Free shipping offers give the expectation that all deliveries should be free or at least affordable. However, the truth is that shipping is pretty expensive.
Corporations like Amazon can offer “free” two-day and even one-day shipping because of Prime membership fees. The volume of orders they go through every day also allows them to save money on shipping costs.
This becomes harmful to other businesses that can’t compete with free shipping orders. If you aim to expand your business, it’s time to discover the cheapest way to ship boxes to another state while keeping your customers satisfied.
Find out the details in our guide below.
Ensure the Size and Weight of Your Packages
One mistake that might be costing you is making assumptions on the size and/or weight of packages.
For example, applying postage for one less ounce than the actual weight can give the carrier a reason to return your package. This results in added expense, wasted time, and a frustrated customer.
Likewise, assuming your huge package should go on freight can cost you a lot. Measure the box first meticulously and see if it’s still within the limit for ground shipping. It’s cheaper for you and easier for the customer.
Use Different Couriers for Your Packages
Consider the individual requirements of your orders when choosing a courier. For light shipments, for instance, many businesses tend to favor USPS. Heavy goods, on the other hand, tend to go to FedEx for delivery.
This shows that you don’t have to stick to one courier for all your outgoing packages. Consider each order’s dimensions and needs; from there, pick from your trusted couriers to see which has the best price for that particular order.
Businesses often find USPS’ flat rate boxes to be a cost-effective solution for items that are heavier than their size. If you ship this using weight as the basis of the price computation, you might have to pay a higher fee. If you use the flat rate box, it only has to fit; you don’t pay for the extra weight.
Use Freight Shipping
Freight shipping handles more packages per trip, so they tend to be cheaper for long distances. You have to note, though, its customer service is notorious for being patchy. It can be slower as well.
In spite of this, it’s a good option if you’re sending a large order across the state. Choose a reliable company like Unishippers to keep a good image among your customers.
Outsource to Other Shipping Services
If you don’t want to handle the shipping, you can outsource it to services like the FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon). This takes the costs of a warehouse, personnel, rentals, shipping, and much more out of your hands.
Of course, you have to pay fees to use their service. You won’t be storing your products, too, as you’ll be surrendering your inventory to the service of your choice.
If you crunch some numbers, you might see that you’ll be saving more money this way. Shipwire, in particular, ties into your ordering system. Once a customer places an order, its software automatically determines the cheapest option between FedEx, USPS, and UPS based on the destination.
Save on Packaging Costs by Buying in Bulk or Reusing
You know all those packaging materials you get in the mail or with your inventory? Don’t throw them away next time. Rather, reuse them when shipping orders.
We’re talking about cardboard boxes, packaging peanuts, bubble wrap, and so on. If they’re in good condition, you can use them again.
Of course, you can’t sustain your packaging needs with this alone. You can get more for free, though, by asking local businesses. Your local paper distributor might have scraps of paper you can use, for example.
You can further save on packaging costs by buying in bulk. Calculate your projected outbound volume and buy packaging based on that. The more you buy at once, the more you save on packaging, and the more you save money on shipping costs.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the free boxes supplied by the couriers, as well. Use them as much as you can, and only provide your own if necessary.
Save on Labels
Labels might only take up a fraction of the total shipping costs, but if you’re keeping track of your expenses, you can see how they add up.
One way to save further on packaging costs is to buy a label printer. Over time, you save more on printing your labels.
It has the added benefit of speeding up fulfillment times since you don’t have to go out to buy labels. Another plus is your ability to put extra branding if you use a service that allows you to customize the label.
Many services allow you to print the shipping label from their site. That includes Etsy’s shipping services, Stamps.com, and so on. Many of these even mail the tracking number to your customer, so that saves you an extra step, too.
Negotiate with Carriers
What small businesses might not know is that you can negotiate with carriers for a better price. Shipping companies base their price on volume, so if you have a high amount of orders, they can give you a discount.
Negotiate with multiple carriers. If one company knows a competitor is vying for your business, you gain more negotiating power. You then have the pleasure of choosing which company can give you the cheapest way to ship boxes to another state or anywhere.
Talk to the carrier agents and discuss your business, including your growth strategy. It helps if you’re already shipping a large number of packages through your courier. This way, they already have the numbers; otherwise, you can show them, too.
Find the Cheapest Way to Ship Boxes to Another State
The cheapest way to ship boxes to another state won’t present itself. You have to make an effort to get the best deals from couriers. Do your research, ask around, and keep on crunching those numbers.
But why stop here? Get more tips like these by bookmarking this site reading our other articles!