1. Money

Guide to Small Business Shipping

Saving Money and Reducing Shipping Costs

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Strategies for Small Business Shipping

If you're not shipping hundreds of packages a day that total thousands of pounds, it is probably safe to say that you are a "small business shipper." These can range from a person selling a few items on eBay out of their house to a formal business with an office or commercial location with several employees. Implementing the following small business shipping best practices can help save you time and money.

Small Business Shipping Considerations

In order to minimize your costs, you need to find a shipping service that will offer you the lowest cost overall. Shipping costs are determined by taking into account the following factors:
  • Delivery Time (2 Day, Overnight, Parcel Post, etc.)
  • Ship from/to addresses
  • Weight of product and packing material
  • Dimensions of your box/container
  • Insurance
  • Delivery Confirmation and Tracking Numbers
  • Handling/Special Fees

Rates Are Negotiable

Depending upon the volume that you ship every month, rates can be negotiated. The more you ship the more leverage you will have to ask for a lower rate. Discounts can be negotiated with as few as 100 packages per month.

Pick-Up and Delivery

Running to the post office or the carrier's storefront location, is not only time consuming but costly too. If the carrier will make pick-ups and deliveries free of charge, this can save you some money. The only disadvantage is that you will be at the liberty of the carrier's schedule.

In-House Postage Printing

Postage for packages and thick envelopes will vary depending upon the carrier's rules and restrictions. Once you understand these, you can save time and money by printing the postage directly from your computer. Visit your favorite carrier's website to learn how.

Handling Charges

If you ship items that are extremely fragile or perishable, you will incur additional handling charges to ensure the safe delivery of your package.

Shipping Supplies and Materials

In addition to postage, shipping supplies such as business envelopes, padded envelopes, boxes, cushioning material and tape need to be taken into consideration. Comparison shopping can help you save money on these supplies.

Drop-Off Locations

For critical orders that must be shipped overnight, you must take into account the nearest drop off location for the shipper of your choosing.

Multiple Shipping Partners

Even though you may be able to negotiate a lower cost by dealing with one shipping carrier exclusively, you can increase customer satisfaction by offering several choices so that your customer's can choose who they would like you to use. In addition, this can create some competition between the carriers for your business.

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