Regional Parcel Carriers of the US.

Posted on Jan 5, 2015 12:42:00 PM

Mark Magill

Mark Magill, VP of Business Development, spoke at the American Supply Chain and Logistics Summit on December 8-11 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, TX. 

This show concentrated on high-level logistic professionals looking to network and learn more about the industry from thought leaders in the transportation field. 

Magill's presentation was titled "Regional Parcel Carriers of the US." 
The presentation focused on giving the audience alternative package delivery solutions to the national carrier duopoly in the major metropolitan areas of the US. 

This topic is of particular interest due to the new FedEx and UPS Dimensional Weight policy, which has been called, "the mother of all rate increases." 

Topics: DIM Weight, regional carriers, logistics

Finding the Perfect Fit-Let OnTrac Ship Your Apparel

Posted on Nov 4, 2014 10:33:00 AM

One of the biggest opportunities in the Apparel Industry is its ability to reach a multitude of consumers.

A company’s website might drive traffic to the store where clothes can be tried on and accessories can be matched up. Now that they have a sense of what the items look and feel like, they will be likely to return to the website for a future purchase.

The ability to see, touch and try products is one of the reasons the apparel industry is growing so quickly.

 According to eTail Insights, the apparel industry is predicted to make $86 billion in revenue by 2018 and have a 16% growth from 2013 to 2014.

With those numbers in mind, this holiday shipping season is sure to get busy.

For that reason, it is imperative to start making plans for your holiday shipping strategy now.

Your shipping portfolio should give you a variety of options, and your best bet it to multi-source your products. Don’t get stuck relying on a single carrier to get all your items delivered by the holidays.

Consider incorporating a regional carrier-if you haven’t yet, take advantage of their ability to offer the same level of service and provide a time in transit advantage.

During the holiday season, regional carrier’s ability to offer later pickup times enables you to increase productivity and process more packages per day, all at Ground Rates. 

Topics: regional carriers, Holidays, Holiday Shipping

Streamline your Shipping Process with OnTrac

Posted on Jul 1, 2014 2:05:00 PM

What is a Multi-Carrier Software Provider?

Multi-Carrier Software Providers

help to make shipping efficient by planning and executing shipment deliveries across the supply chain. With one source to manage all shipping vendors, users can build custom rules based on rates and time in transit; helping to reduce costs and offering a better customer experience.  

We are proud of our partnerships with the most popular Multi-Carrier Software Providers , who support certified OnTrac Shipping Modules. For a complete list of the OnTrac supported shipping modules please visit http://www.ontrac.com/onlineShipMultiShip.asp.

If you are not currently utilizing a Multi-Carrier Software we encourage you to investigate your options. The holidays are just around the corner, adding in a shipping software solution NOW will make peak season easier to manage.  

OnTrac Vice President of Business Development Mark Magill noted that guaranteed next-day delivery at Ground rates to Zone 4 destinations that are 500-600 miles from your distribution center means that next peak season, when Christmas is on a Thursday, a regional parcel carrier can pick your shipments up on Tuesday December 23 and deliver them on Christmas Eve, just as they do the other 249 shipping days of the year.

This will happen even if the pick-up point is in Boston and your customer is located in Washington, DC. In fact, to enhance their service offering (and your customer experience), some large regional parcel carriers are even providing Sunday (Ground) pickups with Monday delivery!

This will be especially helpful in years when there are fewer shipping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Keep in mind that in 2013, there were 17 shipping days in that time period and this year there will still only be 18).

It is time to start planning for the upcoming holiday season. By adding Regional Carriers and a Multi-Carrier Software solution to your operation, efficiencies will be improved and cost will be reduced.

 

Topics: regional parcel carriers, multi carrier shipping software, competitive advantages, regional carriers, tracking packages, Ground Shipping, software

OnTrac and the Supply Chain (Pt 1)

Posted on Jun 25, 2013 12:27:00 PM

Saving time and money is the pinnacle of Supply Chain Management (SCM). It is the very goal of this profession and the prevailing paradigm of this case study. Through innovation and excellence, regional parcel delivery companies have developed win-win solutions to strengthen the Supply Chain and deliver advantages to companies that distribute parcels business to business and business to consumer. This case study will focus on OnTrac, the fifth largest parcel delivery company in North America, and the largest regional parcel delivery company in the United States. Originating from consumer demands for overnight delivery at less-than-ground service costs, and the OnTrac mission to be the leader in regional overnight delivery, the company has exceeded customer expectations, provided unsurpassed service, quality, flexibility and innovation to the Supply Chain. 

Throughout its 22 year history, OnTrac has provided shippers an alternative to the high cost of the National Carriers, by offering a service that not only operates faster and more affordably, but also with the flexibility to provide shippers more options. The global one-stop solution to shipping has become outdated, and as shippers look for ways to save money, they have found solutions in regional carriers. By integrating multicarrier shipping software, and including regional carriers into their shipping mix, shippers are able to diversify their shipping portfolio, streamline their efforts and save time in transit.

OnTrac Line Haul

Synchronizing Supply and Demand

            It all started with shippers. When free shipping was not enough to be competitive in the ever-changing eCommerce world, the largest eCommerce companies, medical and dental supply distributors began searching for new ways to surpass their competition. They found solutions in regional parcel carriers. Not only would the implementation of a regional parcel carrier provide shippers with an alternative to the high cost of national carriers, but it would also save them time in transit and give their customers a reason to keep coming back. The strength and innovation of the regional parcel carrier lies in its ability to operate with a 100 percent customer solution focused business plan. 

OnTrac understands that Business to Business customers want to keep very little inventory on hand. Both B2B and Business to Consumer customers want overnight delivery, and every customer demands the lowest possible price. Everything OnTrac does, as a company, is to meet the needs of its customers —to fill the niches that are left open by the national carriers, and to do it in a way that is cost effective and helps shippers exceed their customer’s expectations. The regional hub-and-spoke model OnTrac operates with keeps all its business on the Ground, therefore strategically aligning its facilities and transport lanes throughout the 8 Western United States. This enables OnTrac to provide a one-day Time in Transit (TNT) advantage to major markets where the United Parcel Service and FedEx Ground are only capable of offering customers two or three day ground service.

Additionally, the mega-regions OnTrac caters to create the perfect storm of central location, business friendly laws, great workforce, access to major ports and major interstate highways while all converged to attract major distribution. The company focuses its resources in these regions and is able to provide the very best advantages at the very best price. Reno-Sparks, Nevada is one of those mega-regions where OnTrac’s innovation has synchronized supply and demand by:

  • Being the Just in Time (JIT) solution customers want, exceeding the TNT of the industry standard.
  • Guaranteed overnight Ground delivery to seven states from Reno-Sparks, Nevada.
  • Delivering the best service for less, leveraging a unique business plan, and yielding the lowest cost to serve.

            OnTrac customers seek advantages in the markets the company specializes in. They want the latest possible pickup times, the best possible TNT, the most responsive customer service, real time tracking, and flexible IT integration. They want a partner who cares and can make a difference in their business. For these reasons OnTrac is committed to Customer-Centric Logistics, which matches or exceeds the industry standard from each market. This can be seen most dramatically through comparing TNT with the national carriers.

            From Reno-Sparks, Nevada, OnTrac customizes plans for each customer to maximize what is most important for them while also boosting profits. For most customers it is TNT. OnTrac provides overnight Ground service to the seven states of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho from Reno. UPS and FedEx Ground are limited by their national network, capable of providing overnight service by Ground to only two states: CA, NV. This is where the innovation that is a regional carrier comes into play. The demand for overnight delivery exists just the same whether the customer is located in in any of the eight Western states in the OnTrac service area or anywhere in the United States. OnTrac’s network supplies a solution to those companies committed to providing the best service to their customers from their Western regional distribution centers.

OnTrac Service AreaBy leveraging a unique business model, OnTrac is able to provide the best service at the lowest cost-to-serve. Even with massive discounts from the National Carriers, large global customers believe the OnTrac prices and services are best. One reason seems to be simple economics of a lack of competition in the industry. This result is the duopoly of UPS and FedEx and the ability they have to keep prices high. The other reason is OnTrac’s creative business approach, focusing on specialization, production, and value.

One simple example illustrating this is the Service Provider settlement. Typically, drivers in the industry are paid per hour. The incentive to provide better service and be more productive is not aligned with how they are paid. The prosperity of OnTrac’s Service Providers is directly linked to the success of customers and the company. Better service and the more productivity provided, results in more success for all OnTrac partners.

Furthermore, OnTrac’s dedication to regional overnight delivery requires fewer intermediary sort facilities. In contrast, National Carriers incur intermediary sorting costs and equipment, which are must haves to support their networks. This ultimately results in an overall lower cost to serve.

For more information on this topic, check back next month for Part 2 of OnTrac and the Supply Chain.

Topics: megaregions, parcel delivery company, regional carriers, eCommerce, Supply Chain, OnTrac

OnTrac named one of Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100

Posted on Jun 11, 2013 2:11:00 PM

OnTrac is pleased to announce its spot in the 2013 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100, which highlights the industry’s “100 Great Supply Chain Projects.”

OnTrac was nominated by Newegg Inc., the leading electronics-focused e-retailer in the United States, for its role in helping the company improve the customer experience by decreasing delivery times and generating savings.

Newegg added OnTrac to its transportation carrier portfolio in September, 2012 to help service its customers on the West Coast. As a result of using OnTrac, Newegg was able to reduce average transit days and get its products into the hands of customers faster.  

“Providing the best possible service to our customers is a top priority at Newegg,” said Kunal Thakkar, Vice President of Operations at Newegg. “That’s why we decided to introduce regional carriers like OnTrac to help bring more flexibility in our business operations while enhancing the customer experience. We’re thrilled that Supply & Demand Chain Executive has recognized our work together and we look forward to continuing to work closely with OnTrac.”

             Supply & Demand Chain Executive Top 100 OnTrac

For the past 11 years, the SDCE100 has spotlighted successful and innovative transformation projects that have enabled shippers to deliver bottom-line value to small, medium and large enterprises across the range of supply chain functions that industry professionals face today.

“We would like to thank Newegg for nominating us as one of the Supply and Demand Chain Executive’s Top 100,” Vice President of Marketing Laura Peterson said. “Our facilities and transport lanes are set up strategically throughout the 8 Western States to provide our customers a transit time advantage over their competitors. We are happy to be a part of Newegg’s continued success and to have played a part in supporting their business goals.”

The world of supply chain is ever-evolving, becoming more complex seemingly by the day. To keep up with the volatility and the demand-driven needs of customers, supply chain solution providers, consultants and other organizations must be flexible enough to react to change but also visionary enough to prepare for the future.

“Our goal with this year's ‘100’ is to put the spotlight on successful and innovative transformation projects that deliver bottom-line value to small, medium and large enterprises across the different functions that comprise the supply chain,” said Barry Hochfelder, Editor of Supply & Demand Chain Executive, when the awards were announced. “The projects featured in the '100' article can serve as a roadmap for supply chain executives looking for new opportunities to drive improvement in their own operations.”

After receiving nomination forms, the Supply & Demand Chain Executive editorial staff identified applicants that best fit the stated criteria for the “100”. Final recipients are featured with more detail in the June 2013 print issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive, as well as online at sdcexec.com.

About Newegg Inc.

Newegg Inc. is the leading electronics-focused e-retailer in the United States. It owns and operates Newegg.com and NeweggBusiness.com, and regularly earns industry-leading customer service ratings. Newegg delivers a world-class e-commerce platform and is committed to serving the online technology community, from tech-enthusiasts to small and medium-sized businesses. Both Newegg.com and NeweggBusiness.com feature a comprehensive selection of the latest computer hardware and consumer electronics products, detailed product descriptions and images, as well as how-to information and customer reviews. Newegg Inc. was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in City of Industry, California.  

Newegg 

Topics: Supply & Demand Chain. Top 100, newegg, Award, regional carriers, transportation, carrier, OnTrac

OnTrac Growth Leads to Expansion, Jobs in California

Posted on Apr 2, 2013 1:27:00 PM

Due to rapid growth, OnTrac, the leader in regional overnight package delivery, is expanding its Southern California market. Its Commerce facility has moved into a building that is six times larger than its previous operation. 

“The Commerce facility helps to reduce the time and distance our service providers have to travel in order to make deliveries, which in turn gets packages to our customers in a more expedient and efficient manner,” said OnTrac Vice President of Operations Mark Cronkrite, “In today’s economy, many customers are looking to save both time and money.  Regional carriers help with both and this new facility solidifies that.”

OnTrac Facility Conveyer

The flagship building hired almost 50 new sorters throughout December and January and now employs 128 local residents who operate a full material handling system. The operation includes three times as many dock doors, enabling OnTrac to move packages more efficiently and offer its customers faster service, while a 165 foot truck turning radius, 59 high dock positions, a 100 percent concrete truck court, two large ground level ramps, abundant trailer storage and a central Los Angeles location will enable this new facility to increase productivity.

The OnTrac Commerce facility resides at the following address:

5959 Randolph Street

Commerce, CA

90040

Faster deliveries and more aggressive rates are a welcome concept for any business these days.  This upgrade comes as a direct response to the increasing number of businesses choosing OnTrac for all their overnight, guaranteed delivery needs.  OnTrac is proud to offer the highest quality of service at the most competitive rates. 

About OnTrac

OnTrac is a Phoenix, Arizona based company that provides overnight shipping at ground rates to businesses and consumers in the major metropolitan areas of California, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Idaho. The three divisions of OnTrac, Overnight, Messenger and now International, offer customers a broad range of services and encompass an extensive geographical area. OnTrac has supported each one of our shipments with a Money Back Service Guarantee since we started our overnight division in 1991. As a SmartWay partner, OnTrac promises to do its part to save the environment, getting your shipments there with cleaner air.  For more information on OnTrac, please call 800.334.5000 or visit us online at ontrac.com.

Topics: regional carriers, material handling system, SmartWay Partner, expansion, California, overnight package delivery

OnTrac Fueled by Recycled Motor Oil

Posted on Mar 28, 2013 3:05:00 PM

OnTrac Goes Green

With the high cost of priority shipping, the demand for efficient transportation is growing.

Shippers are looking for ways to save money on transportation costs, and to do it in a way that makes sense for the environment.

These days, that means putting freight on the ground.

But for companies who use a regional carrier like OnTrac, choosing a ground shipping option doesn’t have to mean sacrificing service. The regional carrier’s next-day delivery footprint is much larger than that of a national carrier’s, and without the need to support an entire air fleet, the company is able to be more conscious of their carbon footprint. 

The regional hub-and-spoke model operates entirely on the ground and enables OnTrac to keep costs down and keep its corporate commitment to the environment a priority.  That’s why OnTrac partners with Penske.

OnTrac SmartWay Partnership

“OnTrac continues to take the necessary steps to reduce emissions on our fleet of vehicles,” Director of Fleet Operations Steve Heron said. “We are conscious of all the decisions we make as both a responsible corporate citizen and a SmartWay Partner. Choosing to use Penske is a further demonstration of our commitment to operate responsibly.”

Penske is a transportation service that operates in a variety of industry segments including retail automotive, truck leasing, transportation logistics, transportation component manufacturing and professional motorsports. They are also environmentally conscious.

Penske recycles its waste oil—and a primary use is to re-refine it into a base stock for lubricating oil. This process is very similar to the refining of crude oil.

The result is that the re-refined oil is of as high a quality as a virgin oil product. This is important, as just two gallons of used oil can generate enough electricity to run the average household for almost 24 hours.

Because the OnTrac fleet is predominately made up of Penske trucks, the company is a beneficiary of this program and an increasingly green shipper—through its partnership with SmartWay, OnTrac has been able to contribute to the overall savings of 1.5 billion gallons of fuel, $3.6 billion in fuel costs, 14.7 MMT of carbon dioxide (CO2), 215,000 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and 8,000 tons of particulate matter. 

It has also enabled the company to identify opportunities to improve efficiency, demonstrating efficiency to potential customers and reduce our fuel costs. Through partnerships with environmental experts and by using new technologies OnTrac is finding ways to help reduce the impact of our operations on the environment, and that makes a difference for everyone.

Topics: regional carriers, environment, OnTrac, SmartWay Partner

OnTrac Recognized as Newegg Best New Vendor with “Eggie” Award

Posted on Feb 4, 2013 3:43:00 PM

Phoenix, AZ- (NASDAQ- Jan 24, 2013) – OnTrac today announced that it was awarded the Best New Vendor “Eggie” award by Newegg Inc., the leading electronics-focused e-retailer in the United States, at the 2nd Annual Eggie Awards at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  The Eggie, a golden egg trophy, acknowledges the outstanding contributions made by Newegg’s vendor partners in 2012. Presented on January 10, 2013 at XS Nightclub at the Encore Hotel, the Eggies recognized 26 award recipients across 14 categories for supporting Newegg’s continued success.

“This year's Eggie award recipients all made valuable contributions to our business in 2012 and OnTrac is no exception. On behalf of Newegg, I congratulate OnTrac on its Eggie award win and look forward to continuing our successful partnership in 2013,” said Soren Mills, Chief Marketing Officer of Newegg North America.

Eggie Award OnTrac Best New Vendor

OnTrac is the leader in overnight regional package delivery, servicing the seven western states of CA, AZ, NV, OR, WA, UT and CO.  OnTrac became one of Newegg’s shipping carriers last fall to help provide more efficient shipping and faster time in transit for Newegg’s customers.      

“We would like to thank Newegg for presenting us with the Best New Vendor Eggie award. Shipping is a big part of any online business, and we are happy to be able to provide one of our most valued customers, Newegg, with faster delivery times at a lower cost,” Vice President of Marketing, Laura Peterson said.


OnTrac is the fast and affordable way to ship parcels within the Western United States.  By focusing on regional service, it reaches more ground destinations next day, and without the added costs of express shipping.  Founded in 1991 as a division of Express Messenger Systems, Inc., OnTrac celebrates 22 years of on-time delivery, and offers competitive rates, lower fees, and fewer surcharges.

To learn how OnTrac can help your business, visit ontrac.com, call 800.334.5000.

About Newegg Inc.

Newegg Inc. is the leading electronics-focused e-retailer in the United States. It owns and operates Newegg.com and NeweggBusiness.com, and regularly earns industry-leading customer service ratings. Newegg delivers a world-class e-commerce platform and is committed to serving the online technology community, from tech-enthusiasts to small and medium-sized businesses. Both Newegg.com and NeweggBusiness.com feature a comprehensive selection of the latest computer hardware and consumer electronics products, detailed product descriptions and images, as well as how-to information and customer reviews. Newegg Inc. was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in City of Industry, California.

Topics: overnight deliveries, Awards, regional carriers, Service Area, fewer fees, lower rates

OnTrac Optimized Driver Routes Cut Cost to Customer, Environment

Posted on Jan 24, 2013 9:59:00 AM

Optimized Driver Routes Cut Cost to Customer, Environment

Ground Shipping Goes Green

At OnTrac, being “green” means more than being able to improve the environment—it means we are willing to. The way we see it, we have a corporate responsibility to do what we can, when we can, to help improve the quality of life for customers in our service area.  

Since the beginning of our business, over 20 years ago, OnTrac has focused not only on faster shipping, but more efficient ways to deliver packages. As a regional carrier, we are a friendlier option than the national carriers. Our focus on overnight shipping and delivery in the seven western states gives our regional hub-and-spoke model the ability to operate entirely on the ground. By keeping our packages on the ground, we keep costs to customers (and the environment) down. We don’t have to support a worldwide infrastructure, and that saves more than money.

But that’s not all we’re doing.OnTrac Recycle

As a part of our plan to promote a greener operation, OnTrac has made it a point to position its facilities and distribution centers in areas that allow us to optimize driver delivery routes. These facilities boost your bottom line and enhance efficiency throughout our network.

The addition of facilities throughout our service area support growth of the overnight package delivery industry and our company, boosting the quickness and efficiency of the ground network.  

Our Menlo Park facility in California services the neighborhoods of Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Mateo, San Bruno, Half Moon Bay, Pacifica, and the San Francisco Airport.

This facility has improved efficiency throughout the Bay Area. By enabling shipments to be distributed closer to their end destination, overnight shipping in California is convenient and cost effective. Twelve dock doors and 50,000 square feet enable the Menlo Park facility to operate with a more rapid parcel throughput rate, and the location puts drivers closer to delivery locations throughout the area, accelerating transit times—in other words, faster shipping at a lower price, with less impact on the environment.

“This facility helps to reduce the time and distance our drivers have to travel to make deliveries, which in turn gets packages to the customer in a more expedient and efficient manner,” said Mark Cronkrite, vice president of operations for OnTrac. “The Menlo Park facility will help us significantly reduce our carbon footprint in the Bay Area,” he added.

Leased trucks enable us to continue to have the newest, most efficient vehicles, greatly reducing our carbon footprint, and our newest partnership with SmartWay gives us an opportunity to set goals for ourselves and our operation, year after year.

 SmartWay OnTrac

With the rapid expansion of our service area, the addition of facilities and optimization of drive routes is important. This way, we can manage growth by spreading the high volume of packages that come through our service area more evenly, increasing efficiency and decreasing emissions by shortening driver routes.

To see more of what OnTrac is doing to go green, visit our OnTrac and the Environment page.

Topics: overnight shipping, ground network, regional carriers, package delivery, Time in Transit, environment, cost effective, optimize driver delivery routes, SmartWay Partner, California, faster

10 Ways to Trim Shipping Costs

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 2:37:00 PM

Shipping costs are one of the biggest expenses for many small businesses, but resourceful entrepreneurs are finding ways to reduce the sting.

Fred DuBois, for example, had been trying to cut the shipping costs at his Laptop Battery Express in Cleveland since he founded it in 2007. Free delivery service for about 50 battery orders a day was costing him as much as $500. He had been relying almost exclusively on FedEx Ground, but this summer, he realized that varying his carriers and using the U.S. Postal Service would cut shipping costs in half. Today, he says, he ships about half his orders with FedEx and the other half with the post office, saving about $250 a day.

OnTrac Saves Money

To achieve such savings, consider these 10 ways to trim shipping costs:

1. Negotiate with multiple carriers. All shipping companies have pricing schedules based on volume: The more you ship, the lower your rate. But small businesses often don't realize they also may have negotiating power, says Jack Mitchell, president of PANCGroup, a Boston-based parcel appraisal and negotiations consulting firm. If you ship large numbers of packages, compare prices and try to persuade carriers to offer lower rates. "If Fed Ex knows UPS is vying for your business, you've got something to negotiate," Mitchell says.

2. Get suppliers to use your shipping account number. DuBois receives inventory from 12 suppliers, including eight in China and four in the U.S. While he originally had suppliers shipping products to him and invoicing for the transport costs, he managed to persuade his domestic suppliers to ship products on his company's FedEx account number. This not only increases his business's shipping volume, which can lead to cheaper rates, but it also helps prevent suppliers from padding their shipping costs. Kevin Lathrop, president of Unishippers, a Salt Lake City-based company that buys and resells transportation services, recommends including this shipping requirement in your purchase order.

3. Use packaging provided by your carrier. If you use your own packaging, you could face additional "dimensional fees" if your box exceeds the size regulations set by UPS and FedEx. To avoid those extra charges, consider using the packaging provided by your carrier, which doesn't have dimensional fees. By putting a one-pound box into a FedEx envelope, for example, DuBois cut his shipping cost by 15 percent.

OnTrac Service Area

4. Consider a regional carrier. Such carriers often provide the same services as FedEx or UPS at a reduced cost, Mitchell says. Regional carriers include Spee-Dee Delivery Service in the Midwest, OnTrac in the West and LoneStar Delivery & Process in Texas. But keep in mind their delivery networks are limited. You also might reduce your bargaining power if you spread your business among too many carriers.

 

5. Use online shipping. One way to save on U.S. Postal Service costs is to pay for your shipping online. You can save up to 16 percent on priority mail orders and up to 60 percent on express mail, says Beth Fluto, manager of digital media for USPS. You also get free pick-up service, priority mail delivery confirmation and shipping supplies when you pay online with the post office.

6. Invest in prepaid shipping. To help cut FedEx and UPS costs, consider prepaid shipping, which offers a discount rate of up to 20 percent. This means you buy a quantity of shipping labels upfront and affix them to packages as needed rather than pay for each package when you send it out. Prepaid shipping works best when you know you'll be sending out the same weight packages repeatedly and can determine the shipping cost in advance.

7. Buy insurance from a third party. While carriers charge about 80 cents for every $100 of insurance, third-party companies like Parcel Insurance Plan and U-PIC Shipping Insurance charge about 45 cents. The savings can add up, Mitchell notes, if you frequently ship expensive items.

8. Factor in all shipping fees before billing customers. Carriers have more than 75 special charges, including fuel surcharges, fees when requiring a signature from the recipient, or Saturday delivery fees, Mitchell says. If your customers pay for shipping, be sure to include all these extra costs in their bills so you don't end up absorbing them yourself.

9. Consider hybrid services. While they have certain volume, weight and size restrictions, hybrid services like SurePost by UPS and SmartPost by FedEx can cost half as much as standard UPS and FedEx delivery options, Mitchell says. These services pick up packages at your business and ship them by UPS or FedEx to the post office closest to the destination. The local mailman then makes the final delivery. While the cost is less, this extra step can slow delivery time.

10. Ask about association discounts. Find out if your industry's professional association has a partnership with a carrier that offers member discounts. Depending on the size of the association, you could be eligible for discounted rates of up to 50 percent on certain services with carriers like FedEx and UPS.

By: Jane Porter, Entrepreneur

For more information on this article, click here.

Topics: postal consolidators, regional carriers, online shopping, fees, shipping companies, Service Area, OnTrac