Does your online retail business involve shipping large packages to customers all over the country? If so, you’ve probably been trying to reduce the amount of money spent on delivery. It’s the cost of doing business, sure, but does the cost really need to be that high? What would be the cheapest way to ship oversized items anyway?
Let’s look into this from a small business owner’s perspective. Where is the money going and what are the real overheads? Here’s a short list of tips and tricks that might help you bring shipping costs down.
Proper packaging of heavy equipment
This might not seem obvious, but quality packaging can actually result in savings. When shipping oversized items, improper packaging is a common cause of wear-and-tear. If a significant percentage of customers return damaged items, you’re just wasting money. So be sure to invest in high-quality packaging and cushioning materials.
Accurate measurement of oversized items
Snags in transportation are sometimes also caused by manufacturers not measuring their shipments correctly. Heavy equipment transporters typically require you to provide accurate weight and density measurements. Failure to do so can be considered a breach of contract, causing you to waste time and money.
Official labeling of large packages
For the same reason as above, you’ll need to have all your shipping labels in order. Print them out and make sure that each party involved holds on to a copy. Whether you have your own labeling standard or the hauler does, stay on the safe side by enforcing it rigorously.
Researching available shipping rates
Once you get into the actual costs of transport, it’s imperative to do your homework. Different shipping outfits offer different rates at different times of the year. Make the effort to stay on top of this — it’ll help you get the best deals possible. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to ship heavy equipment, there are countless cost calculators available online. Since rates vary constantly, use these apps only to get a ballpark estimate.
Choosing the right freight hauler
But then, which transporter should you go with? Well, that can get kind of tricky to answer. On the one hand, you want a hauler that offers the cheapest way to ship large packages. But on the other hand, you also want one that’s reliable, affordable, and fast!
Ultimately, you should go with the best option the market offers at any given moment. There’s a broad range of quality of service there, however. Online marketplaces will get you a variety of quotes, and it’s up to you to choose one that fits. As mentioned above, we recommend you do your research as thoroughly as possible.
Earning those darn discounts!
And finally, the biggest source of potential savings: hauler discounts! To ship oversized items in the cheapest way possible, you’re going to have to work out a special deal with your cargo transporter. When doing regular business in bulk, you can get significantly reduced rates.
Big shipping companies like DHL or FedEx offer loyalty programs, though these can be difficult to qualify for. But smaller independent transporters offer discounts to anyone who does business with them regularly! If your shipments are a major part of their overall cargo, you can probably work something out.
Of course, smaller transporters also value personal relationships with favored customers. So try to be at least as professional and polite as their haulers are! It’ll pay off in the long run, guaranteed.
Stay safe, and happy shipping!