Did you know that in the UK alone, the average retail business spends over 10% of its annual revenue on logistics?
While efficient shipping is now a crucial part of many companies’ business plans, these increasing costs are making it difficult for many to make a sustainable profit. However, with significant advances in technology and material science over recent years, there are a variety of ways individual businesses can reduce freight costs and become more sustainable in the process.
In this article, we look at the ways in which businesses can reduce their freight costs, increase profit margins and become more sustainable, looking specifically at improvements they can make to their logistical processes and packaging options.
How to reduce shipping costs
When it comes to reducing shipping and freight costs, your business might actually have more opportunities than you realise. Cost cutting measures than won’t hamper your logistical processes include:
– Changing your packaging
Traditional wooden, steel and plastic logistics and packaging solutions, from shipping pallets to shipping crates, can be deceptively heavy and inefficient when it comes to space optimisation – two factors that can greatly increase freight costs.
One way to combat this is to switch to more efficient packaging and logistic solutions. Paper-based honeycomb shipping pallets, like the those found in PALLITE®’s pallet range, are not only a more sustainable alternative to traditional wooden or plastic pallets or crates, they also weigh up to 85% less. This means they can be used to reduce the weight of shipments and save businesses money. Similarly, as we will look at in more detail later in this blog, paper-based crates and packaging solutions (such as those included in the EcoLITE BY PALLITE® range) can offer a unique combination of adequate strength and product protection while also weighing a fraction of traditional packaging solutions.
– Evaluating your freight options
It’s important to shop around when looking for a freight provider and not to just opt for the first deal you see. Shipping rates can vary greatly in price, so it pays to get quotes from a range of providers. With this in mind, if you think your current freight rates are too high, don’t be afraid to change to a cheaper carrier. Just remember to do your homework and ensure a potential new partner can deliver the service your business needs.
Additionally, technological advances and the rise of autonomous and electric vehicles are changing the way the logistics industry operates. If you are willing to put the research in and take some risks when it comes to selecting an innovative logistics partner, there are savings to be made by opting for a less-traditional, more sustainable carrier – especially in the long-term.
– Shipping on off-peak days
Did you know that shipping on an off-peak day compared to an on-peak day can save you as much as 10% on shipping costs? Although not always an option if your business’ reputation relies on super-fast delivery, shipping goods on off-peak days (such as Fridays and Mondays) is a great way to cut costs. Additionally, making use of backhaul shipping – this is when carriers attempt to fill empty containers heading back after a delivery with your goods at a reduced price – can bring about even more cost saving.
Can packaging help to reduce costs?
As touched upon above, yes – changing your packaging is a great way to reduce shipping costs. By replacing traditional plastic, polystyrene and metal packaging with lightweight, yet equally as strong and robust alternatives, shipping loads can be made lighter, and space can be better optimised. This means financial savings can be made and profit margins improved.
As well as helping create lighter and more efficient shipping loads, well-designed, sustainable packaging can also make the loading and unloading process more efficient. Once again, this can shave time off these tasks, making your business’ logistical processes more efficient and ultimately resulting in more financial savings.