Uptick in Shipping Costs on the Horizon for 2020
Shipping costs have been on the rise for more than a decade, so it’s no surprise that the United States Postal Service has announced that new, higher, postage rates to go into effect January of 2020. Depending on the type of mail (letter or package) and how it’s sent (Select Ground, Priority Mail, First Class, International, etc.), rates may increase up to 6.5%.
Other shipping carriers, like DHL, are jumping on the bandwagon, increasing their rates for U.S. account holders by 5.9% on average. FedEx and FedEx Ground are also standing ready to hike rates in the new year, with only UPS holding out on rate announcements for the time being.
For businesses, this means that savvy office managers will have to find ways to minimize shipping costs to avoid a hard hit to their bottom line.
How to Save on Shipping Costs in the New Year — and Beyond
Shipping packages under the new, higher rates means organizations must look carefully for places where they can avoid accessorial fees and surcharges that are not always spelled out clearly. Here are a few ways to avoid extra fees and get the most bang for your buck when shipping packages.
Get the Address Correct
You may have carefully packed your package in the smallest box for the greatest cost savings, but if the destination address doesn’t match the address in the carrier’s system, you can be hit with a fee of up to $16.40 per package.
While USPS doesn’t charge for address corrections, both FedEx and UPS assign hefty fees to correct the discrepancy. And, manually shipping packages allows for human error when addressing packages — a good reason to employ office shipping technology that can verify addresses to avoid fees.
Minimize Package Size
Size matters when it comes to shipping.
Shipping weight is calculated based on the cubic space, or dimensional weight of a package. This is calculated by multiplying the length by width by height, divided by a factor supplied by individual carriers.
This focus on size means that mailrooms should concentrate on packing the material to be shipped safely in the smallest package possible using the minimum amount of fillers and packing material to control package size.
Weighing your packages and reducing overall dimensions is important for controlling shipping costs. And, with over 165 million packages being shipped yearly in the United States, controlling packing materials means becoming more environmentally responsible as well.
Pay Attention to the Peak
If you’re doing a fair amount of shipping, it literally pays to keep your eye on peak shipping times. For retailers and other shippers, these include mid-August through October for the winter holiday season, with another uptick in early December to take into account Chinese New Year.
Many times, carriers will use these times of peak activities to force the market in their favor (i.e., raise rates) and make up for losses experienced during times of low demand. The formula is simple: Restricted supply capacity + high demand = increases in shipping rates.
Shipping as early as possible also helps prevent delivery delays that may occur during the busiest parts of the season. And, some carriers may increase charges for rush shipping during this season, impacting businesses that have time-sensitive materials to transport.
Kelley Connect – Your Mailing Services Experts in Seattle, Washington
Kelley Connect provides expert help to assist customers in meeting every shipping challenge. In fact, our mailing leadership team has more than 50 years of experience providing assistance to organizations of all sizes with every kind of distribution and mailing need throughout the Seattle, Washington area and the Pacific Northwest.
Our team can help with cutting-edge mailing technology that helps avoid costly errors and provides significant savings on postage, as well as providing cost-saving parcel shipping options that take into account what you’re sending, where it’s going, and how fast it needs to travel.
Interested in finding ways to save on mailing and shipping costs? Take advantage of Kelley’s free consulting option and get in touch with one of our KelleyConnect mailing consultants today.