12 Tips for Saving Money on Shipping Costs

Everyone wants to save money on shipping costs. No great secret there. At Nebraska Warehouse, we’re committed to helping our customers, and their customers (and really anyone that’s interested in shipping) save time and money on their logistics.

To that end, we’ve compiled a list of 12 Genius Tips for Saving Money on Your Shipping Costs. We’ve categorized them for easy digestion between the General Freight Industry, Less-Than-Truckload (LTL), and Full Truckload, but you’ll find that most of our tips can be used in any form of shipping.

Shipping Costs

1. Reuse Your Packing Materials

It’s easy to save and reuse bubble wrap, packing peanuts, air pillows, and any other sort of packing materials you might get in your next online retail purchase. Anything you save and reuse is something you don’t have to buy.

2. Don’t Spend Money on Cardboard Boxes

With a little effort and ingenuity, you can find these bad boys all sorts of places. Hit up liquor stores, grocery stores, and places like Starbucks to help save the environment and cut costs. Brand new cardboard boxes are expensive, and used ones usually work just as well.

3. Make Sure Your Freight is Ready Before Scheduling a Pickup

Shipping is not like calling a cab or Uber. You can’t get your freight ready to ship while the driver is on his way. Make sure your freight is ready to go, or else you might end up with a dry run fee, and that can cost you cash.

4. Shop Around on Volume Quotes

Not all volume quotes are created equal. Some freight companies specialize in large markets, small markets, or particular geographic locations. Start your quote search early, and try to find your best deal.

5. Lighten Up

Weight is a major component of pricing in shipping, so avoid heavy packing materials. Go with packing peanuts instead of wool blankets. Anything you can do to cut down on the total weight of your shipment is going to help you get a cheaper freight quote.

6. Get Third Party Insurance

It might cost a little more up front, but if you’re shipping expensive or fragile items it will make all the difference if something gets lost or damaged during transit. Most carriers have their own freight insurance, but it rarely covers the full cost of a damaged shipment. Getting third party insurance gives you peace of mind, and makes filing a freight claim much easier.

7. Consolidate Your Shipment

Packaging items together can significantly cut down on shipping and packaging costs. By consolidating your shipment you can cut weight, density, and a chance of damage or loss. It’s easier to keep track of one piece of freight than it is to keep track of five or ten (especially if they’re small boxes).

8. Determine if Your Shipment is LTL or Parcel

If your shipment is small enough, you can save money using small package or parcel shipping instead of LTL. Parcel shipping is a totally different animal than LTL, so it’s important to recognize the difference between the two.

9. Hire a Professional

Freight brokers can get you better shipping quotes, not to mention they can help out with claims, damage, tracking, and so much more. A freight broker is not the same as a freight carrier, and a professional freight broker is key no matter how often you’re shipping LTL or (especially) full truckload freight.

10. Ship Early to Avoid the Holiday Crunch

Avoid delays and expedited costs by shipping at least a week early around the holidays. Both LTL and truckload slow down as drivers and carriers take take off work for the holidays. Don’t wait to send your stuff.

11. Know How Much Room You Need

Always know how many square feet of truck space you’ll need. There is always the chance of “Partialling” a shipment to save money, but if you don’t know exactly how much space your freight will take up then that won’t be an option. If you’re using standard pallets (you should be), know your count and if they’re stackable.

12. Don’t Forget About Intermodal

If your freight is not time sensitive you can save some serious dough by utilizing the rail and shipping your stuff intermodal. Contact Nebraska Warehouse to help you out with the intermodal process, but by using the rail you can get cheaper freight quotes for your full truckload shipments.