A true challenge that any business faces is shipping merchandise and goods. It is one of the most complicated operations, which requires very careful planning, evaluating and choosing the right carrier to work with in order to state that you achieved your goals all while still keeping an eye on where you can realize a freight saving. This can mean the difference between success and failure. Losing sales and overpaying for shipping are just two of the bad outcomes of failure to plan the process carefully. This isn’t a one-time shipment or fly by night shipping need, this is your business after all and as a regular shipper it should be your top priority to make the best of it. So what are some of the top suggestions that can help you save money on shipping and what are few of the mistakes to avoid, which can result in overpaying?
When it comes to selecting the best shipping provider for your business, it is very important to do a thorough research on the options you have available. The market offers a diversity of providers, each with specific policy when it comes to pricing and discounts. Understanding all of it is essential in selecting the best offer and getting the best discount. Some companies offer huge discounts but those are based on inflated prices, so don’t rush into basing your choice on that alone.
If your needs do not exceed LTL (less than truckload shipment), consider a freight consolidation service or various shipping strategies. What this service offers is combining your shipment with other small ones to ship together. By combining two smaller shipments in one, you can lower freight costs significantly. Granted this does require some planning and flexibility on shipper’s side, the end result can be pleasing and save you money.
Now, it is true that some products, such as perishables, may need to be shipped with an air freight provider or a more guaranteed mode of shipping like full truckload. But sometimes there is an option of shipping by LTL, which can save you money, but may take more time. 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.
Last minute shipping is always expensive. If you require an express freight with short deadlines, chances are you will be charged extra. By planning in advance you can not only avoid overpaying, but also take advantage of some nice discounts. This can give you time to plan for storage when it’s needed and overall make you more flexible in terms of choosing a shipping company and tariff.
It is surprising how often mistakes are made when it comes to shipping goods. For example, making sure the weight and freight class are in line with the carrier’s class. If not, shipments will get re-classed, often resulting in greater costs and delay in storage. Proper packing on your side is also a must – if there is a need for the carrier to do additional repackaging, chances are the price will go up. Always double check your figures and take special care when it comes to shipping. A great way to avoid this mistake is to use a transportation management system which will allow you integrate into an ERP or allow for automation features such as storing your commodities and class information for you. With all of that in mind, you can have a sure way of saving on shipping if you follow not only these quick 5 tips as a regular shipper, but realize a freight saving on each shipment if you approach your transportation management with a strategy. You may also employ a third party logistics company to devise a solution and arm you with the tools and services to reach your desired goals.
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