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Shipping Solutions for Small Businesses

Shipping Costs

Small businesses have plenty of issues to face and solve in order to run efficiently. One of the major issues then becomes shipping. Of course, a small business needs to minimize its shipping costs while still offering the best shipping timetables and packaging to its customers. Finding this balance can be difficult but not impossible. A small business has to find the right relationship with a shipping company or even multiple companies. In the end, no business can hope to stay afloat without a great shipping plan in place.

The Main Carriers: FedEx, UPS, USPS

All carriers offer some sort of package for businesses, but we’re going to focus on the big three. Fortunately, FedEx, UPS, and USPS offer some pretty good deals for small businesses that need to frequently ship off products and whatnot. Small businesses with large volumes of shipping each month will get a bigger discount on shipping and shipping supplies. Also, it is possible to get free shipping supplies, especially from the Postal Service.It’s up to each business to minimize its costs when it comes to shipping.

Still, a company has to provide excellent shipping times, good packaging, and still be able to turn a profit. No company wants to be losing money simply because they are paying so much for shipping costs. Sending a single package can cost anywhere from $5 to $50, depending upon how large the package is and how quickly it needs to reach its destination. Obviously, getting any amount of discount on these services is a great thing.

A small business has to absorb quite a few costs when it comes to shipping. Boxes, packing material, insurance, delivery confirmation, and shipping costs all must be paid by a business. Sure, the company can make up some of that money by charging customers shipping, but it’s nearly impossible and downright wrong to charge customers 100% of shipping costs. In the end, a business has to forge a strong shipping connection with a carrier or multiple carries.

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Sticking with One Carrier

Typically, businesses deal exclusively with one shipping carrier because it allows a company to get a bigger discount on shipping over time. Forging a strong relationship with one carrier does have its benefits. A company can get cheaper or even free shipping materials if they ship enough packages with that company. Truthfully, sticking with UPS or FedEx will normally result in bigger discounts than dealing with the Postal Service, even though it is usually more expensive to deal with these companies domestically.

A small business that can ship over 100 packages for month will be able to get a small discount on shipments. Of course, the more shipments a small business makes, the larger the discount will be. Either way, a company has to decide upon how much it will ship each month in order to find the best rate. Companies that ship very few packages each month aren’t going to get much of a discount or rate decrease though.

Going with Multiple Carriers

Sometimes, it is better for a company to choose multiple carriers rather than sticking with one. The company won’t get as big of a discount on shipping from each carrier in this case though. Still, a company that ships domestically and internationally can benefit from shipping with multiple carriers. A company that ships a fairly high amount of both envelopes and packages can benefit from this too. Every small business should check into using multiple carriers.

A company should use FedEx or UPS for large packages and international shipments. On the other hand, small domestic packages and/or envelopes are better suited for the United States Postal Service. Companies that use this method will find that they save a good amount of money each month with their shipments. Every business is going to be different, so it doesn’t hurt if a small business tries out a few different carrier pairings to find the best and cheapest one.

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What should a small business do?

In every case, a small business that pays a lot for shipping and charges customers a lot for it isn’t going to get very many sales each month. Businesses sometimes just have to absorb some of the costs of shipping to satisfy customers and keep the sales coming. Still, a small business can obtain better rates on shipping and supplies over time, depending upon its volume of shipments. Using one carrier works for some businesses, while others can benefit from using two or more shipping carriers. No matter what, small businesses can’t lose tons of money on shipping, but they can’t charge too much for it either. There’s a balance somewhere in the middle for every small business.

For more information on small business shipping solutions, visit FedEx, UPS, and USPS.