Guide to choosing the cheapest way to ship a package

The Cheapest Way to Ship a Package: Beginners Guide

R. Lee
by Rose Lee

Content Writer


People are always looking for ways to ship packages that are less expensive so that they can save money. Especially for people or firms who ship products frequently, the price of shipping can add up to a significant amount. Customers are able to purchase more expensive products, providing an opportunity for firms to gain a competitive advantage through the provision of more cheap delivery choices. In addition, shipping methods that are efficient in terms of cost can be beneficial to the environment by cutting down on unnecessary transportation charges and the amount of fuel used.

Because the prices of pretty much everything are going up right now, it is essential that you do your homework before making any decisions that will cost you a lot of money. This is especially true if you own a small business that is developing its shipping strategy for the first time.

Guide to choosing the cheapest way to ship a package

Methods of distribution that are available

It might be difficult to determine how much something will cost to transport as well as which option will be the most cost effective. 

There are many different types of shipping methods to choose from, and the one you should use will depend on where you are located and how quickly you need the shipment to get to its destination. 

  • Shipping at a flat rate means that the cost of shipping does not vary depending on the dimensions or weight of the shipment. Customers will pay the same flat charge for each order, which is determined by choosing from among a variety of standard package sizes.
  • Real-time carrier rates are when the exact shipping prices that carriers charge are automatically determined at checkout. This calculation takes into account the dimension, weight, and distance of the package being shipped.
  • When an item is shipped locally, it is packaged and delivered directly to the customer, as opposed to going via a shipping provider first.
  • Pickup is when a customer chooses a certain place to pick up their package from.
  • International shipping is the term given to the process of sending a package to a different region of the world.
  • Same-day delivery means that the customer's order is fulfilled on the same day that the purchase is made by the consumer.
  • Overnight shipping means that the buyer will receive their order on the day after they have made their purchase.
  • The term «expedited shipping» refers to any form of delivery other than standard ways that is guaranteed to reach at its destination sooner than those other means.

Any of these can be included as part of your shipping options during the checkout process because there is no shipping strategy that is universally applicable to all types of businesses. Some of them, like flat-rate shipping and free shipping, are wonderful because they help manage expectations and provide transparency. Other shipping options, on the other hand, prioritize speed over cost and make certain that the cargo is delivered as quickly as possible.

A look at the factors that go into determining the price of delivery

When it comes to efficiently and cheaply sending packages to their destinations, there is no one shipping technique that stands out as the clear winner. Keep in mind that the weight and dimensions of the box, the urgency with which you require the delivery of the item, as well as the shipping zone or country in which you are located, are all considerations that must be taken into account when shipping anything.

In this article, we will go over the four most important aspects to think about when selecting the most effective strategy to cut down on shipping costs.

Certainly, the following is a more in-depth explanation on the ways in which the cost of delivery can be affected by factors such as weight, distance traveled, size, and speed.


What kind of time frame are you working with for the delivery of your package? Quick delivery will very definitely become more important as the expectation of instant gratification grows. However, keep in mind that the quicker the delivery speed, the more the price will be for the service.

Do you want your product delivered the same day, the following day, in two days, within three days? 

You can choose from a variety of time-sensitive delivery choices provided by a variety of different courier firms to accommodate your desired delivery window. However, in order to participate in the game, you will need to «pay to play». It's possible that overnight delivery will cost five times as much as standard delivery.

The gap between us: distance 

The amount of distance that a package must go is one of the primary factors that determines the cost. Longer distances typically result in higher prices due to the increased amount of time and fuel that they require.

First things first, it's important to think about where exactly in Germany or another EU country your package is coming from when it's on its way to you. 

When it comes to transporting packages to consumers located in different areas, the question of whether or not to use domestic or international shipping becomes relevant. You probably already guessed that the shipping prices for overseas shipments are going to be greater than those for local shipments.

Physique or mass: weight 

When looking for the most cost-effective method to send boxes, one of the most important considerations to make is the total package weight. The price of shipping your package will be determined in part by how heavy or light it is.

When it comes to pricing, carriers frequently use weight-based tiers; going over these restrictions might result in additional fees being assessed. It is crucial to keep products as light as possible while ensuring that they are packed securely in order to reduce the costs associated with delivering them.


The amount of space that a box takes up in the back of a track is directly related to its dimensions and is entirely determined by the size of the package. The cost of shipping will increase proportionately with the size of the product. Many different couriers give you a variety of choices to choose from in order to assist you in finding the optimal size for transporting your cargo.

Items that are bulky or enormous take up more space in delivery vehicles and may require specialist handling due to their dimensions. Carriers might tack on an additional fee for such packages. It is possible to cut down on shipping costs by correctly measuring and packaging things in order to limit the amount of wasted space.

Because of the interrelated nature of these aspects, doing your best to optimize them might assist you in locating the shipping solution that will save you the most money. For instance, packaging that is both lighter and more compact can cut down on both the weight and size of the product, which can result in reduced shipping costs. In addition, it may be possible to save money by selecting a slower shipment speed for things that are not as time-sensitive.

Additional aspects to take into consideration

In addition to the financial implications, there are a number of other important considerations that should be given your attention. An inexpensive alternative that does not provide reliable tracking services, insurance, or a commitment to its delivery timelines may come with its fair share of problems that negate the attractive price of the alternative.

The following are some more aspects that need your attention:

  • Insurance: Your belongings will be protected from loss or damage thanks to insurance. In addition, this helps to reduce the likelihood that any packages will be lost or damaged in transit. While you are looking into different ways to save shipping expenses, it is a good idea to check to see if the shipping company that offers the most affordable rates also provides insurance for your products. It might make more sense to choose a carrier with a higher shipping fee that includes insurance protection rather than a cheaper alternative that doesn't cover you and requires you to buy insurance separately, even though the more expensive option might cost more overall.
  • Tracking: Tracking helps you optimize the shipping experience for your buyers, and it promotes trust by enabling package visibility throughout its trip. Tracking can be found on most modern e-commerce platforms. It's possible that the least expensive way to ship a package is also the approach that provides the poorest tracking services. Because of this, you may need to carefully consider all of your alternatives before settling on the one that provides the best tracking services.
  • Handling costs: Depending on how fragile your shipment is, you may be charged handling costs. These fees are sometimes assessed. Always check to see if you will be required to pay any additional handling costs before selecting the method of box shipping that will cost you the least amount of money.
  • Surcharges for fuel and residential delivery are common with affordable shipping plans. These hidden costs can include fees for the final mile of delivery, such as fuel or residential surcharges. When deciding which method of shipment to go with, double ensure that these additional costs are factored in.
  • Guaranteed delivery: To ensure that your consumers are not inconvenienced, you need to determine whether or not the shipping method that costs the least makes a commitment to the delivery times it promises. In the end, it all comes down to how well you serve your customers.
Guide to choosing the cheapest way to ship a package

Here are seven ways to save down on shipping expenses:

Customers are extremely price conscious in today's modern society. Exorbitant shipping prices are the leading cause of shopping cart abandonment, which is why lowering your overall logistics expenses should be one of your top priorities.

The following are the most prevalent ways that money is lost by online shops due to issues with shipping and logistics. Therefore, it is in everyone's best interest to find the shipping method that would allow them to send packages at the lowest possible cost.

  1. Find the most cost-effective way to transport packages by investigating the various shipping options

If you run an online store, making the assumption that you currently ship with the most cost-effective service or selecting the first provider with whom you negotiate pricing can quickly lead to a loss of earnings for your business.

Due to the large amount of price variation among shipping carriers for a variety of locations, weights, sizes, and other factors, it is vital to conduct thorough research.

This is especially important to keep in mind when shipping goods overseas, since it is more expensive to rely on a courier to carry your packages to all of your locations than it is to shop about and discover the cheapest costs for each place individually.

Establish cooperative shipping arrangements

Working together with different shipping firms will help you obtain better terms and sometimes even discounts. You should try to negotiate better pricing with the companies that supply shipping services.

Long-term partnerships can help you cut down on expenses related to shipping over the course of the relationship

Make use of partners or solutions provided by third parties in order to reduce the cost of delivery.

The number of online businesses vying to negotiate shipping prices is expanding, which has the effect of increasing the workload of the companies that provide shipping services. Because of this, it is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire shipping charges that are lower from the many providers of shipping services.

You should look for a partner or a solution if you find it difficult to contact shipping suppliers directly or if you want to grow your network without signing a contract. Both of these situations are possible. Without having to negotiate pricing directly with the company that provides the shipping service, you can save money and time by using these.

  1. Spend less on materials for packaging

When it comes to the material used for packaging, the general guideline that applies is "as little as possible, as much as necessary." If you want to save money, the wrong area is not the place to do it, especially when it comes to things that are delicate and easily damaged.

It is common knowledge that shipping corporations are not the least bit timid when it comes to dealing with packages. A good rule of thumb is that the package should be able to survive a fall from a height of 1.5 meters (about 5 feet).

Because of this, it is essential to have a robust box, high-quality adhesive tape on all sides, and inside packaging that is specifically designed for the item being shipped.

How to get most for your money when purchasing materials for packaging 

Reuse the cardboard boxes and packing material, for instance, that you have previously used, obtained through the purchase of goods receipts or return of items. However, you should only use boxes that are in satisfactory shape.

If there are any outdated shipping labels on the box, make sure to remove them or cover them up before proceeding with the shipping process. If you don't, the automatic scanning of the product could result in complications.

In order to take advantage of volume discounts, it is in your best interest to make wholesale purchases of cardboard and other types of packing materials from specialized retailers.

When you place your orders, you should also think about the possibilities of forming a purchasing consortium with other stores in order to get better deals on your packing materials.

  1. Find the shipping service provider that offers the best rates

The following is probably the most basic advice, but it is also one of the most useful:

Conduct research on every type of shipping service that is available and collect as many quotations as you can. It is important to keep in mind that the size of your order might frequently affect your ability to negotiate a lower price. Check with your current provider of shipping services to see if they can offer you a better deal. It would be a shame to pass up these opportunities.

Also, if customers in a particular region frequent your online store frequently, you should investigate the availability of a regional delivery service in that region. Because they don't have to go very far, regional shipping companies are able to charge more competitive rates for their shipping services.

  1. Make use of a shipping service provider's rates when shipping your items

Shipping brokers or Shipping Service Providers (SSP) might be a helpful alternative for some online shops.

You, as a merchant, get direct access to the shipping prices that the SSP has negotiated with the shipping companies, so you don't have to go through the hassle of negotiating with the shipping companies yourself.

That way, you won't have to worry about signing your own contracts, and you'll be able to take use of the parcel services offered by all of the major shipping service providers.

This is especially helpful for merchants whose monthly shipping volume is either too low or too uncertain for them to be able to negotiate favorable terms directly with service providers.

  1. Establish a procedure for product returns

Take some time to deliberate on who will be responsible for paying the return shipping fees. You have the right to charge the buyer for the shipping expenses in some circumstances; this is particularly true when the client is returning an item because of their own personal preferences or because they made poor purchases.

You also have the option of providing free returns to your customers in order to win their trust. It is essential to have a returns policy that is both explicit and straightforward in order to avoid any misconceptions.

In order to determine whether or not a product is suitable for retail sale, one approach is to examine which items are sent back the most frequently. On the other hand, you need to make sure that the terms and conditions for returns are presented in an open and honest manner on your website. By doing so, you will reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings, negative feedback, and unnecessary expenses.

  1. Give out your goods for free

There are a lot of online stores that will provide you free shipping if you spend more than a particular amount. This method is quite effective in the majority of situations and encourages customers to make larger purchases and stock up in order to qualify for free shipping. You merely need to watch out for any dips in your profit margin caused by this. 

Be aware that if you offer free delivery, you should stay away from more expensive shipping alternatives like express or international shipping and instead try to give standard shipping whenever you can. Otherwise, offering free shipping could significantly cut into your profit margin.

  1. Consider outsourcing your logistical needs

Your employees are having a hard time keeping up with the pace of work since the shipments are building up, the warehouse is completely full, and so on.

It's possible that it's time to hire a fulfillment service to handle your company's logistics. Even if it doesn't appear that your package issue is particularly dire, it may still be in your best interest to have a competent logistics provider handle your shipment's logistics. They will handle warehousing, packaging, and the entirety of the shipping procedure for you, beginning with the reception of an order and ending at the front door of your consumers.

Because of this, the bottleneck that was previously present with your in-house parcel delivery has been substantially alleviated, and you are now free to focus on selling products and expanding your online store.


In conclusion, optimizing your shipping strategy is a critical aspect of saving money and enhancing the overall efficiency of your business operations. The cost of shipping can significantly impact your bottom line, and it's essential to consider a variety of factors when determining the most cost-effective shipping methods. These factors include weight, distance, size, and speed, each of which plays a vital role in determining shipping expenses.

Weight, size, and distance all contribute to the cost of shipping. Heavier and bulkier packages typically result in higher shipping fees, and longer distances often mean increased costs due to the additional time and resources required for transportation. Therefore, it's crucial to balance the weight and dimensions of your packages to reduce shipping expenses.

Speed, on the other hand, influences the shipping cost by determining how quickly the package should reach its destination. Faster shipping options, such as express or overnight delivery, come at a higher price compared to standard shipping methods. It's important to assess the urgency of delivery and choose the shipping speed that aligns with your budget.

Furthermore, additional considerations, such as insurance, tracking, handling costs, and fuel surcharges, can impact the overall cost of delivery. It's essential to strike a balance between cost and services that meet your customers' expectations and your business needs.

To save on shipping costs, consider several strategies. Investigate various shipping options, negotiate with shipping providers, reuse packaging materials when possible, and make bulk purchases to save on packaging materials. Additionally, explore partnerships or solutions offered by third parties to streamline your shipping processes.

Establishing clear return policies and considering free shipping offers can also influence customer behavior and minimize the impact of shipping costs on your profit margins. Finally, outsourcing your logistical needs to a fulfillment service can alleviate the challenges of warehousing and shipping, allowing you to focus on expanding your business.

In a highly competitive e-commerce landscape, finding the right balance between cost-effective shipping and customer satisfaction is key to success. By carefully evaluating and optimizing your shipping strategy, you can reduce expenses, enhance efficiency, and ultimately grow your online business.


What is the cheapest way to ship a package?

The cheapest way to ship a package depends on several factors, including weight, size, and destination. Some cost-effective options to consider are flat-rate shipping for standardized packages, regional carriers for local deliveries, and exploring partnerships or solutions provided by third parties to negotiate lower rates with shipping providers.

What’s the cheapest way to ship large packages?

Shipping large packages can be cost-effective by considering regional carriers for shorter distances, optimizing packaging to minimize wasted space, and negotiating pricing directly with shipping companies. Reusing packaging materials and making bulk purchases can also help reduce costs for shipping larger items.

What’s the cheapest way to ship light packages?

For shipping lighter packages, you can explore flat-rate shipping options, regional carriers, and parcel services that offer free shipping for orders over a specific amount. Balancing cost and speed is crucial, and standard shipping methods are generally more affordable for lighter packages.

How can you prepare to save on shipping and mailing costs?

To prepare and save on shipping and mailing costs, consider the following strategies:

  • Research various shipping options and collect quotes to find the most cost-effective services.
  • Negotiate pricing with shipping providers or explore partnerships with third parties.
  • Reuse packaging materials and make bulk purchases for cost savings.
  • Establish clear return policies to minimize expenses related to returns.
  • Consider offering free shipping for larger orders to encourage customer purchases.
  • Explore outsourcing logistical needs to fulfillment services to streamline shipping processes and focus on business expansion.

Additionally, assess the weight, size, distance, and speed requirements for each package to optimize your shipping strategy and reduce expenses.

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