8 Strategies to Lower Shipping Costs

A cargo truck on the road

People often assume that shipping costs are fixed and unchangeable. However, while freight costs may have remained constant for a long time, you can still do something to reduce freight time. Some strategies are straightforward, while others might require special expertise.

Learn about smart approaches that can result in massive shipping savings.

1. Ship During Off-Peak Days

You can schedule your shipping to happen on a day when most people don’t ship things. For example, since most businesses want consumer goods on shelves by Thursday, Friday is an off-peak day.

Similarly, Monday has low-volume shipping because carriers are searching for shipments. Of course, the off-peak days will depend on the type of cargo and industry.

2. Choose the Appropriate Transportation Route

The main transportation routes are land, air, and ocean. Ocean shipping is typically more affordable than air shipping, especially if you get goods from abroad.

Railroad transport may cost less than trucks if your shipment is within your country. Therefore, combine ocean transport with railroad shipping to significantly lower your freight costs.

3. Consolidate Your Goods

Combine small shipments into large loads before you commence the shipment. Although the consolidation may cause shipping delays, the strategy can get products to your doorstep at a lower price.

That is probably why large conglomerates always use consolidation programs to ship products. In addition, consolidation reduces labor costs since you only have to offload once.

4. Reduce the Padding in Packing

Padding helps protect goods from damage during shipment, but some shippers can overdo the packaging. Unless your goods are very fragile, use a minimalistic packaging design.

Minimal packaging requires less material and reduces shipping costs. Sometimes, minimalistic designs reduce packaging costs, save space, and lower handling costs.

If your carrier uses dimensional weight pricing capabilities, you can receive rewards for using the right packaging size. The right packaging size slashes the weight of goods and streamlines freight packaging, which reduces costs. Carriers prefer accurate packaging sizes because this reduces dead space and lowers shipping costs.

5. Ship a Fixed Volume

If your purchases are regular and large, you can negotiate with the carrier for preferential treatment and discounts. When you have a long-term deal with carriers, sudden shipping price increases won’t affect you. Generally, this cost-saving strategy works well with larger businesses.

However, even small businesses can still use this strategy, provided that they constantly ship goods between specific locations.

6. Leverage Data

Businesses use software to track and manage inventory. The collected data sheds light on shipping movement and can pinpoint shipping hiccups.

For instance, when you keep proper records, you will easily identify carriers with higher charges than average. You can then plan on how to shift to a different shipping line or carrier.

7. Stick to One Carrier

Once you identify a shipping carrier with the best rates, nurture a positive relationship with that company. You can then later remind the carrier of your loyalty and beneficial working relationship.

Every business wants to retain and reward loyal customers, and your carrier can be willing to provide lower rates for you. If possible, sign a long-term contract with the carrier and ask for a discount.

8. Pay Close Attention to Additional Charges

Carriers typically offer more services than just moving goods from one location to another. For example, some carriers can help to unload and load your goods while others can help with the packaging. Because the services may not always be part of the shipping cost, you may be surprised by a higher bill from the carrier.

For this reason, check all additional charges and determine whether you can get better rates from non-carrier companies.

Carrier companies have different shipping rates, but JB Shipments is known for its high-quality shipping at low rates. We provide timely, safe, and affordable shipping services to our clients. Contact us for more information.