3 Ways to Reduce Peak Season Shipping Costs

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2020 peak season surcharges have remained in place for most of 2021. UPS has recently announced additional shipping and handling costs will go into effect by the end of the summer. As a result of all of these increased charges, your holiday eCommerce shipping costs could double! In order to combat these high prices and still meet all the demands of your holiday shoppers, you need to take a look at your shipping network, packaging, and partners. 

Use a Shipping Network

eCommerce retailers use one of two methods: in-house or outsourced eCommerce shipping and fulfillment. Although these strategies may have worked for your business in the past, eCommerce is quickly growing and your business may need to adapt to keep up with demand. The most efficient way to cost-effectively ship all of your peak season orders is by using a shipping network. A shipping network is a group of fulfillment centers that work  alongside carriers to deliver your products faster and cheaper.

Shipping solutions such as Xparcel Expedited offered by Rakuten Super Logistics allow small to mid-sized businesses to compete with retail giants by utilizing sophisticated algorithms that optimize shipping speed while keeping costs low. This powerful product provides eCommerce retailers access to 15 fulfillment centers nationwide and finds the best travel route. By looking at the size of your packages, origin, and destination, the system automatically determines which carriers will deliver your orders the most efficiently. This helps you get packages to customers anywhere in the country in as little as two days.

Consider Your Peak Season Packaging

Although the unboxing experience works for some online retailers, it may not be the most durable or cost-effective packaging plan for your business. The weight and size of your shipping materials matter when it comes to the cost of your eCommerce shipping. To save on overhead, you also want to find a way to use the least amount of material possible. This means you’ll want to look for more durable, but less flashy packing materials such as plain boxes or poly mailers. Your business can also cut costs and contribute to green initiatives by using recycled packaging materials. 

Whichever direction you choose to go, the most important thing to remember about packaging is the safety of your products and the weight. If you choose to pay more for custom packaging but fail to ensure it keeps your order intact during delivery, you’re going to pay much more in the long run. You will also want to consider the extra weight your packaging adds to your overall order. Although it may seem like a few ounces isn’t a big deal, it can quickly add up to an enormous cost as you increase your customer orders.

Related Article: Biggest eCommerce Challenges of 2021 Peak Season

Partner with the Right 3PL

As online retailers grow, many need to start outsourcing eCommerce shipping and order fulfillment to professionals. Unfortunately, not all 3PLs are made equal. As we saw last year, many professional shipping companies were overwhelmed by the influx of customers' orders and made many mistakes. Some mistakes were so large they  cost some retailers customers and the future of their business. When thinking about outsourcing to a 3PL, it’s crucial to choose the right partner, especially during peak season. Q4 is the busiest time of the year for many online retailers, and the success of these sales can make or break a business. The right 3PL will help you minimize your shipping errors, costs, and stress. A professional shipping partner should help make shipping and order fulfillment simple. Take a careful evaluation of who you'll be working with this holiday season and make sure you choose a partner that won’t leave you wishing you’d chosen someone else. 

Related Article: What is the Best 3PL for Your Business?

2021 eCommerce revenue is expected to reach over $2.7 trillion and supply chain delays will continue to plague the industry throughout the rest of the year. With peak season around the corner, time is running out to get your shipping and fulfillment in order.

Now is the time to get your ship together. Avoid Shipocalyce 2021 by partnering with the peak season eCommerce experts at Rakuten Super Logistics. We guarantee 100% order accuracy on every shipment. Get a quote today and secure the success of your business this holiday season.

Rakuten Super Logistics (RSL) is the leader in eCommerce order fulfillment services and freight brokerage. RSL offers national fulfillment services and a network of fulfillment centers across the US, including Anaheim (CA), Atlanta (GA), Austin (TX), Carlstadt (NJ) Chicago (IL), Denver (CO), Houston (TX), Las Vegas (NV), Olean (NY), Reno (NV), Salt Lake City (UT), and Scranton (PA). Their state-of-the-art technology allows for integration with popular shopping cart platforms and online marketplaces including Amazon, Big Commerce, Channel Advisor, eBay, Magento, ShipStation, Shopify, Volusion, Walmart Marketplace, and WooCommerce.