As a small to medium-sized business (SMB), it’s essential to find ways to save on expenses to maximize profits. One area where SMBs can save significant amounts of money is on shipping rates.
With a little effort and knowledge, you can reduce your shipping costs and keep your business running smoothly. In this blog post, we’ll explore five ways SMBs can save money on shipping rates.
Negotiate With Carriers
One of the most effective ways to save money on shipping rates is to negotiate with your carriers. Contact your carrier’s sales representative and ask if they can offer any discounts or special rates for your business.
Many carriers offer discounts to SMBs that ship frequently or in high volumes. You can also negotiate better rates by committing to a long-term contract with your carrier. Don’t be afraid to shop around and compare rates from different carriers to find the best deal.
Alternatively, leveraging the skills and connections of a 3PL consultant can help you save time and money in negotiating lower rates. They can evaluate your current contracts and even look for big opportunities for you to save bg.
Use Shipping Software
Shipping software can help SMBs save money on shipping rates for each shipment. Shipping software allows you to compare rates from different carriers and choose the most cost-effective option.
Some shipping software also integrates with your e-commerce platform, streamlining the shipping process and reducing the risk of errors. Additionally, shipping software can help you automate your shipping processes, saving you time and money.
Many small businesses waste a lot of time doing these tasks manually when they could easily leverage shipping software to help.
Another way SMBs can save money on shipping rates is by optimizing their packaging. Using the right packaging materials and sizes can reduce the weight and dimensions of your shipments, resulting in lower shipping costs.
Avoid using oversized boxes or excessive packaging materials, as they can add unnecessary weight and increase your rates. Pack items as compactly as is reasonable to ensure that it gets to the buyer in one piece, without using too much packing material.
Additionally, try using eco-friendly packaging materials to save you money in the long run. It reduces waste and avoids fees for non-compliant packaging.
Use Regional Carriers
Using regional carriers is another effective way to save money on shipping rates. Regional carriers often offer lower rates than national carriers, especially for local and regional shipments. These carriers may also have faster delivery times, making them a more cost-effective option for SMBs.
Consider working with a local or regional carrier for your smaller shipments and using a national carrier for larger, long-distance shipments. Many newer SMBs don’t realize there is a distinction and that they could save a lot of money by using a regional carrier for certain shipments.
Leverage Shipping Volume
Finally, SMBs can save money on shipping rates by leveraging their shipping volume. Many carriers offer volume discounts for businesses that ship large volumes of packages. You can also save money by consolidating your shipments and sending them in larger quantities.
If you don’t ship frequently enough to qualify for volume discounts, consider partnering with other businesses in your industry to pool your shipping volume and qualify for discounts. These volume discounts can be substantial.
Not only will they save you money, but they can even save the customer money when they are the ones covering the shipping fees directly.
Conclusion And A Bonus
SMBs can save money on shipping rates by negotiating with carriers, using shipping software, optimizing packaging, using regional carriers, and leveraging their shipping volume. By taking these steps, SMBs can reduce their shipping costs and improve their bottom line.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different strategies and find the ones that work best for your business. With a little effort and knowledge, you can save money on shipping rates and keep your business thriving.
One bonus option that many SMBs overlook is to choose a slower shipping method.
Most carriers offer a range of shipping methods that vary in speed and cost. While expedited shipping may be necessary in some cases, opting for slower shipping methods can save SMBs money on shipping rates.
The slower shipping methods are often cheaper and may still meet the needs of the customer if communicated clearly in advance. If the shipment is not time-sensitive, consider opting for a slower shipping method to save money.
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