Tips to Ship for Less: How Your Business Can Save on the Cost of Shipping

With companies now spending around $1.5 trillion on shipping every year, businesses need a way to cut down on costs. If you’re looking to ship for less, there are lots of ways to save money without compromising quality. When looking to ship for less, use creative solutions that make sense for your customers.

Here are four tips to consider to cut costs.

1. Batch Shipments

If you’re constantly sending out little shipments to the same clients over and over, consider alternatives to save money. You could include free shipping with orders when your customers order over a certain limit. That allows your customers to think twice before making small orders.

It also incentivizes larger orders. By offering this small incentive, watch your shipping costs drop while your profits soar.

When customers make small orders, allow them to save money by batching orders together. If you don’t have all of your products in at the same time, you can ask them to wait until everything is in the same place to send one package instead of several.

2. Offer Local Pickup

One of the easiest ways to save on your shipping is to offer local pickup. If your customers have the opportunity to pick up items locally, you take away the entire expense of shipping to them. You give them the chance to see your facility up close and to get a real hands-on feel for your products.

This is a good way to build loyalty for your company and brand. When your customers and clients feel like they have access to your brand, even when they’re buying in bulk, they’ll feel more in control.

3. Own Your Vehicles

If you’re doing a lot of shipping in a local region, owning your own vehicles is a smart way to take control over how much you pay for shipping. When you own every step of the shipping apparatus, you don’t have to pay a middleman for your shipping. When you own your vehicles, it means you’ll deliver on your own schedule and under your own terms.

While it’s a big expenditure if you feel like you could handle lots of local shipments on your own, why not try taking it into your own hands?

4. Reuse Packaging

If you’re dealing with returns or getting deliveries of your own, why not reuse some of your packagings. The costs of packaging are expensive and if you’re not saving the packaging that you’re getting when things arrive at your facility.

While there are ways that look unprofessional, when it comes to packing peanuts and bubble wrap, no one will know if you’re resuming things.

Ship For Less Like a Savvy Businessperson

If you’re looking for ways to ship for less, you’re going to cut down on your overhead in a big way. Cutting down on shipping costs ensures that you don’t overspend without ever compromising the quality of service you provide customers. Always keep your customers as priority number one whenever you’re considering changes to the way you do business.

For larger shipping container issues, follow our guide to making the right fiscal decisions.

What’s in Store for the Future of Shipping and Logistics?

Local and regional shipping is one of the largest industries in the United States.

US shipping and logistics companies move over $4 trillion in goods every year. Businesses spend up to $99 billion in delivery costs to keep up with their customers’ demands.

With so much commerce at stake, it important to know what trends are in store for this busy trade. You can read further to find out how you can position your company to leverage these developments to your full advantage.

Shipping and Logistics Defined

Shipping and logistics are two terms that are usually intertwined. But they have their own unique meanings. Shipment means moving products from one place to another. Logistics refers to the processes you use to move these products between two points. These processes include ordering, purchasing, and warehousing.

Trends for the Future

Trends for the future of shipping and logistics look promising. Here are a few of them in a nutshell.

Automation and Technology

The logistics and shipping industry will always need a level of human interaction. Onsite human judgment calls can correct mistakes or prevent accidents.

Companies can automate other processes such as scheduling, payments, and pricing. Automating these features can help simplify these procedures for drivers and shippers.

Companies are using drones and robots to load commercial vehicles. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) technology programs trucks to drive to their destination. Truck drivers never need to touch the steering wheel during the entire journey.

Transparency Shaped by Customer Experience

Consumers want to know where their products come from. They want to know how they’re made and moved. They want to know if manufacturing these products will hurt the environment.

The future of shipping depends on companies being able to answer these questions to an inquiring public. Companies now keep records that prove their products are eco-friendly and reduce waste. They’re also mindful of fair trade standards and pay fair prices to producers in developing countries.

Using Big Data to Make Better Decisions

Big data analytics provides a wealth of information on shipping for logistics companies. Logistics companies can get insights into routing and identifying obstacles in their supply chain model.

They can also streamline products and resources at the warehouse level.

Companies can use real-time traffic, climate, and fuel prices data to pinpoint optimal routes to a destination. They can also use predictive analytics to gauge consumer behavior and buying preferences.

Next Steps

The US shipping and logistics industry spent $1.5 trillion dollars in 2017 on its operations. Its the backbone for US retail sales which totaled over $5 trillion in 2017. Needless to say, the shipping industry is not going away any time soon and you need to be ready to anticipate it’s next direction.

If you’re ready to automate your existing shipping and logistics services, you can read more about ADAS truck technology here. You’ll learn all about ADAS’ breakthrough technology that improves efficiency and safety for commercial vehicles.

Don’t forget to check our blog for more helpful information on considerations for planning a shipping business. We’re experts in the shipping and maritime service industry.

Give us a call today!

Informational Things You Need to Know About Cargo Containers Before Buying One

The seaborne shipping trade around the world is worth about $12 trillion dollars, and container shipping accounts for about 60 percent of that trade. Is your company poised to participate in this massive market? If that is the case, you’ll need to purchase the right cargo containers from the right source.

Cargo containers may all look the same, but they’re actually not all alike. Before you make this investment, there’s some key information you should know. We’ve put together the essential basics right here — keep reading to learn what you need!

Buying Cargo Containers for Business Purposes

First, let’s take a look at the things you’ll need to know before you buy a cargo container for business shipping.

1. Specialty Containers Exist

The kind of container you should get depends on what you’ll be shipping. For example, if you’re shipping food items that could spoil or melt, you’ll want to look for climate-controlled options. If you’re shipping large machinery or other items that won’t pack well in standard containers, consider open-top containers instead.

For shipping vehicles such as boats, cars, or certain machinery, flat rack containers are your best choice. For liquids like oils or chemicals, you’ll need shipping tanks instead. And open-side containers work for certain vegetables that spoil in the wrong conditions, like potatoes.

2. Choose the Right Size

In addition to the type of container, you’ll also need to choose the proper size for your needs. Standard containers are often 8.5 feet high, while high cube containers are 9.5 feet high. The right size depends on what you’ll be shipping, as well as how much of it you’ll ship.

All shipping containers come in standardized sizes, which makes them easy to load and unload. For oddly-sized items, you’ll need one of the specialty container types listed above.

3. Consider Used or New

Plenty of used shipping container retailers can get you what you need at a discount. However, when you buy used, you might have a harder time finding the exact size and style you need. Thus, buying used is great if you’re buying a standard type of container. But for some specialty types, you might need to look for new containers.

4. Know the Shipping Methods

The goods you ship will usually make their journey in a number of different ways. First, they might travel via tractor-trailer across the land. Trucks can then load their containers directly onto cargo ships, to make the journey overseas. These large ocean ships follow fixed schedules and routes to save money while arriving on time.

Trains may also be used to ship goods on land — they’re actually more efficient than large trucks. Cranes can unload containers from a ship onto a train. Finally, smaller freight containers can get shipped by airplane. However, this option greatly limits how much you can ship at once, and it’s also much more expensive.

Buying Cargo Containers for Personal Use

Next, you might want a used or new cargo container for many non-business-related reasons. Here’s what you should know before you make the purchase.

1. Consider Storage

Storing your shipping container can pose its own challenges. Before you buy, check to see if you’ll need a permit to put a shipping container on your property. Typically, you’ll need a permit to store these containers in highly public spaces or residential areas. But if you live in a more rural area, you might not need a permit.

If you want to have the container on your property permanently, the requirements may be different than those for temporary storage. Know what you’re getting into before you buy, so you won’t get hit with fines or other trouble.

2. Know How Long You’ll Need it For

Often, it’s tempting to rent a container rather than buying one. But if you plan to use it for a couple of years or more, it makes more financial sense to buy one. When you buy a shipping container for personal use, it’s helpful to have the option to customize and make changes to it. Why rent a container that you have to send back intact, when you could buy one and modify it exactly how you want?

3. Get Your Site Ready

You’ll need to prep the permanent site of your shipping container before it arrives. The exact prep depends on what you’ll use the container for, and how long it will be there. Dry, level land won’t need much, or any prep, before it can host a shipping container. But damp or uneven land might need to get filled or regraded first. Land that’s rocky, sloped, or prone to floods is never good for a shipping container. Choose the space wisely, and you’ll have less work to do in the end.

4. Think About Security

Some shipping containers have built-in security measures. These can be helpful if you plan to use the container for purposes like storage. If your container doesn’t have a lock, you can also buy an exterior bolt lock for protection. However, some containers come with interior locking mechanisms instead, or you can have one installed. These offer better security since they can’t be destroyed with a pair of bolt cutters.

You might need different locking mechanisms altogether if you plan to turn your container into a home or business. In this case, you’ll probably need to install doors and windows with more standard lock styles.

5. Buy the Right Features

Just as with shipping containers for business purposes, you should also consider the features of a container for personal use. Look for door entry options, shelving, windows, and other features that will make your container easier to work with. You can also buy from a brand that offers container modifications.

Where to Find Cargo Containers

Now that you have a clear idea of what you need, it’s time to find the company that sells the right cargo containers at a reasonable price. Did you know that you can find shipping containers for both business and personal use at just one retailer? We’ve got the containers to meet all kinds of needs — learn more about what we have to offer here!

Air, Land or Sea? Choosing the Right Type of Shipment in Texas

Freight shipping plays a major role in the world’s economy. In the US alone, it’s estimated that long-haul freight shipping will equal 460 million miles a day! When it comes to choosing the right type of shipment for Houston businesses, there are three major types: air, land, and sea. Keep reading to learn more about each type and how they’re best used.

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5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Freight Costs in Houston

Transportation services eat up a large chunk of business revenues. In 2016 alone, American companies shipped 2,953,348 million ton-kilometers of goods. It’s hard to even imagine the total cost to ship that many products.

Most business owners consider transportation costs something static that can’t be helped, but experts in the industry know how to keep freight costs down. A large part of saving in transportation costs comes from the quality of logistics. Unfortunately, this department is also one of the most complicated sectors of most businesses. It can be difficult to work out the best system for maximum saving. If you’re looking to reduce your transportation expenditure, check out these 5 easy ways to save money on freight costs.

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Some fine wines are best enjoyed after long-term aging. But unless you have access to a professional grade storage unit or a fancy cellar complete with a baroque and intricately designed racks, it’s hard to mature wine properly right in your kitchen. Fortunately, there is a much more cost-effective way to achieve this—build your own wine cellar using affordable cargo storage containers. Read More

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The most efficient way to transport cargo is by water. This has been the product transportation means of choice for merchants since time immemorial. Even after the advent of airfreight, still most international traders prefer maritime transportation, and for good reasons. For one, ships can carry heavier loads than planes can, and shipping companies implement the most stringent cargo handling systems, which guarantee cargo safety. Read More

Looking for a Storage Solution? Here Are Some Practical Uses for Cargo Storage Containers

At some point, you’ll have to deal with a large volume of stuff. It can be at the workplace or at home. Regardless, you will soon realize that you need to have a place where excess stuff can all be stored properly or they may get damaged or even accidentally thrown out. If you happen to be facing a dilemma like this right now, what you really need are some cargo storage containers from providers in Houston, Dallas, or Seattle. Read More