Two Tips for Saving on Shipping Costs You Can’t Afford to Overlook

Shipping costs can represent a significant expense for many businesses, and it’s often the first place companies look when trying to trim costs. To make sure you are saving, here are a few approaches that you might not have considered.

Merge Packing and Shipping Stations

Are you using separate stations for packing and shipping in your warehouse? If so, you’re not alone: more than 70 percent of high-volume shippers are making this mistake, often because they think the free shipping systems provided by carriers come without a cost.

In truth, these systems do have a big effect because they essentially force warehouse operations into using a two-step process for packing and shipping where they could have combined them.

Under this process, orders are first packed at packing stations by workers who attach packing lists and labels to boxes and then send them over to the shipping station. Once they reach the shipping station, a worker there will input the order data into shipping software for processing and print out the shipping labels.

It’s not hard to see the inefficiency here. By switching to a centralized multi-carrier shipping system that is set up to communicate in real-time with your WMS or ERP, the shipping label can be produced at the packing station and workers can be used more efficiently.

Expand Your Packing Options

It’s been a long time since the major carriers based their ratings on weight, so tweaking your standardized packing options can go a long way toward cutting shipping costs.

Are you sure your business is optimizing its packing options? Some experts say that more than half of the boxes they’ve audited have been bigger than necessary, and the extra costs can add up quickly. Not only do they cost more in shipping fees, but excess space means you have to use more packing materials—not to mention the higher risk of the product getting damaged. Ask your box vendor about different sizes to accommodate the various items you ship.

If you’re tired of seeing your shipping expenses climb, try these steps and watch the savings pile up!


This blog post was based off of an article from Supply Chain 24/7. Finance. Read the full article here.