Cheapest Way to Ship

Shipping is a necessary cost for every ecommerce business. Luckily, our friends at ShipStation have put together an eBook dedicated to sharing the best tips and tricks to lower shipping costs. A summary of the findings are below.

1. Get the Cheapest Shipping Rates

In order to save money on shipping rates, take into consideration the package’s dimensions, weight, distance, and delivery speed. Once these parameters are determined, you can use a shipping rate calculator to compare rates from multiple carriers to derive the best price.

You can calculate shipping rates by going to each individual carrier’s website and entering the package details—or you can use a service like ShipStation to compare rates all at once.

2. Get Shipping Carrier Discounts

You should never have to pay retail shipping rates, so check out incentive programs, carrier negotiations, and third-party shipping software systems to get discounts. Carriers like USPS, FedEx, DHL, and UPS have programs that you can capitalize on to save some dough.

For example, check out these discounts for the USPS and FedEx programs below:

USPS PC Postage - 

  • 40% off Priority Mail

  • 18% off First Class Mail Package

  • 13% off Priority Mail Express

  • 5% off International First Class, Priority Mail, and Priority Mail Express

  • 40% off USPS Package Insurance Rate

FedEx Advantage Program - 

  • Express US services – Up to 29% off

  • Express international services – Up to 25% off

  • Ground services – Up to 20% off

  • Office services – Up to 20% off

You can also negotiate lower rates with providers if you ship large volumes with one provider, leverage multiple carriers, or even use a shipping consultant.

3. Find the Cheapest Shipping Services

Depending on how quickly your packages need to be delivered and the distance they are traveling, the cheapest shipping rates can change drastically. The carrier with the lowest rates domestically may not necessarily be the best option for international shipping. The same goes for returns and insurance; each carrier has different attributes, so you will need to see which one works best for you.

4. Procure the Cheapest Shipping Materials

You don’t need to have the most expensive packaging in order to get products to your customers effectively and safely, but make sure you are cutting costs, not corners. The last thing you want to do is spend more money sending the same order if the first one was damaged in transit.

5. Grow Your Business with the Shipping Savings

Providing your customers a variety of shipping options and passing shipping savings on to your customers is a great way to increase loyalty and satisfaction. You never want a customer to abandon their shopping cart at the last minute due to shipping. Consumers are sensitive to shipping costs, so offering free shipping or requiring a minimum purchase to receive free shipping can give you an extra edge.

There is no “one size fits all” solution for finding the cheapest way to ship, but you can use these tips to help build a fulfillment plan that suits your business the best. Find the full eBook here.

Author: Jennifer Rubin, Partner Marketing Manager at ShipStation

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