This article was written by the team at Finale Inventory.
If you need to buy things for your project, you know that shipping takes time and money. And delivery costs are often ‘forgotten’ in project budgets.
Thankfully, there’s a ton of methods that you can use to save on
these costs. Take a look.
1. Invest in a Label Printer
Often on projects we have things that need to be shipped. For
example, I’ve had to transfer equipment between different sites, and even send
laptops out to remote workers.
If you have a lot of things that need to be delivered, why not
skip the post office and print your own labels? Most label printers cost less
than $300 and they’re super easy to use. You’ll be able to speed up the time it
takes to get items ready for posting as well.
2. Try a Consolidation Service
If your project needs to deliver items to a few locations, you
can use zone skipping to cut costs. After you gather specific packages
together, you’ll send them to a consolidation service. Then, they’ll deliver
your shipments through their own distribution centers.
This way, you’re able to get your items out quickly – and
3. Use More Than One Carrier
If you use multiple carriers to ship, you can save a lot – especially when 61% of customers would pay more for same-day delivery. A package sent through UPS could be much cheaper at FedEx, so it’s crucial to explore your options.
If your organisation has multiple locations and you are shipping
between offices, see if you can use the in-house delivery service that might
already be in an existence.
4. Buy Third-Party Insurance
Often, carriers offer expensive insurance. If you need to move
pricey items, your business should consider third-party insurance. Most
carriers charge around 80 cents per $100, which adds up if you plan to send out
valuable shipments. Other insurance companies offer lesser rates.
Your company might already have the relevant insurance in place.
Talk to your Finance team (or the Post Room staff) before you put insurance on
the project budget.
5. Know Your Measurements
It’s essential to know the measurements of your shipments. When
you know the exact dimensions, weight and size, you can choose the cheapest way
6. Calculate Landed Cost
Many projects need to receive goods as well as transfer them
When you order products from an overseas supplier, you may incur
extra fees – and those can make a difference.
Before you agree to any purchases, you need to calculate the landed cost. That’s the total amount of money that it takes for your shipment to arrive at your doorstep.
[Note from Elizabeth: A supplier sent me a T-shirt and some
other promotional material recently and it cost me £12.20 to accept delivery because
of the custom fees!! Check these ‘hidden’ costs before you sign deals with
7. Join an Association
Sometimes, professional associations work alongside carriers to
offer discounts. If you already belong to an organization, inquire about any
possible deals. Or, seek out specific groups that align with your business
needs. You’ll enjoy many other useful resources, too.
8. Choose Online Shipping
If you want to mail through the U.S. Postal Service, consider
online shipping. You can lower expenses on both priority mail and express orders. Plus, priority mail is
already less pricey than other services. You can get a few freebies, too, like
If you’re outside of the USA, your national delivery service may
have a similar service.
9. Talk to Carriers
A lot of project managers aren’t aware that they can negotiate
with carriers. If you currently ship through one carrier, calculate similar costs
for another. It may turn out that you could save money through that second
carrier. Use that number to your advantage.
Negotiation is a core skill for project managers – it never
hurts to ask!
10. Get Creative with Packaging
You don’t always have to buy new packaging. Instead, you can
reuse boxes that aren’t damaged. You could also work with a local recycling
center to get materials.
We do this all the time. Simply tape a fresh piece of paper over
the old address and write the new address on. If your packaging has a barcode
printed on it, be sure to cover that up or scribble it on in case it’s used for
identifying the package incorrectly.
Use These Tips to Lower Delivery and Shipping Costs
These tricks come in handy when you want to save money on
shipping costs – and who doesn’t want those fees to have a lower impact on your
Check out the infographic below for a handy cut-out-and-keep version.