For businesses that have to move large amounts of inventory, the cost of shipping is one of those unfortunate facts of life. It can eat into profitability and can also be a major deterrent for customers and clients.
But there are ways to reduce your shipping costs without compromising on the speed and reliability of your delivery.
Check out these 6 easy insider tips to help reduce your freight costs.
1. Rethink your packaging
Freight shipping costs will generally be calculated based on weight and size. If you’re using particularly bulky packaging it can increase your shipping costs for no good reason. Looking to minimise your bulky packaging so it takes up the least possible space can help to lower shipping costs.
Sometimes, shippers can be over-cautious with their packing and that can end up costing them more money in terms of shipping costs than may be necessary. A good freight services company can help you slim down the unnecessary packaging materials to streamline the shipping.
If significant packaging is required for fragile items, you should think about your shipping costs compared with the potential cost of breakages. By reducing your packaging and therefore lowering shipping costs, and factoring in an acceptable margin for breakage, you could end up saving money.
2. Change up your shipping frequency
Shipping in bulk is generally cheaper than shipping smaller loads. Bulk shipments get cheaper rates because they require less work from the carrier, as fewer individual loads need to be processed, loaded and unloaded.
If you can reduce your shipping frequency and ship larger amounts each time you could save money without significantly affecting your shipping times.
Remember, not everything needs to be shipped by express transport. Offer clients the option to pay less if they’re willing to wait a little longer for shipping.
3. Regular fixed volumes
Most carriers will give discounts and preferential service to clients who have agreed to ship regular fixed volumes.
Agreeing to a long-term shipping volume contract can also save you money if demand and prices for transport spike. It can also allow you to negotiate better long-term shipping rates as it’s in the best interest of the carrier to lock your business in over the long term. During times of high shipping demand, carriers will often prioritise moving fright for loyal, long-term clients.
4. Use off-peak or backhaul shipping
Shipping at off-peak times, when the demand is lower, can save you money. If your inventory isn’t overly time-sensitive or perishable, this can be a great way to reduce shipping costs.
Backhaul shipping can be a great way to save money on supplemental or last-minute freight loads. Most carriers will offer heavily discounted rates to fill the final space in trucks and containers. Talk to your freight services company about backhaul shipping options.
5. Use a shipping consolidation program
Working with a third-party logistics provider can help you to partner with nearby businesses that also require shipping services. By combining your shipping volumes you can take advantage of better bulk shipping rates.
6. Be aware of additional costs
Most freight companies will charge a range of additional costs for extra services like loading and unloading, pallet loading, wrapping, express transport and more. Understanding these costs and knowing which ones you can avoid will help you to save on your freight costs.
Ask your transport company about their additional costs. A quality shipping provider will be upfront about all additional costs and will help you find ways to avoid them, especially if you’re willing to become a regular customer on a long-term shipping contract.
There are plenty of reliable transport companies in Melbourne. However, the really good ones will work with you to reduce your costs (and theirs) while still providing the quickest and most reliable shipping options possible.