As a small business owner, you will have a limited budget on your company expenses, especially on shipping your products. Freight costs can be expensive for your business. These costs can prevent you from reaching your profit potential. If you have not been planning your logistics professionally and properly, you can be overpaying for your shipments and losing out on your revenue. If you are facing this problem, you need to perform a freight audit and understand how to minimize your expenses.
Additionally, you may not be aware that freight rates are flexible. You can negotiate with your selected shipping carrier and ask them to keep you posted on all their price offers. Today more than ever, you have plenty of options to help you reduce your shipping costs. There are costless tools, carriers and solutions suited for a small and mid-size business like yours. It is up to you to determine how to ship your packages and what rates work for your company.
With a little bit of planning and research, you can find ways of reducing your freight costs. Take time to examine your freight audit and where you can reduce your expenses. Here are a few small business freight tips and tricks to help you save on shipping costs:
You will be surprised to know that shipping rates are negotiable. If you have already partnered with a carrier, you can start negotiating the prices with them. One of the best small business shipping tips is to build a good working relationship with your account manager. Tell them that you will have all your shipment managed through them for a better rate. Keep in touch with them so that they can inform you off discounts and other promotions.
2. In-house Label Printing and Airway Bill Preparation
You can prepare your labels and airway bills in-house saving time and costs in preparation for the carrier. Postage, labels and other packaging information can be prepared in-house and be ready for direct shipping. Get a few airway bills, envelopes and other materials that your regular carrier has to offer.
Learn about their rules and regulations. Some carriers even provide an integrated software interface with a login option where you can directly enter all your shipment details from your computer into their system and have it ready to go.
3. Multiple Freight Partners
At times, working with two or three carriers can present you with a better price. Carriers have different solutions, packages and other offers. Try always to keep two carriers that can help with your costs and provide you with many options. Working with two or more carriers will present you with more cost-effective solutions.
4. Package Dimension and Weight
Carriers use the dimensional weight to calculate freight rates. You have to pay careful attention to the dimensions of your package. Keep your packages as small as possible without compromising the product. Try to cut down on your size and weight as this can increase your costs. This may not be possible for some of the products you ship, but you can use it for the ones you can. It goes without saying that heavy packages cost a lot more than small ones.
Find light packaging and boxes as well as light protection that do not add to the weight of the package. Sometimes, using your packages can lead to additional dimensional fees. To avoid these extra costs, you can use your carrier’s packages that do not include the dimensional fees.
5. Discounted Shipping Rates
Discounted shipping rates exist, and you can save a lot on your shipment when you consider these rates. If you do not ask, you will never receive. Every time you have a package to ship, ask your carrier or account manager for any offers or discounts that are available at that time. Even if they do not have a promotion, they may end up offering you a discount for being one of their regular customers.
Many carriers provide bulk discounts which you can take advantage of. They even have programs that are eligible for small business owners. All you have to do is fill out a form and qualify.
6. Shipping Insurance
Freight shipping insurance can add to costs, more than you’d think. Do not overlook your shipping insurance charges, which should be revealed during a freight audit. Of course, you cannot avoid it as in the case of any damage to your package; you can recover the full value for the damage, stolen or lost shipment. However, you should look for third-party insurance that is not expensive and can help you save.
7. Shipping Duration Options
There are many options for shipment and various modes to take into consideration. If there is no deadline on your package delivery, then you may want to consider the inexpensive option. Air freight is much more expensive to sea shipments. It is best to ask for all the freight options and prices for you to make a cost-effective choice.