Quick Guide: How to Optimize SMB Shipping to Save Time and Money

Recognizing a Pain-Point of Small- to Mid-Size Businesses, Unishippers, One of the Nation’s Largest Shipping Resellers, Offers Money-Saving Advice in Honor of Small Business Week

May 06, 2015 // Franchising.com // SALT LAKE CITY – Small business owners often wear many hats and are hyper focused on their core business which can result in missed opportunities for reduction and efficiency in their shipping process. During National Small Business Week, May 4-8, Unishippers Global Logistics, one of the nation’s largest shipping resellers, is helping small- and mid-size business owners optimize their shipping process.

Knowledge of all shipping components can help business owners pinpoint how their money is being spent and what can be improved upon to streamline the process for maximized cost savings.

“Unishippers’ core belief is that small- and mid-sized businesses should have access to the same cost-effective shipping practices and services normally only available for the largest shippers,” said Kevin Lathrop, President of Unishippers. “We find that many small businesses don’t know what steps to take to effectively optimize and streamline their shipping practices. Devoting time to understand and refine the process can have a lasting impact on a business’s bottom line.”

As the shipping landscape changes and technology and shipping services continue to evolve, Unishippers has compiled the following tips to serve as a starting point so businesses can gain a competitive edge:

  • Adapt to Dimensional Weight Pricing: Implemented at the beginning of 2015, all businesses are being affected by a new pricing structure for UPS and FedEx small package ground shipments which determines price based on package volume, not weight. Dimensional weight pricing can significantly raise shipping costs if businesses don’t adapt their practices. A business can follow these quick tips to help lower a shipment’s dimensional weight: use smaller, tighter packages; avoid over-boxing and if possible, for lighter items, pack more in the box.
  • Understand Carrier Liability: A common misconception is that shipments are automatically insured by the carrier through their limits of liability. The truth is: carrier liability is not insurance and may not protect the full value of shipments. Carrier liability has limits based on the condition of the items being shipped and the class of the freight, regardless of the actual value of the shipment. For a reasonable cost, businesses can purchase insurance to have the peace of mind that the full value of their shipment is protected.
  • Utilize Transportation Management Systems (TMS): For any company shipping freight, one of the most efficient ways to save money and drive value is by using a transportation management system (TMS). These software systems are designed to optimize carrier selection, freight ratings, load tendering and logistics management. Use of a TMS solution allows businesses to receive multiple prices and carrier options, resulting in a streamlined shipping process. Additionally, these online tools typically have reporting functions that allow businesses to track their shipping decisions and analyze the impacts.
  • Properly Prepare Pallets: When shipping multiple or heavy boxes that need to be placed on a pallet, always use pallets that are in good condition and durable. Stack the boxes squarely, corner-to-corner on the pallet and be sure that the boxes do not hang over the edges. Distribute the weight evenly on the pallet and keep the top surface flat to minimize potential damage. Many times, shippers try to save a few dollars by skimping on shrink-wrap (or stretch wrap). Then, when boxes fall off of pallets that were not wrapped properly, the parcels become damaged or lost. A good rule of thumb is to wrap the pallet two to three complete times to ensure a secure, properly packed load. If every box on your pallet is not going to be labeled individually, it’s a smart idea to at least mark each box 1 of 10, 2 of 10, etc. By doing so, shippers can minimize the risk of any boxes being missed if they should fall off the pallet.

Unishippers’ nationwide system of franchises and affiliate outlets are small- and mid-size business advocates who are committed to providing customers with reduced shipping rates through top national, regional and local carriers. The company delivers Platinum Service that includes a dedicated account team for service, technology built for SMB customers and flexible credit, insurance and invoicing options—all traditionally reserved for Fortune 500 customers. Leveraging the combined volume of its 50,000 customers, Unishippers secures stable discounts from carrier partners that are then passed on to customers. For more information on Unishippers, visit www.unishippers.com.

About Unishippers

Founded in 1987, Unishippers has grown to the largest reseller of shipping services in the nation with more than 290 franchise locations and affiliate outlets. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, the Unishippers concept is simple – work with major carriers including UPS®, Saia®, Estes®, YRC Freight and UPS Freight® to handle the pickup, transport and delivery of customers’ shipments. All the while, local franchisees work to provide customers with service and support. By leveraging the combined shipping volume of all its customers, Unishippers gets deeply discounted rates from its carriers, resulting in lower shipping costs. Unishippers serves more than 50,000 small to mid-sized businesses, and has been recognized as a top freight broker by Transport Topics and a top franchise by Entrepreneur, Franchise Times and the Inc. 5000. For information on Unishippers, including information on franchising opportunities and price quotes, visit www.unishippers.com.

SOURCE Unishippers

Media Contact:

Anne Whealdon
Fishman PR
847-945-1300
awhealdon@fishmanpr.com

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