Your Guide to SMB Shipping Success
Tips for Keeping Shipping Costs Low
The bottom line. Three of the most powerful and precarious words in any business owner's vocabulary. It's likely one of the first things you think about when you wake up, and one of the last things you consider before going to bed. As a smart small or midsized business owner, you likely weigh every decision you make based on its impact – positively or negatively – to your bottom line.
One operational area that can make or break your business' budget is shipping. Organized, efficient, and expertly run shipping operations can save you thousands or even millions of dollars every year. Operating in the dark regarding shipping best practices, however, will definitely have a harmful impact on your bottom line.
Fortunately, there are cost savings opportunities baked into just about every aspect of your shipping operations – you just have to know where to look! Whether you ship two or 200 packages each day, the following tips will help keep your shipping costs low and your profit margins high:
- Be smart about space. Your physical shipping space, that is. Nothing screams "amateur shipping operation" like a disorganized or poorly equipped shipping space. Whether your business has thousands or a just a couple dozen square feet dedicated to your shipping, make sure the space serves its purpose well. Keeping everything in its place not only looks better and is less stressful, it actually saves you time and money by cutting down on time spent searching for the right box, paper and packing materials. An efficient shipping operation starts with a smartly laid out space.
- Take your tools seriously. Even if your shipping space is in good order, it won't serve you well if it's lacking the proper – and the proper amount of – shipping tools. Knowing the exact types of outer packaging and other tools required to perfectly pack your items will allow you to stock up in bulk. Time and money spent procuring additional boxes, padding, tape and other packing materials that you should have had on site are time and money lost.
- Dodge DIM weight fees. Dimensional (DIM) weight describes the amount of space a package occupies relative to its actual weight. Carriers will generally charge you for the greater of your shipments actual vs. dimensional weight. If that sounds like a trivial concept, you've clearly never been hit by an Over Maximum Limit charge. In order to obtain an accurate shipping rate devoid of any surprise fees, it's critical to accurately calculate your shipment's DIM weight every time. Shipping items in the smallest, most standard-shaped containers possible will also help you go a long way in avoiding extra fees.
- Trust in a TMS. A high-quality online transportation management system (TMS) simplifies just about every aspect of your shipping, and brings it all together in one place. The right TMS will help you quickly and efficiently get quotes, create your shipments, streamline your billing, purchase the right level of insurance, and much more. You'll have the best rates, at-a-glance insights into every aspect of your shipment's journey, and the peace of mind that comes with complete control.
- Offset Fuel Surcharges. While you can’t control the rising price of fuel, there are a few proven strategies that can help offset high fuel surcharges. From consolidating your orders to evaluating carrier options and transportation modes, there’s no shortage of ways to help counteract the added costs of rising fuel prices.
The bottom line is that adhering to the above tips will beneficially impact your bottom line. And the easiest way to understand and implement these best practices is to have the right shipping partner, like Worldwide Express. Our shipping experts can quickly give you a custom shipping quote and evaluate every aspect of your shipping operations to ensure that you're functioning at peak profitability.
Preserve your bottom line (and your sanity) by getting a custom shipping quote today from the experts at Worldwide Express!