How These 8 Approaches Can Reduce Your Shipping Cost

Publisher Channel Content by

8 Simple Ways to Cut Shipping Costs

Like most entrepreneurs, I’m constantly looking for ways to make my companies run more profitably, and I try to leave no stone unturned.  I discovered a few years ago that I hadn’t really paid much attention to shipping costs — both for goods I order in and for products I ship to clients — and the year-end total was a substantial sum.

Cut Shipping Costs

Since we spend shipping costs just a few dollars at a time, it’s easy to underestimate our expenses, but it turns out that we can save a bundle if we pay a little attention with strategies like these:

1. Make It a Priority

Once a year or so, I sit down and review all my shipping costs.  I check out my options, and make sure I’m working with the most economical choices.  I’ve also learned that if I sit back and do nothing, shipping companies are happy to charge me the highest prices.  I make an effort to be the squeaky wheel, and the result is better pricing.

2. Consolidate Your Business

I’ve had great results when I ask companies that ship to me to use the same account I use to ship products to clients.  The pricing becomes more transparent, and I simply build shipping costs into my price to consumers.  In addition, I become more valuable to my shipper since my business increases.

3. Use PUPs (Pick Up Points)

Say you’re selling hand painted wine glasses, and shipping to individual customers.  If you can find a local kitchen store that’s willing to accept delivery of your items, your customers can pick up their glasses in the store.  You’re saving money by shipping a large number of items in a single shipment, and you’ll also save on packaging costs as well.

4. Factor in Packaging and Shipping Materials

Whether you’re talking about bubble wrap, tape, or boxes, there’s a cost associated with each one, which means there’s opportunity to economize.  Price alternatives, and don’t forget to ask your shipping company if they offer discounted (or even free) packing supplies.

5. Opt for Regional Carriers

You do have options other than UPS, DHL, and FedEx.  Explore pricing for local companies that may save you money and benefit small businesses as well.

6. Trim Excess Weight

If you’re producing goods to ship to customers, don’t overlook the degree to which your product’s weight affects shipping costs.  If you can tweak your design to make your item lighter, you’ll save money.

7. Explore Discounts

Depending on what you’re shipping, you may be able to find lower rates from certain shippers.  USPS, for example, offers discounts for shipping books, CDs, and DVDs.

8. Check out Hybrid Options

Smart Post is a collaboration between UPS and USPS, that offers significant discounts on typical costs.  As more merchandise is delivered to consumers’ homes, look for these hybrid options to increase and improve.

One of the key steps in running a profitable business is reducing expenses, and shipping costs are part of the whole package (pardon the pun).

Related reading: Best Cost Cutting Ideas for Your Business

Shipping Photo via Shutterstock

More in: 2 Comments ▼

Mike Michalowicz Mike Michalowicz is a globally recognized entrepreneurial advocate and is the author of Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. Mike can be seen as a segment host on MSNBC where he leads business makeovers, and frequently on news channels as a small business expert. He is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur and American Express Open Forum.

2 Reactions
  1. Mike, great tips! Shipping seems to be an often overlooked expense but it’s usually an oversight that can afford great savings if monitored.

  2. I agree. You really need to single out a cost and find out all the factors that affect it. From here, you can investigate how to bring it lower.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *