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All Things Shipping | Mar 13, 2020

Cheat Sheet: Top Three Ways To Save on Shipping Costs

By Shippo
Cheat Sheet: Top Three Ways To Save on Shipping Costs

Shipping costs are a necessary evil. And for more than half of retailers, these expenses are their top business challenge. 

They’re likely a major pain point for you, too, so read on for some basic solutions that you can easily implement.

Research and Compare Your Shipping Options

You don’t have to be loyal to a single carrier. In fact, using multiple carriers will help you more easily optimize your shipping costs. This is because each carrier offers different rates for different types of shipments and packages, as well as shipping zones. 

Byrd Cookie Company, for example, ships with UPS, USPS, and FedEx, allowing them to secure the best rates. Here’s a general breakdown of DHL, FedEx, UPS, and USPS and how they compare. 

Read the full case study about Byrd Cookie Company >

Different carriers have different shipping options within their ecosystem, too. USPS, for example, offers USPS Priority Mail Cubic pricing, which can be an affordable option—but you’ll need your own packaging. 

There are also many smaller regional carriers across the U.S. who may offer lower rates in your local market. Some regional carriers to check out include CDL Last Mile Solutions in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic, Spee-Dee Delivery in the Midwest, OnTrac in the West, and Lone Star Delivery and Process in Texas. 

Estimate Shipping Costs With a Shipping Calculator

To help you better predict and compare shipping costs with different carriers and options, plug your information into a shipping calculator. This will estimate expenses based on your specific requirements, including package dimensions, package weight, sender location, and destination address. 

Many (not all) carriers have their own shipping calculators:

Note: not all carriers have calculators available, so you’ll need to find a different way to forecast those expenses. Shippo offers a shipping calculator that compares rates across multiple carriers, so you can see which is the most affordable, in one convenient place. 

Review Your Packaging Options

Nowadays, many have become more conscious when it comes to sustainability and the overall practice of not using more than you need. By following this simple principle, you’ll no doubt be able to save on shipping costs by being more efficient with your packaging practices. And beyond that, there are several options out there. First, you can explore USPS’s flat rate shipping, which can both save you money and give you the extra benefit of a quick and fast solution, with its standardized pricing and sizes.

But if you’d like to get more creative and also wow your customers with a customized brand experience, you’ll want to explore having your own custom packaging made. This is a great way to further develop your brand identity and have the sizes on hand that fit your products best. Companies such as Arka are renowned for their creative and cost-effective custom packaging options, and can work with you on pricing and volume.


Whether you’re an established business or just getting started, Shippo offers solutions that can save you both time and money.

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