How to Reduce Shipping Costs for Small Businesses

When it comes to shipping products, it’s imperative to always research how to reduce shipping costs for small businesses. In fact, shipping costs and logistics average about 11% of the sales volume for most businesses. 

Because of this, it makes dollars and sense for owners to know how to reduce shipping costs. At On Track Freight Systems, we’ve created an easy-to-read guide on how to reduce shipping costs for small businesses. Continue reading to learn more about ways to reduce shipping costs for small businesses. 

How to Reduce Shipping Costs for Small Businesses with LTL 

Undoubtedly, the top way to reduce shipping costs for small businesses is to evolve your shipping practices. While shipping parcels through UPS, USPS, FedEx, and DHL may have sufficed, your business has grown, and you could be wasting money by not using more affordable Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping solutions. In short, parcel shipments are when goods are placed in a carrier-supplied box or are individually packaged.

Should Your Small Business Parcel vs LTL & FTL?

These shipments usually weigh less than 150 pounds, tend to move through robust package shipping systems, and never touch a pallet. Because of this, parcel shipments are more likely to be misplaced or damaged along the journey and can take longer or be delayed. However, if you’re only sending a couple of lightweight packages, a parcel may suffice. 

Save Money with LTL Shipping

Businesses that ship packages in large quantities or in large volume can generate significant savings by switching to LTL shipping. These shipments are secured on pallets and then placed in a truck where the risk of damage is greatly minimized. Because of this, LTL is also the premier option for safely shipping fragile objects. 

Due to fewer transfers, fewer break-bulks, and the manner LTL shipments are secured, businesses often save more money with LTL compared to parcel shipments. So if you are still using parcel shipping for your small business, the team at On Track Freight Systems can help you realize significant savings. 

Innovative Packaging Solutions to Reduce Shipping Costs

In many instances, you’re not just shipping the item — you’re also shipping the container or box that houses your product. And over time, the costs of packaging quickly add up. Here are a few ways businesses can use smart packaging to reduce shipping costs. 

Consider Reusing Packaging

It’s very likely you already have supplies coming to your place of business or home with deliveries. One option is to simply reuse those boxes to ship your products. In addition to saving money, it’s a great way to recycle and reduce your overall carbon footprint. 

Keep in mind, however, that most cardboard boxes are known to lose around 60% of their strength. And even the tiniest bit of damage can reduce the integrity. Anytime you’re shipping a fragile package, it’s best to use a new box. 

Purchase Supplies in Bulk

Although most of the parcel carriers will offer packaging supplies, you’ll enjoy the most savings if you purchase in bulk. And if you’re confident the materials will be used and you have the storage room, buying in bulk can equal significant savings. 

Right-Sizing You’re Packaging 

If you’re shipping parcels, it’s imperative you ship your products in the right-size packaging. Shipping in a box that is too large can drive up dimensional weight calculations, which can cause the use of more padding than necessary. Instead, smaller packaging solutions can save on insulation and weight calculations. 

Avoid Accessorial Charges If Possible 

Accessorial charges are the fees that are added to your freight bill for services provided by the carrier. As a per service or à la carte service, these charges are outside the standard shipping charges you may pay. Common accessorial fees and charges include:

  • Liftgate for when deliveries are made to an area without a loading dock. The liftgate is a special hydraulic platform that can lower and raise a shipment to and from the ground. 
  • Redelivery is when the carrier has to redeliver a shipment because it was rejected, no one is there to accept the delivery, and a range of other reasons. 
  • Layover charge is when the truck isn’t able — for whatever reason — to be loaded or unloaded on the stated delivery day. 
  • Reweigh and reclassification are when the proper details are not provided about an LTL shipment and the carrier has to rework it. 
  • Residential is a charge when the delivery area is vastly different from a warehouse or commercial office. 
  • Inside delivery is when the driver has to use additional equipment or a “white glove” service to take a shipment into a structure.  
  • And more. 

Without a doubt, the best way to avoid these charges is to be diligent and prepared. Make sure you communicate with the recipient and understand the area the shipment will be delivered. And if you detect a potential problem, such as limited access or liftgate concerns, communicate these concerns with the carrier when you’re receiving a quote.

Contact On Track Freight Systems for Affordable Small Business Shipping

At On Track Freight Systems, we are the leading carrier for LTL and FTL shipments in the New York and New Jersey metro areas. We offer quick Next-Day Delivery as well as a host of additional value-added solutions that would generate accessorial charges with other carriers. In either case, our seasoned logistics experts specialize in helping small businesses save. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help reduce shipping costs for your small business.