ExecutiveChronicles.com | Ways for Small Businesses to Save on Shipping | Shipping can be one of your biggest expenses when you’re in the business of buying and selling items to and from overseas. To stay profitable, you’ll need to know ways to bring costs like these down, and still deliver on time. Here are some ways to reduce shipping costs-whether it’s a matter of getting your goods shipped from abroad, or shipping to customers.
Use Quality Packing Material
Once you’ve received the goods, pack them properly with enough padding material to prevent damage while in transit. Make sure to use extra padding of bubble wrap or packing peanuts when having them shipped. You can’t always control how your package will be handled by other shippers, or if any accident occurs in transit. How does this save you money? By ensuring the items arrive in pristine condition, your customers won’t demand refunds or exchanges. Your reputation as a reliable vendor will be tarnished, as sloppy packaging can reflect poorly on you. So what’s a little more bubble wrap to make sure you keep your customers?
Get Free Packaging Material
Sending a box or two of merchandise is not a problem, but once your orders increase in volume, packaging costs can pile up. There are a couple of ways to get free packaging: one is to use shippers that give you free boxes. Shippers usually give you free boxes when you use their “priority mail” services. Another way is to collect cardboard boxes from groceries and retail stores. You can use this option only if you think it won’t harm your brand image or make your customers think less of your business. Be sure to use boxes that aren’t damaged and you send the package through a shipper that will consolidate it with other shipments (see below).
Use Freight Consolidation
This is a very useful strategy for importing goods at lower shipping costs. When handling shipments from abroad, logistics companies use international shipping consolidation. This is a cargo shipping method where logistics companies match and combine several individual consignments to form one large shipment. This arrangement allows small businesses and individuals to bring in goods at a cheaper rate, and with greater security. Some shippers will even help bring down the weight and cost further by removing any filler packing material and placing your items in the smallest box possible.
Use Multiple Shippers
Another cost-reducing strategy for shipping is to spread out your deliveries among different carriers. Using different carriers allows you to get better rates, since no two carriers are exactly the same. Each carrier has its share of specialties and advantages. Some shipping providers may specialize in handling bulky or perishable items, so it’s best to have more than option for shipping. And by having more shippers, you can serve your customers by offering them better delivery options.
These are some strategies you can use when you import items and sell them locally. Employing them may be complicated at first, but as you continue to use these measures to bring down your shipping costs, it will soon be second nature to you.