Save Money on Shipping to Anywhere
Let's face it, shipping can be expensive. Whether you are shipping to a domestic or international location, regardless of what you are sending, we have a few tips which can save you money. Most of the same principles apply whether you are sending a small package or a large freight load.
1) Compare shipping rates between the various carriers. – No matter what you are shipping or where you are shipping to, comparing rates among the carriers will save you money. You may be surprised how many different shipping companies you have to choose from, no matter where you are shipping to. For small packages you have UPS, FedEx and the USPS, in addition to many regional shippers such as DHL and Spee Dee Delivery, depending on where you are shipping to and from. If you are shipping larger freight type items you may have many more options including YRC, Roadway, Vitran, Midwest Motor Express, Old Dominion Freight and many more. An easy way to compare these rates is to use a shipping rate comparison website such as Shipping Sidekick which requires you to enter your information only once to see the rates of multiple shippers' side-by-side. Comparing shipping rates alone can save you a considerable amount no matter where you are shipping to. You'll be surprised how much the prices can vary for the same shipment between companies.
2) Use the smallest box or container possible while still properly packaging the shipment – Most shippers now charge by dimensional weight meaning both the actual weight and size of a package are taken into consideration to figure the price. This makes sense for them since a heavy package takes more fuel to transport and a large package takes up more room in the truck. As such, for small packages use a box that is large enough to include adequate padding all around your item but no larger. For larger freight shipments the same principle applies, you'll pay more the larger the container so don't use a larger one than necessary.
3) Shipping via slower methods can save you money – Say you are in California and you have a small box you are shipping to New York. Ask yourself, "How fast does this package have to get there?" Generally the faster the shipping method the more you are going to pay. If it doesn't need to get there overnight, send it second day. Three day is generally even less expensive. Finally if your package is not urgent a ground shipping method is often the least expensive way to go. Again, the same principle applies with larger freight shipments, no matter where you are shipping to.
4) Sometimes two boxes are better than one – Very large packages require special handling by the shippers as they will not go through sorting equipment, may not fit into certain vehicles, etc. As such, the shippers charge a hefty surcharge for very large packages. This surcharge is along with the shipping charge is often more than dividing the shipment into two smaller packages. The exact charges and package dimension guidelines vary between shippers. A shipping rate comparison website like Shipping Sidekick will show these types of oversize charges.
5) Residential surcharges – If you have the choice between shipping to a business and shipping to a residence you'll save money by shipping to the business. This charge ranges from a couple of dollars on small packages to considerably more for freight shipments. In addition, freight shipments may also be charged an additional fee if a loading dock is not present or for inside delivery whether you are shipping to a business or shipping to a residence.
6) Saturday delivery – With the exception of the USPS, most major delivery companies charge extra for Saturday pickup or delivery. When shipping to a business often they are not open on Saturday anyway so there is no need to pay for the Saturday delivery. If the shipment can wait until Monday you'll save yourself a couple of bucks.
7) Drop off your packages – Again, with the exception of USPS all major shippers charge a fee to pick up your packages. You can save this fee by simply dropping your package off at a shipper location or a retail outlet (like the UPS store or OfficeMax for FedEx). All locations which offer package shipping also offer package drop off if you've printed your label in advance.
By following these seven simple guidelines you'll save money regardless of what you are shipping or where you are shipping to. Happy Shipping!