The easiest way to reduce shipping costs is by reducing or optimizing packaging. Depending on the size of the product there are different ways to optimize shipping, but in essence the smaller and lighter the package is the less shipping will cost. Every ounce matters so reducing packaging or using light weight packaging will have a huge effect in reducing shipping costs. There are risk involved. If less or lighter packaging is used this will reduce the integrity of the package and could risk breaking products which will cause losses in product and additional costs to re-ship, as well as an unhappy customer. Packaging is important for your brand and the customer experience, so it is also important to weigh the aesthetics of the package in addition to the weight and size. It is best to test different packaging types to find a balance of the best packaging to use which will also reduce your shipping rates. If we are provided samples or even descriptions of the products we would be happy to provide suggestions.
You can save a lot on postage and shipping costs if you can get the weight of your package under 1 pound. Shipment under 1 pound are eligible for first class parcel shipping rates which range from $2.61 to $4.30 per piece depending on the weight of the piece. This service will deliver your piece anywhere in the US for a flat fee, you do not have to worry about postal zones or where the piece is being shipped to. This service will also deliver your shipments in 1-3 days. Once you get over 1lb your piece is no longer eligible for first class parcel rates and the next best option is priority mail. There are a few advantages to priority mail in that you piece should be delivered quicker and you can include insurance at no extra charge, but the postage rates are considerably more expensive (in many cases double that of first class parcel). If you have a light weight product that needs to be fulfilled and shipped it is beneficial to design packaging so that the product is under 1 lb and you can take advantage of first class parcel rates
There are a number of ways to save money on shipping, but they should all start at the planning stage of your fulfillment project. The first steps is to determine the requirements of your shipments. You will need to determine the shipping frequency, the size and weight of your packaging, the number of different products you are shipping (and if any of them are shipped together), the locations you are shipping to, how quickly fulfilled products need to arrive, and if there are any other shipping requirements.
Once you have this data you can determine what the best carriers and modes of shipping will be for your products. Some products may be eligible for different rates on different carriers. It is helpful to be flexible on the carrier you use in order to reduce shipping costs for different products. There are also opportunities to reduce shipping costs by having the flexibility to reduce packaging as there are substantial costs savings that can be gained by reducing packaging size and weight. For example if your package weighs under 1lb it will most likely be most cost effective to send the pieces USPS first class package, but as the piece goes over 1lb the USPS shipping costs increase rapidly. You can also save money by drop shipping or comingling your shipping, but this often adds to the delivery time which may not be an option for your shipments.
It is best to layout your shipping requirements and identify areas like packaging size and weight, shipping time, and carrier service that you have some flexibility to reduce shipping costs. Once you have this information there are a number of different ways you can looking at reducing logistics costs and determine how best to manage your shipments.