It’s 2019, and many small businesses are just getting over the holiday shopping season rush. As business owners go through the year end number, many are scratching their head wondering how costs have either gone up, down, or sideways. With the rising cost of goods and services, shipping costs are another concern for many small businesses.
To help, here is a game plan guide for shipping for small business in 2019.
Shipping carriers work by offering lower rates based on the amount shipping volume done by the business. The more products shipped, the more negotiation power businesses have to reduce the cost to ship items domestically and internationally.
Depending on where your customer base is located, using regional carriers can be a great way to take advantage of discounts and foster a great relationship with your shipping providers. Regional shippers tend to offer lower rates than the national shippers. They are often much smaller and may consist of local drivers to ship your product out. They have extensive range within your province, region, state or proximity. This can drastically reduce the cost of shipping for small businesses.
Almost all shipping carriers have one type of insurance option or another. The problem is, it may not be worth it for high price point products. Most insurance companies charge a certain dollar amount per $100. By using a third party company, you can save a significant amount per item and still get the same level of protection.
Shipping insurance works the same way as most insurances, if the product is lost, destroyed, or defected during transit, the carrier will cover the cost of the item. Not every business needs this option, it often a case by case situation where either the customer requests it or the business has it as an extra precaution.
Holiday shipping, fuel surcharges, signatures, residential deliveries are a bunch of “extra” service fees that shipping carriers can charge you if the wrong option is not selected. Much like insurance, making sure that these features fit the needs of your business and customer is important.
Any small business owner that has an online store knows how streamlined most of the back-end is. Platforms like Shopify provide fully integrated features that handle everything from the storefront to customer service and everything in between. They even have special deals with shipping couriers to allow for users to purchase and print shipping labels directly from the order.
They even offer a range of options such as basic, tracked, expedited, Xpresspost, as seen below:
These options increase in price but also offer more expedited delivery dates and include additional features. Some businesses find it is cheaper to reship a product in case of damage or if it gets lost. This is purely based on the
Shipping carriers are very particular with the dimensions and weight of products being shipped. You will save money by using lighter and smaller packaging versus large boxes. Don’t use a large box if a smaller box or bubble mailer will do. That also means that you shouldn’t compromise the safety of the package by delivering it in something that could damage the product. Thorough testing for what type of packaging works best for the best deal can drastically reduce shipping for small businesses.
The cost of shipping supplies can be as important as the amount it costs to ship something. Buying supplies in bulk at specialty shipping supplies stores online can offer store owners affordable supplies. This way the true cost of shipping can be reduced and which can help increase the bottom line. USPS, FedEx and UPS can also offer discounted supplies when purchasing in bulk online. They can even offer free boxes depending on the type of shipping option selected.
If your small business runs into shipping restrictions, over priced group shipping, or a localized return depot then package forwarding services can help. Reship can help will all of those concerns and help reduce shipping for small businesses.
By following these steps, small businesses can drastically reduce shipping costs and help increase the bottom line. Making it more profitable and giving owners peace of mind.