How to Negotiate Better Shipping Rates for Your Business

No matter what kind of business you have, if there’s one thing that’s a top priority, it’s making sure that you do all that you can to keep your monthly expenses down. This includes everything from being energy efficient in the office to maintaining a good relationship with your vendors and suppliers, to even making sure that your shipping rates stay as low as possible.

If you’d like a few helpful tips on how to negotiate some better shipping rates for your business, here are five things that can help you keep a few extra dollars in your business account.

Open up accounts with all major carriers. If you haven’t already set up accounts with shipping companies like UPS, FedEx and USPS, it’s important that you do so. One benefit of having theses accounts is that it makes it possible for carriers to pick up and drop off items at your place of business (rather than you having to go directly to their facility). Another reason is that loyal account holders oftentimes end up getting some pretty impressive discounts.

Do some thorough research. Although just about any shipping company can meet your basic needs, when it comes to finding the one that will get you the best rates, that tends to require a bit of research. For example, if you tend to ship a lot of heavy items that are small in size, you’ll probably pay less at USPS. On the other hand, if your packages are medium or large in size, UPS or FedEx is going to give you the better deal. However, this is just some general information on shipping rates. It’s a good idea to go onto each website to figure out exactly what would be best when it comes to what you plan to ship out.

Ask for base incentive discounts. Something else that you might want to ask for is a base incentive discount. Basically, it’s a flat percentage discount that is offered to you for each individual package that you plan to send. For the record, these types of discounts aren’t usually automatically offered to you; they are something that you should personally request.

Use a freight association. If you asked someone who works for a supply company like Shipper’s Supplies about something else that you can do to save money on your shipping expenses, they might recommend that you consider using a freight association. Here’s why: If you happen to have an annual shipping budget of around $20,000 or more, establishing a relationship with a freight association can help you save a significant amount of money on freight costs – no matter what the volume of your shipments may be.

Look for partnerships. If the shipping company that you’re trying to negotiate with won’t offer you a discount because they feel that your shipping volume is too low, there is another approach that you can take. You can contact your business credit card company to see if they have connections to any mail carriers in your area. If they do, it’s not uncommon to get 30-50 percent discounts by going that route. Happy shipping!