In 2017, U.S. businesses spent $1.5 trillion on shipping. So if you’re looking to cut back on shipping costs for your business, you’re probably not alone.
Shipping large items can be particularly painful, cost-wise. Large items are awkward and heavy, so they naturally cost more to ship.
That’s unavoidable, right? Or is there a way around those big costs?
It’s time to spill the beans. Here’s everything you need to know about shipping large items without breaking the bank.
Compare Your Shipping Options
First things first, you need to explore what shipping options are available for your business. Those options don’t stop at the local post office or UPS.
Whether you’ve heard of them or not, there are actually a lot of shipping companies out there. So it’s time to get your research on and find out about them.
When comparing your options, look at how your package will be transported. Is it through ground or air transportation? Maybe it’ll get to its destination through both transportation methods.
Make sure protections are in place for items that are fragile, or that could potentially break during transit.
And of course, look at the company’s advertised prices. While price shouldn’t be your only concern, it’s obviously one of the biggest. Shipping the item must meet your budgetary restraints, no matter how big the item is.
Look for a Specialist
To keep costs low, look for a company that specializes in shipping large items for businesses. In other words, you may not want to go with your local mail service.
Companies who regularly ship large and awkward packages know exactly what needs to be done to get your package from here to there safely. Since they do this type of thing often, you may just find a lower price, too.
Check Things out Yourself
Before shipping a large item, make sure it’s ready to be shipped. Remove as much of the size and weight that you can in order to cut back on costs. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave all adequate protection in place, though.
Once you’re ready, weigh your item. While you’d hope the shipping company will be completely honest with you, that may not always be the case.
To make sure things are on the up-and-up, weigh the item yourself before sending it. That way, when you go to the facility you can make sure their weight reading matches the one you got.
Don’t forget to use a scale that you know is functioning properly. If you need one often, keep one onsite. Otherwise, you may end up making some unfounded accusations or paying more than you expected.
Break it Up
There are obviously some items that just can’t be broken down. If you do have that option, though, consider doing it.
The item you’re sending may break down into several smaller pieces. If it does, you have some things to consider.
How many packages would you end up sending if you broke the item down? Would it be any cheaper to send it that way? Don’t forget to keep your customers and their convenience in mind.
If the costs are great, you may want to go to the effort of taking the item apart. If it makes more sense to ship it while it’s fully assembled, then go ahead and do it that way.
Pack Your Item Well
Large items may seem easier to ship, especially if they’re already in the shape of a square or rectangle. The truth is, though, these items still need to be protected.
Whether the item is fragile or not, protecting your item well will help you cut back on costs. How does that work? By saving you the money you’d end up spending to replace or repair the item because you didn’t protect it correctly.
Follow All the Rules
The shipping service you’ve chosen may have specific rules when it comes to shipping large items. Make sure you know them all and that you’ve followed them to a “T”.
Rules, schmules, they’re just there because people think they’re important, right? Well, no. They’re there because they actually are important.
These rules, while seemingly overprotective and annoying, help shipping companies do their job right. If you don’t follow them you heighten the risk of your item getting damaged along the way.
Or there’s always the chance that the service may refuse to ship your item in the first place, which could force you to use a more expensive option. To avoid this and make sure your item arrives safely, use sturdy shipping materials and boxes and follow all guidelines.
Look for Killer Customer Service
While customer service skills don’t necessarily lower the cost of shipping, they’ll make your task feel a whole lot easier. When comparing companies and their rates, pay attention to their overall vibe, too.
A company that offers great customer service won’t just deliver your package. They’ll also take care of you and all your concerns. Choose a company with great customer service and support and you’ll have the peace of mind you’ll need when shipping a large package.
Shipping Large Items Shouldn’t be Stressful
As a business owner, shipping large items can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you prepare your shipment correctly and you’ve researched your options thoroughly, you should be able to ship it in a safe and cost-effective way.
Choose a company that’s familiar with shipping large items for businesses. Their expertise will ensure you have a great experience, and it may just lower your costs as well.
At ATI we’re ready to safely transport your shipment, whatever the size of your item. Contact us today to get started with a free quote.