Businesses that ship products to their customers are often faced with increasing demand for free or low cost delivery and rising shipping costs. There are some simple and easy ways to reduce the costs of shipping and order fulfillment.
All major carriers offer flat rate pricing options, which are perfect if you want to standardize your shipping process. Flat rates help ease the variability associated with shipping costs. USPS, FedEx and UPS all provide free flat rate boxes, which is an additional cost-cutter.
Many shipping carriers use dimensional weight to calculate shipping charges. The result is you pay according to the size of the box (dimensional) or the actual weight, whichever is greater. By reducing the package size, you can lower your shipping costs.
Depending on the shipping destination and the desired delivery time, the lowest-cost shipping method may be overland, air, or ocean. According to Bachus & Schanker Law, an auto accident attorney in Denver, recent changes to regulations along with increased litigation has increased the cost of many overland shipping services. As a result, freight trucks may not be as inexpensive an option as you might imagine. Be sure to get quotes from multiple companies across various methods to ensure you are not overpaying.
Use a credit card that offers purchase rewards to pay your shipping and supply costs. Some credit cards offer as much as 5 percent cashback. You can use the cashback to pay your shipping bills.
When you’re calculating your shipping costs, include not only the postage costs but also shipping materials, fuel surcharges, fees for special delivery services such as return receipt, signature from the recipient, delivery confirmation and other special costs. Check with the carrier that you’re using; each carrier can charge multiple fees for services.
Shipping will continue to be a significant business cost, so prioritize your company’s shipping needs to find serious savings and benefits. If your business can’t afford to devote company resources to order fulfillment analysis, consider outsourcing to reduce overhead. Outsource your order fulfillment with a company that’s a good match for your order processing needs. Look for a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee and a free trial before you commit to a long-term agreement.
If you want to keep shipping in-house, consider an auditing service. An audit reveals refund opportunities in your shipping carrier invoices that the service can then recover, such as refunds for late shipments and charge errors.
Stay aware of your options as your business evolves. You’ll help your business improve your bottom line profitability, while delivering optimum order fulfillment.