Shipping costs represent a considerable expense for most businesses. Many are constantly on the lookout for a way to reduce shipping costs without compromising on speed, customer service, and packaging.
By using a shipping cost calculator, you can calculate your shipping costs accurately, helping you save money.
What is a Shipping Cost Calculator?
A shipping cost calculator allows you to precisely determine how much your goods will cost to ship. By seeing how each aspect of your consignment affects your shipping costs, you can find new places to save money.
Before you can calculate the costs, you’ll need several vital pieces of information, including where you’re shipping from, the delivery destination, and the volume of your freight (or a pallet count). If your product won’t fill an entire container on its own, it’s also a good idea to have the size measurements of your packages handy for these calculations.
Factors That Affect Shipping Cost
To save money with a shipping cost calculator, you need to understand what factors affect your shipping prices. Besides these calculable factors, you may also need to account for things like purchasing shipping insurance.
Shape and Size of Package
While many people realize that size affects their shipping costs, they may not understand that the shape of their products can increase their overall costs as well. Standard-shaped boxes are easier to stack, allowing shipping companies to fit more of them in a single truck, plane, or ship.
However, odd-shaped packages may make stacking impossible, reducing the number of boxes a company can put on one transport.
Each carrier has its own definition of standard size, so check with your shipping company about their size definitions.
Another major factor in your shipping costs is the shipping zones. By grouping zip codes together in a region, shipping companies have created shipping zones that allow them to calculate how far something must travel. However, these may differ between companies. For example, FedEx and USPS shipping have differing zones.
You’ll need to input your current zone and where the shipment needs to arrive to calculate this cost. Typically, the further you need to ship, the more expensive it is.
Your costs may increase if your products contain any hazardous materials. This can also reduce your shipping options since some materials cannot travel on planes due to safety concerns. Your shipping company must include appropriate hazardous material labels, which adds to the price as well.
Weight of Package
Depending on the type of shipping, the weight of your package could be a significant factor. While some shippers want the weight, others need you to provide the dimensional weight, calculated based on your package’s width, length, and height. When choosing between the weight and the dim weight, most couriers use the highest number.
A significant factor in your shipping costs is your shipping method. You can choose from truck, ocean, air, and rail freight. Try inputting your shipping request into the calculator with each shipping method to see how it affects your price.
Ocean freight is often the cheapest, especially for international shipping, but also the slowest.
Trucks are popular for domestic shipping, especially for last mile logistics, and are often cheaper than air or rail. However, like ocean freight, shipping by truck over long distances takes longer.
Air freight is the fastest option and is best for companies who wish to sell perishable goods or offer one to two-day shipping. However, you’ll pay for the speed.
You can also choose between LCL (less than a container load) and FCL (full container load) when shipping by boat, or LTL (less than truckload) and FTL (full truckload) when shipping overland. LCL and LTL mean your packages go on the same ship or truck as other companies, lowering your cost. FTL or FCL means you have enough product to fill an entire container.
International Customs or Duties
Most countries impose customs on all international packages. Depending on your product, you may also need to abide by specific regulations. At Asiana USA, we have extensive experience handling international shipping across several industries and can advise you on how much you can expect to pay in customs. Our team also provides the necessary documentation to get your products into a foreign country.
A shipping cost calculator can help you save money in several ways. First, you need to find and understand all the necessary information to input. When you gather the information, you can also note the costs and search for ways to decrease them.
You can use the rate calculator results to determine whether a shipping company is offering you reasonable rates.
Work With an Experienced Logistics Partner
At Asiana USA, we understand precisely what goes into calculating the cost of shipping services. Whether you want to ship items within the U.S. or internationally, we can help you get your products to your customers for a price that suits your budget.
Call us today at (855) 500-1808 to learn more about our services and how we can assist you.