How Small Businesses Can Save on Shipping Costs

By Amylee Silva
August 10, 2023
person wrapping a box with string

Shipping costs can be a significant expense for small businesses. But with some strategic planning and a few simple tips, you can save big on shipping costs.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the most effective ways to minimize your shipping costs. Whether you’re shipping domestically or internationally, this guide will help you save money and get your products where they need to go on time.

Cutting Shipping Costs: A Guide for Small Businesses

Choose the Right Carrier

Of all the carriers out there, some may be better suited to your business needs than others. Choose the carrier that works best for you, not based on their popularity or price tag. Don’t just consider the cost, but consider efficiency, speed, reach, reliability, customer service, reporting, and tracking.

Negotiate Rates

Many carriers are open to rate negotiations depending on how much you ship. You can save on shipping costs by contacting your shipping company and negotiating prices or signing up for a shipping plan.

Optimize your Packaging

Another proven way to cut shipping costs is by optimizing shipping supplies and packaging. Come up with a package dimension and weight that fits the requirements for the service you are using. Additionally, use boxes and envelopes that are lightweight and affordable. Ensure that your product packaging is minimal to reduce the weight and size of your parcels. As products can shift during transportation, use proper packaging materials such as bubble wrap or foam inserts to safeguard your goods.

Use Third-Party Shipping Software

Third-Party Software such as ShipSimple, which integrates between you and various carriers, can save you time and money by automating the shipping process. By seamlessly integrating with multiple carriers, businesses can shop for the best shipping rates with zero obligation. And with automated features such as label generation, package tracking, and real-time shipping rates, you can also save valuable time.

Leverage Multi-Carrier Shipping Software

By leveraging multi-carrier shipping software, you can streamline the shipping process, reduce operational costs, and boost efficiency. Best of all, you don’t have to sacrifice quality or service for affordability. With the right software, you can compare carrier rates, track shipments, handle returns, and schedule pickups all in one place.

Automate the shipping process

You can also save on shipping costs by automating the shipping process. The use of e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce can help with automation, batch printing of labels, order fulfillment, and tracking of packages. Automating shipping label generation and printing saves time and effort, reduces human error, and makes the order fulfillment process more efficient and cost-effective.

Offer free shipping for selected items

Running promotions with free shipping can be a double win for small businesses that want to cut shipping costs and boost sales. Select specific items you can offer under free shipping promotions to entice customers to purchase more. With increased shipping volumes, you’ll be able to negotiate better rates. Additionally, you can set minimum order quantities that encourage customers to spend more and, in turn, meet their free shipping threshold.

Take Advantage of Shipping Discounts

Look for deals on shipping supplies, as well as discounts offered by carriers. Many carriers offer discounted rates if you sign up for their loyalty or frequent shipper program. Shipping companies also often have promotions around the holidays that can help cut your costs.

Pass on the costs to customers

Finally, another way to save on shipping costs is to include them in your item’s retail prices or to charge extra fees to cover shipping costs. By doing this, you’re shifting the shipping costs to your customers, which, in turn, can keep your profit margins stable and minimize the impact of shipping costs on your bottom line.

As a small business, cutting shipping costs is vital to remain competitive, achieve profitability, and offer your customers the best value for their money. You can effectively reduce your shipping expenses by optimizing your shipments, automating labeling, and tracking and negotiating carrier rates.

Combining these measures with free shipping promotions and passing shipping costs on to customers can help you achieve the goal of cost efficiency. Start applying these tips today, and see shipping expenses reduce in no time.

Looking for a shipping partner to do just that? See how much you can save on courier costs with today. Sign up for FREE and with Zero Obligation.

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