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Best Shipping Options for Small Businesses

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7 Best Shipping Options For Small Businesses

When it comes to running a small business, shipping is one of the most important things you need to streamline. Here are7 of the best hassle-free shipping carriers to cut down the delivery costs for your small business in 2023.

Shipping things is expensive and takes time. Everyone knows that. But at the same time, people don’t want to pay copious amounts of money to get their online orders shipped. Nor do they want to wait a long time. So, where does this leave you as a small business owner? It’s not like you can offer free 1-day shipping to everyone. 

Luckily, there are a few carriers that will help you cut down on your shipping costs while still delivering your packages within a week. Let’s explore them. 

7 Best Shipping Options For Small Businesses 

#1 USPS

Delivery area: All over USA, International

Standard delivery time: 2-8 days

The U.S. Postal Service is a great shipping carrier for small businesses because they ship internationally as well as to every region within the U.S with last-mile connectivity. On average, they deliver packages within 2-8 days, and even make shipments during Sundays and major holidays for an added cost. Their rates are very affordable and vary according to speed, package size, and delivery location. But, you can expect a single package to cost around $8.50. They also have bulk discounts and automatically verify customer addresses

They have several features that make it easier for small businesses to ship their products. For example, their Click-N-Ship program allows you to buy labels and stamps online at lower prices. Don’t want to make frequent trips to the post office? You can schedule a home pick-up and even integrate USPS with your e-commerce store. USPS also allows you to reserve a separate P.O box for your business.

#2 FedEx 

Delivery area: All over USA, International

Standard delivery time: 1-5 days

FedEx is geared towards offering shipping services for small businesses, and offers many perks for the same, including discounts and loyalty rewards. They do home deliveries almost every day within the U.S, including Saturdays and Sundays, so your packages will more than likely be delivered within a day!

One of the best things about FedEx is that they automate the shipping process for you. They pack, print labels, and pick up your packages from your home. Even perishables, medical goods, and fragile items will be delivered safely because they have temperature-controlled shipping

#3 Sendle 

Delivery area: All over USA, International

Standard delivery time: 1-4 days

Sendle is a small-business-friendly shipping carrier that delivers to over 180 countries. They have a very affordable price range with domestic standard shipping starting from $4.96 with Sendle Premium. They offer free pick-up services and provide discounts based on volume. For example, if you ship out more than 200 packages a month, you can opt for Sendle Pro and save up to 80%. Their prices for packages weighing 20 lbs are unbeatable!

Sendle doesn’t charge any subscription fees and makes it very easy to book and track your orders. They are also entirely environment-friendly, which is definitely a plus for climate-conscious customers. 

#4 UPS 

Delivery area: All over USA, International

Standard delivery time: 1-5 days

United Parcel Service is the best shipping carrier for large boxes and ships to more than 220 countries all over the world. Their rates for a large box starts at $21.05, which is cheaper than other carriers. They also offer a reliable on-time ground delivery of 1-5 days. In some cases, you can even opt for same-day delivery. 

UPS has a small business program with plenty of resources to help small business owners streamline their shipping process. They help you with everything – right from how to pack your items safely to conducting at-home pick-ups. You can track your shipments, make use of their e-commerce tools, and even get discounts of up to 50% if you have a UPS account.

#5 DHL Express 

Delivery area: All over USA, International

Standard delivery time: 1-3 days

Do you often ship internationally? DHL Express might be the best choice for you. This shipping carrier offers next-day delivery within the UK and a delivery time of 2-3 days for international packages. That is super fast! They are experts in international shipping, ship to over 200 countries, and handle all the customs requirements. 

Their rates depend on the package size, speed, and shipping location. They pick up your parcels from your doorstep and you get full visibility of your shipments at all times. DHL also integrates with major e-commerce sites to make your job a lot easier.

#6 ShipBob 

Delivery area: USA, UK, EU, Canada, Australia

Standard delivery time: 2 days  

If you sell your products via e-commerce platforms, ShipBob is the best choice for you because it offers an entire suite of e-commerce fulfillment services. You just need to connect ShipBob to your store and send them your inventory. They make a note of all your products in various combinations and ship them from their nearest fulfillment center whenever someone places an order, so they take care of warehousing and inventory as well

ShipBob offers bulk discounts, so you’ll be paying less for shipping if you partner with them as opposed to doing it on your own. They also allow you to customize your packages. Moreover, they guarantee a 2-day shipping period across the U.S, which makes it convenient for customers as well. 

#7 OnTrac 

Delivery area: 31 U.S. States + Washington D.C

Standard delivery time: 1-5 days

OnTrac (previously LaserShip) provides last-mile e-commerce delivery solutions to 31 U.S states. They offer multiple custom delivery options, ship things quickly, and are affordable, too. Their rates depend on the volume of the package, but you can expect starting prices of $1.15 to $5.15 per package. 

OnTrac is a multi-carrier service, so you get to save about 10-35% in shipping costs. They have increased supply chain flexibility and even give visual proof once the package has been delivered. They are reliable, and deliver packages with care, making them one of the best options for small businesses. The only downside is that they don’t deliver all over the U.S yet, so if you have customers from other regions, you may need to look for another shipping carrier as well.

How To Reduce Shipping Costs?

  • Automate your entire shipping process using software
  • Weigh the costs vs. benefits of scheduling a home pick-up vs. going to the post office yourself. For example, some carriers pick up your packages from your doorstep for free, while others charge a fee. 
  • Invest in third-party insurance for your packages in case they get lost in transit
  • Use flat-rate packaging
  • Make use of volume-based discounts and loyalty rewards by shipping carriers
  • Use a thermal label printer to save time and money on labels
  • Use multi-carrier shipping
  • Use affordable materials for packaging 

Speed and lower rates of shipping are two of the most important things for consumers in today’s day and age, especially among Gen Z and millenials. Use one of the top shipping options reviewed above, save on shipping costs, and make your customers happy!

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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