Dealing with shipping is sort of like the issue of roughage in everyone’s diet. No one either wants to or feels like talking about it, but we all have to deal with it. Shipping happens to be one of the issues entrepreneurs struggle the most with.
Due to the dynamics that go behind shipping charges, you might find yourself punching above your weight financially. Are your shipping costs breaking your business?
Find out how to save money and reduce freight costs for your business with this guide.
Due to the many existing variations of loads and commodities, many freight companies offer different solutions with respect to shipping practices. Some companies solely use air, sea, truck or rail while some companies offer services for all four.
The first and the most important thing you should understand is your delivery objectives if you want to save money. Understand your customer buying process with respect to timelines. How practical is it to deliver a product with respect to the means of transport as well as its destination?
There are hundreds of shipping companies that can help solve your logistics concerns. The trick is to find the most convenient company at the lowest price.
Most freight companies have shipping rate calculators embedded onto their websites.
All you need to do is key in the location you are shipping from, the destination, and the dimensional size and weight of what you are sending. The calculator will then proceed to offer you with a close estimate figure that you will pay to send your package.
Once you have selected a suitable freight company, get in touch with them and inform them that you are looking for a freight quote. With this information in hand, you are better poised to make an informed decision on what freight company you will choose to work with.
Understanding shipping routes is absolutely fundamental in saving on freight costs. Track and record all data for your shipments such as carrier, origin and destination, and mode of transportation so that you can have a clear understanding of how convenient your shipping process is.
Make sure that you also analyze all factors that play a part in deciding the shipping costs. Track how much you spend on shipping over a certain amount of time. Don’t forget to track the weight of what you import or export as well as the time convenience of all your orders.
This data will not only provide you with the necessary insight into whether you need to scout for a new logistics company but save you both your time and money.
Once you’ve found a freight company suitable to work with, it is crucial to establish a working relationship with your freight company. Putting a stop to every business relationship you establish with a logistics company year in and year out is not the most efficient of strategies.
It’s almost the same as speed dating only with freight companies. The benefit of working[[[ with one company is that a long-term relationship can help you get better rates and services.
The company will understand you as a client and how to satisfy your needs better.
Whether conscious of it or not, every day you find yourself in a situation where you have to negotiate for resources. As an entrepreneur, negotiation skills are important in operating a successful business.
When negotiating shipping rates, try and point out that future constant business with the freight company is possibly dependent on the rates they give you the first time.
Exercise respect, calm, rationality, and patience so that your business interests are well taken care of at all times.
Rather than sending and receiving multiple packages every now and then, it is wise to consolidate all your orders into one large shipment when it is possible. Assembling all shipments into one can help save your business a lot of money in freight costs.
Be sure to evaluate the locations where you frequently have your orders delivered. If you’re sending numerous deliveries to the same locations, it is wise to send them all at once as a convenient method to save time and money.
For example, the more products you load onto an ocean container, the less you pay for each of those products. Ocean carriers charge the cost of delivery per container between two points. Pay for one full container and leverage on the space you have onboard by filling it with packages.
The same practice goes with your purchases. Try and consolidate your in-deliveries into one large order instead of having them frequently delivered in small quantities over a certain period of time.
Making a large order might even prompt your supplier to cover your freight costs through free shipping.
As an entrepreneur, it is important that you know your INCOTERMS. The INCOTERMS help determines who is responsible for any damages or loss during transportation. Some examples of the INCOTERMS used in shipping include:
Exporters and importers lose a lot of money because they have limited or no knowledge at all about the INCOTERMS. Make sure that you understand all the INCOTERMS involved in an agreement before putting pen to paper on any sales contract.
Knowledge of the INCOTERMS will come in handy should you be looking to cut down on freight costs.
Saving money on freight costs is very easy. You just need to take the time to understand the expectations of your customers, know your options, track each shipment, make sure that your selected logistics company knows your goods.
You will find your business saving money on costs that would have otherwise been transferred to your customer thus leaving you and your customers happier. Visit our blog for more tips and information on how your business can save more money on operational costs.
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