This year, even Santa will be tightening his belt.
Odds are Santa Claus won't be laying off any reindeer this year, but that doesn't mean the supreme overnight shipper isn't watching his shipping budget more tightly than ever before. You can too.
Trimming holiday shipping costs can be as simple as trimming the tree if you know what you're doing.
Begin with a little carrier comparison shopping.
Look for carriers that serve the geographies that many of your shipments go to. For instance, if your packages are being shipped for overnight delivery in California, a carrier specializing in that area will get your packages there as quickly as the national carriers and for less cost. And, since they don't put packages on planes, there is less fuel cost as well, which is good for you and great for the environment.
Consider total shipping costs for all your shipments, not just the weight charge per package.
Unless you really like that holiday day-after surprise when your shipping invoice arrives and all your $13.95 shipments turn out to really be $25.50, you'll soon discover the tree isn't the only thing that got flocked this year.
The big carriers have discovered the profitability of surcharges, the hidden fees that add up to big dollars for simple requests like getting a delivery confirmation. The major carriers have more than 85 accessorial fees. Good regional carriers keep things much more simple with only a few additional fees.
Look for Flex Appeal
Carriers that offer later pickups, can help ensure that those last holiday packages are shipped and make it on Santa's sleigh.
Leverage the Web
Look for a carrier that gives you time-saving website tools to make shipping easier from end-to-end. Instant rate quotes, waybill printing, tracking packages and email notifications should all be readily available.
Who knows? You might just save the company enough dough to treat yourself and the team to a little holiday cheer.