As you already know, outbound shipping costs are the biggest expense for companies shipping direct to consumer. Therefore, finding unique ways to lower those shipping costs is extremely important. Outside of the traditional ways like negotiating with your carrier and using different carriers for certain services, there are several other ways to save money on shipping that you can implement into your operations and fulfillment. This blog will discuss several unique and uncommon ways to lower your shipping costs without having to change carriers or go back to renegotiate.
- Consolidate Boxes
If you are shipping larger orders in multiple boxes, look for ways to consolidate multiple items into one single box. It is always better to ship one box than two, even if you are just labeling and shipping certain items because they ship in the same box they are stored in. You might find that you are spending a little extra money for the bigger corrugated box, but you will save tremendously on the shipping side. A banding machine is also a great way to tie two boxes together so they ship as one.
- Reduce Box Size
If you are using a lot of extra dunnage or shipping a lot of air inside the box, look for ways to reduce that box size. This is especially important with UPS and FedEx extending their dimensional weight starting in 2015.
- LTL vs. Parcel
For companies that are shipping large, heavy items, it can sometimes be beneficial to ship that product or large order via LTL. For parcel shipments that are over $100, you might find less expensive shipping via an LTL carrier.
- Carrier Packaging
Often times, the carriers will provide packaging for you. UPS, FedEx and other carriers will often provide bubble mailers, padded envelopes and letter envelopes at no additional cost. While they are not branded with your company information, they can help increase margin on some of those low value items. The USPS will even provide branded boxes for free if you are using their priority mail service.
- Audit Invoices
A lot of times we just assume that if the product made it to the customer, everything is great! But, that is not always the case. Make sure that you or a 3rd party is auditing your UPS or FedEx bill. Often times, these companies do not meet their requirements when shipping a package and you are able to file a claim to get money your back.
- Ship Accurately
One of the best ways to ensure that you are lowering your shipping costs is to ship your orders accurately. If you ship a product incorrectly to the customer, you might have to pay for a return shipment and then a new shipment to that customer on top of that. This can hurt your customer service and your bottom line.