In today’s global economy, companies are obtaining materials from and sending products to points farther away than ever before. Consequently, most businesses have seen their freight costs increase significantly in recent years. If your company hasn’t experienced that rise, you’re lucky.
Either way, lowering your freight expense benefits your company. Money not spent on shipping can be earmarked for something else or simply used to strengthen your bottom line.
How To Spend Less on Shipping
Whether you’re able to reduce your freight costs significantly or only by a little, it all adds up. And the changes you make pay dividends today and keep doing so going forward.
Use these nine tips to help you save money on shipping:
- Ship larger loads less frequently. Whether you have a shipping provider or transport your own goods and materials, there is an expense associated with preparing shipments that you pay on top of the cost to move the assets from here to there. Transporting larger loads less frequently means lower prep costs. To make this change, you’ll have to work with your customers to ensure they can accept more goods less frequently, but the time required to hammer out the logistics is worth it.
- Ship at off-peak times. Not surprisingly, shipping companies tend to charge more during peak times. The high-volume days vary based on industry, location and other factors, but often they are Tuesday through Thursday. Regardless, if you ship at off times, you’ll save money.
- Plan ahead and inform your shipping company. The more lead time you can give a shipping company, the better they can coordinate their resources. They don’t want trucks sitting idle anywhere for any significant time. If you help them avoid that scenario, they may charge you less.
- Develop and maintain relationships with shipping partners. While you want to stay alert for opportunities to get significantly lower rates, you shouldn’t “jump ship” just because you identify small savings in leaving your current provider. It’s much better, in the long run, to find a fair rate and stick with that shipper unless there’s a compelling reason to switch. The little things they do for you as a loyal customer probably add up to significant savings over time.
- Look into backhaul opportunities. Carriers would prefer that a truck return from a trip loaded with cargo rather than empty. If you can get your shipment onto a truck that would otherwise be generating no revenue, the company is likely to “thank” you with a lower rate.
- Develop a reputation for efficient loading. It’s common for shipping companies to factor two hours into a project for loading cargo at the pickup site. If you make the loading process efficient and consistently require less time than that, you’ll spend less. You’ll also find that carriers are happier to do business with companies that make their job easier, and that can be to your advantage in the future.
- Minimize space in your product design, packaging, etc. The less space you take up in a semi trailer, the less your shipment will cost. Plus, there are other advantages to being space-conscious. For example, your product will occupy less storage space at your facility and that of your customers.
- Use leased or rented semi trailers. Leasing or renting semi trailers for transporting goods tends to be a much more cost-effective strategy than buying and maintaining your own fleet. In addition, establishing a strong relationship with a semi trailer rental and leasing company like Boxwheel Trailer Leasing means you have an ally who will do everything possible to assist you. That help can be crucial if, for example, you experience a business spike and need additional trailers right away to handle it.
- Expand your storage capability with leased semi trailers. This may be the cost-saving measure that’s the industry’s best-kept secret. Leasing semi trailers and parking them on your property is an excellent way to expand your storage capacity. And when you do, you can accept more material and parts in a given shipment (and therefore need fewer shipments) or store more of the products you produce to prepare for larger outgoing shipments. You can even rent semi trailers for this purpose if your needs tend to be more temporary.
Do Your Homework
The first step in lowering your freight costs is researching your options. It takes a little time, but it’s time well spent. Whether you choose to implement changes now, after an upcoming high-volume period, or at some point in the future, you’ll have the information you need to make intelligent business decisions. And, of course, you can stagger your changes, using the tactics above to gradually lower your shipping expenses.
Find a Semi Trailer Leasing Company You Can Trust
If you decide to leverage rented or leased semi trailers to help you lower your freight costs, be sure you work with the right trailer leasing company. That means one with extensive industry experience, a large trailer inventory, and a team committed to getting you the equipment you need when you need it and in excellent condition.
Countless companies will rent you a semi trailer. A much smaller number have the expertise to ensure that you’re getting the right equipment and that it has been expertly maintained and will perform as expected.
At Boxwheel, providing high-quality, properly serviced semi trailers is what we do. Our team helps businesses get the flatbed, dry van, reefer and other semi trailers necessary to move or store their assets. That includes trailers from great companies like Utility, Great Dane and Wabash.
As you look into lowering your freight costs, don’t hesitate to contact Boxwheel Trailer Leasing. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about our company, trailer inventory, and services.