Most small businesses allocate a significant amount of their budgets towards shipping and handling costs. Whether they’re in B2B or B2C doesn’t matter, what matters is the fact that there are several areas where shipping costs can be improved (or cut entirely). How much is your business spending on shipping per month? What about per quarter?
These are the types of questions that operators need to be asking themselves (or their office managers). Nearly every single business spends at least some amount of money on shipping, and chances are they’re overspending.
There are several different ways that you can cut shipping costs, and in the following sections, we cover all of the most effective strategies for doing so. Whether it’s via consolidating your shipping supply purchases, going paperless, or switching up your suppliers for different products, there are many different avenues to explore.
Consider Changing Your Supplier(s)
Just because you’ve been using the same supplier for X years doesn’t mean that you can’t explore other options. You might be able to save hundreds of dollars per year (or more, if you’re a bigger-sized business) just by switching suppliers.
Apart from switching your supplier, you can also consider switching the specific products you purchase. Some brands are more expensive than others, which is obvious, but what isn’t obvious is that purchasing cheaper brands might end up costing more in the long run. We recommend using a quality envelope/stationery brand.
Many products simply aren’t durable or are produced with every possible corner cut. Tyvek is an example of a company that produces durable, high-quality envelopes. Why are Tyvek envelopes tough? They’re produced using high standards and are developed with durable materials (unlike most other brands). That’s the type of product/brand that you should be purchasing (not whatever’s currently on sale/clearance).
Reconsider How You Actually Ship Your Items/Documents
Shipping costs vary according to the size of the envelope/package being sent. Your business might be losing hundreds or thousands in savings just from using envelopes/packages that aren’t the proper size.
If you’re looking to lower your company’s shipping costs, you should be exploring additional service providers (e.g. UPS vs USPS vs FedEx) and also determining which actual shipment method is best (i.e. first class vs priority). The actual dimensions of your shipment also play an important role in cost. If you analyze all of these factors, you should be able to see some gaps in savings that you can instantly apply to lower your business’s shipping-related costs.
Move to Online-Based Shipping Services
Countless businesses are stuck in 1999 – which means they simply aren’t utilizing the web to their advantage. How does this apply to shipping costs? There are numerous online shipping services that handle label printing, cost reports, and tracking. Most of these applications are worth their monthly subscription fees because they also integrate with most major accounting platforms.
Moving to the internet doesn’t just apply to shipping-related costs. If you were to move your business’s entire office supply process to cloud-based apps (i.e. the internet), you’d be surprised at how much of an impact that would have on your bottom line. Even if you’re only saving a few cents at a time, that could easily translate to thousands over the course of a year (or even more if your business is particularly resource-heavy).
Don’t Use Carrier-Based Insurance
If your business sends a lot of high-value items/documents (i.e. shipments that need to be insured), you should look into using third-party insurance providers. Many of the popular online shipping platforms have this option built-in. However, if you’re still using carrier insurance (e.g. USPS insurance), you’re probably losing out on hundreds or thousands in savings per year (especially if you ship items with very high monetary values).
Go Completely Digital Whenever Possible
When it comes to cutting shipping costs, the easiest way (and the one that can have an immediate impact) is by sending an email whenever possible. Don’t send that letter/document through regular mail, send it via email.
Likewise, don’t send those documents through the mail, send them through a secured document sharing platform. There are numerous online providers of such services, with many of them being used by some of the world’s leading companies and brands. If you’re a small business owner looking to cut your shipping costs (and increase your bottom line), the methods posted in the above sections are a good primer on the topic.