Shipping freight can be complicated. Without careful planning and adequate research it becomes an uphill battle to consistently ship within your budget. What’s more, new businesses often times find it challenging establishing what their shipping budget should be and end up overpaying to ship their merchandise. Even though it may seem overwhelming at first, don’t despair. With the right process in place and some knowledge it gets easier.
Having said that, here are a few basic suggestions that can help get you started and save you some money along the way.
Research, audit, repeat!
Selecting the right shipping provider to partner up with is extremely crucial. Do your research and see what options are out there. Don’t be afraid to ask all the right questions - What carriers do you use and how do you choose them? How many accounts do you have? How many modes of transportation do you use? Are you financially stable? Are you bonded and insured?
After vetting a few shipping providers you’ll find it easier to decide on which to use. This is not a one-time process though. Make it a point to constantly evaluate your provider to make sure they are giving the best savings you can get.
Mistakes will cost you
One of the most common mistakes made by shippers is providing the wrong weight and/or freight class. When not in line with the carrier’s class, shipments will get re-classed, often resulting in a higher cost and may also cause delays. Another mistake shippers make is improper packaging. Additional packaging made by the carrier will also make the price go up, further stressing your budget. Sometimes it is best to ask your shipping provider for advice to help you avoid making some of these mistakes.
When possible, consolidate your shipments
When your shipment does not exceed LTL, consider a freight consolidation service or various shipping strategies. This service combines your shipment with other shipper’s small shipments and ships them together. By consolidating smaller shipments in one, you can significantly lower shipping costs. Keep in mind though that this does require some planning and time flexibility on your side, the shipper, but the money saved is well worth it.
Consider different transportation modes
Granted, some products, such as perishables, may need to be shipped with a more guaranteed mode of shipping like full truckload. But sometimes there is an option of shipping by LTL or rail, which may take more time, but will save you money. Obviously this isn’t a feasible option in all cases, so it needs to be planned and implemented when possible. The key is to know your freight activity and be ingrained into business decisions as they change.
With all of that in mind, you can have a sure way of saving on shipping if you follow not only these tips as a regular shipper, but realize a freight saving on each shipment if you approach your transportation management with a strategy.