5 Ways for Small Business Owners to Reduce Packing and Shipping Costs

Packing and shipping is a critical part of any business. If the packing and shipping costs are too high, it could drive away customers. Because of this, it is critical for business owners to find ways to cut costs. For small businesses on a bootstrap budget, this is even more critical, because you don’t want to wind up coming too far out of pocket or alienating your customer base. Luckily, there are a lot of options and with enough resourcefulness, you can cut down costs – to the point where the costs are manageable for your business and for your customers. Here are five ways for small business owners to reduce packing and shipping costs.

  1. Prepay for shipping online. When it comes down to it, you can save a significant amount of money by purchasing stamps and other freight labels online. Not only is this method a lot more affordable, but you often get a complimentary pick up and tracking service. Not to mention, you may also get a notice when your package has been delivered, which can help when it comes to customer disputes.

  2. Ship your items in used boxes. Purchasing boxing materials is often what sets people back the most. What people fail to realize is that many of these boxing materials are what is really driving up their shipping costs. If you don’t have to ship any particularly fragile items, you could get away with using recycled boxes. You’ll be surprised how seldom you’ll need to buy a box if you simply breakdown the ones that you receive in the mail and find a convenient place to store them. Logos and stamps from old boxes can be covered quickly and easily with a little bit of packaging tape, and you can feel proud to make another small step toward becoming a greener business.

  3. Use packaging that is custom made for the product you are shipping. If your products are made with unique shapes or configurations, there is a good chance that a lot of your shipping costs are going toward the dead air space around your product. For instance, Royco Packaging Inc. makes packaging that is unique for military products. The same goes if you are shipping things like posters – you can use shipping rolls instead of large flat boxes, which will be drastically more expensive.

  4. Don’t purchase insurance with the carrier you are shipping with. If you purchase insurance with the carrier you are shipping with, you could be spending 20% more on covering your product. This will ultimately drive up the cost of your shipping. So, make sure to find a third party insurance carrier when shipping your products – it will certainly save you a lot of money.

  5. Use packing materials provided by your carrier. Things like packing bubbles and paper can cost a fortune if you purchase them. However, many shipping carriers have their own packing materials that are much cheaper and sometimes free. When it comes down to it, your shipping carrier has a vested interest in making sure your product arrives safely at a customer’s doorstep, so providing complimentary packing material is actually cost effective.