs and make better use of what your options:
Did you know that your shipping provider (United States Postal Service, FedEx, UPS…) has a business specialist that you can sit down with to get fees and services worked out? Most companies and businesses don’t know about this service, and they wind up spending absurdly more trying to figure it all out on their own. One crucial component is deciding when air shipping might be more beneficial than ground shipping.
Be clear to your customers when your company is going to pay for shipping and when they will need to. For example, advertise that your company will cover three-day, standard shipping, but that they will need to pay for two-day or overnight shipping services.
Use the shipping supplies that are available to you, and I’m not just talking about packaging tape and cardboard boxes. Having your own hostage meter will make a world of difference. What is a postage meter? I’m glad you asked! A postage meter is a small machine (scale, if you will) that you can weight our packages on. This way you don’t have “guesstimate” your shipping costs, and you don’t have to stand in line at your shipping providers to calculate shipping costs.
When you have “less than a truckload”, you can pair up with consolidation service that will find you other businesses that have “less than a truckload”. The two of you, or however many companies, can consolidate your shipments and save on shipping. Also, it is helpful to keep track of your service carriers performance (delivery time, customer service, costs…). You can evaluate the performance levels and communicate with your service carriers about what should be improved upon and if fees can be adjusted.