There are two types of office shippers: corporate offices and small to medium size offices. The difference is the volume of shipments. Corporate offices that don’t have centralized mailrooms may be shipping from a few to dozens of items a day. Most small offices may only ship a few pieces a week to a couple of items a day. Regardless of volume, they have some common characteristics.
The type of shipping that is done in the office is different than the in the warehouse. The front office mostly ships proposals, samples, urgent documents, and occasionally gifts (especially for the boss). Most of the shipping is done by an office manager or an administrative assistant that is computer savvy. They typically ship with the carrier’s website, www.fedex.com or www.ups.com. I have a warning: don’t choose your carrier based on advertising or how nice the UPS driver is to you or you will get a poor discount. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have seen companies shipping as much as a $1,000 a week that have no discount but love their carrier. A few years ago the Wall Street Journal wrote an article about how thousands of office workers couldn’t wait for their UPS man to arrive. They loved their UPS man! I’m not kidding; just for the fun of it, Google “love UPS man” and you will be surprised.
Tips for Saving on Shipping
- Ask the person who is requesting that you ship something for them, when the item needs to be received. Studies indicate that more than 59 percent of all overnight items are not opened the same day they arrive! Don’t ship it overnight unless it absolutely positively has to be there.
- Check out other service options, such as next afternoon delivery or second day delivery; you can cut your costs from 50%-75%.
- Compare the cost with the US Post Office. Priority Mail has tracking and is significantly less money.
- If you don’t have a discount, research your industry’s trade association and see if they offer one. See my other tips on getting a better discount.
- Don’t fall in love with your UPS man. Attachment is the source of poor discounts.
- If you are not on-line, set up an account. The carriers will give you better rates for an online account.
- Find the nearest drop-box. If you don’t ship something every day, don’t pay for pick-up fees.
- Track your costs; create a category and charge them to a specific department, person, client, job, etc… You can enter this information in a data field of the shipping application and generate reports.
- Double check your address. Some carriers will charge a $10-$15 fee for an incorrect address including items like a wrong suite number.
- Check your carrier invoices for errors. Some carriers will tell you what time they delivered so that you can verify if they were on time; if they weren’t, ask for your money back.