How Small And Medium Sized Businesses Can Save On Shipping Costs

The demand for reliable freight services continues to rise, as small and mid size businesses look to save on shipping costs and get reliable service to deliver to their customers. Here are some suggested ways to save on shipping and streamline processes for everyone involved.

Freight Packing Matters

Securing freight boxes or cartons to pallets allow your shipment to be moved more effectively with less handling, thus reducing the risk of incurring product damage.  Check pallets for cracks, rotting, or nails that may be protruding, if they are wooden. Use shrink-wrap to fasten your boxes onto the pallet base, ensuring there is no overhang. Boxes on the pallet should be stacked tightly into columns with a level top layer to make them stackable and easy to maneuver. Correctly measure the dimensions and weigh the pallet as this information impacts shipping rates.


Shipping in larger freight volumes can result in big cost savings, so look at ways to consolidate. If customers are making frequent orders, or multiple less than truckload freight, there could be an opportunity to consolidate those shipments by offering discounts for larger purchase orders. This reduces the shipping budget and provides a win-win scenario.  Also look for ways to streamline shipping processes and improve efficiencies through automation. If considering a transportation management system, assess how it will integrate with your other programs and simplify your overall shipping strategy.

Outsource Your Shipping

A third party logistics company or freight broker can provide value and long-term savings. When considering the cost of personnel, resources and technology to handle the growing complexity and demands of shipping, outsourcing is a viable option with several benefits.  A freight broker, for example, utilizes their network of reliable carriers to secure competitive rates for small to mid sized businesses. They handle the logistics of cross-border shipping requirements, less than truck load shipments, time sensitive delivery schedules, and conduct shipping cost audits to identify opportunities for savings and improve efficiencies.


The loss or damage of inventory can cost you more than anticipated. Carrier liability is limited, which means shippers usually recoup only a portion of the financial losses which are typically set at $2.00/lbs as the carrier’s legal liability.  Losses can be caused by a number of reasons, such as crossdocking, lost or stolen freight, weak packaging, or even fluctuating temperatures. Find out what your carrier insurance entails and if purchasing full value insurance would be beneficial.