As a small business owner, you know that every penny counts. But sometimes the costs of shipping can be so high that it puts a strain on your budget and forces you to make some tough decisions.
Thankfully, there are courier shipping platforms designed specifically for brick and mortar stores or online ecommerce stores like yours!
In this blog post we'll discuss 11 secrets to saving big with courier shipping for your store's specific needs.
That is the question that many business owners ask themselves when they are deciding what to do with their website.
Shipping products to your customers will always be an expense for your business so it's important to get the best rates possible and this means being able to shop around without having to invest time in doing so.
Discount shopping is a new way to compare shipping quotes from multiple carriers all at once. This means that you can find the best options for price and timing, with just one click!
With multi carrier shipping platforms you can search for free and compare rates in seconds by providing instant access to detailed information on carriers like DHL, FedEx, USPS shipping, Purolator, CanPar, Canada Post and more.
You can also compare service rates like priority mail, priority mail express, first class mail and other timing services all from one software.
The best shipping platforms make it easy to pay for your next shipment, whether for you're a brick and mortar or online ecommerce store.
Schedle a demo with CourierGateway to get started for FREE. Our cloud based software is easy to use and lets you pay as you go.
A negotiated contract with multiple carriers means savings of up to 75% or more off the cost of trucking shipments as opposed to full retail price on a per-shipment basis.
Some include discounts based on volume shipped over time, all while providing access to all major freight lines without any hidden fees!
What's not to love?
You may be thinking that your business wouldn't qualify for discounted rates or any shipping discounts, but that may not be the case.
With the right platform or ability to bundle services, you can take advantage of discounts at a price right from day one of your business.
A courier shipping platform can also help you print shipping labels from home, organize courier pickups from any location you choose and pay as you go on postage fees.
Discounted shipping options are for businesses of all sizes, and with a little help from the right people you can save big on your very next order.
When you are first starting out it may be hard to negotiate your way to a discount on shipping.
To get discounts, it really pays off to know your destinations and to have all of your logistics in order before negotiating for lower rates.
It may be worth paying more upfront if you can save money over time by getting shipping discounts later down the road.
You also want to make sure that when you are booking flights or sending freight internationally, that you do so through an agent who will negotiate for better rates based on volume as opposed to just going direct with one airline or transport company.
And the same goes for commercial couriers and rail shipments (link to rail).
The cheapest way to ship something is through a courier company. While post office mail and priority services may seem the cheapest option on domestic delivery, they can also take longer and packages often get misplaced, lost or damaged.
Courier companies charge by the pound, which is why they are best for smaller items when an envelope just won't do.
The rate will depend on weight, destination, and how quickly you want your product delivered.
The reason behind this is because of how courier companies calculate their rates: They first determine an item's weight based on its dimensions, density, and packaging size.
Then they measure the distance between destinations using miles or kilometers - whichever measurement you prefer.
Finally, they come up with a fair price per unit area - aka "per square foot" -that would cover both costs.
Sometimes the weight of your box can impact the total weight of your shipment due to how it's packaged.
Boxes can be expensive, but selecting one that's lighter may help you save on shipping costs - plus help prevent breakage and unnecessary damage to poor packing.
Choosing the wrong size box can greatly impact how your product is received.
For example, if you choose one that is too small your product may not fit inside or even worse - it could break during the shipping process.
Save money on shipping by using flat-rate boxes.
Using a multi courier shipping services platform is the best option when looking to cut carrier costs.
This is because you're able to consolidate your shipment in one place and take advantage of any discounts that may be available.
You can also label and ship your product and package from anywhere you have a printer available - no office required.
Timing is everything when it comes to shipping.
If you want to save money on courier rates, plan for slower times of the week, avoid weekends and holidays and when possible offer curbside pick up or free local delivery for your customers.
You may be tempted to cast your shipping net wide and far when first starting out but narrowing your customer service area may help reduce your shipping rates up front.
Securing the best shipping discounts available means being flexible in what packing you use.
Some of the best shipping rates are for poly mailings or other types of delivery envelopes and if you're lucky you may have the option to use these types of packages for your store products.
A small investment in some new packing can pay off on small order shipments.
If you run a brick and mortar store or an e commerce shop for your customers, there are plenty of ways to save on courier shipping. One way is by using prepaid postage labels.
They can be purchased in bulk at discounted rates if you're ordering from the same vendor and know your dimensions and weights exactly.
While preparing for your shipping services upfront may help you secure lower service rates for future shipments, there are some risks involved with this type of service or account set up. The main risk being overextending yourself or cash flow during your start up phase.
It also helps if you know your exact handling fee before the customer does so there's no confusion about how much they will pay for their purchase in advance.
Being clear about your pricing including shipping costs can help set expectations, increase customer satisfaction and confidence in your brand.
Never assume you know how quickly (or slowly) a customer may want their shipment and what they may be willing to spend extra for postage, tracking, insurance or even priority mail express service.
That's why it pays to work with a courier service that provides different shipping speeds. The more options you provide, the better quality of services you can offer.
When looking to ship your products consider using multiple services for the same delivery.
For example, if you ship to outside your state or province or ship nationwide consider using two commercial services together. This strategy may be especially true for international shipping.
Examples of hybrid services are:
A regional courier service and a national carrier
A local trucking company with another trucking company that has nationwide coverage
The lighter the box, the less fuel and handling it requires. Couriers can provide more tailored pricing to save money because they don't have to use a "cookie cutter" flat-rate shipping method for packages that may weigh heavier than others or are less to ship in general due to their size.
With ecommerce becoming increasingly popular, couriers are getting busier with many shipments being made of varying sizes and weights - so knowing your dimensional weight may be key in securing shipping discounts.
When using a courier shipping platform, discounted shipping is clear and easy to understand.
As a part of the courier shipping platform's network you as a small business are eligible for commercial shipping discounts you otherwise wouldn't have been able to negotiate for yourself.
By piggy-backing off of the platform's negotiated rates available, based on years of loyalty and volume shipping, your business can offer the cheapest rates on the fastest services possible without harming your bottom line.
A volume shipping discount is when the more you ship, the less it costs per item. A volume shipping discount is typically available for items that are light and can be shipped in larger quantities like books or apparel.
The best way to get a volume shipping discount? Sign up with an online marketplace! Online marketplaces offer discounts on courier shipping because they often have relationships with couriers who will give them better rates than small businesses would otherwise receive when sending single shipments of goods.
When it comes to choosing your shipping partners there are a number of factors you need to consider.
Common considerations over and above shipping rates and discounts are:
-reputation - does the courier or carrier have a good delivery reputation? are they able to ship the product or package you are looking to send?
- pricing - the amount it costs to ship your items depending on size, and destination
- cost per order - do you want to charge your customer for shipping?
- percentage of lost packages - will you insure your packages? How much will this raise the price per package?
- time in transit - do you want packages to ship quickly or at a slower rate that saves money on freight fees?
Taxes and duty-related charges are an additional cost to ship your products that you have to consider.
For example, if you live in Canada there will be a Canadian Goods and Services Tax (GST) or a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) charged on all goods shipped within the country.
There may also be an international shipping tax or duty fee for your customer as well. And it will be their responsibility to cover these taxes and fees so you need to make sure they are not surprised when it comes to paying up.
With integrated shipping platforms like CourierGateway's verified Shopify app, both you the business owner and the customer can save instantly.
Offer a variety of delivery options in the checkout for your customer to choose from that make sense for your business. Examples are:
Including free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount
amount curbside pick up
post office mail tracking
priority mail express
Allowing your customers freedom of choice on how to ship their orders will help you stand out from an already crowded space.
CourierGateway is here to do all the hard work so that you don't have any needlessly difficult decisions to make about your shipment needs!
Whether it's within Canada or across the border, CourierGateway is your best choice with unbeatable prices.
As an authorised shipping reseller and verified Shopify app, CourierGateway helps make small business shipping more affordable with exclusive volume prices and discounts with leading couriers.
Don't rely on post office ground delivery alone, with savings up to 75% now it's easier than ever to get your package delivered affordably via CourierGateway.
If you're a small business owner trying to get the best rates on shipping, we can help. Our free account software is designed to get you up and running fast.
It's not always easy finding all of your options and getting the most competitive pricing for those services.
Fortunately, with CourierGateway, you'll have only one place to manage all your orders from start-to-finish from the ground up including managing any complaints about shipping costs without having to switch back and forth between multiple sites or apps.
Print, label, sign and send your next commercial parcel with ease and dare we say with even some delight with CourierGateway.
Contact us today if you want more information on how our software could work for your company's needs.