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Tackling Your Business Shipping Costs: 3 Easy Ways

Wed, 10/09/2013 - 10:41pm | by Jessica Watts

Most “product heavy” businesses are often caught between rising shipping costs and customer demand for free delivery. You cannot leave your company’s method of transportation to chance. Choose the right mode of shipment, and you’ll cut back on your shipping costs and have happy customers. But the wrong mode of transport can be extremely damaging to your company’s bottom line.

If your business depends on cost-effective and fast shipping, here are some tips to lower costs and improve delivery.

Re-examine Your Packaging

The way you package your shipments will affect your total shipping costs. Freight shipping can be difficult for fragile materials – the shipper may need to repackage the product to ensure that it survives freight shipment. An inspector examines all shipments once they arrive at the hub. Your shipment will incur a surcharge if the inspector determines that it needs to be repacked for freight shipment. Repackaging protects the freight company from any issues later on. Evaluate your shipment and take all the necessary precautions before you send it off to the shipper. If you’re in doubt about your packaging, use a crate or pallet to ensure you meet shipping standards.

Find Discounts

Always ask for discounts off the standard rates. If your contract with a shipper is coming to a close, you can shop around or request discounts when negotiating your contract. Visit several shipper websites to find advertised promotions. Use your credit card rewards to pay shipper invoices where applicable. Your membership in certain trade organizations may also help you to qualify for additional shipping discounts. Finally, use electronic or specialized shipping software to prepare your shipments and save.

Once you’ve negotiated your contract, check your invoices often to verify that the agreed-upon discounts have been applied. Point out any discrepancies and review your statements periodically to find nuances in the way your shipping was calculated.

Look for trends in your shipping mix and use the information to negotiate a better deal on your contract. For instance, if you ship a large number of packages to remote locations, then you should request a special rate for shipping to these locations.

Consolidate

People like Charles Bouri know how to hold shipments until they can be consolidated into a bulk delivery. The costs of freight shipments are calculated based on the weight, and this rate can decrease significantly once you cross one hundred pounds. If you’re shipping small devices like smartphones, it could take a while before you arrive at that weight. But if you’re shipping auto parts or reams of paper, you’ll hit a few hundred pounds easily. Save up your shipments until you have a consolidated shipment of an appropriate weight and you’ll save a lot of money.

The aforementioned tips should help you to lower your business shipping costs. Keep in mind that advanced planning will increase your savings. Don’t wait until the last minute to send out a shipment – you’ll have to pay more to get it to your customer’s door on time. 

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