Shipping items and merchandise is one of the most complicated processes for a small business, especially when it comes to the transport of large shipping boxes. By not properly planning this function, results can include overpaying and losing sales if you are not able to provide your customers with cost-effective and consistent product delivery. Here are some of the top factors that you should consider prior to sending large shipping boxes to customers in order to save money.
Match Fees and Delivery Requirements
After you have selected your shipping provider, it is recommended that you work with that organization’s small business specialist. This person can help you to match the services and fees of the carrier with the common shipping requirements of your business, which may include delivery timing and mode of transportation. It has been suggested that businesses that fail to work with their shipping carrier to map shipping criteria may send up to 40% more in fees than necessary.
Utilize a Postage Meter
Postage meters are portable machines that come with a scale that can weigh packages. These meters also assess exact charges for postage and can print shipping labels. These systems can eliminate your need to guess the weight of boxes for shipping and can prevent you from needing to buy extra postage “just in case.”
Consolidate When Appropriate
If you need to send a shipment that weights over 150 pounds in heavy duty shipping boxes, it may be advisable to work with a shipping freight consolidation service. This service works to combine your shipments with others in order to fill an entire truck. Load rates for less than a container or truck load are typically higher than full container load rates.
Track Your Carrier’s Performance
One of the most efficient ways to track your carrier’s performance is to keep a sort of scorecard to track cost and service. Service factors may include
the following factors:
- Access to data about status online
- Accuracy of online data
- Customer service inquiry response
- Meeting appointment times for pickup and delivery
- Meeting transit times that were originally agreed upon
Cost factors that you can use to track your carrier’s performance include the following:
- Cost by level of service (including overnight, standard, or expedited)
- Baseline by distance or weight
- Non-essential fees (such as delivery times or special handling)