Are you struggling with high shipping costs? As a small business, shipping costs can be a considerable expense, and it’s essential to take control of this expense before it becomes a problem.

A recent surge in container freight charges may increase consumer prices by 1.5 percent this year. That cost is a burden for small businesses as they aren’t always able to pass the cost on to their customers.

Are you faced with passing on shipping increases to your customers? Here’s a seven-step guide to small business shipping tips that you can use in your business.

1. What is Your Product’s Dimensional (DIM) Weight?

Dimensional weight is a measurement of volumetric weight. Larger packages became more expensive due to the space they used relative to their weight, so DIM is now part of the cost of shipping.

DIM equals the length of the package times the height divided by a DIM factor. DIM is a number that can change from carrier to carrier.

Some ways to reduce the weight of your packages include:

  • Use corrugated boxes to pack your products,
  • Select lightweight packing materials such as air pillows and bubble wrap,
  • Design custom packaging that matches your product.

You can substantially reduce the weight of your packages by evaluating your shipping and packaging materials. Lighter parcels may seem small, but over time they can add up. You can reduce your overall costs that will reflect larger profit margins.

2. Consider A Professional

When navigating the complex regulations in the shipping industry, it helps to have someone on your side. Sobel shipping consulting has the expertise to assist you with the resources and tools you need to ship your product safely at the lowest cost.

If you need specific services, you can negotiate based on your companies needs. In some cases, many carriers have small business programs with discounts, packaging assistance, and consulting.

These companies want to work with your small business and build a relationship with you. They often offer these services at no cost to support you.

3. Negotiate Your Small Business Shipping Rates

Many small businesses aren’t aware that shipping costs are negotiable. They accept the first quote they receive and often pay more than they should. Shipping companies value your small business, and they are willing to talk about how they can help you with your shipping costs.

Be an early adopter of technology when it comes to shipping. Automated parcel auditing can free up time your employees can spend elsewhere in your business.

When you consider how to save on shipping, free package pickup is one option that some shipping companies offer. If you ask how to ship products from home, this service can save your small business quite a bit of money.

4. Verify Shipping Charges

The money is in the details. Many small businesses don’t take the time to verify the amounts charged by shipping companies. It’s easier to pay than take the time to check that the bills are correct.

Periodic audits are a worthwhile exercise that pays off when your shipping company gives your orders extra attention. When you shine a light on shipping costs, you may discover cost-saving ideas that you would miss if you paid the invoices without examining them.

5. Use Proper Packaging to Avoid Damage

One component of small business shipping supplies is packaging. This is one area that can save your small business some money. It’s easy to skimp on the packaging but it can cost a small business in several ways. Shipping damages are often a result of poor packaging, which is often the shipper’s responsibility.

If you are paying for your own packaging, this may be an opportunity to save money. Some shipping companies can help you reduce your shipping costs while providing you with packaging for your product.

Packaging is an opportunity to provide your customer with a great first impression. When a package arrives damaged, it reflects poorly on your company. Packaging is part of your product design and is an opportunity to present a professional appearance.

Unboxing is a recent trend where a customer will video their experience opening the packaging of your product in real-time. A poorly packaged or damaged product will not make a great impression on your customers, and you will lose the opportunity to make more sales.

6. Small Business Shipping Tips Include Delivery Dates

When you promise a prompt delivery, you set an expectation for your customer. If you’re unable to meet the deadline, it’s a poor result. Don’t over-promise.

You can set specific shipping rules, and when your shipper can’t meet these deadlines, they will reduce your rates. It makes sense to have your shipping provider guarantee shipping within specific guidelines.

You may need to work with several shipping companies to find the services you need in all situations. There’s usually not a single company that can meet all of your needs in every case.

7. Prepay Your Shipping Costs

When you have standard items that your customers regularly order or a standard size that you ship, it’s good to consider prepayment of shipping costs.

Prepurchase shipping labels in advance and attach them to packages as orders come in. This can save you time and reduce shipping costs for your small business.

Use flat-rate shipping whenever you can. Flat rate shipping allows you to ship at a single rate, regardless of the item’s weight, shape, or size. Right away, you’ll save from the ability to ship at a fixed cost for every item.

Prepayment can work when you have many orders for popular items that are the same size and approximate weight. You can negotiate flat-rate shipping within specific zones in the US. Flat rates also apply within specific ranges of weights and sizes.

Reduce Your Shipping Costs With Confidence

When it comes to small business shipping tips, every small detail counts. From packaging to timing, there are ways to reduce your costs. When you take the time to research your options, you’ll be able to reduce your shipping costs with these ideas.

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