Whether you’re a new e-commerce retailer needing some tips of the trade, or an experienced firm looking to revamp your processes – shipping is a good place to start. 

There are several effective ways to cut down on international shipping costs and save time – and in such a competitive market, offering a service that’s a cut above the rest will make your business stand out. 

From clever packaging methods to managing your clients’ expectations, savvy shipping means you will be able to offer the best service without blowing the budget.

Our simple money-saving guide below will help you to lower international shipping costs and take your service to the next level.

1. Provide a variety of delivery options – and manage expectations!

You should understand your customers’ needs better than anyone, and if you do, you will know that they expect reliable delivery times, not necessarily the fastest ones. 

Generally, the faster the shipping time, the more expensive something is to ship – customers understand this and will benefit from having a range of delivery options to choose from. 

If you really want to tighten the purse strings, you could opt for a slower shipping option altogether. 

However, if you offer slower shipping times, then you must provide customers with accurate shipping information. Most people will appreciate this honest and reliable approach.

2. Create an Efficient Assembly Line

No matter the size of your business, implementing an assembly line can make processing orders more efficient and cost-effective. Simply break down the packaging process into a few stages, and have a set of dedicated people working on each stage. 

Not only will this increase the speed of your packaging process, but if any issues arise, it will be easier to pinpoint and resolve them. 

Plus, individual packing stations are easier to manage, meaning you will be able to achieve greater uniformity between packages and therefore meet shipping guidelines.

3. Optimize Packaging Methods

Although often overlooked, creating a packaging strategy is an extremely effective way to save money on shipping costs. 

While you need to ensure cargo is packaged safely and securely, you must be careful to not go overboard, as this will add weight and size to your parcel, and ultimately increase costs!

When choosing your optimal packaging you must take into consideration the height, weight, and volume of your goods. The best packaging is that which provides maximum safety with the least amount of weight and size – so choose lightweight packaging materials that are still protective. 

You can also buy those materials in bulk, meaning you can negotiate with the seller and keep costs down. Finally, consider using standard sized packaging provided by your carrier and avoid the expense of custom-made boxes.

4. Find the Right Fulfillment Warehouse

For growing e-commerce businesses, investing in a local fulfillment warehouse in your destination country or city is a great way to reduce packaging and shipping costs. 

A fulfillment warehouse service manages the handling, packing, and delivering of your products in a local way, which saves you time and drastically reduces your capital spending.

It’s perhaps not the most logical option for smaller retailers, but this tip is perfect for businesses buying in bulk from overseas and larger companies.

5. Work With Multiple Carriers

There are so many logistics service providers out there, and each one has their own pricing list. 

Usually dependent on volumes, the shipping price offered by each carrier will vary – so it’s worth comparing a few in order to make an informed (and cost-effective) decision on which iis the best option for your company.

Whether you’re a small business or not, doing some research will allow you to compare prices and negotiate with your carrier for a lower freight cost.

Negotiating with carriers also means you can also offer a selection of couriers to your customers, as implemented by Postage Supermarket, which gives them more choice and elevates service satisfaction.

The Verdict

No matter the size of your company, international shipping need not be a drain on time or money with this handy guide. 

In a saturated market, standing out from the crowd is essential, and by using a few of these simple solutions you could transform your shipping strategy into a more efficient and money-saving process overall!

By Alison