HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON SHIPPING RATES
We think most regular parcel shippers can save 20% of their shipping charges by using the tips below.
You can verify many of our comments by getting rates and terms from the carriers websites.
|The US Post Office (USPS)||Federal Express (Fed Ex)||Forward Air|
USE THE LOWEST COST CARRIER. RATES DIFFER.
International Shipping rates?
The US Post Office (USPS) may be cheapest for parcels weighing less than 50 pounds.
Watch for size and weight restrictions imposed by foreign post offices. Check the post office website, or ask us for an estimate.
Shipping books or other communication media?
USPS is likely the cheapest way to go. They offer special low
Book shipping rates and
Media shipping rates.
Shipping to Hawaii?
If you can go slow, check out Fed Ex ground — not Fed Ex air — for shipments over 5 pounds. Otherwise, try USPS. We’ve also found DHL to be highly competitive. Again, feel free to call for an estimate.
Shipping costs business to business?
FedEx Ground is likely to have cheap shipping cost for weights over 5 pounds.
Shipments over 100 pounds — not likely shipped as one unit. May be freighted
Here in San Diego we’ve been seeing some amazingly cheap shipping rates quoted by a company called Forward Air. However, these rates are for shipping between terminals. You would have to get the shipment to the nearest Forward Air terminal and it would have to be picked up at a Forward Air terminal at the other end. If this works for you, the shipping rates are very good.
By the way,
If anyone from a national freight company feels they offer extraordinary shipping costs we’ll be happy to mention them here along with the terms. Call us at (619) 287-4090.
AVOID HIGH PRICED SERVICES
We’re amazed by how much goes by air because someone carried a parcel around in their car for a week. Get the shipment started!
If you need a parcel to cross the country in a couple of days, (INSTEAD OF OVERNIGHT SHIPPING) check out 2 day or 3 day service. They are a lot cheaper than overnight shipping.
Also, remember, some parcel shipping stores mark up the shipping costs. Use them if you need packing or convenience or some expertise. But, if you need economy, go directly to the carrier.
IF YOU HAVE AN ACCOUNT, AUDIT YOUR BILLS
This is really important. Some parcel carriers (one in particular) pad their bills outrageously. Your bill may be as much as 10% too high every week!
How do you audit a bill? It’s not too difficult — just tedious.
- Compare the bill against your own shipping records.
- Is the number of parcels shipped correct?
- Are all the weights correct?
- Check the adjustments. (These are corrections to your bill.)
- Be sure you understand what the terms mean. Just call and ask the carrier.
- Are there any weight corrections? If so, why?
- Are the
- Are the
Extra Handlingcharges justified?
- Did you pay any of these shipping rate adjustments last week? i.e., are you being double billed?
IF YOU HAVE AN ACCOUNT YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO FREE SHIPPING!
Most carriers guarantee the time of delivery for shipments. Trace your shipments and see if any arrived late. You may be entitled to a refund.
Shipments to remote areas are frequently late. Be especially sure to check those.
AVOID OVERSIZE CHARGES
To get the total length and girth of a box…
- Measure the width of the package, rounding to the nearest inch. Multiply this number by 2.
- Measure the height of the package, rounding to the nearest inch. Multiply this number by 2.
- Add these two numbers together. This is your girth.
Avoid Volume Charges
Domestic air carriers impose a minimum charge called DIM Weight. Each parcel is assumed to weigh no less than 8.91 pounds per cubic foot. (The overseas charge is slightly higher.) For example, a 3 cubic foot box containing a comforter would be charged as though it weighed about 27 pounds — not the 6 or 7 pounds you would expect.
If you are shipping light, bulky items by air use a box no larger than you really need. We are NOT suggesting that you use insufficient padding. We are suggesting that you use no larger box than is really needed.