Well, almost every year, the biggest shipping carriers like USPS, UPS and FedEx announce shipping rate increases. In 2021, the USPS shipping rate increases have a few new stipulations, which we will cover. High volume businesses in eCommerce or the reselling space may be looking for money-saving solutions to combat the new 2021 shipping rates.
When do the new 2021 shipping rates change?
The USPS increases take effect today, January 24, 2021. This year there is a new surcharge of $100 that will be placed upon boxes that go over a 130” in. length X girth size limitation. So, make sure to measure all packages that go over these dimensions. USE THIS HANDY CUBIC INCH CALCULATOR to figure out if your package goes over that number. If it does, you might want to consolidate the contents into two smaller boxes.
You can find the new USPS shipping rate increases, here.
Overall, the USPS increases represent approximately 6% on all services. First class at the US Post Office or on the USPS website include anything weighing up to 13 oz. However, if you use a shipping service such as SHIPPO, you can ship anything up to 15.99 oz., which gives you a grace of 3 extra ounces.
The UPS company also increased its rates as of Dec 27, 2020. You can find the 2021 Daily List Rate Change Information HERE.
FedEx new shipping rates went into effect Jan. 4, 2021. The increase average was approx. 4.9% across the board. New this year, FedEx will also charge customers with late fees if they have not paid their invoice within the terms of their agreements. You can find out more about the new 2021 FedEx shipping rates by clicking on the FedEx website link, HERE.
Given all these factors, this may leave small business owners in the retail sector with a greater need or consciousness of applying money-saving solutions to combat the new 2021 shipping rates. Here are 5 tips to save money on shipping services in 2021:
- Sign up for SHIPPO Shipping Service
What is SHIPPO? On their website, the message is “Everything you need for professional-grade shipping and deep discounts from top carriers.” So, basically, they work with your business to provide more affordable shipping rates. Just as you would normally do from your eBay, Amazon, or Shopify store, you print out the labels through the SHIPPO service. By doing this, you can save your business a whole lot of money, while always getting a lower rate than full retail services straight from the primary carriers’ websites. Work smarter by teaming up with SHIPPO!
- Get Creative with Packaging
Learning how to package your products more effectively can improve shipping rate performance. For example, you could try vacuum-packing items that collect air, such as apparel. Other sellers like to roll bulky items, or you could buy boxes and poly mailers on sites like eBay to improve space requirements.
- Check Addresses Carefully
Returned items account for a percentage of most volume-shippers, but perhaps adding a tool or button on your checkout pages that will enable customers to confirm their shipping address can cut down on the likeliness of returns.
- Upgrade Your Postage Meter
Cheap postage meters can cost you more because they might not be reading accurate package weight. Always press the “tare” button in between weighing packages, to make sure you clear the meter to zero. This can eliminate overages or chargebacks from the postal carriers.
- Compare Providers for Each Item, Region and Package
Printing your own shipping labels already saves you time, but when you use a shipping service like SHIPPO, you can also save money. SHIPPO compares the top providers for your package, so you can decide which company will deliver your order quickly and cost effectively.
- Reuse and Recycle Wrap
If not too tacky, save the air pockets and popcorn from boxes you receive to use on packages you will send. Although not recommended to send customer orders in cereal boxes or bags that have heavy handling and/or wear, you can certainly reuse tissue, bubble wrap and other components. Ask for paper bags at the grocery store, which can be turned inside out and used as filler/packaging. Drink cup holders are perfect for shipping breakable items, as they are sturdy and lightweight. Some of my reseller friends also use pool noodles, which can be purchased at the Dollar Store and then cut to fit the package. This is creative and practical!
- Send Multiple Products in One Package
Double-check your customer’s order to see if they have more than one item. Rather than shipping them separately, you can send them all in one, consolidated box to save on shipping fees and handling, as well as less waste of packaging.
Shipping is one area that can be the most wasteful in any business. New entrepreneurs often make the mistake of bringing their packages directly to the Post Office or retail shipping centers and paying full price for them. Hearing about the USPS, FedEx and UPS prices going up in 2021 can be nerve-wracking. Once you realize the time and money savings you can achieve with a shipping service such as SHIPPO, you will never look back.