Top Five Ways (and more) to Gain Control of Your Shipping Costs

March 31, 2016
Author: Bill Bonato

Shipping costs can take a big bite out of a small business budget. In fact, for most companies, depending on their industry, the shipping budget typically represents anywhere from 3% to 7% of total revenue. The good news is there are many ways to cut costs, from renegotiating your carrier agreements to “no-rush” options and easy-to-use tools.

  1. Reduce or eliminate air waybills: Use an automated system to audit invoices for fraud, address errors and gain access to carrier discounts.
  2. Determine if you really need signature delivery: Use email notifications and electronic return receipts for delivery confirmation, unless a signature is needed.
  3. Examine the true delivery needs of your recipients: Find out when your customers expect delivery. Eliminating unnecessary overnight or rush shipping and optimizing delivery times can significantly reduce costs.
  4. The Thursday/Friday factor:  Both Thursday two-day shipping and Friday overnight service means Monday delivery. And, while some carriers consider Saturday a business day, others apply a surcharge. Before you add extra charges, confirm your customers’ delivery expectations—Thursday two-day service may work just fine!
  5. Educate your organization about preferred services and carriers: Realize big cost savings by eliminating “onesie-twosie” shipments that go into drop boxes. Broadly communicate preferred carrier rates and services to your organization and consider tools that centralize shipping.