For small businesses it is a challenge to keep the costs of shipping items low. When negotiating with new customers, the cost of shipping is something that the customer wants to get as low as possible, but the company wants to get the customer to pay the actual cost. For small businesses, there are a number of options that are available, and many companies will try to help smaller companies with obtaining the best shipping rate possible. Small businesses can always take advantage of using the shippers packaging materials, such as boxes and envelopes. Shipping companies prefer that companies use their packaging material, and it saves small businesses time and money to do so. Implementing the following small business shipping best practices can help save you time and money.
For a small business there are a number of details that should be considered when shipping items to customers. In order to minimize your costs, you need to find a shipping service that will offer you the lowest cost overall. Most shipping costs are determined by taking into account the following factors; the required delivery time to get to the customer, the ship-to address of the customer, the weight of the item to be shipped, the packaging used, the overall dimensions of the package to be shipped, the insurance that may be required, plus any handling fees that may be payable.
Negotiating With The Shipping Company
When a small business is looking to work with a shipping company, there should be negotiation on a number of items. Firstly, the small business should make sure that the shipping company would make pick-ups and deliveries free of charge. The trips back and forth to the shipper's location can be expensive, not only in the time spent, but also in the fuel to make the trip, and the wasted salary sending someone to the shipper. However, having a shipper pick-up shipments for customers can sometimes be a disadvantage as they may arrive at your location when the shipment is not ready to be picked up. This means either a delay in shipping the package to the customer, or an additional trip to the shipping location.
Another negotiation that can be made with the shipper is on the rates that are charged. It would be difficult to get a shipping company to give deep discounts if your company only ships a few packages a month, but if a small business send packages regularly in volume, and especially internationally, then this will give a small business some leverage for a lower rate plan. This rate should be revisited periodically as the number of packages sent increase. If the volume increases significantly then the shipper should be pressed to give a deeper discount.
Additional Handling Charges
When shipping to a customer, a small business should make sure that they pass on any additional handling charges that are incurred. For example, if the customer wants their item packed in a special container to ensure that there is no damage, any special handling charge from the shipper should be passed on. Shippers will generally add a special handling charge if the item to be shipped is perishable or is fragile.
Even though a small business has negotiated a low shipping price, sometimes a customer will decide that they want to use their own carrier. It may be that the customer has an arrangement with a carrier to expedite shipping the package or some other incentive. Whatever the arrangement, it is always best to allow the customer to choose the shipping method they want. This shows that your business is focused on the best customer service, no matter what the customer wants.