Cheap Shipping Options for Small Businesses

By Amylee Silva
July 6, 2023
Woman at door receiving a courier package

Shipping costs can be a major expense for any small business. Fortunately, there are cost-effective shipping solutions available for businesses of all sizes and budgets. By taking the time to research your options and compare different companies’ rates, you can find the perfect shipping solution that fits your needs and budget.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the cheapest shipping options available for small businesses so that you can save on your shipping costs and maintain a healthy bottom line.

Keep reading to learn more about some of the most affordable shipping solutions out there!

Things Small Businesses Need to Consider Before Shipping

Consider the following factors before shipping your orders.


For packaging, give more attention to package presentation. Consider your customers’ unboxing experience when they receive the order. Depending on the customer and the product, you can personalize the package and customize the shipping labels. But don’t break the bank for it. Packaging can get expensive – consider the tips below to reduce the cost.

  • Purchase the shipping materials in bulk.
  • Use flat rate boxes.
  • Consider free shipping supplies from your carrier.


The further you ship, the more you incur. Also, when shipping internationally, ensure your shipment isn’t on the “forbidden items” list. You will also incur additional shipping fees in customs, duties, taxes, and documentation. For local customers, consider local delivery/pickup.


A suitable shipping strategy is necessary, depending on the volume you ship frequently. You can do it in-house if your business has just a few orders. However, if you ship more packages above 100 monthly, you may need to outsource order fulfillment to a third party.

Speed and Cost

Offering free and fast shipping may bring losses. To cushion yourself from loss, adhere to the following.

  • Offer free shipping only for orders that exceed the minimum order requirement.
  • Offer Flat Shipping Rates such that the customers pay a fixed shipping rate irrespective of their orders.

Cheap Shipping Options for Small Businesses – Cheap Shipping Companies

The following are affordable shipping options for small businesses in Canada.

DHL Express

DHL Express is a reliable shipping carrier ideal for personal usage and small businesses. This shipping company does shipping at affordable shipping costs, giving small businesses room to expand. It is the best shipping company to use if you’re looking forward to expanding into new markets or increasing the efficiency of deliveries.

With years of experience in service delivery to both domestic and international customers, you are assured of quality shipping services. You’ll also benefit from the various shipping tools they provide to help small businesses develop. Another fantastic feature is the flexibility to choose the delivery speed – you can opt for standard or expedited shipping if you want it delivered fast.


  • Quality and reliable international shipping services for small businesses.
  • Access to widespread resources for easy international shipping.


  • Unfortunately, DHL Express imposes several optional service fees, which may hike the shipping cost.

United States Postal Service (USPS)

The United States Postal Service is your number-one domestic and international shipping option. The company has exclusive discounts, which reduce shipping costs, benefiting online businesses. In addition, the company offers loyalty credits to businesses that partner with them in shipping.

Lastly, they offer fast shipping times – between two to five business days. However, if your shipment is less time-sensitive, it can take up to eight days to deliver.


  • It offers loyalty credits and volume discounts.
  • Fast shipping.


  • You’ll pay an extra fee for shipments delivered on a Sunday.


UPS should be your ideal choice, especially when shipping large shipments. The shipping company has competitive rates for large packages. They ensure quality service delivery, and their customer service team guides customers on package preparation. Their established reputation earns them an extra point besides having great tools tailored for small businesses.


  • It has tools that help small businesses succeed.
  • It offers same-day delivery for time-sensitive packages.


  • They don’t offer Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping options in-house for emergency freight shipping.

How to Reduce Shipping Costs for a Small Business

Consider the following tips to reduce shipping costs for a small business in Canada.

Monitor Shipping Rates

The best strategy for small-business shipping is monitoring the rates different carriers impose at different times of the year. Different carriers review their rates yearly and adjust them accordingly. High labour and fuel cost is the main reason these shipping companies review their rates.

Find the time of the year the carrier offers the lowest shipping rates and use this as a guide for your small business needs.

Reduce Your Package Weight

Heavier packages have higher shipping costs than lighter ones. So, as a small business in Canada, you should try to reduce the gross weight of the package. You can do so by:

  • Create custom shipping packages. Ensure the shipping package dimensions matches the size and weight of your merchandise.
  • Consider packing in a corrugated box instead of regular cardboard boxes.
  • Consider using lightweight packing materials such as foam inserts, bubble wrap, air pillows, excelsior, and packing paper.

Choose the Right-Sized Packaging

The package’s size and weight may increase or reduce the shipping cost. So, having the right-sized packaging is essential. To find the right-sized package, measure your products’ dimensions and determine the number/volume you’ll send under one shipment. This practice helps you determine the right-sized package to choose for most of your orders.

Offer Local Delivery/Pickup

Local delivery saves more, especially when dealing with local customers. Alternatively, you can have them pick up their orders from your physical stores by themselves.

It is no secret that shipping costs can bring you down. You can avoid this inconvenience by opting for cheap shipping solutions. Choose a company with the cheapest shipping rates for your small business shipping needs – you can consider one from the list reviewed in this article. Also, you can sign up free and with zero obligation to see how much you can save today.

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