How To Lower Your Shipping Costs – A Big Opportunity Most Shippers Miss

Two men comparing shipping costs at a computer inside a warehouse.
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We’re all looking for ways to save our businesses money. And when we open our books to seek out opportunities, one place we all inevitably land is shipping and logistics. Why? Well, if your business ships any kind of volume, you probably see a big number in that column, and big numbers tend to stand out.

So how do you save money by lowering your shipping costs and making that big number smaller?

Speed up the freight measuring and weighing process

By now, most shippers have discovered the importance of providing carriers with accurate dimensions, weight and density for their freight. It’s no secret that giving carriers accurate dimensions and density up front leads to a smoother shipping process that helps shippers and 3PLs negotiate better shipping rates and avoid re-class fees. But, one thing a lot of shippers fail to account for is the time this process takes when done by hand.

For example, let’s say you currently use a tape measure and freight scale to find the density of your pallets. You set your pallet down on the scale, then get out your tape. With practice, you’ve gotten pretty quick at measuring – so quick that you’re able to find and record the length, width and height of each pallet in just 90 seconds. Now, you put your dimensions and weight into a density calculator and voila, you’ve got your pallet density in about 100 seconds. With the measurement process finished, you pick the pallet up with a forklift and off it goes just 10 seconds later. Maybe you repeat that process for 89 more pallets over the course of the day.

In total, the process we just described takes 110 seconds to complete, which means you’ll be spending about 2 hours and 45 minutes calculating the density of pallets alone. While this obviously isn’t an exact representation of your process, odds are, it’s pretty close if you’re still measuring pallets by hand.

So how much time can an automatic freight dimensioner save you?

Let’s say you finally decide to switch to an FS 5000 automatic pallet dimensioner that’s integrated with a scale. Now, your process starts to look a lot different. You drop your pallet on the scale, then click a button which tells your dimensioner to start measuring. Six seconds later, the dimensioner spits out the length, width, height, weight and density of your pallet. Another 10 seconds pass and your forklift driver is taking the pallet to its next destination. Multiply the total number of seconds your new process takes (just 16 seconds) by the 89 pallets you still have to do, and you end up spending only 24 minutes measuring pallets per day.

That’s a time savings of 2 hours and 21 minutes per day, or 11 hours and 45 minutes in a 5-day work week!

How much could that extra time be worth to your business? For some, the time saved can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the volume of shipping they do and how they ultimately decide to spend the extra time and human resources an automatic dimensioner frees up.

Keep in mind that time saved is just one of the major benefits of switching to automatic dimensioning. For a look at some of the other benefits, go here to learn more.

 

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Michael Eichenberg is the co-founder and CEO of FreightSnap, allowing the supply chain, logistics, manufacturing, distribution and transportation industries to measure, weigh, photograph and ID pallets and parcels in just seconds. Learn more and share your ideas on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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