Everything You Need To Know About Small Business Shipping

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They browsed your site.

They placed an order.

And now it’s time to ship it!

But…how does that happen, exactly? And what can you do to make sure you’re using the right companies?

With the age of Amazon and receiving your products in just a few days, consumers have started demanding their orders faster than ever. Combined with the high expectations of how their product arrives and what kind of experience it presents, how you manage small business shipping can make or break your business.

In this blog, we’ll help you figure out the best shipping services for your business, the pros and cons of using multiple carriers, tips on reducing shipping costs, and an overall breakdown of the best carriers available to most small businesses.

How to Determine the Best Small Business Shipping Services for Your Brand

Before you can be sure of which company to use for your small business shipping options, you have to determine a few things first…

  1. Order Volume: How many packages will you be shipping on your pick-up/drop-off days?
  2. Delivery Time: What window of time would you like your packages to be delivered in? Three business days? Five business days?
  3. Frequency of pick-up/drop-off: Will you be shipping out every day? Three times a week?
  4. Packaging Material: Shippingsending costs can add up quickly; are luxury packaging something you need or can skip on?
  5. Dimensions and Weight: What are the dimensions and weight of your boxes?
  6. Tracking: Not all shipping methods come with tracking available; is this something you want to include?
  7. Destination: Will you be shipping internationally or just within your country?
  8. Insurance: If you are shipping a high volume of valuable items, shipping insurance will likely pay for itself in time. Otherwise, will it be worth it?

Once you have this list nailed down, you can start looking at the options and figuring out which service or services are best for your small business shipping options.

The Benefits of Using Multiple Shipping Carriers

In a day and age where convenience is everything, using multiple shipping carriers may actually save you time and money.

While having one carrier often simplifies the shipping process, there are some key advantages multi-carrier shipping brings. One company may have been a 2-day delivery, while another offers a pick-up day your original carrier doesn’t have.

Here are three reasons why using multiple shipping carriers could help your small business:

You Benefit From Different Carrier Features

No two shipping carriers are exactly the same: each has its own advantages and features to suit different customers and needs. Having a list of shipping providers to choose from means you can offer the fastest shipping times and the best customer experience for every order.

You Have a Built-in Fail-Safe

Remember back in 2018 when almost 11,000 UPS workers almost went on strike during the holiday season? Image if your only shipping provider was UPS.

When you decide to use multiple carriers, you don’t have to worry about problems arising and having no other options available. A delayed shipment can be the difference between opening presents on Christmas or opening presents on New Year’s Eve.

You Improve Customer Experience by Offering Multiple Options

Only 15% of US consumers declared shipping options meet their delivery expectations.

Offering a variety of shipping methods provides a level of flexibility that consumers have come to expect as standard, and it also puts pricing consideration in their control.

Tips for Reducing Small Business Shipping Costs

Finding the most affordable shipping for small businesses is key to ensuring that you save on costs and generate earnings. After all, the hand-written thank you cards, extra goodies, and eye-catching branding can only get you so far.

Here are a few tips to help you reduce your small business shipping costs:

  1. Use the right box size: Instead of using one or two standard sizes for your boxes, keep costs low by choosing appropriately sized boxes.
  2. Reuse boxes and packing materials: Your shipping container doesn’t have to have your brand logo on it; using a recycled box is perfectly fine! Especially if you are just starting out, using boxes you already have or that are donated to you can save you hundreds of dollars your first few months or years.
  3. Buy in bulk: Buying bulk can save you tons of money on packaging, labels, business cards, and more.
  4. Purchase prepaid shipping labels: Prepaid shipping can get you up to 20% off shipping costs from UPS and FedEx simply by purchasing a certain number of shipping labels upfront.
  5. Use poly mailers: If you sell small items or clothing, consider using poly mailers instead of boxes. They take up less room on a delivery truck and require less packing supplies like tape and bubble wrap.
  6. Negotiate your rates: Although you’ll need a bigger volume for this last one, you can negotiate directly with shipping carriers for small businesses for discounts, including accessorial fees.

Best Small Business Shipping Options

Not all of these companies may be best for you and what products you are shipping, and that’s ok! It’s best to do your own research when it comes to choosing a shipping carrier for your small business shipping solutions.

However, we’ve done the research and compiled a list of the most popular shipping services and why they’d be best for you and your business:

  • Best for Small Packages: Sendle or USPS
  • Best for Large Packages: UPS or USPS
  • Best for International Shipping: DHL
  • Best for eCommerce Business: Sendle or ShipBob
  • Best for Quick Shipping: FedEx (large) or Sendle (small)
  • Best Affordable Option: EasyPost
  • Best Negotiated Rates: USPS
  • Best for New Businesses: USPS + Shippo (combined)
  • Best Overall: Sendle or USPS

Key Takeaways

There are many factors to consider when shopping for the perfect small business shipping solutions. What may work for one company may not work for you, and that’s fine!

Sometimes mixing and matching your shipping carries works best for you based on your volume, your timeframes, or your packaging. Regardless, ensuring you do the right research into what companies offer is essential for saving time, money, and your sanity!

Zoek always offers small businesses information and tips to help make their lives easier. Visit any of our social media sites to stay up to date on how you can help your small business run smoother.

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