The Best Affordable Alternative to Using a Freight Forwarder

Gigantic corporations have countless cogs turning to move product, but small businesses don’t have the same kind of budget or resources to outsource such services. If your business ships large volume, you may have considered using a freight forwarder but simply can’t find the room in your budget to hire one, or maybe you want to maintain more control over the process. Shipping software not only lets you easily buy stamps online, it’s a highly affordable and efficient method of tracking your packages that lets you efficiently handle all of the shipments in-house.

Get Your Shipment Questions Answered

How much does it cost to ship a package to France, so you’ll know how much to charge an interested French consumer? What’s the best way to package an item efficiently? What’s the difference in price between shipping a package overnight and letting the package take a few extra days to arrive at its destination? When you’re in charge of your business’ shipping, these are the types of questions you’ll ask yourself on a frequent basis.

Shipment software can provide you with answers to all the most commonly asked shipping questions with up-to-date information about rates, packing and other shipment-related topics.

Print Your Postage

As soon as you package your products, weigh your packages and print your postage with a meter. There’s no waiting on a freight forwarder’s estimate. If something costs more than you’re willing to spend to ship, you’ll know immediately to adjust the packaging as much as possible to make it lighter or to sacrifice speed and pay a more affordable rate.

Being able to adjust and track your shipments almost as soon as you package them puts you in control of how much your company spends on shipment, and how quickly your customers will receive their orders. No longer will you have to field calls demanding to know when products will arrive. But if you do receive such calls, you’ll be able to bring up your records on your software and find out.

Pay at Your Convenience

Depending on which service you use and how much you ship, some freight forwarding services can be inflexible when it comes to payment. They usually want payment immediately. However, if you’re like most businesses, your financial situation could be tougher one week than it is the next if you’re waiting for a big payment to go through, or you’ve got a lot of bills due at the same time.

Printing your own postage with the help of shipment software offers flexibility. Either pay for each stamp as you print it, or arrange a monthly lump sum payment. Being able to defer payment to the end of the month without resorting to adding more debt to a business credit card with high interest is a life-saver for new and small businesses.

Arrange Pickup

Just because you rule out freight forwarding doesn’t mean you have to drag packages to the shipping service of your choice every week or every day, either. Taking the packages to a shipment center yourself without properly tracking them and printing postage beforehand is ineffective and time-consuming.

Most popular shipping services, including FedEx, UPS and the USPS, will pick up packages for shipment if you print your own postage ahead of time, especially if you’re a business with frequent bulk shipments. You can even arrange a daily pick-up time if you send a lot of packages daily, or just call them up whenever packages accumulate.

Freight forwarding can prove costly, and it’s far from the most efficient alternative if you’re not shipping packages in bulk to the same destination. Even if you’re currently using a freight forwarder, if you’re unhappy with any aspect of the service — the cost, the extra time forwarding adds to shipment or the frequency of damaged packages, for example — it’s worth giving shipping software a try. You’ll see an immediate difference in the amount of money you’re spending on shipments each month, and you’re sure to find that it’s more efficient, too.

About the Author: Broderick Keenum is a blogger and small-business owner. He’s used several freight forwarder services and is much happier using shipping software to organize it all in-house.