65 billion parcels are shipped in and around the United States every year. That massive number may surprise some but is probably not much of a shocker to business owners.
With online sales gradually stealing market share from brick-and-mortar retailers, business owners are migrating more of their selling online and shipping more packages than ever.
That big-time boost in shipping has resulted in a big-time boost in expenses.
Shipping an item can cost anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds. If you’re a business owner that’s concerned about finding stability when it comes to your logistics solutions, this article is for you.
In it, we outline information that will help you deduce the cheapest way to ship so you can invest less in packages and more in your business!
Unpacking America’s Biggest Shipping Providers
When deducing the cheapest way to ship, the first thing that you’ll want to do is understand who your logistics providers are. For most people shipping from the US, options will include USPS, UPS, and FedEx.
We’ll briefly describe some of each carrier’s most popular shipping services.
USPS is a government-sponsored logistics provider that’s generally considered a business’ best bet when it comes to finding the cheapest way to send packages.
Most people utilizing USPS will ship packages via their “First-Class Mail” “Media Mail” or “Priority Mail” services.
First-Class Mail is USPS’ cheapest way to ship but features slow delivery speeds and reduced tracking capabilities. Media Mail is very affordable as well but it’s only usable if you’re shipping books, movies, CDs or other forms of media.
Finally, Priority Mail is a non-discriminatory form of shipping that offers 2-day delivery times, free package insurance, and easy tracking.
UPS is a private logistics provider that is the go-to shipping choice for businesses’ that ship through Amazon. That’s because Amazon has a deal in place with UPS that offers deep discounts to sellers in their marketplace.
If you’re selling through Amazon and leveraging FBA services, UPS is your best logistics bet.
If you’re not selling through Amazon FBA, you can review prices for UPS Ground Services on its website. Generally, UPS ground services are more costly than USPS’ similar options.
FedEx is another logistics provider which offers a variety of services to businesses looking to move parcels on a regular basis.
The two most popular services offered through FedEx are SmartPost and FedEx Ground.
FedEx SmartPost is used for low-weight packages and features Saturday delivery for free. FedEx Ground is used for heavier packages and is similar to UPS’ ground services.
Ways to Keep Shipping Costs Down No Matter Your Provider
Now that you understand what your cheapest way to ship provider options are, we’ll talk a little bit about saving money on shipping no matter which carrier you go with.
Below are popular strategies businesses that ship in high-volumes leverage to reduce their expenses substantially.
Always Check Multiple Carriers
You never know when one carrier is going to offer you a better rate over another for a certain type of package. For that reason, if you’re shipping a box that’s larger than what you’d typically send out, compare rates before defaulting to the shipper you usually use.
Even if you always ship boxes that are the same size, be sure to re-check rates every few months to make sure that better prices haven’t come up at a competing logistics company.
Ask For Bulk Rates
The prices that are publicly advertised by USPS, FedEx, and UPS, may be higher than the rates you qualify for if your business ships in bulk.
Be sure to ask a representative of the logistics company you’re considering to see what special options they have for high volume customers. You might save thousands of dollars each year just by asking the question.
Print Postage Online
Many shippers offer reduced rates on their postage by purchasing and printing their labels online. Sometimes, third-party companies offer online postage sales that are even cheaper than what you can get from your actual carrier.
Bottom line, shop around for online mail label deals. You might be surprised what services can make your shipping experience easier and cheaper.
You can click here for more information on printing mail labels online.
Schedule Package Pickup
One of the biggest phantom expenses that go into shipping is carrying packages to and fro your shipping company of choice. To save the time and money that goes into that practice, opt into package pickup.
All logistics providers offer a pickup service that can get scheduled as frequently as daily.
Recycle Packaging Materials
Unless the boxes you ship feature unique company branding, it’s worth your time to recycle packaging materials when you have the opportunity to.
For example, if your business is receiving shipments regularly, save those shipment’s boxes. Hold onto their packing foam.
You can use those materials for outbound shipments later.
You’d be surprised just how much you can save on shipping each year by saving seemingly inconsequential packaging.
Wrapping Up The Cheapest Way to Ship
Finding the cheapest way to ship requires a combination of picking the best logistics provider and building a shipping workflow that allows you to cut costs wherever possible.
We hope that our information has given you the insight you need to save money on your shipping. We also hope that your saved dollars can help your business achieve fast growth!
Want more information on how to make your business legendary? If so, check out additional content on Legend Valley today!