Shipping costs add up quickly, and can easily become a major expense for many companies. Knowing where the costs come from can help businesses to reduce these costs and ultimately save money on shipping.
When trucks are shipped with only partial loads, or multiple smaller orders are shipped separately, you will spend more on shipping. Instead, consolidate a customer's orders into one larger order to ship all at once. It is also important to consider how your distributor prices their shipments. If you are charged by the truck, or by the box, rather than by weight, take advantage of this by filling as much empty space as possible and sending full truckloads instead. This will help to reduce the cost of shipping per item.
A major source of shipping cost is rerouteing items which were shipped incorrectly. Mistakes are expensive, so a simple way to reduce costs is to reduce mistakes. When a product arrives at its destination the first time, you don't have to pay to send the product to another destination. There are many ways to reduce mistakes, but a common one is to improve packing and labelling within the warehouse to ensure items are correctly labelled for their destination. Many companies choose to utilize inventory and shipping software to help reduce mistakes.
There are many distributions companies throughout North America, and you likely have several companies which service your area. When this happens, it's important to use this competition to your advantage and look around for the best deal. Distribution companies will offer a range of pricing, delivery times, and other features which may benefit you. Try and select the company which offers you the most benefits for the least cost.
Mix and Match
Many companies, especially e-commerce retailers, choose to offer a variety of shipping methods to their customers. In these cases, an affordable but slower option is usually offered through one distribution firm, while faster but more expensive options are offered through another. You do not have to stick with a single distribution company if your business would benefit from multiple providers. This is also a good way to maximize the benefits available from each company without increasing the cost across the board.