Piles of boxes in a warehouse

6 Ways to Save Money on Shipping Costs

Shipping products is an integral part of many businesses. It can also be a costly expense; whether you’re making a profit from sales or shipping product to another party, there are certain fees and costs associated with shipping.

You can’t cut shipping from your business, so you need to learn how to cut down the associated costs. Don’t know where to start? We’ve listed six ways that you can save money on shipping costs.

1. Always ask about discounts.

It never hurts to ask about any discounts. If your company belongs to an industry professional organization, the benefits of membership may include discounts with different companies. Ask about partnership deals, especially when you’re working with bigger carriers like UPS and FedEx.

2. Don’t buy insurance from the shipping company.

Insuring your packages is an expense you really shouldn’t avoid. Instead of opting for the convenience of buying insurance from the carrier, look around for a better deal. Typically, you can expect the carrier’s insurance to cost you 80 cents for every $100 of insurance; alternatively, third-party companies charge half the price. 

3. Go with flat-rate shipping.

When you’re shipping lighter packages, go with Priority Mail. Their flat rates are more affordable when you’re shipping something that weighs between 14 ounces and 3 pounds. Commercial rates allow your business to save 19% on Priority Mail shipments and up to 36% when you’re shipping something under Express Mail.

4. Save money by buying online.

You can do anything online these days, including paying for shipping. USPS allows you to save up to 16% for priority mail orders purchased online. Paying for express mail online will save up to 60%. Save yourself some time and money by printing off your own postage labels online.

5. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Think of it this way: you don’t have anything to lose, and the shipping companies have your business to gain. If you’re a frequent shipper, you’ve got a good amount of leverage in negotiations, as shipping companies have lower rates for companies with a higher volume. Don’t be afraid to mention that a competitor is offering you a lower rate. The worst thing that can happen is they lose your business.

Use your carrier’s packaging.

Trying to avoid miscellaneous fees and charges? They do add up, after all. An easy way to cut back on these expenses is by using the packaging that your shipping company provides. You may be thinking that using your own boxes and envelopes is a more affordable option. However, carriers won’t hesitate to charge you a fee for using packaging that doesn't adhere to the size regulations.