We hear it every day on the news — the rising cost of shipping is affecting businesses in a number of ways. Additionally, inflation and the increased cost of fuel are both contributing to higher shipping rates, which in turn drives up prices for consumers. This creates a challenging environment for businesses, as they must find ways to maintain profitability while also keeping their prices competitive. Many companies are forced to absorb the increased costs, which can impact their margins and overall profitability.
Whether you are operating an international business or are only shipping to select parts of the world, you need to be vigilant in order to keep costs as low as possible. In addition to staying up on policies with the IMDG Code 2022-2024 and up to speed with any updated shipping regulations, here are some ways your business can keep costs down.
Put Your Shipping Options Under The Microscope
Oftentimes, we go with what works and what’s convenient, especially when it comes to shipping. One thing you can do to keep costs down this year is to research shipping options thoroughly and compare prices. There are many different shipping providers out there, and each company may offer different rates and services. It is important to look at the available options and select a provider that best suits your business needs.
Ask Your Current Provider For Discounted Shipping Rates
If you are happy with the way things are working now but want to reduce your shipping costs, you can always reach out to your current shipping provider and work out a discounted shipping rate. If you have done your homework and compared pricing with another provider, you can use this to help negotiate an improved rate.
It is often much more expensive to ship a large number of items individually, as opposed to consolidating them into one or two larger shipments. If possible, consolidate shipments or encourage your clients to order in bulk to keep shipping costs down.
Ask About Volume Discounts
Many providers offer discounts or other benefits to businesses that ship frequently or in bulk. If you are able to send large shipments regularly, then your business may qualify for volume discounts. It is worth exploring this option with your current or potential shipping provider to help improve your bottom line.
Focus On Efficiency
Even small changes can have a big impact when it comes to shipping costs. For instance, make sure that boxes are properly sized and packed so they do not get damaged during the shipping process. You should also work with your employees to streamline your shipping process so that each step is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Use Flat-Rate Shipping
Keeping your shipping costs down is an ongoing process that may require some constant attention to the changing markets. Flat-rate shipping can be a great way to keep your costs low, especially if you ship the same-sized box multiple times throughout the day or week. Flat-rate shipping is often offered by large carriers like UPS and FedEx, so take advantage of this option whenever possible.
Follow All Regulations
This goes without saying, but not following any shipping regulations or cutting corners around the IATA dangerous goods regulation will likely only end up costing more money than you would have saved and can have devastating consequences. There is no good reason to cut corners when it comes to shipping, so in order to keep costs down, be sure to follow all rules and regulations.
Save on Shipping Supplies
Something else you can do to keep shipping costs low is to look into ways to save on shipping supplies. There are a number of suppliers out there that offer discounts on packing materials and shipping containers. Do some research to see if you can find a better deal on supplies.
Use Poly Mailers Instead of Boxes
One of the best ways to save money on shipping is to use poly mailers instead of boxes. Poly mailers are lightweight and durable, which means your business can reduce weight and costs without sacrificing quality or durability.
Consider Prepaid Shipping
Depending on the provider, you can save money on prepaid shipping. By paying for shipping costs upfront, you can lock in a lower rate and avoid any additional fees or charges that may be incurred later on.
Reduce Dimensions on Packages
The dimensions of your packaging can greatly impact the cost of shipping. By reducing the size of your packages, you can often save money on packaging and shipping. If possible, look for ways to reduce the overall dimensions of your packaging without sacrificing product protection or quality.
Consider Shipping Insurance
One way to ensure that your shipments arrive on time and in perfect condition is to consider shipping insurance. It may add a little more in terms of cost initially, but it can help you avoid expensive delays or damage to your products.
Offer Pickup or Delivery Options for Local Orders
If you are running a local business, you can save on shipping by offering pickup or delivery options for any order that is placed locally. This will allow your customers to get the products they need without incurring any additional costs, helping them to stay loyal and increasing your revenue in the process.
Most businesses are being affected by rising costs for shipping, and the key to keeping costs down is staying vigilant. Take the time to explore new shipping options and look for ways to control your costs and stay competitive. In order to keep shipping costs under control, it is important to focus on efficiency and accuracy at every stage of the process. By paying close attention to your shipping options and working smarter rather than harder, you can help maintain profitability while also keeping prices low.