FedEx and UPS recently increased their rates. Merchants are now paying more ever! Here are some tips on how to lean out your shipping operation to reduce costs.
1. Audit your shipping fees
Any time a shipment is late, unshipped or misbilled, you’re entitled to a full refund on the costs incurred for that shipment. The catch is that you can only ask for refunds on specific shipments, which means you must audit each shipment for late delivery, misbillings, etc. This takes time. So much time that most shippers forego doing a thorough audit on shipping invoices, consequently missing most, if not all, of the refunds waiting to be collected.
Fortunately, there’s app available to 3dcart shop owners for shipment auditing. It’s called Share a Refund. It’s free to sign up, and secures all of the refund credits available within your FedEx and UPS accounts. Simply register, and provide your shipping account login info. Share a Refund does the rest: auditing, filing and reporting on the refund credits delivered back to you. The best part is that there’s no monthly fee. Share a Refund splits the refund credits delivered, and reports on the savings weekly. Take the no-risk move with Share a Refund. Put the auditing of your shipping invoices on auto-pilot.
2. Map expedited shipping service types to ground
When an order is specified to ship with overnight, 2-day air, or any other express method, and the destination is within the same shipping zone as your point of distribution, the service type can be mapped to ground (i.e. the cheapest delivery method available). In other words, the ground shipping service type is just as fast as overnight when shipping within the state or a neighboring state. So, by shipping ground, the shipment will arrive to the customer on the expected day, and your cost to ship that package will be reduced. This process is commonly referred to as the mapping of shipping service types.
Steps to deploy mapping of shipping service types:
- Build a spreadsheet with a list of states and the delivery estimates represented in the number of days.
- Get the delivery estimates for each of the states. You’ll be able to find a map within your FedEx or UPS account with color coding for your ground delivery estimates. Note: there will be some states with different delivery estimates (e.g. 2 days to northern California compared to 3 days to Southern California). For such cases, simply note the exception in your spreadsheet.
- Work with your warehouse manager and label generation team to implement the mappings as defaults. If you are using third-party shipping software to generate shipping labels, then be sure to work this logic into that system.
3. Avoid Over Maximum Limit fees
As simple as this point is, most warehouse teams don’t take the time to review overages on shipping invoices, and further build a model to ship an order in a way which avoids overage fees proactively. In general, a multipiece shipment (i.e. multiple boxes in the same shipment) is the cheaper option compared to a single box shipment which has Over Maximum Limit fees. Over Maximum Limit fees are assessed when a shipment exceeds a certain weight or dimensional limit. These limits are carrier, and service type specific. The best way to avoid these is to audit recent shipping invoices, looking for Over Maximum Limit fees, then implement a procedural guide to avoid Over Maximum Limit fees whenever possible.
This guest post was written by Nick Hoffman. Inventor. Programmer. American business man, best known for owner and founder of Share a Refund.