4 Domestic Shipping Tips That Might Come in Handy

4 Domestic Shipping Tips That Might Come in Handy Even though domestic shipping is much less complicated than international shipping, there are still a few things you need to take into consideration if you want to save money on shipping and make sure your packages arrive on time. Let us offer a few tips that might make domestic shipping a tad easier for you.

Choose the Right Carrier and Shipping Services

All major postal and courier companies offer several domestic shipping services to choose from. The United States Postal Service has Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Mail, Media Mail and USPS Retail Ground; FedEx has FedEx SameDay, FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day A.M., FedEx 2Day, FedEx Express Saver, FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery; UPS has UPS Ground, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 3 Day Select and UPS Next Day Air – so many options to choose from!

There are two main factors you need to take into account when choosing the right shipping service: urgency and budget. Fast delivery is almost always expensive, whereas ground delivery is affordable but slow. Each carrier bases its rates on several factors such as delivery time, shipping distance (shipping zone), and package size and weight. The easiest way to compare shipping rates and find the right balance between shipping speed and cost is to use a shipping calculator.

Consider Flat Rate Shipping

If you need to ship a small package up to 70 lbs and don’t want to bother with weighing and measuring it and/or trying to make sense of shipping zones, you should consider flat rate shipping. With flat rate shipping, you pay the same price regardless of how much your shipment weighs and how far it travels.

Each type of flat rate envelope or box has a standard fee assigned to it, and all you need to do is choose the right size envelope or box for the item or items you intend to ship. For example, the USPS has several types of flat rate envelopes and five types of boxes (small box, two different medium boxes, large box, and APO/FPO box).

Keep Package Size Down

Regardless of whether you choose regular shipping or flat rate shipping, limiting your package size will help reduce your shipping costs. If you’re on a tight budget, opt for the smallest box that can fit your items safely (of course, with flat rate shipping your choice will be limited to the types of flat rate boxes offered by the carrier, but the advice still applies).

However, if you ship fragile items, you need to make sure there is enough space left in the box for protective cushioning. Shipping is all about the balance; in this case, it is the balance between reducing your shipping costs and making sure your items arrive at their destination intact.

Print Your Shipping Labels Yourself

Printing your shipping labels at home can make domestic shipping much easier because it saves both time and money. If you decide to ship a package from a Post Office or UPS/FedEx location, you’ll probably need to wait in line until it’s your turn and then wait some more while a service clerk generates a shipping label and handles your package. When you generate shipping labels online and print them at your home or office, you don’t have to wait because you can attach the shipping label to the package yourself and then drop it off at the nearest drop-off location without having to wait or schedule a package pickup with the carrier.

Now that it’s clear how printing shipping labels saves time, let’s figure out how it saves money. Most carriers offer shipping discounts to customers who print their shipping labels online because it reduces the load on their employees, and third-party shipping label printing services may offer even bigger discounts to stay competitive. For example, PostageMaker offers discounts of up to 25% from USPS and UPS domestic retail rates.