Last-mile fulfilment can be a very finicky facet for many businesses – especially in the age of same-day deliveries and instantaneous turnaround. Customers want products fast, yet are worried about the net carbon emissions that result from efficiency. Between meeting customer’s expectations and ensuring that the logistics process goes off without a hitch, shipping costs skyrocket for businesses trying to keep multiple balls in the air.
Thankfully, there are simple and practical ways to cut down shipping costs while extending the same benefits to last-mile fulfilment. Here are five tangible ways for businesses to cut down their shipping costs.
1. Plan your shipments strategically to take advantage of seasonal discounts
Shipment volumes increase and decrease according to the ebb and flow of the seasons. Four major freight forwarding shipping seasons correspond to specific goods and amounts. As the holidays approach from November to January, businesses will see a massive spike in shipping volumes as global customers fight to rush out their Christmas orders before final delivery dates. Planning shipments in bulk strategically and ensuring that you maximise each shipment window becomes a golden opportunity for businesses to cut down shipping costs.
2. Use a freight forwarder to consolidate shipments
Described as the “coordination and shipment of goods from one place to another through single or multiple carriers via air, marine, rail or highway”, freight forwarding is a shipment method that helps businesses cut down on shipping costs by collating shipments and lessening redundancy. The logic in this measure stems from consolidating shipments in the last-mile fulfilment process at a central location before the goods are sent out to each recipient. On average, proper consolidation and use of freight forwarding can help reduce costs of shipping by up to 25% compared to unconsolidated loads. Fewer round trips take up lesser resources, and the savings are in turn passed on to the savvy businesses taking advantage of freight forwarders.
3. Ship products in bulk whenever possible
Similar to freight forwarding, businesses seeking to retain full autonomy of the logistics process while avoiding third parties can still cut costs by shipping products in bulk whenever possible. Bulk shipments incur less charges in shipping rates as they require less resources. Shipping intermediaries are also incentivised to offer bulk discounts on larger shipments, which goes a long way into cutting down shipping costs.
4. Ensure products are properly packaged to avoid damage during transit
An often hidden cost in shipping stems from damaged goods and poor handling in transit. A rule of thumb for packaging products is to maintain a three-layer seal. Products should be secured with bubble wrap or some protective cushioning such as packing peanuts, and then boxed up to minimise movement. On top of that, single use polymailer bags should be utilised whenever possible to protect products against potential environmental interference. In worst case situations, high-value, fragile goods ought to be insured to prevent catastrophic loss in profits if they do end up damaged.
5. Compare shipping costs between different carriers
Before signing onto any long-term plans or deciding on a business-wide carrier, it is vital to compare shipping rates and pick out the best options that suit your needs. While most carriers advertise a wide range of services, the key is to identify what they excel in and leverage that strength as a business resource. Depending on the price and shipping rates quoted, the difference in experience and skillsets amongst varying carriers provide much-needed value when lowering shipping costs. If you are ever in doubt, reach out to carriers directly and speak to their customer support staff. Most prominent logistics providers will have dedicated sales teams that are more than happy to ascertain your needs and provide a personal touch.
Work With Halcon Primo Logistics Today
Regardless of your needs, big or small, Halcon Primo Logistics offers a full suite of logistics management solutions for all your shipping necessities. From vessel chartering to project logistics, our team endeavours to provide integrated and personalised solutions to help maximise value and lower costs. Contact us to find out more about our shipping services.