The U. S. transportation system shipped 49.3 million tons of freight every day in 2017.
Many businesses and individuals ship tons of parcels every day. While it plays a critical role in commerce, shipping can significantly eat into your budget if not planned for adequately.
The good thing is that with a bit of keenness, it is possible to significantly reduce shipping costs. Here are some ideas to help you reduce your long distance shipping expenses.
1. Utilize Free Moving Boxes and Supplies
When you need to move boxes, and other supplies like pallets and bubble wrap become indispensable. However, buying these supplies will only serve to drive your moving costs up.
One way to get cheap shipping is by reducing or cutting out the cost of moving boxes and other supplies.
Do you know anyone within your circle who recently completed a move? Talk to them first as they will most likely still have some moving supplies left over. You can also post on social media to easily reach many of your friends and family.
Online sites that specialize in offering free moving boxes and supplies in your area are another good place to look.
As surprising as it may sound, it is more preferable for some people to give out moving boxes and containers for free than recycle them.
Other places you can look include:
- Recycling centres
- Copy stores
- Home electronic stores
Of course, you should not compromise on quality even though what you might be getting is free.
2. Choose the Best Moving Date
In case you may not know when you decide to move has an impact on the costs of moving.
If you can plan your move to avoid peak seasons then you can make savings in truck rentals and vendor costs among other costs.
Winter is naturally the cheapest season to move because there is low demand. Moving companies have flexible schedules, and you can get more service options than you would during other seasons.
If you are moving homes, then summer is the best season in the year to sell your old home due to high demand. Relocating with children best happens in summer as well.
Spring is a relatively cheaper season to plan a move. The demand is not as high as in March and April while weather conditions are better than during winter.
Since you are looking for affordable shipping you can make more savings between late September and April. Peak moving time happens spring and April due to better weather and school breaks for families.
If you are a business relocating then the off-peak season will offer more flexibility and better pricing.
Mid-month moving is also cheaper with the best days of the week is Monday to Friday.
3. Know the Best Freight Class to Use to Reduce Shipping Costs
If you’re a business part of your business strategy is cost-effectiveness. Shipping on a Less Than Load (LTL) basis will help you keep costs down.
When using LTL you need to determine what freight class best contributes to your savings strategy.
Freight class is a standardized system of classification for goods shipping on an LTL basis. This helps give customers the best price available.
There are four factors that go into determining the most optimal freight class for your needs.
Density is the most primary determinant of freight class.
Density refers to the pounds per cubic foot needed for your item. The more compact your item the higher its density, translating into cheaper pricing.
The capacity of your item to be transported with others is another factor here. If what you need to move is flammable or hazardous, for example, it will increase your freight class, which drives up your costs.
Ease of handling is the level of care necessary during the shipping of an item. If what you need to ship requires high levels of care then it will raise your freight class.
Something else that will increase your shipping costs is a higher probability that item being shipped will lose its value or will be stolen.
Before shipping calculate your freight class to optimize on how much you will end up paying for the shipping.
4. Plan Your Route
Any business shipping items from one state to another, or even internationally, know the power of route mapping in cost-cutting.
Particularly, if you are searching for the cheapest way to ship large packages then optimizing your route can make all the difference.
If there are multiple routes to your destination break down the costs for each one to factually determine what is better for you. Don’t just assume that the more popular route is the cheapest.
Where possible look for direct flights and the shortest distance between two points. You should also test different modes of transport per route to play around with the overall cost for any potential savings.
5. Take Advantage of Discounts
Shopping for discounts from vendors can also save you substantial costs on moving.
If you serve or have served in the military, look out for companies that offer discounts to veterans. Members of AAA can get discounts at moving service providers catering to them as well.
You can also use logistics online portals to spy out any discounts on moving materials and supplies. Every discount you get is money shaved off your total moving bill.
Ship Without Breaking the Bank
Every business will at one point find the need to ship some goods as part of its operations. Individuals also find the need to contract shipping services in the course of life’s activities.
While many may have a need to ship, not too many know how to reduce shipping costs. The result is high billing for services by vendors. If businesses and individuals can take some time to research it would save them a bundle.
Cutting costs is not enough if you are not saving. Check out our blog on expert tips on how to start saving.