Hacks for Saving on Shipping Costs

Vanessa Tran , Oct 30 2020

Most eCommerce Players experience large supply chain disruptions due to coronavirus-related transportation restrictions. With the current pandemic crisis affecting e-commerce and shipping practices on a global scale, you may be wondering how to save costs for your company and keep parcels moving to their intended destination. It’s no question that high volume e-tailers must explore new ways to retain resources to stay afloat in these uncertain times. 

Holding onto valuable cash reserves is a priority now for all businesses in every industry. If your company sends high volume shipments overseas, exploring methods to save on worldwide shipping costs can provide your company with much-needed monetary relief. At Parcll Delivery, we’re always looking for ways to help our customers grow even during hard times. In today’s post, we’ll share some helpful hacks for saving money on international shipping costs.

How To Save Money On Shipping

First, Why Is Shipping So Expensive?

It’s no secret that shipping is one of the highest costs for eCommerce business owners. Shipping costs can quickly eat away at profits, so we want to do everything we can to cut down on costs. Before we get into the best tips for small businesses to save money on shipping, we should take a look at why the costs are sometimes so high:

  • Labor - Your packages will pass many hands on their way to the final destination. Warehouse workers, drivers, pilots, delivery people, and customs workers all play a part in getting your goods to customers. 
  • Fuel - Transportation and fuel costs are a big part of the overall expense. Both ground and air options rack up mileage and fuel costs when working to deliver long-distance packages. Shipping light and shipping as small as possible are the best ways to minimize the impact your package will have on fuel and therefore minimize cost.
  • Taxes - Duty and customs charges can be expensive for eCommerce businesses. Delivery Duty Paid options can be a good way to simplify the process, expedite shipping and make buyers more comfortable purchasing items

Parcll exists to better serve eCommerce businesses by providing better shipping solutions at the best possible prices. Parcll works to simplify the shipping process and provide faster and easier shipping options for both buyers and sellers. 

Buy Boxes in Bulk

For high volume e-tailers that frequently ship to other countries, buying packaging supplies in bulk saves you money in the long run. Though it feels like you’re spending more at first, you’ll be able to negotiate more reasonable prices the more you buy at a time. You may even find a supplier you like enough to return to for future purchases. If so, you’ll have even more opportunities to negotiate fair prices and continue to save money for your company. If you’re planning to ship from the U.S. on a regular basis, this hack will allow your company to save money over time.

You can also seek out other discounted shipping supplies, from packing peanuts to tape. Always keeping an eye out for the best prices is one of the best things you can do to improve your margins as an eCommerce seller. Shopping around for the best prices, negotiating, and buying select materials in bulk will help you immensely. Reevaluate your packing methods and be sure to let your suppliers know if you find somewhere that offers more affordable materials — you may be surprised at what they will do to keep you as a loyal customer. 

Optimize Your Packaging Methods

Preplanning and spending a good amount of time optimizing your packaging is one of the best small business shipping tips. Pack your goods in the smallest packages possible. This is important for a few reasons. First, there’s less chance of the product getting damaged from rattling around in a large box while shipping to a far-flung destination. Spending money to send your product to another country only to have a customer reject the shipment because it’s broken is a sunk cost for your business. Save that money by doing it right the first time. 

Second, you’ll be able to save on filler materials to pack into the box, thereby saving on costs to purchase filler. But be sure not to skimp on low-fillers. Think quality, not quantity, because if the filler doesn’t do its job, you’ll end up with damaged products, unhappy customers, and more sunk costs.

Do what you can to keep the weight of your packages down. Shipping costs are based on weight and dimensions unless you are using a flat-rate option. Calculate weight and dimensions beforehand and ask your shipping provider if it will be cheaper to ship in a box or padded envelope. It will usually be much more affordable to pack items in poly mailers as the dimensions are smaller and weigh less than boxes. Envelopes are most often the cheapest ways to ship clothing and small items. You will also save money without having to purchase extra bubble wrap or padding with envelopes that have built-in protective materials. However, if your items are very fragile, then a rigid box may be the best choice. 

Finally, the smaller the package, the more you can send as a high-volume shipper. You’ll get more bang for your shipping bucks this way. Choose an affordable carrier that specializes in high volume deliveries, and you’re well on your way to saving up much-needed funds for your e-commerce business.

Be Aware of Shipping Restrictions


Many times, e-commerce companies experience surprise fees and unexpected costs once their packages reach the destination country. Customs regulations differ in each country, and it’s hard to get a handle on the various rules if you’re busy shipping out high volume deliveries on a tight schedule. Duties for high-value goods and VAT (value-added taxes) are just some of the issues your package might encounter when entering another country.

It can be incredibly difficult to track down all the information from the countries you are shipping to. Their websites will often be unclear about the exact restrictions you may see, and sometimes the instructions get muddled in translation. This is why it is much easier and cheaper to choose an experienced e-commerce shipping partner like Parcll. 

At Parcll Delivery, we provide you with a guaranteed fully-landed cost inclusive of all those taxes and fees. By clearing 100% of parcels upfront in our dedicated B2C Customs Clearance Hubs, we provide a smooth delivery experience for your customers. With Parcll on your side, your e-commerce business can build growth and make important budgeting decisions without worrying about unplanned costs and losses.


Offer Various Delivery Options To Your Customers

The general rule is that faster delivery is usually more costly. Often, e-tailers assume their customers need parcels as soon as possible, but this may not always be the case. 

Your customers might be willing to wait longer to save on costs. Thus, you can save money by offering different delivery timeframes to your customers. This also adds an extra element to your customer service model, as customers will appreciate having the choice to plan ahead to save money on their end as well.


Cut Down On Last-Mile Delivery Costs


What exactly are last-mile delivery costs? They’re the costs that arise during the local delivery of your parcel on its final journey to the customer’s door. That last mile accounts for about 40% of all supply chain costs.

Cut down on those pricey last-mile dollars by working with companies that can take your package from the first mile to last mile in one easy shipment. With an integrative IT system, sortation in our own warehouses, and offices across the globe, Parcll provides a valuable door to door service that will augment your company’s savings for years to come.

Choose a Cost-Effective Shipping Carrier

High volume shippers will benefit from developing a relationship with a shipping carrier that suits their business needs. Finding a carrier who can customize the process with a high level of flexibility will allow your company to plan ahead and save on costly shipping fees. Look for a carrier that can provide you with upfront charges and knows how to avoid delays no matter where the package is going.

Key Takeaways

To recap, our best hacks for saving on international shipping costs are:

  • Buy packaging materials in bulk. This way, you can negotiate lower prices and save money over time.
  • Optimize the packaging process. Use smaller boxes and high-quality fillers. Consider airbags as fillers to reduce weight fees when shipping.
  • Be aware of each country’s shipping restrictions. If this is too big a job for you, find a carrier that can help you avoid surprise taxes, fees, and duties.
  • Offer various delivery options to customers. They may be accepting of slower delivery times to save money.
  • Cut down on last-mile delivery costs. Find a carrier that makes use of the most efficient last-mile delivery providers in-country, such as domestic postal operators. .
  • Choose a cost-effective carrier. Starting an account and developing a relationship with a company you trust will save your company money and help you make better decisions to cut costs, improve operations, and increase overall growth.

 Whether you choose to adopt a few or all of the hacks listed above, we hope this post gave you some ideas for saving money on international shipping methods for your company. Consider Parcll Delivery for your high-volume shipping needs. Our fast transit rates, competitive prices, and flexible capabilities make us the leading B2C cross-border shipping carrier from the U.S. to Europe. Check out what we do here and see our innovative solutions to help you read a wide global audience with ease.

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