There are a number of things that influence the shipping costs small business owners have to contend with. Wars in the Middle East, the weather, the automotive industry and many other factors can mean the difference between expenses that are easy to deal with and those that might signal the demise of a startup.
How can administrators prepare for and cope with these costs, which have been on the rise for some time? Luckily, many industry experts can predict when oil prices and subsequently affected shipping costs will jump, so they can often alter their budgets, but this might be somewhat more difficult for new entrepreneurs or those who haven't had to worry about these fees in a while.
Many providers raising prices
This is an element of business many administrators need to begin thinking about, as Entrepreneur Magazine reported that many American shippers have been steadily raising their prices for some time now. The latest entity to skyrocket their fees was the United States Postal Service (USPS), the magazine said, which was mainly to deal with the massive financial loss the organization is currently experiencing.
That said, the move by USPS was not shocking, as FedEx and UPS also recently increased their fees associated with shipping,
What can be done?
The magazine explained that there really isn't much companies can do about rising prices - they have to ship their products regardless of how expensive it is. The best thing to do is to look for providers who offer the best price and service combinations. Entrepreneur did report that it's usually best if a small business doesn't rely just on one shipping method, instead mixing and matching to find the most optimal value, which can be determined by different weights of shipping cargoes.
Especially when intertwining shipping methods, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) said that leaders need to monitor all of their contracts, particularly those with international shippers, because there are various customs fees and other expenses that accompany sending packages globally.
Employ good tools
The SBA also explained that there are programs that can be used to predict various costs that are associated with such processes. For example, the institution suggested using online tools that are often provided by major shippers, like the USPS.
However, administrators also need to ensure they are recording shipping fees within accounting software. Though this might go overlooked, programs can greatly help set up a budget for these sorts of expenses, and they help leaders keep up with finances and costs in real time.