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Ways to Improve Your Small Business Shipping Strategy

by Allen Brown

Shipping is one of the most overlooked aspects of a small business. Most small businesses are shipping products to customers all over the world, and there are many ways that you can improve your shipping strategy for a better outcome. This blog post will discuss how to optimize your shipping process. 

How To Choose The Right Shipping Carrier

The first step in your shipping strategy is to decide which carrier you will use. Some of the pros and cons for different carriers are listed below:

USPS 

They have a “commercial base” pricing, meaning they charge more per package as the weight goes up. However, this doesn’t include any extra fees that may be incurred like fuel surcharges or wrappings on international shipments. USPS also offers discounts if you apply early enough before Christmas! 

The downside about using USPS is it can take up to three weeks from when the order was placed until it arrives at its destination because most packages will spend time traveling through post offices across the country before arriving at their final destinations. This could cause delays with receiving an item for Christmas.

FedEx 

FedEx is a popular carrier for many companies because they tend to be more expensive than USPS but offer better and faster service with shorter transit times. If you’re sending something that needs to arrive on time, this would be the best choice! However, if your package isn’t time-sensitive then it might not matter as much which company you use. 

One downside about using FedEx is that their rates can change without notice from year to year or when there are major changes in fuel costs.

UPS 

UPS offers next-day delivery meaning packages will get delivered within 24 hours (guaranteed) of shipping depending on what part of the country they ship from and where they’re going. They also have international destinations available. 

The downside of using UPS is the rates can be expensive and their shipping rates are based on weight which means it could cost more than USPS.

As a general rule, FedEx tends to have better prices for ground service (delivery within 24 hours) while UPS has better international delivery options with packages arriving in just one day. 

Invest In Case Erectors

Case Erectors come in a variety of sizes and features so they’re perfect for any small business’s shipping strategy including retail stores and warehouses. Considerations to make before investing in case erectors include; your current business needs; how much it will cost to have the equipment shipped and installed; how many employees you currently employ, or plan on employing when purchasing this equipment. 

There are more benefits than just having the ability to carry heavy loads! There are many key features of case erectors that make them highly beneficial when considering investing in equipment for your warehouse or store. The rewards outweigh the cost. Such as:

  • Large capacity to accommodate a variety of items; perfect for retail stores and warehouses
  • Vertical design saves space on the floor and reduces storage requirements overhead in high ceilings
  • Particularly beneficial when carrying heavy loads or packaging fragile materials like glassware 
  • Shelves are not required as they can be added later if needed. This allows you to ship without them at first, saving money on shipping costs while building your product inventory before investing in shelving units
  • Shelves may also be purchased separately from the equipment kit depending on what is offered by manufacturers

Packing Tips

Tips on how to pack items so they arrive undamaged include: 

  • Use bubble wrap to protect fragile items from breaking and ensure they can’t shift or move during shipping
  • Wrap anything that is delicate, such as a vase made of glass with carefully cut newspaper strips, packing the item in layers before wrapping it securely with more paper
  • Packing peanuts are also an option for loose objects like packaged hardware pieces or other heavier parts that don’t have a lot of giving when placed on each other. They’re typically less expensive than many traditional packaging materials but still provide great cushioning for your product inside the box while providing some insurance against breakage during transit due to shifting weight around within the package itself
  • Pack the heaviest items at the bottom of a box, and then fill it with lighter items on top
  • Add extra packing material such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts to ensure your product stays in place during shipping
  • Consider custom boxes if you have lots of prints or other design elements that will require more precise measurements than standard options provide. There is an additional cost but these can be well worth it when compared to using less expensive generic options which may not fit your needs exactly.

Take Advantage Of Discounts With Bulk Shipments

Take advantage of discounts with bulk shipments by using companies that specialize in large-scale shipping. A bulk shipping discount is the term used when an individual or business receives discounted rates from freight companies for sending more than 500 pounds in one shipment back and forth on a regular basis (250 packages). The discounts can be as high as 20% which equates to saving up to $80 million annually! If 20000 packages are sent monthly then these high volume discounts could be worth as much as $24,000  annually. 

Bulk shipments are popular because of the significant savings they offer and many bulk delivery firms have programs to help you establish a consistent flow of bulk loads through their system over time. They will work with your company and develop pricing options that fit your needs for both regular and occasional bulk deliveries. Many bulk delivery firms have programs to help you establish a consistent flow of bulk loads through their system over time. They will work with your company and develop pricing options that fit your needs for both regular and occasional bulk deliveries.

Shipping can be a headache, but it doesn’t have to be. Shipping is one of the most important parts of any business. Choosing a carrier that can provide for your needs, and being aware of discounts provided for bulk shipments are just two ways to make sure you get the right shipping company every time. Additionally, while packing boxes with care may seem like an unnecessary step in the process when each box contains only one or two items, it could be the difference between products arriving at their destination undamaged or not.

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