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!

Sea Your Shipment Through: A Complete Guide to Ocean Shipping Containers

Thanks to shipping containers, international trade is made infinitely easier. Here in Texas, there are 29 ports of entry that are helping to generate $650 billion in trade each year. The port here in Houston is the nerve center to one of the nation’s busiest waterways. This one port alone handles so much tonnage of cargo shipped by ocean freight that it ranks 15th in the country.

None of this would be possible though without the use of sea containers. We’ve put together the definitive guide on these containers that are so essential.

Types of Sea Containers

There are 8 different styles of containers that are used for ocean shipping. The one you choose will depend on what your cargo is.

Standard Container

These containers are completely enclosed on all sides. At one of the short ends, there are two large doors. There are two standard sizes, a 20 foot and a 40-foot length. These containers work well for any dry cargo. Anything that is in boxes, bags, or on pallets work well in these containers.

Hardtop Container

A hardtop container is almost identical to a standard container. The main difference is that the top is designed to be removable. This is extremely helpful for when you have heavy cargo you need to load. A crane can lift the cargo up, over, and in. These containers also come in 20 and 40-foot lengths.

Open Top Container

Think of a standard container and take the top off. These containers will typically have a tarpaulin roof. Then the door frame will disconnect and swing out. These containers work well for items that need to be dropped into a container. But they may not be the best choice for over-sized items that interfere with the stabilizer bars.

Ventilated Container

Some cargo requires ventilation, that is where these containers come in. They look exactly like a standard container, except they have openings at the top and bottom. This allows for air to flow.

Insulated Container

Insulated containers are a standard container with Polyurethane foam on the walls. This helps maintain the temperature inside the container. You may also find that there is a “clip on” unit for ventilating. If your cargo needs to be kept at a constant temperature then this is a smart choice.

Reefer Container

If you need more serious temperature control or refrigeration then you need to consider a reefer. These are refrigerated containers. Just like the insulated version, their walls are lined with Polyurethane foam. The difference is that they have powerful compressors built in. This will keep the internal temperature at or below freezing.  If your cargo is temperature sensitive such as produce or white wine, then regulation of the container environment is vital to maintaining product quality.

Platform Container

If all you need is a base then a platform container is the way to go. They are typically a steel frame with wood flooring. Over-sized cargo works best when transported on platform containers. You just need to ensure that anything you transport is secured to the platform.

Flat Rack Container

These containers are kind of like a very large pallet. There is no ceiling or walls on the long sides. The walls on the short ends are collapsible. They also typically have a wood floor. If you need to ship bulky or over-sides cargo then you need a flat rack. If you pack them correctly, you can have them stacked on top of each other.

Ocean Container Construction

Any sea shipping container that is worth its salt will be made of steel. It’s strong enough for stacking many containers on top of each other. It also is corrosion resistant which is vital for the harsh salt air. That durability also makes them a great building material for a home or office. Their structural design of beams and sheets of metal give them the internal strength to withstand the weather elements here in Texas and across the country.

Sea Containers vs. Storage Containers

If you intend to use your containers for shipping overseas then you need to make sure they are ISO certified seaworthy. There should be a plate on the container that states its approval for transport. Buy the wrong type of container and your shipment will get rejected at the port. This will cause you to incur all kinds of extra fees.

Containers that are intended only for storage are not of the same quality and durability. These containers are only made to be watertight.

You will also find that storage containers are modified to fit their intended purpose. They can be cut to any length, have the doors moved, or add extra doors.

Ocean Containers for Building Construction

Steel containers may be durable, but they have a useful lifespan. Often times they are retired at ports where there tend to be more imports than exports.

Ports in the west are an example of this. The ports here in Texas handle 22 percent of all US port tonnage. So there are a lot of containers coming through.

If you are looking for a discount, you may be able to find a used shipping container to incorporate into your building. Just know that these containers will have wear and tear to them.

Purchase an Ocean Container Today

If you are in need of a container for your cargo the first thing you need to think about is what special needs your cargo has. Take into consideration if it is especially heavy or large. Also, think about if it needs temperature control of some sort.

If you are looking to build with your sea containers you may not need to go all out with a certified one. Or you could look for one that is no longer used in ocean freight.

Whatever your container needs, the best thing to do is speak to an expert. They can help you select the right container.

Contact us today and we can help you find the right sea contai

5 Reasons to Buy Your Shipping Containers in Bulk

In 2017 more than 1.8 billion metric tons of goods were transported in shipping containers. Which means that there are literally millions of shipping containers being used every year.

If you need to buy cheap shipping containers for your business, there are some key benefits of buying them in bulk rather than individually.

We take a look at 5 of the biggest reasons why you should buy shipping containers in bulk.

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