How To Save On Shipping Costs - Fulfillment-Box Skip to main content

One of the most important sources of costs for a company is delivery. To ensure your company's competitiveness and achieve sustainable growth, it pays to carefully consider various strategies for reducing delivery costs. In this way, your company can save resources, improve its margins and create more attractive conditions for its customers.

In the following article, we will discuss how to save on shipping costs and how a 3PL provider can assist you in this regard.

1. 8 Tips for Businesses on How to Save on Shipping Costs

1. Collaborate with Multiple Carriers

Choosing the right delivery partner is the first step towards expense optimization. Determining the best company for each type of product or shipping conditions can be a crucial factor in reducing shipping costs and enhancing service quality.

Don't limit yourself to working with just one vendor. Probe the market and talk to several vendors at the same time. This gives you the opportunity to:

  • Choose more favorable shipping conditions. Each carrier sets its own rates based on various factors: weight, volume, delivery type, and even distance. This means that depending on the characteristics of the goods or the destination, you can select the most advantageous option. This is particularly beneficial for saving on the delivery of large-sized or specialized cargo that requires specific transportation conditions.
  • Avoid dependence on a single carrier. By collaborating with multiple carriers simultaneously, you safeguard yourself from the risk of encountering delivery service issues. In the event that one of the carriers faces temporary difficulties or delays, you will always have an alternative option to promptly fulfill orders.
  • Adapt to market changes. A dynamic business environment requires flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Working with multiple vendors gives you greater freedom of choice and the ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions or internal company requirements.

Working with multiple carriers is not only a way to reduce shipping costs, but also an important step in ensuring efficient and reliable logistics. By selecting the best partners for each shipment, you can provide a high-quality service that meets customer needs while saving on logistics costs.

2. Negotiate Wholesale Prices with Carriers

Another way to significantly improve financial performance is to negotiate wholesale prices for deliveries with carriers. Logistics companies are often willing to offer significant discounts. The more goods you ship, the more favorable terms you can get.

Even if your company ships a relatively small number of parcels, there is every chance to obtain a discount or more favorable conditions. Carriers see you as a promising partner in the future. That's why they are willing to provide discounts. Even a small percentage reduction in shipping costs can measurably reduce overall costs.

3. Insure Shipments with Third Parties

Buying insurance from an independent insurance company can be a more advantageous solution than buying insurance directly from a carrier. This way you can save on insurance costs and choose a more suitable option with a good ratio between cost and coverage.

Advantages of Third-Party Insurance:

  • Cost savings. Insurance with third parties often proves to be more financially advantageous. Such companies can offer more competitive rates due to their specialization and customer volume.
  • Flexible terms. You can select the necessary level of insurance depending on the nature of the goods and their value. This allows you to precisely tailor insurance to the needs of your business.
  • Independence from the carrier. When insuring with third parties, you have complete control over the insurance process. This is particularly beneficial if you are working with multiple carriers or considering changing partners.
  • Extensive risk coverage. Independent insurance companies typically offer a broader range of risk coverage. This means that your goods will be protected not only in the case of physical damage but also in situations involving loss, theft, or other unforeseen events.
  • Additional services. Some insurance companies offer supplementary services such as real-time cargo monitoring and tracking, enhancing security and control.

4. Choose the Right Packaging

One of the most effective ways to save on shipping costs is to reduce the size and weight of the shipped goods. This can be achieved by using standard packaging materials.

Standard packaging sizes and shapes allow for optimal utilization of cargo space in vehicles, reducing the likelihood of unused space and unnecessary expenses.

If you are shipping small or non-fragile items, consider using pouches or envelopes instead of boxes. This approach will also help reduce the weight and volume of the packaging.

Pouches are typically lighter and more compact than boxes, which immediately reduces shipping costs. Additionally, they require fewer packaging materials, leading to reduced packaging expenses.

5. Utilize Operator's Packaging Materials

By using the operator's packaging materials, a business can effectively reduce shipping costs. This approach helps avoid extra charges for non-standard dimensions, especially in cases where custom packaging is used that does not comply with the carrier's standards.

Furthermore, utilizing operator's packaging materials contributes to improving order processing speed and enhancing the preservation of goods during delivery. These packaging solutions are often designed with safety and efficient sorting requirements in mind, aiding in the optimization of logistical processes

6. Prepay Shipments to Obtain Discounts

If your company frequently ships parcels of the same size and weight, considering the option of prepaying shipments is advisable.

Many postal services offer the creation and printing of transport labels through online platforms. By purchasing these labels in advance in a certain quantity at special rates or discounts, the company can significantly reduce shipping costs.

7. Include All Expenses and Fees in the Shipping Cost

To avoid additional expenses, include all carrier-related costs and fees in the overall shipping cost displayed in your store.

The effectiveness of this approach lies in passing on all expenses associated with delivery, packaging, order processing, and any additional charges to the customer, rather than shouldering them yourself. This way, unexpected delivery costs can be prevented.

8. Collaborate with Hybrid Services

Collaborating with hybrid services allows you to choose optimal delivery methods for each specific situation. Hybrid services have access to various carriers, including courier services, postal services, express delivery companies, and more. This enables them to select the most advantageous rates for each shipment.

For instance, they can use courier delivery for urgent orders and more affordable postal services for less time-sensitive shipments. This approach helps save on shipping costs without overpaying for urgency when it's not necessary.

Moreover, hybrid services can consolidate multiple shipments from different clients into a single batch. This reduces overall delivery expenses, as the shipping cost is distributed among several senders. They also leverage technology to optimize delivery routes, effectively reducing fuel costs and delivery time.

2. Role of 3PL Providers in Reducing Shipping Costs?

Collaboration with 3PL providers can become a key factor in the shipping cost reduction strategy for many companies. They can offer businesses a wide range of tools and resources to optimize logistics operations:

  • Network of Warehouses in Strategically Important Locations: The network of warehouses provided by the 3PL provider, located in different regions, will allow for reduced delivery distances. This will decrease transportation expenses and shorten delivery times. Ultimately, your company will be able to save on shipping costs.
  • Optimized Packaging: 3PL companies have experience in optimizing product packaging. They can select the best packaging methods to minimize the volume and weight of shipments, thereby reducing shipping costs.
  • Selecting the Best Carriers: 3PL providers have access to various carriers and their networks, enabling them to choose the most economical and efficient delivery methods. They can utilize optimal routes and services for each specific case.
  • Reducing Order Processing Costs: 3PL providers handle tasks such as sorting, packaging, and shipping orders. This accelerates the order processing procedure and reduces personnel expenses.
  • International Delivery: For international shipments, 3PL providers can leverage their resources and expertise in customs procedures, making international delivery more efficient and cost-effective.
  • Automated Management: 3PL companies typically invest in modern technologies and management systems. They can help optimize delivery processes and make shipping costs lower.

A key aspect in the modern business environment is the constant pursuit of optimization and cost reduction. Knowing how to save on shipping costs isn't just about cutting expenses, but also about maintaining competitiveness and success in the market.

Regardless of your company's size, optimizing shipping costs will bring significant benefits in the future and contribute to long-term success.

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Julia Gordon

AuthorJulia Gordon

Head of the Fulfillment-Box Prep Centers network

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