Since your online store is meant to attract customers outside your local market, good service will be based on your user experience and how smooth your shipping process is.

Taking the time to figure out your shipping logistics so that it is efficient and affordable will be beneficial for both your business and customer satisfaction.

If you’re looking for ways to cut costs on shipping without sacrificing too much in terms of service quality, here are a few suggestions.

Regional couriers: a cheaper way to ship

If your target market is one specific region, you can consider using a regional courier.

Regional couriers (not to be mistaken as being a “discount courier”) are good alternatives to major express couriers as they provide slightly cheaper rates, yet are faster than your typical government postal service.

Here’s what you should consider when researching regional couriers:

  • Make sure they can actually deliver to your destination country. Surprisingly, there are certain countries and cities that major express couriers do not deliver to, so if this courier covers these regions, that will definitely be a plus.
  • They should offer a decent tracking service. Not all courier tracking services are created equal. The cheaper courier services might scrimp on tracking by only providing two updates: when the package has been picked up, and when it’s been delivered to the destination city. If tracking is important to you, do plan accordingly.  
  • The courier should show the taxes and extra fees very clearly. Any tax and additional fees regarding your package’s weight and destination should be given upfront without any ambiguity. This way you or your customers won’t have to face any unpleasant surprises.

If you consistently ship a large volume of packages per month, you may be eligible for additional discounts. It’s worth reaching out to the courier and asking. (Better yet, reach out to us directly to see if you qualify for additional discounts up to 30%!)

Did you know that on average, eCommerce sellers use 4-5 different shipping couriers to meet their needs?

That being said, you don’t need to exclusively ship with one courier; keep a number of options that meet the needs of your customers.

Start researching your top 5 couriers here.

Reduce your package size to optimize for shipping

The art of packing boxes for shipping, in addition to reducing package size, is key to unlocking the cheapest way to ship.

Dimensional weight reduction (or volumetric weight reduction) is important. If you’re unfamiliar with dimensional weight, allow us to explain!

Couriers measure both dead weight and volumetric weight, and charge the higher of the two. Volumetric weight is usually calculated by multiplying the length, width, and height of your package, then dividing this number by a cubic divisor (this figure varies between couriers and depends on whether you’re using the metric system or English system.)

Imagine shipping a box full of styrofoam cups. The weight of the box itself is pretty light. However, because of the size of the box, a truck could be quickly filled to capacity with very little actual weight.

Many couriers take this into account and use a pricing structure that will charge this accordingly. This is why it’s to your advantage to have efficient packaging; don’t lose money due to unnecessary volume!

Additionally, having efficient packaging allows you to secure your items from possible damage. Make sure your product packaging fits snugly, and if possible, use lightweight packing material to further reduce shipping costs.

Here are some additional tips on parcel packing.

Save on shipping by purchasing your packaging materials in bulk

Buying anything in bulk will always work in your favor if you’re looking to cut costs. Many courier companies let you order their packing materials and boxes in bulk, along with the labels.

Additionally, factory outlets may have good bargains, and of course, you can always find a good wholesale deal online.

In conclusion, when you’re looking for the cheapest way to ship, it’s best to:

  • take into account your courier options
  • package your goods properly
  • buy your packing materials in bulk.

Put these tips into practice and enjoy saving that cash money!

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