In 2023, cost-effective shipping strategies will be more important than ever.
From selecting the right couriers to product packaging options, small businesses need to adopt a smart shipping plan that fits their growing needs – while holding the line on costs.
With the right strategy in place, you can reduce costs, increase efficiency, and ensure your customers’ satisfaction.
Here are six areas to start with, to level up your small business courier and shipping processes this year.
1. Understand Your Shipping Costs
Shipping costs have risen across the board in recent years, and understanding why will help you find more cost-effective solutions for your business.
In Australia, we’re still experiencing the impact of covid on the workforce. This, in conjunction with higher fuel costs, has impacted shipping costs in several areas, including globally.
When it comes to international shipping, currency fluctuations can also play a role in higher shipping costs. At times, these costs can move by as much as 20%, depending on the currency being used.
Shipping rates are more dynamic than ever, and they’re also more transparent. This means you can track and monitor shipping costs as your business grows, allowing you to identify cost-effective solutions and make changes as necessary.
2. Select the Right Courier
When choosing a courier, you’ll want to ensure that they provide the full range of services and cost-efficiency that best fits your business growth needs.
Since every business has different shipping requirements, choosing the right carrier can be a challenge. There’s a fine balance between finding the fastest and the most cost-effective parcel or freight courier for your customers’ needs.
Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself to find the right courier for your situation:
- What type of shipments do you need to ship?
- What is the average delivery time frame?
- What is your budget?
- What (and where) is your biggest customer base?
Every courier offers a unique cost-efficiency, so it’s important to find one that not only suits your business’ needs, but also delivers the cost-effectiveness you need.
3. Optimise Packaging to Reduce Costs
Packaging plays a vital role in shipping efficiency. However, a few missteps can increase your shipping costs significantly, especially when shipping big or bulky items.
With that in mind, tips to optimise your packaging for cost-effectiveness include:
- Choose packaging materials that best fit your product to provide the required level of protection, without excessive space or packaging weight. It’s important to review your courier’s packaging requirements as these may differ.
- Make sure you weigh and measure your completed package correctly. An incorrect measurement can add significant cost that could otherwise be avoided.
- Where possible, standardise your packaging to ensure that the shipping quotes you provide at checkout are accurate and you’re not left carrying unnecessary excess charges after your customer’s completed transaction.
4. Use Automation for Efficiency
Automation is key when it comes to shipping efficiency. The more automated your shipping process, the less manual work you’ll have to do.
Automation allows you to streamline your shipping process and lower your shipping costs. Example: Integrating the Transdirect ecommerce shipping tool to automate your shipping process will save you both time and money.
This free software integration includes features like shipping calculation, courier quotes and selection, label generation, tracking, and more, so you can easily manage and ship your products from one place.
The easy integration of the Transdirect shipping calculator for your ecommerce website gives your customers more flexibility to determine their preferred shipping options.
5. Leverage Shipping Data for Visibility
When monitoring and managing your shipping data, keep a couple of things in mind.
First, make sure you’re monitoring everything, from the number of shipments to your shipping cost trends.
Second, you’ll want to ensure you’re using the right tools to monitor and manage your shipping data. This will allow you to make more informed decisions when adjusting your shipping strategy and processes.
6. Analyse Your Shipping Costs
When analysing your shipping costs, keep in mind that shipping costs change often. It’s also important to remember that shipping costs vary by region, by courier and many other factors.
Of course, this is what we aim to simplify for you with Transdirect’s extensive courier quotes and booking service.
To track these costs throughout the year and adjust your shipping strategy accordingly, you can use the Transdirect Members dashboard, as outlined above.
Or, you can use a spreadsheet in conjunction with the exported data from your Transdirect Members dashboard to track your shipping costs.
If you run a larger business, you may want to use a financial management solution like Xero to track shipping costs across multiple carriers and produce more in-depth seasonal reporting.
Now You’re Ready to Ship
When it comes to shipping for small businesses in 2023, the most important thing to remember is that shipping costs may increase, so having the right strategy in place will make a big difference to your bottom line.
The great news for you? Transdirect takes all the hard work out of finding the best deals on shipping and couriers with up-to-the-minute accuracy.
Simply open a Transdirect Members Account today and you’ll always have access to the best prices from the best parcel and freight couriers in the market.