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Courier Firm Reveals it’s “Top 10 Tips for Cheaper Business Shipping”

With so many entrepreneurs running online retail businesses, having a reliable and cost-effective courier is paramount for the survival of many small to medium businesses.

Spending too much time and money on courier services can eat into a business’s profits.

Online courier services provider World Options who partner with carriers such as; DHL, FedEx, UPS, TNT and DPD, to transport over 1 million parcels and packages a year for UK companies reveal their “Top 10 Tips for Cheaper Business Shipping”

If you’re a business looking to cut costs, the first step is to shop around and get quotes from other courier services providers to see if you are getting great service and low shipping rates. The second step is to take a look at your shipping processes and invoices, then follow these top tips and you’ll streamline your shipping costs in no time.

TOP 10 TIPS:

1.WORKING 9 TO 5 When booking a shipment, select weekday deliveries and delivery within business hours, avoid weekend deliveries as they often cost more than weekday deliveries. Secondly, if the delivery is going to a business address, it’s more likely that the business will have someone to receive the delivery on a weekday in business hours.

2.DON’T GET CUT-OFF Book shipments and have them ready before the cut-off time, this is often around 11-3pm weekdays depending on the courier you are using. Check your courier to see what their cut-off times are. This ensures the delivery will be collected the same day by the courier to get it delivered faster.

3.PACK IT IN Don’t get a nasty shock with additional charges. The way an item is packaged is so important for cost saving and avoiding extra courier charges after collection.

Use the following rules when packaging goods for shipment:

  • Choose quality - The box should be rigid, robust and in good condition.
  • Choose the right size - The box should be of appropriate size and durability.
  • Enforce the six centimetre rule - Ensure that there is a minimum of 6cm
  • distance from the walls of the box to the contents of the box.
  • Avoid empty space - Make sure all void space surrounding the contents is filled, use bubble wrap, foam wrap, air bags, corrugated inserts or shredded paper.
  • Take care - All individual items should be wrapped individually.
  • It is recommended to use the H-taping method when sealing your package.

Precision is key – Its worth knowing that, when your parcel is processed by the courier, the whole parcel is scanned and weighed digitally to determine the exact size and weight you’ve entered is accurate. So, use accurate electronic scales for weighing parcels and boxes, ensure the item is not leaning against anything which could give it a false reading.

Make sure your parcel is compact and its shape will not expand or distort when it is being scanned digitally. If it’s able to distort beyond its stated size the digital scanners may give a reading higher than you’ve specified which could incur additional charges.

Stick it down - Ensure there’s no sticky tape protruding beyond the box or parcel. If there’s tape protruding beyond the shape of the box or parcel, the digital scanners used by the carrier will measure the parcel to the end of the tape, which is likely to give a reading that’s larger than the parcel or box. The carrier can then add additional charges based on the measurement provided by the digital scanners.

Bulk Shipments - If you have many items to ship, putting them together in one bulk shipment, if it’s going to the same address it can often work out cheaper. Read the carriers maximum dimensions and weight guidelines and package your items so that it doesn’t exceed this. Exceeding this incurs additional charges.

Take Advantage of Free Packaging - Most online courier companies will provide you with free packaging such as envelopes, wallets, and boxes if you are a business customer. So, ask your account manager for free packaging.

Recycle & Reuse – Save money by reusing boxes and packaging if they are still strong and durable. Make sure all old shipping labels, addresses and barcodes have been removed before reusing.

IN FOR THE LONG HAUL Does your customer or supplier really need the goods next day or express? If not send it economy. Or better still, plan your shipping ahead of time by sending shipments earlier so that you can select economy shipping and longer delivery options versus express delivery to reduce costs. If you send shipments on a weekly basis, saving a few pounds per parcel by choosing economy timescales can add up to savings hundreds annually.

SEND IT BY SEA For bulky items or large cargo consider international freight shipments. Choosing sea freight rather than air freight can often work out a lot cheaper, it’s a slower delivery option so if the goods are not required urgently send it by sea. Or even better, be organised and send goods earlier by sea to get cheaper sea freight rates.

SAY CHEESE It sounds silly, but always take photographic evidence of your shipments ensuring the weight reading and tape measurements are visible on the photograph to prove its weight. A photograph also shows if your parcel was packaged correctly at the time of collection. So that, in the event of a carrier discrepancy, query or additional charges related to inaccurate weight, dimensions or improper packaging, having photographic evidence as proof is always a good backup.

CHECK IT OUT Avoid the nasty sting of a failed delivery because you didn’t provide all the correct information on the booking. After your shipment has been collected, if there are discrepancies on the booking, the carrier or customs may add additional charges. The below checklist is a sure-fire way of making sure you’ve provided all the information needed to help guarantee the safe and inexpensive delivery of your goods.

EORI number - International business shipping require an EORI number Sender address and contact telephone number must be on the booking Receiver address and contact telephone number must be on the booking Use correct postal codes Check delivery addresses on carrier maps to ensure accuracy – The destination address map must be checked on the carrier booking system, this usually shows map detail for searching addresses. (Google maps can sometimes differ from the maps used by the carrier systems, and carriers will go by their map system information, not Google). Incorrect addresses account for a huge amount of failed deliveries.

REACH FOR COVER Opt-in for insurance cover when booking your shipment. Insurance is often overlooked because we hope and assume nothing will happen to our goods. The reality is, with millions of items being transported at any given time, the journey your goods take cannot always guarantee it will arrive at its destination safely and undamaged. Insuring your goods can often work out cheaper than the cost of replacing the goods if lost or damaged.

MAKE SMART CHOICES Use a shipping company that can provide rates from multiple carriers in one place, so that you are not tied into using the same services or rates all the time, giving you flexibility and choice. Also, when booking a shipment consider using the courier with networks, warehouses and delivery hubs based close to the location you are shipping to.

INTEGRATE & AUTOMATE Integration and automation are a must for forwarding thinking businesses. For businesses with online stores such a Shopify or WooCommerce websites, avoid opting for the pre-set in-house shipping provided by the online store, they’re often not the best rates. Shop around, there are other shipping providers who can provide your online store with better shipping rates.

Then connect your online store with shipping integration software like World Options global shipping app. By connecting your online store to a shipping app, you automate the shipping process which reduces the time processing shipments manually, while getting better rates.

Get your customers to pay for shipping on your online store, by showing the shipping fees clearly you allow your customers to choose the shipping rates they’d like to pay when proceeding to checkout on your ecommerce website.

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