3 Ways to Save on Shipping Costs

This guest blog was written by a representative from 71lbs.

While Bonanza sellers are compiling their own holiday shopping lists, they’re also in the middle of the busiest shipping season of the year. This is when extra focus is placed on meeting customer expectations and preventing shipping costs from eroding your bottom line.

The latter is often on sellers’ minds, and for good reason. Shipping costs account for a significant amount of business expenses. In fact, a whopping 10% of revenue goes toward shipping for the average business – and Bonanza sellers are no different.

In addition, both FedEx and UPS are imposing their annual rate increases over the next three weeks. A couple of dates worth knowing:

December 24, 2018
UPS rates on U.S. Ground, Air Shipments and International Services will increase an average of 4.9%.

January 7, 2019
FedEx customers will see a 4.9% increase on Freight, Home Delivery, Ground and Express services.

These new rates mean sellers are faced with the challenge of whether to absorb the increase or find other ways to address this impact on their business. So, how can you offset the extra expense?

Buy Packing Products in Bulk

If you have a sense of anticipated inventory, you likely know your packing needs. While it requires more money upfront, buying your packing products in bulk typically reduces the cost per unit. Having a larger supply on hand also means consistency in quality, whereas smaller orders can run the risk of a change in the overall product. (Bonus: Larger orders mean fewer shipments, a small—but helpful!—step in reducing your carbon footprint.)

If your vendor offers discounts for bulk orders and you have the space needed to store the supplies, this may be an option to consider.

Stay Informed of Upcoming Rate Changes

FedEx and UPS typically impose rate increases on an annual basis, but other factors may result in unexpected increases. It’s important to stay up-to-date on any shipping-related news that can affect your cost—increases in gas prices and more can play a role in how your shipping cost is calculated. Parcel Industry and Logistics Management are both great resources to stay informed of upcoming changes that can affect your shipments.

Know Your Shipping Spend (and Get Your Due Refunds)

Did you know that if you ship an order and it arrives late, you’re entitled to a full shipping cost refund from the carrier? Late deliveries happen every day, and most sellers don’t have the time to check each individual shipment for their due refunds.

Shipping auditing companies like 71lbs can automatically check for late shipments, process claims and fight for you to get your due refunds (here’s how it works). The right solution should include a robust analytics dashboard that provides a clear, easy-to-understand view into how you ship today. Combined with a shipping advocate team, you can glean insights on how even small changes can optimize your shipping spend.

The right auditing solution shouldn’t require a lengthy process to get started or an upfront cost. The idea is to save time and money, not the other way around.

Thinking ahead

Rate increases aren’t the easiest on your bottom line, but these tips and more can help minimize the negative effect they have on your business. This season, make smart shipping choices that can help your shipping costs around the holidays and beyond.

This guest blog was written by a representative from 71lbs. All fees are contingent upon the refunds received. Try 71lbs today.

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