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Signed, Sealed, Delivered: 10 Ways to Lower Shipping Costs for Your Business

Did you know that 63% of customers cancel orders due to excessive shipping cost? In your business, do you promote paid or free shipping? For customers, free shipping is an awesome thing but for you, it can be more a loss than it is profit.

We’re not saying you can’t compete with big companies like Amazon. It is possible but it will need a lot of resourcefulness on your part. Strategies like discount vouchers, loyalty programs, and lower shipping costs can persuade customers to stay on your site.

Don’t know how to cut down on shipping? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

Read on below for our quick guide on how to cut shipping costs.

1. Lessen Shipping Costs by Using the Carrier’s Packaging

Your marketing strategy may lie in your packaging when your packaging displays your brand in an eye-catching color. Yet, what if it’s setting you up for negative revenue?

You might have experienced paying for “dimensional fees”.

This is because your box exceeded the set size regulations by UPS and FedEx. One way to avoid paying for those extra fees is to use the packaging the carrier provides. They don’t have dimensional fees and you could cut 15% off of shipping costs.

2. Negotiate with More Than One Carrier

One of the factors that make the shipping cost is commissioning national carriers even when you’re shipping within the region. National carriers are useful if you’re seeing a package to the other end of the country. If you’re looking to ship a package to the next state, get a regional carrier instead.

National carriers have fees for domestic packages and freight services. You reduce cost with regional carriers since they use fewer accessorial changes. Knowledge of the area and better resources also make the difference.

Looking for a shipping company that has more freight choices? National shipping carriers trump regional companies in that sense. Yet, the latter would know the areas in the region better.

Consider the factors of the shipping services and decide from there.

3. Invest in Prepaid Distribution

Does your business manufacture products with standard dimensions? If that’s a yes and you get orders often, prepaid shipping is great for you. UPS’s and FedEx’s costs to ship a prepaid package get a 20% discount.

Prepaid shipping is when you buy a certain quantity of shipping labels upfront. You then attach them to packages as needed instead of paying for each package you send out. All you need to determine are the weight packages and the shipping costs.

4. Get the Right Priority Mail Type

USPS Priority Mail is great for sending out packages under 5 pounds to residential homes. Did you know you can save up on shipping with different types of Priority Mail? There are three types:

  • Regular Priority Mail
  • Priority Mail Flat Rate
  • Priority Mail Regional Rate

Picking out which you should use can be confusing. Make sure to look up the packaging, package dimensions, and zone of delivery. The better you know about these, the easier it will be for you to know which of the three you should use.

5. Reuse Packaging When You Can

Instead of buying boxes to package your items with, reuse what you have. This works best for businesses that receive deliveries from manufacturers. With USPS’s large flat rate box costing $20, that’s a good amount saved.

You can also reach out to local printing businesses. They will have unusable paper for printing you can reuse for packaging instead. A cardboard distributor in your area may also be selling foam scraps you can use for delicate items.

6. Freight Shipping Is an Option

Here’s one more way to save on shipping costs: freight shipping. The catch here is your load has to be large enough to meet the qualifications. The lowest freight class is 50 and it can reach up to 500.

Freight service providers also do research on the best carriers, rates, and quotes. If you haven’t got the time to research before you send out your items, the freight company will do it for you. You can even help lessen freight cost by picking out from the many freight shipping modes.

7. Always Use a Scale

With every package you send out, use a scale. Do a bit of weighing before applying postage to every package. When you’re weighing a parcel from your establishment, you can look up postal rate changes or how to go about calculated shipping.

A few ounces can make a big difference when cutting costs. Your package could be lighter than it should be. USPS may return it with added postage expense.

8. Research Can Save You Money

If you’re paying for your packaging, you need to know that almost all carriers give away free packaging. USPS gives away free poly mailers and boxes. These have specific mail classes and sizes.

UPS and DHL Express have giveaways as well. These freebies are great for business owners who send out packages of all types and sizes. Take a look at their giveaways and see what you can get for free.

9. Get Packaging Materials in Bulk

To be able to provide excellent customer experience, packing materials should always be available. Based on what you’re shipping, these materials include anything from shipping boxes to bubble wrap. To make unboxing or receiving their packages a unique experience, most businesses buy custom packing materials.

Customer experience is no doubt a big factor of good business. How do you lower shipping costs while also prioritizing this kind of experience? The answer is to buy your packaging materials in bulk.

Better, yet buy your own packaging equipment. Small businesses may have a difficult time acquiring brand new packaging equipment. Buy used packaging equipment with these tips.

10. Ship Packages Online

Got an e-commerce business? You’re already selling online. You might as well use the Internet for shipping as well.

If you don’t have an internet connection, this is the perfect reason to get Wi-Fi set up for your business. If you’re flooded with work, you don’t have to go to the post office. Get mail delivery confirmation and a pick-up service will arrive to take the package.

There are other sites that do the same and more. Some shipping companies have different prices for online services and in-person services. Another great thing is small business owners can do this even at home.

Do Cost-Effecting Shipping

Those are our 10 tips on how to reduce shipping costs for small business. We hope you found our tips helpful and informative. There are many more ways to trim shipping costs and we’re happy to share more next time.

Times are changing and the earth isn’t doing so well. If your business is near the coast, you might need to do some preparations. Check out our guide for climate change for coastal business owners.