In Part 1, we looked at the Questions you need to ask when you're planning on creating an effective shipping plan. Part - 2, showed how you can create a shipping plan.
Now in Part - 3, we will analyse potential costs and ways in which you can look at costs and save you money.
Managing shipping costs is an often-overlooked area of the business, especially small-to-medium-sized enterprises. Yet, with a small investment, there are several ways in which you can save money.
USE THE RIGHT PACKAGING
Many couriers base their rates on weight and dimensions, and so selecting the right sized packaging for your goods can make all the difference.
Evaluate the shape and size of the goods that you will need to courier and buy the right sized packaging.
If you ship goods of varying shapes and sizes, invest in a variety of different packaging options.
Shop around to find the cheapest packaging options available, without compromising on quality.
Use the right sized packaging and make savings by reducing the amount of packing materials needed to keep your products secure and protected inside the box.
OFFER DELIVERY OPTIONS
Delivery expectations can drive up the cost of shipping goods, and so it is always worth considering what options you would like to offer your customers.
If it doesn’t have to be there tomorrow, then there is no need to rush and drive up your delivery costs.
Offer your customers a range of delivery options and let them choose whether or not to select the quickest or most cost effective option.
WEIGH GOODS ACCURATELY
If you’re making estimates on how much your goods weigh, or using bathroom or kitchen scales for the job, then it is definitely time for an upgrade.
Overestimating how much items weigh or by using inaccurate scales, can end up costing you.
Invest in a quality postal scale that is appropriate for the average item you’re sending
Measure the dimensions of your shipments.
It is advised that you take pictures of your shipments while measuring them, in order to keep a recorded proof of the weight and dimensions in case there are any discrepancies later on with the carrier.
Consider investing in a label printer, or creating a system that will print directly onto envelopes.
Find out if your carrier will allow you to print a label directly from their website to help you save time.
This particularly applies if you are sending a variety of goods to different locations
While one courier company may be the cheapest for domestic packages, another may be more cost-effective for international deliveries.
A comparison website like World Options can help you find and compare rates quickly and easily.
Printing shipping labels can be a time-consuming practice, especially if you’re manually entering the details, printing off and attaching each individual label every time. Consider investing in a Thermal Printer
It can be tempting to stay with one delivery company out of convenience, however there are better rates to be found if you shop around.
NEGOTIATE SHIPPING RATES
If you are a regular, or semi-regular user of couriers, then it might be time to explore your relationship with them further and negotiate shipping rates.
If your business is well established, use your sales forecasts, average volumes and frequencies to leverage a better deal.
If your company is in its early days, or ships lower volumes, then a shipping solutions company such as World Options has already done the hard work negotiating for you. By harnessing the power of bulk buying, World Options can pass on savings to SMEs that would otherwise be reserved for large companies with high shipping volumes.
Often, all it takes to get a lower rate is to simply call up and ask.