Small businesses can benefit from discount offers, regional carriers and hybrid delivery service. Here are resourceful tactics to reap the savings.
Shipping costs are one of the biggest expenses for many small businesses, but resourceful entrepreneurs are finding ways to reduce the sting.
Fred DuBois, for example, had been trying to cut the shipping costs at his Laptop Battery Express in Cleveland since he founded it in 2007. Free delivery service for about 50 battery orders a day was costing him as much as $500. He had been relying almost exclusively on FedEx Ground, but this summer, he realised that varying his carriers and using the U.S. Postal Service would cut shipping costs in half. Today, he says, he ships about half his orders with FedEx and the other half with the post office, saving about $250 a day. To achieve such savings, consider these 10 ways to trim shipping costs:
1. Negotiate with multiple carriers. All shipping companies have pricing schedules based on volume: The more you ship, the lower your rate. But small businesses often don’t realise they also may have negotiating power, says Jack Mitchell, president of PANCGroup, a Boston-based parcel appraisal and negotiations consulting firm. If you ship large numbers of packages, compare prices and try to persuade carriers to offer lower rates. “If FedEx knows UPS is vying for your business, you’ve got something to negotiate,” Mitchell says.
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