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How to Effectively Reduce Shipping Costs

How to Effectively Reduce Shipping Costs

Recent statistics show that business owners spend billions of dollars on transportation or shipping of their products. If you are one of those businessmen who would like to cut down the shipping charges, then this article has some valuable suggestions for you.
Kulbhushaan Raghuvanshi
The only way to survive in business is to be better and faster than your competitors. Providing quality products to customers can help you survive but offering them those products at a much better price will help your business last long. In these trying times of inflation, customers are looking for ways to save money on everything, especially on delivery charges of the products that they order.
Easy Ways to Lower Shipping Costs
Looking at the current rise in fuel charges, many shippers are considering new methods of cutting down transportation and delivery expenses. There are many business owners who are shipping their products at a much cheaper rate to customers and how are they managing to do it, let's see the secret.
Choosing an Economic Mode
Make a list of all the shipping carriers available. Most business owners would go for FedEx, DHL and UPS (United Parcel Service) services. However, most people don't know that these carriers also offer deferred and postal options which make the delivery process a little long, but quite economical. The shipping procedure usually depends on the condition of the goods ordered; perishable items need to reach the destination on time but non-perishable items don't need to be rushed.
Rating Products
Rating products in various carriers is a good way to cut down on shipping expenditures. If the package is lighter than 13 ounces, the shipper can use 'First-Class Mail' as this is the cheapest option available. Opting for the 'Priority Mail' option saves money when the package delivered is over 14 ounces.
Using Offers Available on Cards
Using credit cards to make payments gets the shipper 5% to 10% off on shipping charges and entitles him/her to various other discounts. Credit cards that have earned miles or cash rewards also save a lot of money on shipping fees.
Deciding the Day of Delivery
Instead of asking buyers which mode of transport they would prefer for their product, ask them which day they are expecting the delivery of their product. Now hunt for the best service based on the time and date given for the desired product.
Asking for Better Discounts
If you are not getting the transportation rate you deserve, ask for a discount. If you are still not satisfied with the discount, search for a new carrier and try to negotiate a good deal. A recent shipping survey showed that carriers offer over 40% for express discount and 30% for ground discount. The survey also suggested that looking out for new carriers every now and then increases the chances for better discounts. Negotiating for better discounts is a popular way to effectively reduce shipping costs.
Comparing Carrier Services
No single carrier is the best, everyone has its advantages and disadvantages. The US Postal Service offers the best price on lightweight residential parcels; DHL is the best for international shipments and the United Parcel Service offers the best heavyweight air deliveries. The charges of most carriers differ even on the same shipping routes, which is why it is important to check all of them and then choose the best deal. Also, don't wait till the last moment to place an urgent order as it doubles the cost.
Hunting for Group Discounts
Look for trade organizations which provide group discounts to its members. There are various organizations which offer their members FedEx, UPS and truck freight discount programs. To see how much money you are actually saving, compare the membership fees with the discounts availed.
Avoiding Billing Errors
Checking bills for errors is essential for cost cutting. It has been observed that most invoices are wrongly billed which is costing shippers a lot of money. You can check the bill on your own or hire professionals who will do this job on a percentage.
By implementing the tips mentioned above, I am pretty sure that business owners are going to save thousands of dollars every year. However, it is essential that before opting for a new carrier, its credentials and offers should be thoroughly checked.