How to Save Money on Shipping

Shipping centers handle tons of freight annually.
Shipping centers handle tons of freight annually. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Shipping costs greatly impact business owners. Whether tacked on to orders received or passed along to the customer as additional fees, these extra charges quickly add up and strike directly at the bottom line. Many providers offer a wealth of shipping services, ranging from first-class envelopes to parcel post, all at varying rates and discounts. Carefully preparing goods for transport and selecting specific options can help reduce shipping costs and have a positive impact on the cash flow of many businesses.

Request and employ minimal packaging. Make an effort to use the smallest amount of packaging materials possible to ensure products and documents reach their destination safely. When purchasing goods, ask vendors to do the same. Not only does this reduce shipping weight, a major factor in costs, but it also reduces waste.

Measure products exactly with a certified postal scale. Postal scales, available from business supply stores as well as transport or postal companies, measure documents or packages as closely as possible. Exact weights allow more accurate shipping costs, reducing overpayment.

Consider flat-rate shipping for large or heavy items. Many postal or parcel delivery services offer flat-rate envelopes and boxes. These may provide excellent discounts over weight-based delivery fees. Ask vendors if they offer or employ these options, as well.

Compare rates from various companies. Many delivery services post rate calculations online, allowing savvy shippers to comparison shop for the best deal. Accurate measurements and comparison shopping can greatly reduce overall costs.

Ship and receive from a single central office. Reduce the additional fees associated with shipping to and from multiple shipping addresses by employing a single shipping address. For large campuses or business centers, provide the shipper with a clear map detailing all points of shipping or receiving to indicate that the center qualifies as a single address.

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