Air freight is much faster than shipping freight. Especially when ships have already slowed down to the pace of a sailing clipper to save on fuel. And when confidence in the ocean shipping market is looking a little shaky compared to air.
But the freight cost covers that speed difference. Shipping your goods in a plane is speedy but pricey.
The good thing is there are ways to optimize your air freight routine to reduce the transport costs, and we’re going to share these tricks with you.
1. Space Out Your Shipping
More cargo, less often. That’s the golden rule to keep air freight costs low.
There are two main things to consider when pricing up a freight job: the distance and the weight of whatever you’re shipping.
If you send lots of small and light packages, the price you pay covers the distance factor each and every time. If you combine these into one large shipment, you’ll pay a lump sum all at once, but it’ll probably be cheaper overall than the first option.
Of course, while it’s ideal if you’re able to space out your shipping, that doesn’t match up with every business’ needs. Or it might not match up with your cash flow. So if this isn’t for you, how else can you keep those air freight costs low?
2. Use a Consolidation Shipping Service
Consolidation services take small packages and bundle them together in the ‘spare space’ within other shipments.
This is an ideal solution for any business that can’t avoid sending relatively small packages on a regular basis.
Rather than paying for your own, expensive, shipping space, you ‘fill in the gaps’ in another shipment, paying only for what you use. The company sending the larger shipment save money by not paying for empty space, and you get a great shipping cost.
3. Negotiate a Long-Term Agreement
To cut down on the amount you spend on shipping, don’t just keep using the same service. But we don’t necessarily mean shop around for a better price.
Developing a relationship is more valuable than the short-term gains of looking at other providers. Talk to your regular provider about setting up an agreement which benefits you both in the long term.
You may be able to make a commitment to ship a set amount of goods each month, for example. If that’s the case, to ‘lock in’ that business for themselves, the courier service is likely to be able to negotiate with you on the price.
4. Prioritize and Keep Freight Costs Low
One other way to keep overall shipping costs low is to prioritize your shipments by order of urgency. Things that can’t wait go by air. Things that can wait go by road or boat, whichever is suitable.
Using a mix of transportation solutions means that only your urgent shipments cost you air freight prices.
It’s a simple and easy way to save money. Just make sure all staff involved in your shipping process know what types of shipments take priority.
5. Do You Need All That Packaging?
We understand that people are a little more cautious when shipping by air. Airplanes’ speed and the potential for turbulence, make many customers a little nervous when shipping their precious cargo.
But in many cases, the packaging we see is just a little over the top.
Take a proportionate view of the risk of damaged goods. If you’re shipping very sturdy items, save cash by stripping back some of the packaging. You’ll save both on weight and on the packaging materials themselves.
If you’d like some advice on suitable packaging for your needs, just ask us.
6. Let the Carrier Pick Up Later On
Most businesses have closed up shop by around six in the evening. Which means the carrier can’t pick up their goods.
Reduce transport costs by allowing them to come by later on. When you do this, you’re helping to maximize their efficiency – as they can pick up more items in a day. So they might be able to offer you a better price.
It can also be a good way to build a good relationship with the carrier. Which in turn should affect the rates you’re offered.
Of course, if you’re not willing to hang around yourself, you’ll have to pay staff to stay on until later in the evening. Do the math and make sure it still makes financial sense.
7. Ship Off-Peak
Some days are more expensive than others. This depends on demand, though it’s generally the case that Friday is the cheapest day to ship on.
This is because many recipients want to be stocked for the weekend rush, and will be looking to receive goods on Thursday or Friday. These need to be shipped on Wednesday or Thursday.
So if your shipment can wait until Friday, you might bag yourself a better deal.
8. Outsource Transport Needs
A small business probably doesn’t have much call for a freight team.
Outsource your shipping management needs to a reliable logistics company. They’ll sort everything out for you at a fraction of the cost of a full-time member(s) of staff.
Plus, they already have the in-house expertise to keep all your logistical needs running smoothly.
Are You Ready to Ship?
ASAP Courier provides national and international shipping solutions for time-definite delivery needs.
Set up a new account in minutes and get a quote for your next vital shipment. Our licensed and insured staff will make sure your package arrives when it’s needed.
If you have any questions about air freight costs, or any other shipping queries, we’ll be very happy to help you.