Updated: May 13
1. Negotiate Intelligently with Your Carriers: All shipping carriers have volume-based pricing. In other words, the more you ship, the more you save. However, many small businesses don’t realize they might have leverage, too. The key is to understand where your discounts need to be, not where your carrier “says” they need to be. For example, if the majority of your shipments go to Zone 8, deep discounts on Zone 3 don’t do you much good. Also, if FedEx knows UPS, DHL, or another carrier is vying for your business, you've got something to negotiate. Even if you LOVE your carrier, it always makes sense to re-validate those “great” rates and relationships on an annual basis...we can help with that, too!
2. Use Carrier-Provided Packaging: Using your packaging opens the door for additional "dimensional fees" if your box exceeds the size regulations, or you don’t measure each box accurately. To avoid these extra charges, consider using whatever carrier-provided packaging you can that doesn't have dimensional fees. For example, packing shipments into carrier-provided envelopes or boxes has the real potential to put a big dent in your shipping and supply costs.
3. Have Vendors & Suppliers Use Your Shipping Account: When suppliers ship products to you and invoice for their transport costs, it’s like getting a box of chocolates…you never know what rate you’re going to get. Having vendors and suppliers use your shipping account increases your shipping volume. This can help you negotiate lower rates, and it also prevents vendors and suppliers from adding profit margins to their shipping costs. OnShip can help with this and saves big bucks for you when you use it for your inbound or drop-ship freight deliveries.
4. Use Independent, Multi-Carrier Shipping Software: Putting all your carriers in one box and having them “duke it out” for every shipment is a great way to reduce costs. That’s what we do at OnShip, and it works very well for all of our customers, especially when they use our deeply discounted, national freight rates for outbound, inbound and drop-shipments.
5. DO NOT Use Carrier-Provided Insurance: While carriers charge about 80 cents for every $100 of insurance; full-featured, multi-carrier shipping software (such as OnShip) embeds low-cost, reliable shipper insurance inside our software at a deep discounts over carrier rates. At OnShip, we take it one step further by sending you an alert the moment your high-value, insured package is even one-minute late. These alerts allow you to reach out proactively to your customers with shipping delay notices and quickly file your claim for a full refund. In other words, this one feature alone can save you a ton of money and impress your customers with amazing service all day, every day.
6. Include Regional Carriers in Your Rate Shopping Mix: Regional carriers often provide the same services as the national carriers at a greatly reduced cost. There are several high-quality regional carriers across the country. Of course, we include regional carriers free of charge in OnShip because it never hurts to shop around.
7. Know ALL Shipping Fees BEFORE Billing Customers: Carriers have dozens of accessorial charges that drive home lots of extra profit on their end. These fees include fuel surcharges, recipient signature fees, Saturday delivery fees, etc. Many customers use flat rate shipping fees that put them in position to win a few and lose a few. Choose to win them all with OnShip’s real-time links to all your great parcel carrier rates and all our amazingly low freight rates!
8. Consider Hybrid Carrier Services: While these services have volume, weight, and size restrictions, they can also cost half as much as standard delivery shipping. Packages are picked up at your business and typically shipped to a USPS facility closest to your final delivery destination. While the cost is less, this extra step can slow delivery time. This is a great choice for return item shipping and the carriers are working on even more efficient ways to make this work without the USPS. Stay tuned!
9. Ask About Association Discounts: Do any of your professional associations have carrier partnerships that offer member discounts? Depending on the size of the association and their negotiation expertise, you could be eligible for deep discounts on some carrier services so, at the very least it’s worth a look.
10. Audit Your Carrier’s Invoices: Everybody makes mistakes and your carriers aren’t immune to them. OnShip’s auditing experts monitor each shipment for you to make sure your invoices are completely accurate. Not a bad service to add, especially if you’re currently paying your carrier bills like you pay the electric bill…seems like a lot of money but it must be right…
Good luck on your journey to Shipping Nirvana and Happy OnShipping to our growing list of amazing OnShip Customers and OnShip Cloud Subscribers!