June 08, 2022
Did you know that small to medium-sized businesses overspend on shipping their products by around 13% per year? Most small businesses don’t have that kind of money to squander.
Shipping companies are an integral part of any business's supply chain. They help small businesses maintain good customer relationships by delivering orders on time and at reasonable rates. We’ve looked into some of the most cost-effective shipping options so you don’t have to.
Top 4 carriers
- USPS – USPS Small Business Solutions not only provides shipping discounts based on volume but also allows businesses to earn reward credits when they use Click-N-Ship. Average shipping takes 2-8 days and for a fee, Sunday and holiday deliveries can sometimes be completed.
- UPS - UPS SurePost® is a service that offers economy shipping for your non-urgent, business-to-consumer parcels. The shipment pick up and final delivery are sometimes both made by UPS but USPS does handle the final delivery for around 65% of the packages. The average shipping time is 2-7 days. So while it is economical, it does come with some longer transit times.
- DHL - The DHL ecommerce team is dedicated to providing a variety of options for shipping your items. They will handle the first part of your delivery and then hand it over to the USPS for the last leg of the delivery. The perfect solution for ecommerce businesses looking for affordable shipping of small packages.
- FedEx – FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery are great choices for businesses looking to find a good balance between rates and speediness. They provide a calculator online to help businesses determine which option best suits their needs.
Compare prices of shipping carriers
There are a few things to consider when shipping packages. The most important thing is to find a shipping carrier that offers the best price for the service you need. You also want to make sure that the carrier has a good reputation for shipping packages quickly and efficiently at a cost that works for you.
Use a slower but more affordable shipping method
When shipping packages, it is important to consider both the speed and the cost of the shipping method. While it may be tempting to choose the fastest shipping option available, this can often be quite expensive. For businesses on a budget, a slower but more affordable shipping method may be a better option. Although the package may take longer to arrive, the overall cost will be much lower. In addition, choosing a slower shipping method can help to reduce your carbon footprint. By opting for a less speedy shipping option, you'll be using less fuel and emitting fewer greenhouse gases. A lot of your customers will appreciate this.
Take advantage of online discounts and rewards
There are a number of ways to save money on shipping costs, and taking advantage of online discounts and coupons is one of the most effective. Many shipping carriers offer a variety of discounts that can be used on both shipping and handling charges. For example, USPS offers volume discounts and FedEx offers up to 60% off shipping when you open an account. By taking advantage of these discounts and rewards, you can save a significant amount of money on your shipping costs.
Check on additional offers or incentives
All of these companies offer great shipping options but what else can they do for your small business? Here are a few examples of how these carriers are going above and beyond.
- USPS provides advice on how you can use direct mail to advertise your business and can connect you with experts.
- UPS has partnered with a variety of industry leaders to offer support on all aspects of your small to medium-sized business. You get a free 15-minute consultation to help you get started.
- DHL states that they will help optimize small businesses by getting you in contact with experts.
- FedEx has several resources on their website and they have granted thousands of dollars to winners of their small business grant contest.
Consider handing it over to the pros
Some small businesses may want to consider outsourcing all of their order fulfillment to a third-party logistics company instead of trying to find the best shipping options on their own. A 3PL will be able to negotiate the lowest shipping prices and save your business money on things like inventory management and shopping cart integration. All order fulfillment tasks will be handled for you. If this is an option that sounds appealing to you, let's get you a quote so you can decide if this makes sense for your business.