8 Smart Ways to Bring Your Shipping Costs Down As An Ecommerce Brand

A number of factors have to be considered when calculating the cost of shipping an item. Each of these variables is unique with every product, not forgetting possible hidden costs that come with handling fulfilment in-house. You, however, do not have to pay dearly in shipping costs. Outlined below are some of the ways you can bring your shipping costs down.

1. Weigh And Reduce Package Dimensions Where Possible

It costs much more to ship heavier packages as compared to lighter ones. Along with the weight, carriers consider dimensions when calculating costs, one of the reasons you should avoid shipping more air than necessary. You could use a postage scale if printing and shipping labels from home. The postage scale will help you predict shipping costs, hence know where/how to bring the prices down. Packaging items/products based on their sizes will cut down costs. An oversized box for a relatively small product will only see you paying more in shipping fees. This is because larger boxes take up more dimensional weight, hence costlier – unless you are on fixed-rate shipping.

2. Look Out For Discounted Supplies

FedEx, UPS, and USPS, among other shipping companies, may offer certain envelopes and boxes to small businesses for free or at a discount. Purchasing packing supplies (bubble wrap, dunnage, air-fill, boxes, poly mailers, etc.) in bulk (at wholesale prices) can save you lots of money in the long run. Although buying packaging materials in bulk might seem like an unnecessary expenditure, the purchase will not only reduce your average per-shipment cost but also ensure you don’t run out of the same. You can thus focus on getting the shipments delivered, and not where/how you’ll get packing suppliers.

3. Negotiate Shipping Rates

Many shipping companies offer pricing discounts on volume shipments. This, however, doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy discounts, even with a few orders. You could negotiate shipping discounts with the carrier, and especially if you are a loyal customer. Most carriers offer irresistible deals on volume shipments. Sticking to one carrier might also see you enjoy some of the discounted rates as well.

4. Check Out For Discount Shipping Programs Or Services With Your Platform/Marketplace

Business advisors at say “ecommerce platforms and marketplaces may, at times, offer discount shipping services/programs for bulk orders. Some of them have built-in features such as shipping apps, real-time carrier rates, and other integrations you could take advantage of for better fulfilment services and rates. All you have to do is check to see what services the platform/marketplace you are on has to offer”.

5. Reduce The Shipping Distance

Shipping to a far-away destination can be too expensive, even for already established businesses. This is one of the reasons why shipping zones were established in the United States. These zones span from Zone 1 to Zone 8, with Zone 8 being the farthest. These zones (geographical areas) are measured based on the distance with which the shipment travels from the point of origin (usually Zone 1). Shipping to Zone 8 is, therefore, more expensive and takes even more time to deliver. You could, however, save lots of money if you avoided shipping to such zones but instead, choose to ship locally (or the closest zones).

6. Shift To Poly Mailers

As mentioned earlier, boxes tend to take up more dimensional weight than poly mailers. That said, you are better off shipping orders in a polybag or mailer envelope for non-fragile and small products. In addition to taking up less space, you’ll not need lots of packing supplies either. A bubble wrap and tape might be all you need to make it happen. You could also use different sized poly mailers if shipping orders in various combinations and sizes.

7. Consider Prepaid Shipping

Switching to prepaid shipping can see you save up to 20% in shipping costs from FedEx and UPS. This works best if you ship orders with the same dimensions and weight all the time. This also works if you already know this information (weight and dimensions) even before shipping for accurate shipping costs. One of the best things with prepaid shipping is the fact that you can buy a certain number of shipping labels in advance. You also don’t have to package the item in a box until the order has to go out.

8. Consider Third Party Insurance

Cutting any extra services, such as shipping insurance, could save you lots of money in shipping costs. This, of course, depends on what product you are shipping and its value. Third-party package insurance is considerably more affordable and cheaper than what your shipping carrier offers. Going for third-party insurance instead could see you save almost half the price. Third-party insurance is also the best option when shipping high-value items.