Shipping is a major expense for many small businesses. Yet, you can’t keep on expecting your customers to pay, and there’s a point when you’ll have to reduce costs in order to stay competitive. Thankfully, there are lots of things that you can do to keep these costs under control. Sometimes, all you have to do is make some minor adjustments, or look at ways that you can streamline your processes. Let’s take a look at a few ways small businesses can cut their shipping expenses.
Look at Shipping Insurance Software
One thing you should do is automate your shipments, insurance process, and tracking. Find a shipping insurance software company that offers third party insurance, and will allow you to save money in the process. Not only will you be able to find insurance for less, but you will also be able to get insurance on items that other carriers usually won’t offer. Find a tool that will allow you to manage all of your packages in one place, file claims, and get automated notifications about things like risk zones among other things.
Have Things Shipped through Your Shipping Account Number
A lot of businesses will have a tendency to have inventory shipped directly to them and get billed, but a better option would be to ask them to ship through your account number. Not only will it increase your volume, which translates to lower costs, but you also won’t have to deal with suppliers padding their shipping fees.
Use Your Carrier’s Packaging
Another thing you should do is use any packaging your carrier is providing instead of your own. If your packaging does not meet the size regulations of carriers like FedEx or UPS, you might have to deal with “dimensional fees”. Doing something as simple as putting small boxes in a FedEx envelope could save you tons of money.
Look at Regional Carriers
You should also consider working with regional carriers as well. Many of these carriers do as great of a job as national carriers like UPS but at a fraction of the cost. Some examples of great local companies include Lone Star in the state of Texas, Spee Dee in the Midwest, and OnTrac on the west coast.
Look for Association Discount
If you aren’t a member of a professional association in your industry, we suggest you start looking immediately. If you are already, then you should check to see if you can get a discount. You’d be surprised at how much you could end up saving. As a matter of fact, you could save up to 50% on shipping fees if you join the right organization. Not only will joining an association allow you to save on costs, but you’ll be able to get tons of visibility through directories and discounts on all sorts of things.
These are just some of the ways your business could make significant savings on shipping costs. This could have a big difference on your margins and allow you to offer better shipping terms to your clientele.