You know how important it is to reduce costs and save time when it comes to shipping. In recent years, saving on shipping has been an uphill battle for many businesses due to of the record level of packages being sent out and the increase in shipping rates.
However, you don't have to fall victim to high shipping costs. We've got three steps you can take to reduce your overall shipping costs and it all starts with one thing: rate shopping.
What is Rate Shopping?
Rate shopping is when you compare the prices of different carriers and services in order to see your options, get the best price for your shipping, and make the best decision for your business. By rate shopping, you're helping your business by better controlling what you spend on shipping and gives yourself more opportunities to save. If you are only shipping with one carrier right now, you don't know what other options are available. One of the other major carriers might be able to provide faster or less expensive service for what you are sending…and you wouldn't know!
How Do I Start Rate Shopping?
How you rate shop depends on the frequency and size of your shipments. Your business may only ship a handful of times a year. So, you may rate shop on your own by going to different carrier websites and choosing the services and prices are available. Or perhaps your business ships regularly or semi-regularly. If so, manually shopping across the different carriers of might be too tiresome and time-consuming. You may want a quick and convenient way to make comparisons, and the way to do that is by using muli-carrier shipping software.
Multi-carrier shipping software can be uploaded right to your desktop and links with a scale so that you can easily weigh items and get different carrier and service options. One of our Quadient representatives can help you get started on figuring out if our multi-carrier shipping software solution is right for you. Or if you prefer to do research on your own, check out our shipping solutions to see our full range of solution options.
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Negotiating directly with shipping carriers is a great way to reduce shipping costs and learn more about the carrier's different services. If you are shipping a lot of large or heavy items – or even sending certain items in bulk – UPS or FedEx may have advice or service recommendations to reduce your shipping costs. However, don't be intimidated or come into a negotiation empty-handed. You'll need to prepare before you start throwing out prices with your shipping carrier.
A good place to start is: auditing. Review your invoices to see what is driving the bulk of your expenses. This helps you and your shipping carrier better understand your shipping workflow and what they can do to help you. Another way you can help negotiations is to have competitive carrier rates handy. Learn what you would be paying if you were to ship with other carriers, leveraging their rates against your current ones to get the best price.
At this point, your rate shopping checklist should look like this:
But, what if we told you there is a third item you should be adding to your list?
3. Research to see if you are eligible for commercial shipping rates
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After you Commercial shipping rates are discounted service prices that are offered by the USPS® for companies that buy and print barcoded shipping labels via shipping software. This means that any business – big or small – can reduce their shipping costs with the USPS® by up to 40%. And the barcoded labels enable the USPS® to deliver your packages more efficiently and you to easily track them online.
If you're ready to explore shipping software or want to upgrade your shipping strategy, check out our All-In-One Mailing & Shipping Solution or contact a Quadient shipping specialist today.